GREAT BARRIER REEF
We have cruised most of the popular diving areas of the Great Barrier Reef on both Purranha and Lorelei.
However most of these photos were taken when Paul was the Trip Director on Australia’s premier luxury dive live-aboard “Spirit of Freedom”.
He was fortunate to hold the position for many years and has done 1000’s of dives on both the Great Barrier Reef (particularly the Ribbon Reefs north of Cairns) and The Coral Sea.
The Cod Hole
At the top of Ribbon Reef no.10 (there is no no.11…) Lies one of Australia’s best known dive sites, The World Famous Cod Hole.
This location was found by diving icons Ron and Valerie Taylor in the 1970’s.
The area is home to some Giant Potato Cod (or Grouper). That combined with some stunning coral, great viz, and loads of other fish and sharks, makes this a world class dive location.
Select dive operators have permits to feed the Potato Cod and Paul was fortunate to be able to do this 1 to 2 times a week for the guests.
Paul had done more than 150 feeds and 300 dives at the site before he went full time cruising. To say the cod knew him well was an understatement.
Well they say fish have no memory. Well we proved that incorrect – twice!!
3 years after stopping feeding, Paul returned when he did a private charter on Spirit of Freedom. When he jumped into the water at the Cod Hole with 28 other divers and in completely different equipment and wetsuit, the cod singled him out and came straight up to him for a cuddle. The guests were all amazed.
Another 3 years on – we were on a mooring at the Cod Hole onboard Lorelei with both of us and Paul’s dad George and family friend Keith Guthrie.
We were only snorkelling but when Paul spotted the big Cod he used to feed he dived down and got a big cuddle and Paul was able to bring him up from 15m to the surface to say hello to Dad and Keith. They were blown away that Paul was able to do this and couldn’t believe it remembered Paul and was happy to swim around and come up for many cuddles with him.
The Coral Spawning
One of diving's rare privileges is to witness the annual coral spawning.
Depending on the location around the world, coral reefs spawn at different times.
On the Great barrier Reef in Australia it generally spawns in late November.
There is no exact time and scientists can only have an educated guess on past history.
We have been fortunate to witness it 3 times from 5 attempts (twice on Tusa 4 out off Cairns and once from Purranha at Orpheus Island, GBR where we dived all night...).