Explore Australia’s Far North – Diving the Torres Strait and Ribbon Reefs aboard the MV Kalinda
Explore Australia’s Far North – Diving the Torres Strait and Ribbon Reefs aboard the MV Kalinda

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THE TRIP

This is truly an incredible trip and VERY few divers on the planet have had the opportunity to dive the Torres Strait. Some of the most spectacular diving in the Coral Sea and reefs dived so rarely that you will likely see something that no person has ever seen before! This is the Great Barrier Reef at it’s healthiest. Incredible untouched reef systems with abundant fish life and huge varieties of pelagic life. Regardless of whether you love macro or wide angle subjects there is something here for everyone!

The Far Northern Reefs are some of the most isolated reefs north of Lizard Island and extend to the east the tip of Cape York peninsular about 500 nautical miles north of Cairns. So many of these reef systems have not even been explored before! Our skipper Dave Stewart has been leading expeditions to this region and has found dive sites and reef systems that no one else has. The Far Northern reefs are famous for their fantastic wall dives, world class drift diving, pinnacles teeming with plethoras of fish, enormous coral bommies, and reef fish and invertebrates of incredible variety and colour. The nesting season for the green sea turtle runs from October through February, and November and December sees thousands upon thousands of turtles descending on the many small coral cays in the region.

img_3231None are as well known though as Raine Island which has been featured in numerous National Geographic and David Attenborough documentaries as in peak season up to 250 turtles and hour drag themselves up onto the beach to lay the next generation. Raine Island is the LARGEST green sea turtle rookery in the word! Aside from the enormous turtles in their incredible numbers this is particularly impressive as there are typically roaming tiger sharks waiting for an easy meal of an exhausted mother who has just laid her clutch. This is a world class opportunity to witness nature in it’s purest and rawest form.

Check out this incredible footage from Bio Pixel for what is in store for you if you join us :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4iIV-80eMc

img_3019It is not just the spectacular Far Northern Reefs that we will be exploring. We will also be diving the most iconic sites of the Ribbon Reefs including two sites which are consistently rated in the top 10 dives in Australia, Steve’s Bommie and The Cod Hole! Aside from the famous Cod Hole you will also have a very unique opportunity to dive the sites around Lizard Island which are renowned for nudibranchs and macro life as well as their huge resident potato cod. The only other way to get to these sites is to pay a minimum of $1,500 a night!

 

The other big draw card is the wreck of the RMS Quetta. The wreck of the RMS Quetta is one of Australia’s oldest and best known shipwrecks and is on the list of one of the few dive able historic wrecks. Located just South of Adolphus Island, this 116 metre long Scottish passenger liner sank on the 28th of February 1890 after striking a coral mount at low tide with 133 of her 290 crew perishing. At the time she was Queensland’s worst maritime disaster. This site requires a permit to dive, experience and significant planning. Huge currents and variable tides make her a difficult dive but very rewarding for those who do it! The Quetta lies in only 6 to 18m of water and is home to literally millions of fish. Thankfully many of the historic relics / “souvenirs” have been removed from the wreck and preserved in museums to stop them ending up in the hands of private collectors and irresponsible divers and so they can be admired by all for generation to come. She is still an incredible wreck though on par if not better than the SS Yongala and so rarely dived it is truly a remarkable opportunity.

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Here is some footage taken by Chris Miller for Coast Australia to give you an idea of what awaits you on the RMS Quetta : https://vimeo.com/127999670

***This dive trip can be very challenging with a lot of sites prone to current so it is only recommended for experienced divers.***

Want a better idea of what is in store for you for the entire trip? Check out this great highlight video from a previous Far North trip showing all of the residents that are waiting for you to come and play! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vakW7BpkHGk

 

 

 

 

Our intended passage plan :

DEC 2016

29 – Board in Cairns @ 1400

30 – Ribbon Reefs/Steve’s Bommie

31- Cod Hole/Lizard Island

 

JAN 2017

1-    Scooterboot

2-   Small Southern Detached/ Ferguson Reef

3-   Mantis/Wishbone Reef

4-   Woody’s/ The Drop (Wood Reef)

5-   Captain Blood’s Wall of Terror/ The Anchors (Greater Detached Reefs)

6-   Da Phat/6mp / Turle Farm (Greater Detached Reefs)

7-   OMG Spot / Cow Bommie (Greater Detached Reefs)

8-   Raine Island (Turtles & Tiger sharks)

9- RMS Quetta / Thursday Island

10-  Disembark Horn Island @ 9am

 

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DIVE INFORMATION

Suitable for Advanced Open Water Divers (certified to 30 metres)

Depth ranges from 6 – 40+ metres

Diving by yourself? We will buddy you up with another diver with similar experience

 

TRIP DATES

Dates for 2018 Coming Soon!

 

PRICE

$3,500 per diver ex Cairns   ***There are ONLY 12 divers on this trip!!****

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Opportunity for up to 40 dives (12 days of diving)
12 nights berthed accommodation on board the MV Kalinda
All meals and snacks whilst on board
Tanks, weights & air fills
RMS Quetta fees and GBRMP
Divemaster services if required

 

WHAT’S EXCLUDED

Flights to and from Cairns
Flight from Horn island to Cairns
Beer, wine & soft drinks (available on board)
Travel Insurance (We also highly recommend DAN insurance)
Personal spending money
Dive Gear

GEAR HIRE

PDS is able to provide you with a wetsuit, BCD, regulator set, computer and hire pricing for the week will be provided upon application. Please note that you will need to arrange to collect the gear from us (Brisbane based customers) prior to the trip and this gear must be incorporated into your own luggage allowance for your flights.

 

MV Kalinda 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Vessel

The MV Kalinda was constructed in 1973 and is a solid, cravel planked timber monohull. Thoughtful design by boat builders Thompson & Thompson and refit modifications have created an amazing sense of space and modern convenience without loss of charm and character. She is not a luxury boat by any means but is practical and functional. The MV Kalinda sleeps up to 30 people including crew but aside from the crew we have reduced this number to ONLY 12 divers to make it as comfortable for you as possible. Don’t miss out!

Dave Stewart is our fearless leader. owner and manager of the MV Kalinda, skipper (master class 4.), engineer (marine engine driver grade 2.), Marine Biologist (BSc(hons) JCU), SCUBA Instructor (PADI) 700+ certified students, 2500+ dives worldwide, Underwater photographer & Videographer, & specialty instructor. Dave has more than 20 years experience (at over 150 days a year) exploring the Great Barrier Reefs and a large number of these sites that we will be diving are sites he has discovered! Dave is renowned for his down to earth nature and detailed dive briefs.

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SPECIALITIES SUITABLE FOR THIS TRIP

Advanced Open Water
Digital Underwater Photographer
Underwater Videographer
Search and Recovery
Self Reliant Diver
Peak Performance Buoyancy
Shark Awareness
Boat Diver
Underwater Naturalist

*** Many more specialties can be done on this trip. John is an Instructor in 32 different specialties. Did you have a specialty in mind? Call John on 0457 007 040 to discuss***

 

 

HOW TO BOOK

Download the booking form attached to the page. Complete the required fields, scan and email to[email protected].

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