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chinacat46
10-05-2007, 02:50
G'day mates,

After a fairly easy but long trip from Denver to Townsville (9/30 - 10/2) I boarded the Pro Dive Townsville liveaboard for 3 days of diving. I arrived in Townsville around 5pm and went to the dive shop and checked in. Left my gear there and went off to Molly Malones for some tucker and Kilkenny. Got back to the shop at 7:40 to catch the 7:45 van to the boat. The boat holds 20 pax but there was only 14 on my trip. 3 ow students, a discovery diver, 3 instructors(including myself), and the rest assorted divers. The first day we dove Davies reef. 3 dives during the day and a night dive. Just a brilliant reef with very nice table corals, and staghorn corals and loads of fish. One dive my buddy John and I found a school of bumphead parrotfish. Must have been 20 of them nearly all of them over 4 feet. Just incredible. We both just took pictures and kept giving each other OK sign. Also saw a few white tips and many types of wrasse, butterfly and angelfish to name but a few. The second day was spent doing 4 dives in different areas of Wheelers reef. My favorite was Lion's Den a pinnacle that started at about 85 feet and ended in about 5 feet of water. Tons of stuff to see and I found a beautiful flatworm as well as many lionfish(hence the name lion's den). Also tons of clown fish and batfish which would just get right in your face. Today we did two dives on the Yongala Wreck before returning to Townsville. The first dive we were in the water at 6am and the wreck was just screaming with life. Huge marble rays, an eagle ray, bull sharks, guitar fish, huge queensland grouper called VW(size of beetle), just tons of fish everywhere. The 2nd dive was similar but no rays(bummer). I've dove a lot of wrecks including Truk Lagoon and this has to be one of the top three wreck dives I've ever done. Tomorrow I fly to Cairns but tonight I'm gonna party with the crew and some of the other passengers at Molly Malones. Hmmm more Kilkenny. We're meeting at 7pm and it's currently about 5:50pm here on friday the 5th(my brother's bday, Happy Birthday Mike!). I get on the Spirit of Freedom on Monday for 7 days will report back when I can.

Cheers

thesmoothdome
10-05-2007, 08:03
Glad you're having fun Chinacat! Right now, as the work grind really gets rolling along, I'm having a serious case of dive envy.

Keep the reports coming bro. A lot of us are living through you right now!

JugglingMonkeys
10-05-2007, 08:07
Great report! Thanks.

Keep them coming please...

Chad
10-05-2007, 09:27
Sounds like you are having a great dive trip. Thanks for report!

unclepooty
10-05-2007, 10:44
Wow! can't wait for more

Charles R
10-05-2007, 10:50
Ok i am jealous i need another Vacation

chinacat46
10-05-2007, 18:33
Killing some time in the Townsville airport right now. Got my checked bag down to 18 kg under the 20 kg limit they didn't weight my carry on thank god. I put my HID light canon in there with batteries and lots of other small heavy stuff. Had my wet suit hanging from the AC last night to dry it out. Everything was totally dry this morning. My new wetsuit I got from Scuba Toys is brilliant. I got a Pinnacle Elastiprene Merino 3 mil. Normally I would freeze my a** off in 75 degree water in a 3 mil but I was comfy on all my dives with just a little chill on the 4th dive of the day. Got say it's by far the best 3mil I've ever owned or used. Thanx again Larry & Joe. With the gift certificates and 10% it was a great deal. You guys ROCK!

chinacat46
10-07-2007, 15:51
G'day mates,

After a couple of relaxing days in Cairns I get on the Spirit of Freedom at around noon today(Monday). The last two days I played tourist and just hung out in Cairns checking out the shops, eating ice cream and having a couple of really good dinners. I love Thai food but normally I'm disappointed with most of the restaurants I visit while traveling. However I found an excellent Thai place here in Cairns. It's called Pattaya and it's at 62 Spence St. So if you like Thai and are coming to Cairns check it out. I had the Tom Kha Gha first which was very good but not great. For my main I ordered the Beef Penang hot. It had the sweet taste of a good Penang with just the right amount of heat. It was excellent and left a great taste in your mouth. I also indulged in an all you can eat seafood buffet. Had nearly two dozen oysters, many shrimp/prawns, mussels and crab clustes, as well as some excellent seafood chowder and a few hot dishes. I stayed away from the bread and salads. They didn't make any money on me. I've also managed to drink a number of Kilkenny's since arriving in Oz. It's still my favorite beer in the world and since I can't get it in the US it tastes even better when I can drink it. It's about 6:45am right now so I'm gonna go jump in the shower and eat some breakfast and then go get my haircut before I get on the boat. I'll be on the boat for week so don't expect any updates. After I get back I've got 4 or 5 hours before I fly to PNG so if I get a chance I'll try to do an update on the SoF. In PNG I'm heading directly to the Star Dancer for a 10 day trip so you won't be hearing much from me.

chinacat46
10-07-2007, 16:15
Pictures of a Bumphead Parrot and a Whitetip

lucidblue
10-09-2007, 20:41
Thanks for the trip reports, I love hearing about places I haven't been and getting different perspectives on the places I have gone.

chinacat46
10-14-2007, 17:39
Just wrote a nice long report and lost it. Any way I'm a bit burned out from all my diving to write it again so you guys will have to wait. I did see lots of kewl stuff on the Ribbon Reefs and the Osprey Reef. A few neat nudibranchs, heaps of sharks, two cuttlefish and even an octopus. I'm bummed the longer report got lost but the boat and crew were great and the diving was good. The water was 79 on the Ribbon Reefs and 81 out int the Coral Sea. But after so many dives I did get chilled. So far I'm upto 34 dives and they have been very good. Will try and do a better update when I get the time. If I get the time. I'm off to PNG today and will get on another boat this evening and be back in the water diving tomorrow. I'm gonna need a vacation after all this diving. :-)

Desert_Diver
10-14-2007, 21:16
I think I am going to petition Larry that he ban your's and Travelnsj's trip reports. You two are creating a pandemic of Dive Trip Envy that can only be mitigated by huge expenditures of cash.

Good report. I'm looking forward to the rest of the report and the pics that you took.

Art

Aussie
10-15-2007, 08:02
Sounds like another day working in Australia........!

Aussie