Eat. Sleep. Dive. Repeat.

It was a lifestyle…for a few days, at least. And it was wonderful. In September of 2018 my husband and I traveled “down under” for his top-of-the-bucket-list trip. We started with a land-based tour from Brisbane up to Cains (two words I didn’t pronounce right until we got out there) and ended on a liveaboard dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef.

Map of the route we took with Intrepid Travel.

We fed kangaroos, we held koalas, and saw some of the most stunning Aussie views from the Whitsundays, but nothing held up to the adventure we had on Spirit of Freedom’s 4-day Coral Sea trip on the Great Barrier Reef.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – Koala Encounter

Unfortunately, due to weather, we were unable to head out to Osprey Reef (known for sharks) and had to stay a bit closer to land. While I’d have loved to witness the sight of sharks circling overhead, any disappointment I felt was quickly forgotten as soon as we got in the water.

And we got in the water faster than you can say “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney”. It was advertised that we would do up to 15 dives in 4 days…and we did (minus one, for us personally…darn ears!) We quickly adapted to the liveabord lifestyle, which, as you might have deduced from the title was “eat, sleep, dive, repeat.” Our daily schedule was typically as follows:

  1. First breakfast & dive briefing
  2. Dive #1
  3. Second breakfast (yes, like a hobbit)
  4. Dive #2
  5. Lunch
  6. Dive #3
  7. Snack
  8. Dive #4
  9. Dinner
  10. Night dive (twice!)
  11. Sleep

We also got to visit “Cod Hole” known for its giant potato cod congregation. After we went off and explored the area a bit we did come back to where the potato cod were hanging out and had some great one-on-one interactions with these beautiful giant fish. What personalities! (Fish don’t get enough credit…perhaps there will be a blog about that, too, soon.)

Swimming with Potato Cod, a relative of the Goliath Grouper we’re typically used to seeing on our dives.

I could go on forever about the friendly white-tip reef sharks visiting us on our night dives, the phytoplankton we saw bioluminesce (is that a word? I’m making it one, now), and the abundance of macro-life in and around the “bommies”. I could also go on forever about how wonderful the crew of Spirit of Freedom was. They were so attentive, so talented, and made us feel right at home the entire time. It was like diving with friends who 100% had your back the entire time, and happened to put your fins on for you with their “finderella” service. The food was amazing, the crew attentive, and the dives incredible. If you’ve ever thought about taking the leap and doing a liveaboard my recommendation is…DO IT! If you can do it on the Great Barrier Reef…even better!

Of course, a liveboard is not for someone brand new to diving. We had our advanced certification before getting on this boat, and around 30 dives under our belt. You can read about my first dive experience here.

Some of the crew/guests pre-dive on Spirit of Freedom.

*Side note- these thoughts/opinions are completely my own and I was not encouraged or paid by Spirit of Freedom to write this blog. They really just were that good!*

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