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Dive Review of Spirit of Freedom in
Australia/Coral Sea/Great Barrier Reef

Spirit of Freedom, Sep, 2008,

by Olga Sakwinska, VD, Switzerland ( 1 report). Report 4477.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Bahamas; Dominica; Red See - Sharm; Swiss lakes; Mediterranean - Croatia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 25 to 26 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20 to 30 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 500 psi returned to boat; 40 meters max depth; 2 x safety stops; no time limit
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I didn't have a camera, but most people on the boat did. There was dedicated rinse tank and table for laptops in the lounge.
UW photography course was also avaialble and people who took it were happy with it.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The trip was excellent. Everything promised on the website and more.
Diving was great. Great visibility, healthy coral, lots of large fish. Seen hammerhead, turtles, plenty of sharks, not only during shark feed. Only once seen another dive boat, how refreshing after Red Sea where it's really crowded. Dive sites were variable ranging from sheer walls out at Coral Sea to "bommies" and shallow lagoons (turtles!).
There was possibility for 15 dives in four days, I did 13.
Dive briefings were thorough and accurate. There were at least 2 crew in the water during each dive. I always went with divemaster because I came without a buddy. Buddy teams could follow their own profile. Solo diving coudl be done, but you would need a certification. Safety was important: headcounts, bottom time, max depth, and safety stops were recorded after every dive. All divers were logged in and out of
the water by personal check-in. There was always one crew doing lookout until everyone was back on board.
We were helped in and out of the water. We only needed to rinse our computers and suits, they did everything else. The tanks were filled to 250 psi.
Nice touch: warm beach towels waiting after each dive.
Crew was extremly helpful and went out of their way to make the trip enjoyable for everyone.
Rooms were comfortable, beds done every morning. I was lucky and got a room for myself.
Food was plentiful and tasty. Last night we had barbecue on deck with beef, lamb, chicken, fish, ribs and plenty of other things. Special reuqests - no problem. One person was vegetarian and another on gluten-free diet and they both ate well too. Five meals a day.
Anything negative? Well, the night crossing to Coral Sea was rough. But they have see sickness medicine on board, both herbal (ginger?) and "real" one.
Up to now I was too lazy to write a review, but this was too good. I'd come back. I hope I will.
www.spiritoffreedom.com.au
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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