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

October, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Harvey S. Cohen, NJ, United States
Contributor   (13 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5232
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Liveaboards: Aquacat, Nekton, Turks & Caicos Explorer III
Land-based: Key Largo, Ft. Lauderdale, Nevis, St. Croix, Gulf of Eilat, New
Jersey Atlantic Ocean, Dutch Springs
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
79   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Max depth should not exceed previous dives on that day. Buddy or guide
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Dedicated rinse sink, compressed air, and assembly table out of dive deck
traffic area. Charging stations in dry indoor area.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
Well worth the half-way-around-the-world pilgrimage. A marine biologist
passenger said the corals reminded her of the Caribbean 30 years ago. The
quality and variety and size were absolutely amazing.
Best-managed liveaboard I've seen. Crew is extremely well organized and
impressively competent. The ship itself is in excellent shape.
Food is amazing. 2 nights were Australian BBQ with steak, lambchops,
baramundi, prawns, and kangaroo.
Spirit is really, really careful that they don't lose track of a diver (as
has happened with other dive operations there). The crew member on bubble
watch logs each diver out as they giant-stride off the dive platform.
Another crew member goes to each diver returning to the dive deck, logs
dive time & max depth, and gets the diver's signature. If a passenger
skips a dive, they are logged and must sign. This is the only operation
I've ever seen where I'm *certain* that they know who is and isn't on the
The waters around the Ribbon Reefs are calm, but the overnight crossings
to/from Osprey Reef/Lizard Island can be rough. Stabilizers eliminate roll,
but not pitch. On those 2 nights they recommend passengers take dramamine
(provided) and go to bed after dinner-- an excellent idea.
All moorings are stable. The boat doesn't swing, and the dive platform
pitches very little even in big swells. With a full passenger load, the
dive deck is a little crowded but OK. Only the Aquacat is more spacious.
There is a wetsuit rinse tub with fresh water for each dive, which every
liveaboard should have but few do. The dive showers are barely adequate;
they're on the open deck near the dive platform. Aquacat has 2 stall
showers on the dive deck that are much better. The shower in each cabin is
OK, but a showerhead on a hose and separate controls for temperature and
volume would be improvements.
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Other dive reports on Spirit of Freedom

All Australia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Australia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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