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Dive Review of Deep Sea Divers Den and Poseidon in
Australia/Great Barrier Reef

Deep Sea Divers Den and Poseidon, Nov, 2005,

by Mort Rolleston, DC, US . Report 2860.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments While in Australia, we did a couple of day trips out to the Great Barrier Reef with family who were a mix of divers and non-divers. We went with Deep Sea Diverís Den out of Cairns and did three dives at Norman Reef. Another day, we did three dives at Agincourt Reef with Poseidon out of Port Douglas. As the nature of both experiences were very similar and the reefs close to each other, I combined my observations of both operations into one entry. In both cases, the dive boats were very comfortable and modern with fun, well organized crew that did well given the large numbers of people (about 50). The small army on each boat consisted mostly of snorkelers and beginner dive classes with less than a dozen certified divers. Poseidon's guides work hard as they also served as the drivers who picked up and dropped us off from our hotel a half hour away. Our driver and guide was very helpful in giving us good information about the area and what to do. Both boats were on tight schedules and thus had a time limit of 40 or 45 minutes per dive. Deep Sea Diverís Den allowed us to dive on our own, but Poseidon instructed all the divers to stay together in one of two groups Ė each with a guide. As the groups were cruising too quickly to actually explore the reef and scaring all the fish away, we started lagging behind and often separated from the group. The guide was initially a little annoyed, but realized we were experienced divers and gave us some latitude. Poseidon also wasnít flexible with buddy pairings for some reason. Making up for Poseidonís tighter restrictions, however, the dives on Agincourt Reef (sites: Barracuda Bommie, Castle Rock, and Triggerfish City) were superior to those on Norman Reef (sites: Plate Top and Troppos) in all categories. Agincourt diving featured two bommies off the edge of the reef and a rapid drift dive that ended up at a cave swimthrough into a beautiful shallow coral reef. The dives offered lots of barracuda, a few whitetips, tons of medium size fish (snappers, parrotfish, groupers, etc.), nudibranchs, morays, giant clams, and numerous large triggerfish who were in their nesting season (we were warned to steer clear, with good reason as several divers who got too close discovered). By contrast, Norman Reef was very mediocre in both fish and coral (though we saw some turtles and barracuda) and the dive classes stirred up the bottom so visibility wasnít great. Coral on both trips was noticeably damaged by the sheer numbers of beginner divers who carelessly bumped into it. Despite the crowds and the fact that the diving wasnít as good as the liveaboard we were on the week before out of Townsville, these two day trips nicely served their purpose of allowing us divers to spend a day sharing the Great Barrier Reef with our non-diving friends on a fun comfortable boat (indeed we ran into our snorkeling friends twice towards the end of some dives Ė which was fun). If you are a more serious diver who wants the best possible diving situation, Iíd recommend finding an operator with a small number of fellow divers who isnít on a tight time schedule. My recommendation for where to stay on land depends on what you are looking for. If large, tacky beach party cities are your thing Ė stay in Cairns. If you prefer quieter, more green and pleasant surroundings, I highly recommend Palm Cove (where we stayed), which reminded me of the sea islands along coast of Georgia or South Carolina. If you are looking for something in between, the small town of Port Douglas is your best bet. If you plan to visit the nearby Daintree National Park, Port Douglas is about an hour closer than Cairns. Palm Cove is in between and is the one of the few places in the area to actually have a beach. I also recommend spending a day driving/hiking in the nearby Atherton Tablelands.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Ko Samui Thailand, Nassau, Bonaire, Key Largo FL, NC wrecks, Brockville Ontario wrecks, Santa Catalina Is. CA, Coral Sea/GBR Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions 40-45 minute time limits. Poseidon also required you to stay in a group and they oddly were not flexible regarding buddy pairings.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments separate water bucket for camera by request, but had to fend it off from people wanting to wash other things in it.
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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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