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Dive Review of Spirit of Freedom in
Australia/Far North

Spirit of Freedom: "The Great Barrier Reef Aboard the Spirit of Freedom", Nov, 2016,

by Pierre Hurter, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 9851.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Quantas allows you to check in two bags at 50 pounds each, plus carryon (is United listening?) The issue we had is that our puddle jumper to Lockhart River had a 70 pound total limit. Still not bad, but challenging if you are a photographer.

A note on wetsuits, I always wear a 5mm and typically hang on to them until they are threadbare. The water temperature was almost always around 81 degrees, so a thinner suit would work for most folks. I wear a full suit, both to provide sun protection as well as itchy and stinging sea critters.

The crew was great, the meals hearty and there were plenty of opportunities to dive, typically five per day.

A typical day started at 6:30 with a pre-brekkie, yogurt, cereal and fruit then a dive. Afterwards a second brekkie, bacon, beans, stewed tomatoes, bangers, toast and of course Vegemite (try twitch toast and a slice of avocado). A sort break and another dive, followed up with lunch, another dive, some munchies to keep us going, another dive and then dinner. For those who still had the energy and weren't too stuffed a night dive.

You don't ask, "would you go back?" I enjoyed my time in Australia and will probably go back, but not necessarily to dive.
Websites Spirit of Freedom   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Alaska, Maui, Cozumel, La Paz, Tulum, Socorro , Honduras, Philippines, Galapagos, Truk (Chuuck), Solomon Islands,
Belize, Fij, Channel Islands, Indonesia (Komodo, Raja Ampat), Maldives,
Monterey and California's North Coast.
Closest Airport Cairns Getting There We flew from SFO to Sydney, followed by a four hour layover and then on to Cairns. The following day we flew to Lockhart River aboard a Skytrans De Haviland Dash 8.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions I don't recall any hard and fast restrictions on our diving times or depths. The briefings were detailed and then we were on our own.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a photographer, my wife is. My overall impression is that there is never enough room for photographers, but I think they did a good job of providing a good sized area protected from the elements and plenty of charging possibilities and clean compressed air.
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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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