2 day reef dive tour?

Mar 29th, 2007, 05:31 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 33
2 day reef dive tour?

Does anybody know of any 2-day 1-night reef dive tours in the Cairns area? We only have 4 days in the Cairns area and we'd like to spend some time in the Rainforest and on Dunk Island. So time is precious. We can only find day tours and then 3 day tours. Nothing about 2 day tours.
langrobe is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Try Reef Encounter out of Cairns for 2-day,1 night liveaboard. Good luck, you're allowing yourself no wriggle time with weather.
pat_woolford is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Do you recommend a 3 day instead? Also, we are considering getting certified to dive. This will probably be the only time we use the certification. Are the "resort dives" worse than regular dives? We don't want to miss out on great opportunities by not having the certification.
langrobe is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 03:25 AM
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Not sure I understand your question - are resort dives worse than regular dives?

What do you understand by "resort dive", and what do you mean by "worse".

You ask about a "reef dive tour" - seems to imply that you want to dive.

If you don't/can't - then go on a boat that is not aimed primarily at divers. All of the "liveaboards" in Cairns most certainly are.

Go on day trips, or go to the Whitsundays where there are many more "liveaboards" to choose from.

I do think we need to be clear about what a "liveaboard" is. In FNQ it is a dive boat that allows you to dive more often, and in places further from the mainland, because you do not return to shore every night.

In the Whitsundays this is termed a cruise, or an adventure. You sleep on the boat (and the boats vary in size from 10 to 30 pax). So you don't return to the mainland. But the object of the exercise is not to dive as much as possible but just to spend time afloat seeing the islands - with some leisurely snorkelling thrown in; with luck some good company; and maybe some bushwalking too.

And with respect you don't need to dive to see fantastic things on the GBR. So I wouldn't stress out about getting a dive certification unless you really want to.

Not necessary at all. Just go snorkel!!

chimani is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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My understaning of "resort dive" is that an instructor is always in the water with you and you can only go down 40ft maximum.
We've been looking around at different dive options. (We do want to dive... not just snorkel) It seems that we have two options without certification. 1) Day tours
2) Intro to diving liveaboard

We're trying to stay away from the day tours because their itineraries show that after commuting to the reef and introducing equipment, you only get about 3 hours in the water. So we found a liveaboard Intro to Diving tour.
My concern with the certified/non-certified issue is that we can only go down 40 ft being non-certified. I'm not sure how deep the reef is. I don't want us to only go down 40 ft and the reef be 80 ft down.
We are planning on staying on Dunk Is around that time. Perhaps I will look into day trips from Dunk to see if it makes more sense to go back to the day tour idea.
Thanks for the help so far!
langrobe is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Hi! My husband and I are snorkelers who are signed up for a dive certification course next month. We have been to the GBR in 2004 (and going again in Oct of this year) and took day trips including the one to Lizard Island with Daintree Air (www.daintreeair.com) which was AWESOME. The reef can be from 3 inches to some feet down, depending on the tide, but coral has algae in it that is in a symbiotic relationship (each helping the other) and the algae need sunlight to do their part, so you generally find reef coral in shallow water. It is my understanding that divers who go deeper than the resort dives are looking for other animals and things like caves or other structure, since most coral can't live deeper than the sun can get to. We had fantastic snorkeling, so if you don't plan on ever diving again, I wouldn't plan on the certification. Other people on this board have posted that when they did the day trip resort dives, they spent the time thinking about their air, the procedure, etc. and not the lovely reef that was right there before their eyes. Their partners who snorkeled had a much better experience. That said, the reason we are pursuing dive certification is that we are going out on a 3 day dive boat and thought we would like the option of diving, although the website says that the trip we chose is good for snorkelers since the ribbon reefs are shallow. When we emailed them (the Spirit of Freedom), they said that they try to accommodate the snorkelers, but don't guarantee it. I am not as keen as my husband to get certified since I love snorkeling so much, but I am interested in night dives (which you can't night snorkel) and in not missing something that I might love, too. I think if you only have 4 days in the Cairns area, you should think about the day trips or the Reef Endeavor which Pat W. told you about. I believe it caters to snorkelers and has had great reviews on this board. The reef is so gorgeous and interesting, that you don't need to stress yourself. Enjoy!
Sally in Seattle
SnRSeattle is offline  
Mar 31st, 2007, 02:39 AM
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Actually, Reef Encounter and Reef Endeavour are different boats and two totally different experiences. Reef Endeavour is Captain Cook cruise boat with about 75 staterooms and cabins and is a heck of a lot bigger than Reef Encounter, a 35 metre catamaran. Reef Endeavour has a choice of 4 night trip out of Cairns to Cooktown, Lizard Island, No 5 Ribbon Reef and a southbound cruise to Hedley Reef, Dunk Island and Hinchinbrook Channel. Or a 7 night combo trip of both. Snorkelling is available as is diving for certified divers.

Reef Encounter is a liveaboard dive boat - it stays out on reef and has a feeder boat "Compass" which has always been noted as slow, to say the least. However, its about to be replaced by a much speedier vessel and Compass (which has been improved recently) will be used as backpacker/budget day trip to reef out of Cairns.
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:26 AM
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We had a great experience with Reef Encounter last June. I would go with them again in a flash. To get certified, I think you need more time that the 2 days, but even if you do just the shorter time you can still try out diving (including doing the night dive as long as you have done at least one introductory dive). The only caveat on doing the diving with no previous certification is that if you are over 45, you have to have medical clearance. We weren't able to try out the diving because we are both older than that and both have health problems that preclude us from being able to . Even so, they kept offering us the opportunity. But I was happy with the snorkeling I got in. The crew is fabulous, the rooms were very comfortable and the food was great! We also met some really nice people during our time on the Encounter.
jcasale is offline  
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