June 2015 on the Great Barrier Reef
The mother of all dive sites
Trevor Jackson – Spoilsport Captain
Consider for a moment all the things that would make one dive destination great. It would have to have spectacular marine life, amazing geography and crystal clear water. It would need to be remote enough so that the volume of visitors was low but, with the right planning, accessible. A wreck or two wouldn’t go astray either, oh and throw in a couple of mind numbing drop offs to round the whole package off. And I’m not talking about sedate little 40 metre drop-offs here, I mean serious ones. There’s nothing like hovering out off a wall in 1500 metres to remind you you’re alive!!! Chuck in a drift dive, some nice swim throughs and an extra dollop of big shark action for good measure. Yep that would just about do it for me. But where would I find it? Well the answer to that is simple: Bougainville Reef.
Australia may have ended up a French speaking nation had the undersea mountain now known as Bougainville reef not halted the progress of the famed maritime explorer Louis-Antoine Bougainville on the morning of June 5th 1768.
Although he suspected that the fabled Great Southern Land lay just 100 miles west of the reef, the poor state of his ships, and the weariness of his crews forced him to turn north and head for home. For divers however, his discovery is now becoming one of the must see destinations in this part of the world and there is a very good reason for that. In terms of a dive destination, it literally, has got the lot.
Wrecks: there are two giant iron ships perched on the eastern side of the reef which mark either end of one the most spectacular drift dives you will ever do.
Walls: Steeper and deeper. They defy belief while you defy gravity. The northern and western faces are dead vertical and the visibility is so good you will sprout wings and fly.
Remote Shark Action: Hammerheads, Silver Tips and Marbled Rays that know no fear. With every turn of the head something new and huge. It’s got a big lovin spoonful of everything and never fails to throw something new into the pot with every visit.
In recent months we’ve decided it’s high time to get out into the Coral Sea as often as we can and make the most of this stunning part of the world. From now on, when the weather permits, we will be pointing the bows of Spoilsport due east as soon as we leave the Cairns leads each Thursday, heading first to Holmes Reef, then on to Bougainville Reef and Osprey Reef. Get yourself on board one of those expeditions and it won’t take long before you realize what makes Bougainville Reef, the mother of all dive sites.