November on the Great Barrier Reef 2013
Ain’t Seen Nothing Like It
By Captain Trevor Jackson
“And I’ve traveled round, been all over this world and I ain’t seen nothing like my Galway Girl”…………or so the song goes. It’s about a guy walking along in a scenic place and he meets a girl who steals his heart away with her unparalleled beauty. It wouldn’t happen often, but every now and again something comes your way that redefines your universe. No I haven’t lost the plot or gone soft in the head…….but something new has come our way. We stumbled onto it in October and for me it is the diving equivalent of my Galway Girl. By that I mean ‘I ain’t seen nothing like it’.
A description is perhaps in order. Imagine, for the purposes of this story a cheesecake sitting on a bench. The cheesecake represents a coral reef with fairly uniform and rounded edges. Now let’s cut a slice out of the cake. We have now got a sharp edged, sheer walled triangle in our otherwise uniform cheesecake. Nothing too unusual about that but now let’s consider that the cheesecake represents our reef and that the reef has walls 1000 meters sheer to the surrounding seabed. Again, nothing too unusual about that in these parts. Except for one small thing…our triangle……an acute cut into the heart of the cake, also has sheer walls 1000 meters deep, right in to the very apex. NOW THAT’S something you don’t see every day.
On our aptly named Northern Explorer expedition this October just past we found exactly what we were looking for, something worth returning to. As a dive, this site was simply spectacular…and scary. This triangular cut into the reef edge was about 200 meters long in each direction and had a bottom that our ship’s sounder simply could not fathom. A dive into the apex itself had myself and Trip Director Lisa Russell in full tech regalia, plunging off the sheerest, darkest, most mysterious cliff either of us had ever seen. Diving a wall inside the confines of the reef exterior, a wall that unfortunately we only had one morning to explore, so despite the amazement, it remains unknown to us. All I could say is, it seemed bottomless.
A week later, back in Cairns, we convinced Mike to let us have another crack at what may become a true icon of the Great Barrier Reef. Next October the boat will sail again for a ‘Northern Explorer’ with a specific target in mind, to unlock the mysteries of the bottomless triangle…our “Galway Girl”. Get on board I guarantee you ‘you ain’t seen nothing like it’.
Photos of the Month