September 2015 on the Great Barrier Reef

Return to Gigantus

Captain Trevor Jackson

“If I hadn’t seen it myself I wouldn’t have believed it. It’s been spoken of before, but usually over a few too many drinks. It’s alluring, mythical, a once in a lifetime thing. I don’t know if I ever believed in it, and I definitely didn’t think I’d ever see it. But there it was deadset ….… certifiable ………..70 metre viz. This water wasn’t “gin clear”: it was vacuum clear.

We hadn’t noticed it at first because we were on a mission. With tape measure in hand trip director Kerrin and I were down at 42 metres measuring the width and height of a giant fan that has entered into Flinders Reef folklore…5.25 metres wide, 3.03 metres high…a goliath, well worthy of its nickname, Gigantus Gorgonious. It wasn’t till that little chore was done that we looked up and saw the boat hovering above us. Looking forward we could see the rope from the bow angling off towards the rock we had tied her too, and the rocks beyond it. The whole lot seemed suspended in mid air, the boat hovering like a sea eagle. Magic.

Sometimes in life you have a run of good events that just seem to flow seamlessly into one another, it’s a rare occurrence but this trip was shaping up that way. I sat there on the bottom pondering what was coming up for us in the next few days. Another day or so at Flinders, champagne on the sand cay, then overnight in towards the coast where the ghost of a mighty steamship waited for us in the depths.”

Well, those were my words from five years ago, November 2010 to be exact, and I thought by now we would have repeated the performance, but our exploratory itineraries had taken us north to Torres Straits in the subsequent years. Unforgettable trips they were too, every one of them. But this year we thought we might like to run a tape measure back over Gigantus Gorgonious again and see if she’s grown, see how 5 years has treated our old friend. Then of course would be the obligatory day or two on the SS Yongala to round things out. With all the excitement this year, I forgot to mention it earlier……but there’s still time to get a berth…but not a whole lot….because at the end of this very month we return to Gigantus.

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