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30 Knot Winds Just A Breeze When Cruising With Ocean Spirit Reef Tours
Posted on March 29, 2016 by Sophie Tabouel
Cairns and Tropical North Queensland can on some days get a little windy with the competing trade winds pushing on each other from the tropical northern parts of the world and the southern regions, it’s just the way it is. At least the daily temperature is warm and tropical with the sun shining every day (almost…).
I have a day off this week and I am determined to go snorkelling on the reef no matter what the weather is so for my Great Barrier Reef Cruise I will choose my reef trip boat carefully as I don’t want to risk seasickness or cancellation of the day tour due to breezy weather which some smaller boats might be susceptible.
Although Ocean Spirit Cruises brochure gives the impression that their vessel is meant for the calm weather sailing in perfect conditions, it is really one big and solid vessel ready to tackle just about any weather that Mother Nature throws at us.
Endless Open Sundeck
Well, I booked my seat and the first thing I notice when boarding the Ocean Spirit reef boat is that it really is big and spacious! There is plenty of room for everyone to sit comfortably or lay down under the sails and the sundeck is a huge bonus and just a dream come true for sun lovers like myself.
I can already picture myself there letting my hair down after a big day’s snorkelling and trying an introductory scuba dive and sipping a glass of sparkling on the way back to Cairns Marlin Marina. A glass of complimentary sparkling on the way home is just another little touch by Ocean Spirit reef cruises.
Upon boarding the boat we are welcomed by freshly baked muffins, coffee aroma and a beautiful classical music in the main saloon cabin on our entrance.
The catamarans newly refurbished interior looks clean and crisp and it makes you feel immediately relaxed and ready to get comfortable for your 2 hour journey to the stunning Michaelmas Cay which sits in the middle of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
And because the boat is a catamaran sailing vessel it is taking today’s trip at a bit slower pace so our cruise is not going to be the bumpiest even if there’s high winds which means no seasickness for me thankfully.
Another thing I notice about this reef tour on the Ocean Spirit boat is that they have so many bathrooms and changing facilities- 3 bathrooms for men and 3 for women. More bathrooms equals less time in the que trying to change your clothes.
Michaelmas Cay-Stunning Every Day
Ocean Spirit’s cruises destination Michaelmas Cay seems to be always sunny and surrounded by strikingly blue waters. I have been there 3 times before on private boats and with another reef day tour operator and as you may have gathered I just can’t get enough so I am back again!
When we reach the solitary sand cay we are transported to the island on a comfortable glass bottom boat and from there everyone can either go straight to snorkelling, swimming or trying an introductory scuba dive, sunbaking or admiring the nesting birds with their newly hatched little chicks. They are just sooo gorgeous!
Surrounded by 3 Sea Turtles In One Day!
We decide to jump in for a snorkel and it doesn’t take long until we get rewarded with a visit by the biggest sea turtle I have ever seen in my life. He was huge and must have been very old to be that big! He was not shy he just went about his business as we all hovered around him in awe as he nibbled at the coral below.
And luckily Ocean Spirit cruises in water photographer knows her stuff as she never seems to miss the right moment to take that perfect photo of a stingray or a sea turtle with tourists in the background. You can then view these great photos and purchase them on the cruise back to the Cairns Marlin Marina.
After snorkelling and exploring the reef for a few hours we are heading for a semi-submersible submarine tour. This was definitely another highlight of our day as we spotted another 2 beautiful sea turtles as they gracefully rode the underwater currents and we saw the highly colourful Parrot fish, Nemo Clownfish, Dory the Blue Tang Fish and plenty of giant trevally’s and lots of corals and other cool marine life.
The Michaelmas Cay region is also very famous for the enormous amount of giant clams scattered in the surrounding waters so we get to enjoy seeing plenty of those also as we navigate the waters snorkelling, diving and in the glass bottom boat and the semi-submersible submarine.
Cold & Hot Buffet Lunch… Perfect
Just when you think your reef trip can’t get any better… the buffet lunch is being served in the boats galley! There is nothing better than a cold & hot buffet lunch after you spent so much time in the water.
After lunch it’s back to all the in water activities before we begin our homeward bound journey for Cairns.
Time To Go Home
On the way home I spend my journey looking at all those gorgeous photos taken from our day and feeling sorry for my friends who didn’t come with us… Our day out on the Great Barrier Reef was drop dead gorgeous, it was stunning out there and the sun shone all day as it normally does out on the reef. Precipitation is normally on the land so if you are looking out the window today from your hotel accommodation and it is raining don’t worry as the conditions out on the reef will be a total different story!
Author: Helen – Tropical North Queensland & Great Barrier Reef Destination Specialists
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