Trip Diary: My Mission Beach Dive
One of the highlights of stay at Teranga is the Mission Beach Dive. It is one of the best Great Barrier Reef dive experience in North Queensland and it is literally just down the road from Teranga. I have been on several dive charters in Cairns including getting my PADI Open water diving certificate in my early twenties. Compared to other charters, the Mission Beach Dive experience is more personal than big tourist charters and much more enjoyable. And here is why:
1. The Reef Goddess is the right size boat – the boat is a comfortable 65 feet boat – that it is permitted to explore the outer reef and arrive at some of the more interesting reef areas. I have been on some of the bigger charters in Cairns are only permitted to designated reef areas dues to the size of the boat and tour group. Most of these reef areas are overused and over snorkelled. The big charter reefs normally have limited coral, overcrowded with snorkelers; it is like going to a crowded beach, it is not the best experience.
2.Smaller Tour Group – with the right size boat you get the right size tour group. The day we went out to the reef we had about 20-25 people on the boat, which meant we could stretch out and even explore the boat. The main area was enclosed and extends to the stern of the boat where you can jump off or lower yourself into the reef.
The seating in the boat was a horseshoe shape which mean that you could sit next to or sit opposite to your travel companions – and in my case my two sons aged 12 and 14.
The tour group was a mix of people with difference experiences. We had a German family of 4 with older kids. The family were experienced divers and bought their own diving equipment. They seem to know the crew since words such as “nice to see you again”, “last time I was here”, always a good sign to see repeat customers. We also met some young couples, armed with go-pros, older couples, singles and other families.
3.A Friendly Crew / Friendly Tour – As you can see from the photo above this was the freindly crew giving us a briefing on what to do when we get to the reef. Being a smaller boat, the crew can pay attention to you, give you advice and maybe share some stories.
Lunch is great, it is a mix of freshly cooked BBQ on board the boat, salads, bread and plenty of tropical fruit. A Queensland luncheon.
You can also go up to the 2nd deck which is largely open, get a high view of the reef, and have the wind in your hair
4.The Beautiful Great Barrier Reef – parts of the reef will vary in visibility from day to day. The first reef that we arrived at did not have good visibility this might have been cause due a number of reasons such as the tide/swell, which always vary, temparture, time of day, sunlight etc. The Reef Goddess is nimble enough to move on, change plans and move to another part of the reef.
We travelled another 30 minutes which took at our final destination allowed us to visit an area was absolutely beautiful. It had a great variety of coral and marine life – clams, colorful fish and sea turtles.
Please note: the photos taken with my action camera photos does not do it justice in terms of colours and lighting – sorry!
Check out the video for a better view of the experience. See if you can “Find Nemo” in the video.
5. Close to Teranga – Mission Beach Dive is a 8 minute walk from Teranga and about 1.5 minute drive. There are so many advantages for being so close.
- We were able to have a great breakfast at home including the mandatory Nespresso Coffee
- After the Reef Adventure Day – the kids were able to enjoy a nice shower (to wash off the salt),
- Veg out on the lounge and recover a bit
- Enjoy a cold drink from the kitchen
- Have a sunset dip in the Teranga swimming pool (the water is normally warm)
- Order a Pizza from Dough Gourmet Pizza
- Watch a Netflix Movie