The Cod Hole and Ribbon Reef: Trips are usually 4 days and are for certified divers. 10 to 12 dives are available. The Cod Hole is famous for a friendly family of Potato Cod about 1 to 1.5 meters long! Dive boats will stop there and do a cod feeding Presentation. You can get up close and take great photos. The Ribbon Reefs are numbered from 1 to 4 and then again from 1 to 10. Number 10 is the Cod Hole. Other amazing Ribbon Reefs you can dive are Dynamite Pass, The Snake Pit, Pixies Pinnacle and Steve’s Bommie. Between Ribbon Reefs number 2 and number 8 is where Minkie Whales come each year in our winter months (June until August). Visibility is from 15 to 30 meters. You can also see many nudibranchs, Lion Fish, Nemo’s and large shoals of fish.
Two Day and Three Day live aboard Reef Tours: These tours all depart from Cairns. It is great to try a night dive and the early morning dive. Visibility is from 10~15 meters. On night dives you can see the colours using a flash light. The eyes of many marine creatures will shine back at you. Bright orange eyes are from the crustations. Red Armed Bandit Shrimp and small crabs come out at night and feed. A harmless reef shark’s eyes will be a beautiful green as you shine your light on them. You may be followed by groups of GT (Giant Trevally) who follow your light beam so they can see and feed on the smaller fish. A night dive is a great experience. There is 1 company that will let you do a night Introduction Dive. Called a NITRO.
Dive companies and licences… PADI Open Water:
This is world recognised. You will need a minimum of 4 days to complete a PADI Open Water Dive Course. Day 1 and Day 2 will be Pool and Theory. There is a swim test of 200m and treading water for 10 minutes. So before you book, ask yourself. 'Can I Swim???' You can still try an Intro Dive but you will fail a Dive Course and they may have cancellation fees if you fail.
Day 1 and 2: a doctor will visit you at the pool. Make sure you have read the Dive Medical Declaration form. The medical must meet a Queensland Standards Dive Medical. Pool and theory.
Day 3 and 4: you will go to the Outer Reef and do your 12 skills over 4 training dives.
About 1 month later PADI will send your Dive Licence. You are qualified to dive to 18m deep. You are taught how to Buddy Check and how the equipment works.
Five Day Open Water Dive Courses usually include a night dive; two days Pool and Theory and then 3 days 2 nights sleep on the boat.
SSI. Scuba Skills International.
Also a very big company and well know in most Asian Countries and very similar to PADI. It is just like Nike or Converse! An SSI dive boat can allow you to do a Nitro (Night Intro Dive.) And after 4 days you get the Dive licence the same day.
PADI and SSI are both available here. There are many other dive companies such as CMAS, BSAC, NAUI. If you have a dive licence which is not PADI or SSI you can still enjoy certified diving. If your log book shows that you have done 4 dives in the ocean you are still a PADI equivalent diver. Night Intro Dives are available on "Reef Encounter."