Exploring The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is the largest attraction in Australia, both in size and in the number of visitors. Each year millions of tourists come to the reef to see what the UNESCO called the most beautiful place on earth both above and below the water. Of the millions of snorkelers, scuba divers and sightseers, only a small percentage of the scuba diver and even a smaller percentage of the snorkelers and sightseer stay overnight on the Great Barrier Reef.
Overnight On The Outer Reef
When the day tours head back to port and the tourist are all comparing what the highlights of their day was, the reef is still there. The reef is a magical place that is 24/7. While it is wonderful by day underwater, at night it reveals many of its day time kept secrets. Different species come out as the day time reef finds places to hide and sleep. Scuba divers are able to explore the reef on a twilight or night dive. Watching from the surface those who are not diving can observe much of the activity. When the sun drops to the horizon and offers you tremendous sunsets the star start to come out. As the vessels lights are lowered, you may see more stars that you can imagine. As the night becomes deep you may notice strange lights coming from under the water. Eerie ghost like movements. These are large fish or sharks moving through patches of phytoplankton. When something touches phytoplankton, it emits a glow. The greater the concentration and the faster the movement the greater the glow.
Being on the reef, you can feel like you’re the only ones around. There no sounds of traffic, no sirens in the distance, not even any light pollution. You see by star light and moon light and the dim lighting of the vessel.
MV Reef Encounter Two Day- One Night Reef Sleep
When you go to a land based resort that has scuba diving it is often difficult to say if it is a dive resort or a resort with diving. A Liveaboard dive boat is generally easier to say if it is a dive Liveaboard. The MV Reef Encounter is a diving Liveaboard, however, it is a whole lot more. While the MV Reef Encounter has first class diving, complete with two on-board compressors for refilling the tanks and a highly qualified dive staff, it is also an award-winning boutique hotel. There are 21 staterooms in this luxurious hotel, oops boat, each with an ocean view. There is a choice between a double bed or a pair of twin beds. While on many boats the fresh water supply is limited, the Reef Encounter has the ability to desalinate the ocean water so there is an unlimited amount of water available. Take as many long hot showers that you wish.
The MV Reef Encounter has different all- inclusive packages. The Reef Sleep package includes: the stateroom, meals, snacks, a separate dessert, use of the hot tub, snorkeling equipment with lessons, glass bottom boat tours, marine biologist talks and a resort dive course. There are additional packages for certified divers and for those who wish to become divers.
You can start your overnight visit on any day. The boutique hotel MV Reef Encounter stays on the outer reefs for extended times. Guest wanting to join the vessel, Will be transported by the MV Reef Explorer which leaves each morning from Marlin Marina. Breakfast is served on-board and you will arrive at the MV Reef Encounter before 10 am. Your departure is about 2:45 pm the next day. There will be wine, cheese and fruit for your journey back to Cairns.
Snorkeling And Scuba Diving The Great Barrier Reef
Snorkeling or scuba diving at sunrise shows the reef in an entirely different manner than later in the day. It is when the reef is most active and the early morning sun helps bring out true colors. You can only do it if you are on the reef at that time. The day boats are just getting loaded and a few hours too late.
When you arrive at the MV Reef Encounter for your overnight stay, you can go snorkeling before lunch. During lunch the vessel will move to a different reef. After lunch there are two more opportunities to snorkel or scuba dive. Certified diver are able to do a night dive after diner.
With an early morning wake up, you can dive or snorkel before breakfast and enjoy watching the sun bring alive the reef. After breakfast there are two more water sessions for either snorkeling or scuba. After lunch those who want a last look at the reef can do some snorkeling. Do not forget to add a glass bottom boat tour somewhere in your visit.