Reef trips

To: "Birding Aus" <>, "Tony Crittenden" <>
Subject: Reef trips
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 11:28:30 +1000
Hi Tony

I'm not in North Queensland, and you might get more up to date advice from
up there, but I'll share my current understandings with you.

A couple of UK birders who were in Cairns a while back have told me that the
options for trips out to Michaelmas Cay have changed since I was last up
there, and are now as follows:

Ocean Spirit

A big catamaran which gets out there quite quickly, gives you options for
diving, or just snorkelling, provides access to a fixed submersible viewing
station offshore from the reef for getting an underwater look at the reef
life, and also gives you time on the cay itself.

Seastar 2

This is a much smaller, slower, traditional style vessel, which makes a day
of it. It leaves at 7.45am and gets back between 5.30 and 6pm, depending on
what's out there and what you're seeing. It leaves about an hour before the
Ocean Spirit, and gets to the cay at about the same time. It also goes on to
Hastings Reef after Michaelmas Cay, and so there are more birding
opportunities. It doesn't have access to the fixed submersible, but it does
operate a glass-bottomed boat out on the reef. Diving and snorkelling
options are also available.

Lunch is provided on both vessels.

Our UK people took the Seastar 2 and were very happy with it. You spend a
lot more time on the water, so if you've got any qualms about sea-sickness
it might not be the one. Mind you, it's relatively calm inside the reef, I
guess it's only swell that upsets people, and that happened to me on the big
cat a few years back.

That said, Michaelmas Cay is a must!

All the best

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

Visit our website at

Ph: (+61) 7 4697 6111  Fax: (+61) 7 4697 6056

-----Original Message-----
 Behalf Of Tony Crittenden
Sent: Saturday, 8 March 2003 7:52 AM
Subject: Sydney Area
Hi Aus-birders

Thanks for all the responses regarding my planned trip to Australia.  I am
now almost finished but have a couple more questions.

1 - Barrier Reef Trips - I have seen both Seastar 2 and Ocean Spirit 1
recommended.   Which is the best for birding??

2 - I have 2 spare days in the Sydney area in late December,  Where should I
plan on going? Do i stay south at Barren Grounds? or should i head for
Capertree??  or is there somewhere else I should know about??

Thanks again for all your help. You're a great crowd. I'll be looking for
some birding companions in various locations, but I'll do that a lot nearer
the time!!



Tony Crittenden

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