Diving in paradise – Frankland Islands | Great Barrier Reef dive 15 & 16

Lara Lain larasstory blog Frankland Islands diving great barrier reef september 2019

Bearing in mind I am still super-new to diving, from what I have experienced (so far), the Frankland Islands cruise is a very different dive trip to other Reef boats that go out from Cairns or Port Douglas.

  1. You start on a big boat and take it easy up the Mulgrave River, through the greenery of the forest
  2. When you hit the open water you have about 20 mins before you reach the islands and Great Barrier Reef dive spots
  3. You have an island-landing; so you step off the boat directly onto the sand
  4. You start with a snorkel session, wading in straight from the beach

The boat you go out on is lovely, plenty of space and calm. Perfect for families and anyone wanting a relaxed journey. The scenery is so vibrant – keep a look out for crocodiles. We didn’t spot any but they are definitely out there!

Lara Lain larasstory blog Frankland Islands mulgrave river

Diving off Normanby Island

Frankland Islands are made up of five islands – we were visiting Normanby Island. Depending on the weather, tide swell and wind direction – you can dive on either side of it.

Dive #1 – We were taken out on a rib, putting our gear on as we were motoring. We went backwards off the boat – so cool! The visibility was about 7m, it wasn’t great but we expected that so we were buzzed regardless!

Dive #2 – This dive was in the arvo, after a good lunch! … This time we went on the other side of the island. Again, we knew visibility wouldn’t be great but I don’t think we could have guessed the crazy conditions – on the way down it was like going down in a sandstorm. I could see nothing! I actually nearly hit the bottom as I couldn’t see it. The visibility was about 1m.

… Literally you could see as far as your arm was out in front of you and that was it.


Learning my limits under the sea

It was a really interesting dive, I learned so much;

  1. Stay close to your buddy and guide – if we lost each other that was it, there was no way you could find them again
  2. Drifting is so fun, we drifted side to side as we moved forward. Almost like we were dancing, it was surreal
  3. Come up (asap) when you feel discomfort; I’ve had a bad cold this week so was pushing it with a dive but I was fine until about 30 mins into that second dive. Then my sinuses on my right side started to feel really uncomfortable. I let our guide know and came up, to end my dive, about 10 mins earlier than planned. Basically my nose was blocked – when I hit the surface oh boy did my nose clear! It was gross (and mixed with blood) but it was immediately fine – I was just bunged up and it needed to come out. No dramas. All the online info says don’t dive with a cold – I thought I was ok and to be fair, I was until that last point. But again, it was good learning to recognise any discomfort while under the sea. It’s actually a thing divers can get called ‘Sinus squeeze’.

All-in-all I think Frankland Islands is amazing for family / day trips! You could take a whole gang out, of all ages, and they would love it. There were only 4 people (total) on the first dive. Then, just me and my friend on the second. So, for us, the diving felt like a private experience.

We both left planning a return! Next time we will be picky about the conditions and go when it’s less than 5knots so the visibility is good.


My first ever GoPro video

I bought a GoPro the day before and made my first vid of the day. Check it here, I swear to Goodness I am at my happiest in the ocean. Listen to the noises when I see fish etc 🤣

Lara Lain larasstory blog Frankland Islands normanby islandLara Lain larasstory blog Frankland Islands boatLara Lain larasstory blog Frankland Islands snorkelLara Lain larasstory blog Frankland Islands diving

Thank you 

Miriam, our dive guide, was ace. I can’t recommend this day highly enough! Thanks to @_hallie for coming with me and thanks to the #franklandislands crew for the special day!

@LaraLain

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