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.
- You start on a big boat and take it easy up the Mulgrave River, through the greenery of the forest
- When you hit the open water you have about 20 mins before you reach the islands and Great Barrier Reef dive spots
- You have an island-landing; so you step off the boat directly onto the sand
- 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!
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;
- Stay close to your buddy and guide – if we lost each other that was it, there was no way you could find them again
- Drifting is so fun, we drifted side to side as we moved forward. Almost like we were dancing, it was surreal
- 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 🤣
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!