MV Poseidon III
The MV Poseidon III is a luxury, purpose built catamaran providing sightseers, snorkelers and divers with high speed trips to the outer barrier reefs from Port Douglas. The MV Poseidon departs from Marina Mirage in Port Douglas and visits the Agincourt Reefs located about 70 kilometers off shore. The 25 meter long vessel can do 30 knots, about 55 kilometers per hour, so it is only about 90 minutes before the reef is reached. Agincourt is a collection of four narrow barrier reefs located on the edge of the continental shelf. The incoming tides bring nutrient rich up swells from the deep water on to the reef while the outgoing tides will keep the reef clean. This provides a pristine condition for the reef and abundant marine life from small Nudibranches to large sharks and even whales at certain times of the year. The reefs are long and narrow causing some scientist to classify them as Ribbon Reefs, however not all scientist accept ribbon reef as a reef type. The Agincourt reefs are just south of the famous Ribbon Reefs #1 to #10 and share many of the same features that make them some of the best diving in the world. The MV Poseidon may be unique in the fact that she visits three reefs on each daily sailing.
Scuba Diving Along The Agincourt Reefs
Many daily boats that have both snorkelers and diver on-board tend to treat them the same. They dive the same sites, get the same briefings and enter the water together. On the Poseidon things are done differently. In addition to the four main reefs there are a number of secondary reefs, in total the Poseidon has fourteen reefs and forty five dive sites that suit a range of different diving experiences and expectations. In some sites the introduction divers and novice divers may stay at the same site as the snorkels, while the advance divers may get into an inflatable and travel a short distance away to access a wall or drift dive. This greatly broadens the type of diving that is available to the certified diver. While at first it may seem like a small matter at first, Poseidon dive deck is primarily 77 and 85cubic feet tanks. Also the rental gear which is only $20 a day includes a dive computer. This combination gives divers longer diving time without decompression concerns. It is almost like adding a fourth dive to your day.
The dive sites on the Agincourt reefs offer a wide range of conditions. There are a number of Bommie which create some very good homes for a wide variety of species. Spot Maori wrasse as well as Giant clams are often seen around some of these as well as large cods. There are places where splits have occurred or where coral have created a cover between two Bommie resulting in a passage or swim through. Wall dives and drift dives are also a feature of some of the sites. While drift dives are a skill set for more advance divers, on some of the sites the drifts are perfect place to experience your first drift dive. Scuba diving is an additional option to the base fare and divers can choose one, two or three dives for their day.
Snorkeling The Reefs
All guest on-board have the option of snorkeling at the three reef locations that the vessel will call upon. For those who have never tried snorkeling before the snorkeling adviser will give an orientation and give a short class on the proper use of the equipment. The briefing will also include a overview of the history of the reef you are at as well as a description of the type of marine life you may encounter. An in-water team will be on-hand to provide assistance and extra flotation devices for those who need it. A marine biologist will lead a snorkeling tour and help identify different marine species. Divers who have not elected to scuba at all three reefs may also snorkel on the reefs.
The MV Poseidon III starts your day with an included pick up at local hotels and transferring you to the vessel. A morning snack is served on the way towards the reef. Lunch is a buffet that has an assortment of foods including shrimp that should meet everyone taste. An afternoon snack is also included. Additional snacks and drinks are available on-board. Return to Port Douglas is around 4:30 leaving plenty of time for dinner and a night on the town.