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“Brilliant dive, snorkel and jetski trips”
Review of Calypso Adventures

Calypso Adventures
Attraction details
New Zealand
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Brilliant dive, snorkel and jetski trips”
Reviewed January 2, 2010

All in all, my fiancé and I went with Calypso dive for 4 trips out to Eddy Reef and one jetski tour. There is a reason we kept coming back - phenomenal diving, snorkeling and crew!

Diving - Advanced Open Water course
We took our Advanced Open Water course with Calypso, and didn't regret it! Our instructor, Andy, kept us smiling with a great sense of humour on the boat and in the water. Our first two specialty dives (AWARE Fish ID and Boat Dive) allowed us to explore the reef, get to know the underwater world and discover all sorts of neat sea creatures. Good thing we did the AWARE Fish Identification, since we figured in any other programme we would have been quite distracted by reef sharks, lionfish, sea turtles, manta rays and all the colourful fish.

Our second day entailed three more courses (Navigation, Peak Performance Buoyancy, and Deep Diving). The first two were very practical, and Andy gave us clear instructions to follow. We were, admittedly, nervous about our first deep dive. However, we successfully descended to 20 meters, finding we were surprisingly more astute in our underwater tests that we had been above water - probably a result of the adrenaline!! All the dives went well, and we completed each safely to achieve the Advanced Open Water Diver certificates. We really did feel taken care of through the whole course, with very personalised and professional service.

Diving - Tours
After our brilliant experience on the Advanced Open Water course, we decided to do more diving with Calypso. This time, we were with Nicole. Again, we felt the service was outstanding, professional and very safe. Nicole has a wonderful range of hand signals she uses to point out sea turtles, lion fish, maori wrasse and more. She kept track of our group of divers (6 in all) while we explored the reef, being sure to keep track of our oxygen as we went. We felt very safe, and unbelievably happy!

Jetskiing
This tour involves some stops along interesting parts of Dunk Island and its surrounds. Our tour guide told us interesting (and true!) pirate stories and local history, while pointing out sea turtles and manta rays in secluded lagoons, hugged by pristine beaches lined with palms. Still, we most enjoyed our 5 minutes of 'play time', where we got to really test the speed and maneuverability of these new jetskis! In short, they turn on a dime and can be pushed up to 93kms/hr.

Snorkeling
Don't forget your sunscreen if you have any exposed skin! We wore 3mm wetsuits (our own, full length suits that we bought from their dive shop before heading our on our first dive with them). The wetsuits provided full coverage from the sun, so we didn't have the embarrassing burnt calves than many snorkelers in shorts experience. The sun lights up the shallow waters to reveal the brightly coloured soft and hard corals, and many different fish. We brought an underwater camera and took photographs and video underwater - a great keepsake! This was just too pleasant for words.

Weather
We went in December (over Christmas) and experienced beautiful humid, hot temperatures between 29-31 degrees Celsius. The water was around 29 degrees, and our 3mm wetsuits were perfectly suited for diving. A stinger suit would also be more than warm enough, and still provide the protection against jellyfish. We did go during jellyfish season, and all together we saw 3 out at the reef and 4 in the stinger net. I got stung in the stinger net, but by a little harmless jelly. It stung about as much as a quick burn from the edge of a frying pan and the feeling went away about as quickly, with just a little residual stinging for about 10 minutes. Not bad. However, you do want to take precautions because of the box jellies and arichangy jellies. I should say, the jellyfish out on the reef looked like one of the little, harmless varieties.

Boat & Facilities
The boat is large, with toilets (hot showers in the toilets), running water and lots of amenities on board available for purchase. My fiancé appreciated being able to buy coke and chocolate bars on board. Just recently, back in NZ, when I asked him what he wanted for lunch, he said "A Calypso buffet"; half-joking because we want to be back on the boat, it's also an indication of the nice meals and fruit we were provided with everyday.

Crew
I cannot say enough about how wonderful the crew is!!!!!

Keith, the skipper, had a great sense of humour and was always quick to give us a hand getting on and off the boat after a dive. He gave a great briefing before the snorkel trips on how to avoid using the snorkel as a straw, and other pitfalls. We loved chatting with him on the bow!

Andy, our dive instructor, as I mentioned earlier, was professional, hilarious, and took great care of us during our dives. If you have the pleasure of meeting him, give him a hard time because he enjoys that.

Peter is also a dive instructor, but we didn't dive or snorkel with him. Mostly, we spend time with him in the van (pick-ups and drop-offs) and on the boat. Again, he's funny, is quick to lend a hand and has the best laugh of anyone I've met.

Nicole was also there to pick us up in the van, and went out of her way to make sure we didn't have to walk too far with our heavy dive bag. As I mentioned earlier, we did go diving with her, and she was very friendly, professional and knows the reef shockingly well. She even knows the best hiding spots for lionfish.

Darryl picked us up in 'sealegs' (the boat transfer vessel) from time to time. That boat is something else! It drives right up onto shore. I knew I wasn't the only one who found it neat, because lots of beachgoers would stop to take photos as we drove up on shore! Darryl was friendly, professional, and timely with pick-ups. I liked it best when he drove the boat a bit fast with the music on - very fun!

Kiki helped us with anything we wanted on board, from snacks to drinks to a pen to borrow to fill in log books. Like the rest of the crew, she was friendly, efficient and clearly worked very hard (yet happily) to get all the snorkel and diving gear sorted after our delightful trips.

Richard was our liaison when it came to organising our trips. He was very accommodating to us, and helped us to book our dream diving, snorkeling and jetski vacation. When we finally met him, we saw immediately that smiles come easily to him, and he clearly loves his work.

I can highly highly recommend Calypso Dive!

Helpful?
1 Thank Melanie_NewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane
Level Contributor
254 reviews
123 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Great Day on the reef”
Reviewed August 27, 2009

We were staying at Dunk Island late June and decided to take this trip to the reef. The weather turned out to be fine and quite hot. The ride was a little bumpy, but not bad - our 14 year old son felt rather queasy by the time we arrived, however was fine after that. We were on a small boat as their cat was in for repair. Thus there were only 17 passengers. Eddy Reef is about 20km off shore and is a horseshoe shape. We moored within the horseshoe. My husband and I both opted for dives. We both have our dive tickets but haven't dived for 5 years. My husband was fine but I was too anxious and had to get out. (Otherwise the dive would have been all about me trying to sink). We were very impressed with their thoroughness in preparations for the dive - very professional and safe. I then snorkelled with our son - great. We snorkelled for 1 1/2 hours. We saw fabulous coral and amazing fish - even a couple of large cuttlefish. My husband frolicked with a green turtle on his second dive - wow. After a lunch of salad, it was back into the water for another 1 1/2 hours. We have a wealth of photos as both my husband and our son have cameras capable of going underwater. There were no photos by boat crew (of which there were only two). A couple of other passengers also opted for beginner dives and had a ball - they saw a few small reef sharks.
Many years ago I holidayed here and visited Beaver Cay, this is visited by the competition. Calypso said that the coral is not great there but the fish were more spectacular as it is a protected reef. Eddy Reef is able to be fished. The biggest difference is that at Eddy Reef there is no land but at Beaver Cay there is a small mound of sand that pokes out of the water so you can swim to and from this.
All in all a great day.

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Thank LAR60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Eddy Reef with Calypso II - just bad luck that day, could have been great”
Reviewed March 15, 2009

Ok this could have been a 5-star rating but we had a 3-star trip, but most of it was a bunch of bad luck. I could tell from the start it had the potential to be great based on the staff and their interaction with us. We had been on a reef trip from Cairns and could tell the difference right away. We picked up at Dunk Island to go to Eddy Reef on Feb 26, 2009. There were about 24 of us - a great small size. Plenty of room on the boat.

When we got to Eddy Reef, one of the mooring lines snapped. So after many attempts to anchor & moor with one line by the reef, we moved away and anchored 500+ft from the site. So then we had to take a little motor boat to the site -- six at time. This took a lot of time. And we were not dropped off where the reef was but outside it and then pointed to where to go. But he didn't realize once in the water with the waves you couldn't see the bouy we needed to get to so we really didn't see much of anything. It was only on the second trip after lunch that he took us right to where we needed to be and it was fabulous, even with it being a cloudy day (much better than 2 site off of Cairns) But my husband hesitated to go because we didn't see much in the morning and when he decided to go back out, the boat of 6 was full -- and when the boat came back he said it was too late so my husband truely missed out.

Then we went to leave and found the anchor was stuck. It took 2-3 hours and 10 people pulling before we were free. All we got for the problems of the day was a free candy bar.

I was more disappointed that we did not get pictures. They are one of the few reef tours that take underwater pictures of you and what you see that day and then offer (for a fee) a copy of those plus 100 of their best photos on a CD to take home. I did not buy an underwater camera b/c of this, but the day went so bad that they never took pictures, etc. In the end I complained and was given a free copy of their 100 best photos that I could show at home.

So it would have been great to be moored right at the reef with the ability to get on and off the boat anytime we wanted. The reef seemed unspoiled compared to where we went near Cairns. There were no other boats around and with a small group size you felt like you had the whole place to yourself - and you really did.

So again, this had the makings of being a great trip and a highlight of our Australia journey but due to some unforseen unfortunate events it ended up a dissappointment. I doubt anyone else would have this happen, so I would still highly recommend them - for the great staff and great location.

Helpful?
2 Thank a1lt2md
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redondo Beach, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great Barrier Reef snorkeling and scuba diving”
Reviewed November 25, 2008

Great Barrier Reef snorkel and scuba diving
These people are very together. The boat is comfortable so that you don't feel crowded and the crew friendly and helpful. The lunch was plentiful and delicious. All the extras one could want were available for purchase and never pushed to sell.
The reef we went to was amazingly gorgeous and the dive well planned for maximum bottom time. They are on my list for top dive boat experiences!

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2 Thank Ravingcrazy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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