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The treacherous Holmes Reef is named after one of captain Holmes first voyages around the seas.

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Holmes Reef was named after Captain Henry Holmes, who started writing a diary of his adventures since he was a boy of 12 or 13 years old. His first encounter with these treacherous reefs was when he was young, captain and partly owner of the barque Thomasine. At that time, the two detached groups of reefs with unexamined passage were not shown on the Admiralty Chart.

So this is the very moment that Captain Henry Holmes 'discovered' Holmes reef! He was on his way from Sydney to Hongkong with a crew of mainly Malay citizens since all Europeans had been affected by the Australian gold rush. It didn’t take long before the Thomasine was in trouble, surrounded by dangerous reefs and at night time. The next morning Holmes saw that they were in a channel in between two massive reefs. There appeared to be a gap in the reef at the final end of the channel and it was this superficial gap that ended the service of the Thomasine. The ship struck heavily, and with an awful crash. The story goes on to tell of a perilous escape in a longboat and cutter, island hopping and heading for the mainland. Holmes and most of his crew survived.



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Name: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel

In the Coral Sea, about 250 kilometers away from Cairns, lies Holmes Reef, a reef interesting for us all. There are drift dives, caves, turtles, deep dives and incredible night dives. Not to mention the amount of pelagic, smaller marine life and different species of hard and soft coral. One of the biggest thrills however are the enormous numbers of shark encounters.




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