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Reef Report for Thursday, January 17, 2002

Change in the Wind, no Change in the Weather; Great Diving.

This week on the reef has seen a change in the wind. Blowing northerly then Westerly the skippers have certainly had their hands full finding the best spots on the reef to keep the snorkellers and divers happy. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises The weekend looks to be similar with local showers and east to southeast winds blowing 10 to 15 knots.

On Passions of Paradise this week certified divers saw a pair of threadfin butterfly fish, they also saw a spectacular bright blue Palette Surgeon fish in 12 m of water. Introductory divers saw a large Potato Cod in 6 m, hiding under a ledge of plate coral. And introductory divers also spotted some Chinese footballer trout. Temperatures of 28 C in the water, and calm sunny days make the reef the place to be to relax and enjoy nature at it's best. There is very little current around so beginners through to experienced divers can truly enjoy the reef in comfort. It seems the wet season is never going to come!

Scubapro guests had great conditions whilst cruising around Milln Reef. Divers had 20 metres visibility and saw a diversity of life typical of our reef. Included on the list of sightings were epaulette sharks, sea snakes, banded cleaner shrimp and even a flat- headed Slipper Lobster. Dive Master trainee Greg also saw numerous white tip reef sharks, barracuda, large schools of blue fin tuna and an ever-present Giant Trevally which spent considerable time hanging under the boat.

On board Reef Magic this week, conditions have also been kind. At Moore Reef introductory divers were treated to a visit from Wally (the giant Maori Wrasse) and his girlfriend (Hopefully another Maori Wrasse!). They reported visibility ranging between 10 and 20 metres. At Saxon Reef certified divers had close encounters with turtles and 3 white tip reef sharks. On TAKA this week Eddie the videographer got out of the water after a dive with a very big smile on his face. He had filmed a beautiful Manta Ray (6-7 Foot) at Challenger Bay. The Manta Ray swept past him over his camera, showed his white chest and then cruised away. The divers on following dives were not to see him again however they saw Giant Potato Cod and a Giant Cuttlefish who was laying her eggs in finger corals.

(C) Pro Dive Cairns The weekly reef report is written by Sue-Anne Chapman of Pro Dive Cairns, who compiles them from the many conversations she has with divers, dive instructors, captains, and others in the Cairns dive community. The report is published weekly in the Cairn Post, the local daily paper and appears here thanks to the courtesy of Pro Dive Cairns.

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