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Reef Report for Thursday, January 20, 2005

Reef Teach: The fun way to learn about the Great Barrier Reef before you go diving.

The Great Barrier Reef is so loaded with unusual and colorful reef creatures that any visit is usually an amazing experience. There are few places in the world where a first-time visitor can see so many animals all at once. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises This is one of the things that make visiting the Great Barrier Reef so special.

All this color and activity can be a bit bewildering to first-time visitors to coral reefs. Underwater thereís no one to ask questions to about what you are seeing, and so many things to ask about.

This is why we recommend you try and learn about the reef prior to your jumping into the ocean. With a bit of background knowledge you immediately have some understanding of what creatures they are seeing, what these animals are doing, and why. Equally important is that you will know how to avoid damaging this ecosystem during your visit, and how to avoid contacting those organisms that can harm you.

A great way to do this is by taking the Reef Teach Seminar. This entertaining and educational one-evening course is an institution in Cairns. Paddy Colwell and his team of instructors, all of who are adept at introducing visitors to the biology of the Great Barrier Reef, lead it.

The course is offered every evening, and in just two hours you will go through a fast-paced and lively introduction to what you will see on the reef. You will learn how to identify the fish and other animals you will see, where to look for some of the more unusual creatures, and some of the unique and exotic ways they go about their lives.

Itís an enjoyable evening, and the two hours (with a 15-minute tea/snack/social break in the middle), goes by quickly, with the ending time early enough to have dinner at one of the many nearby restaurants. The cost of just AUD$13 is a bargain, especially when you consider what it adds to your reef experience. You can learn more about Reef teach through their website, which is listed below.

Reef Teach

Protect the Great Barrier Reef

Reef Precautions

Great Barrier Reef Biology

This week's dive conditions: We checked in with a number of dive operators, and while the diving was excellent the last few days, today it's been raining heavily all day. The weather is caused by a tropical low pressure system well to the north of Cairns, but weather spinning out from the system has been helping make divers damp above the surface as well as below! The system is moving away from the Cairns which should see a return of better weather tomorrow or the next.

While we wish no rain on anyone, we do know that it's absolutely necessary to maintain the beautiful tropcial rainforests in the mountains along the coast of Queensland, and we do hope you will spend at least one of your on-shore days heading out to explore this unique ecosystem.

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as† many other local sources in the dive community.

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