Reef Report for Saturday, January 24, 2004
Gems Above and Below the Water.
This week marked the arrival of a new gem on the reef, as Taka Dive proudly started using their brand new, custom-built dive boat this week, launching the TAKA to head to the Ribbon Reefs and out into the Coral Sea.
The inaugural trip did not disappoint, as fabulous weather with visibility up at 30m+ and 29 degrees water temperatures started things off wonderfully.On the way out to the Ribbon Reefs, all aboard were treated to an escort of spinner Dolphins who put on a fantastic show.
Once in the water at Challenger Bay passengers had encounters with both Schultzís & Banded Pipefish (cousin to the Sea Horse) and Garden Eels amongst the many fish including Blue Tangs, Anemone Fish and Butterfly Fish.
On the Ribbon Reefs there were lots of fantastic sightings, including a Feather Star with a Clingfish, thorny oysters, nudibranchs, giant clams, cuttlefish, Green sea turtles, great barracudas and more.
The second trip out was equally exciting, with the highlight being a dive at Vertical Garden, where six humongous manta rays were spotted sliding gracefully past.
The new 30-metre Taka features a uniquely built hull design along with bow thrusters for greater comfort when travelling and easier maneuvering into those small but special dive sites. Air-conditioned cabins range from plush stateroom and double/twin share cabins with their own baths, to comfortable quad share cabins.
New features include large lounge areas with Plasma screens for optimum viewing enjoyment and the latest in on board digital imaging and camera hire.
While the boat is a gem of a live aboard, one thing that TAKA did not change is the great diving on the Ribbon Reefs and Coral Sea.
Want to head on the Reef on the brand new Taka? Next week too soon? The Weather outlook is for improving conditions next week, with Temperature at 28-30 degrees Celsius and visibility looking to increase to 30m along the Ribbons and 40m out at Osprey Reef.
Check out these trips:
4-day/3-night Ribbon Reefs Trip
5-day/4-night Ribbon Reefs/Coral Sea Trip
Have a great day diving!
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
Index of all reef reports.