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Reef Report for Thursday, January 4, 2001

Traveler Shares Magical Dive Tales

As the wind has ruffled more than a few feathers this week, you’ll be rather surprised to hear that diving has been good. Despite 25-knot winds, 15 metres visibility was experienced at Nursery Bommie, where Passions of Paradise moored. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Certified divers saw a Napoleon Maori Wrasse cruising in five metres of water. There was also a large school of humbug damsel fish, along with some trumpet fish in the shallows. Introductory divers were lucky enough to see a Lionfish scouring the sandy ocean bottom around the mooring blocks.

Milln and Flynn reefs have had similar lumpy conditions, although visibility remained fair at 10-15 metres. Conditions will become a lot more bearable over the weekend as southeast to northeasterly winds die down to 10-15 knots. Showers will continue in the mornings.

Anouk Groten, a visitor from the Netherlands, wrote me last week with a detailed account of her trip on TAKA II. Anouk traveled with her partner Marcel, and this is the story of their diving adventures.

"Marcel and I had a superb trip with excellent dives, friendly and experienced crew, and great food on board.

We boarded Taka II late Tuesday afternoon. © Taka Dive While the sun began to set, we prepared our dive gear and listened to the crew as they explained their operations, preparing us for the days to come. We slept in a two-berth cabin, and I must say it was bigger than I expected. I slept very well and we woke up very early the next morning for our first dive in Challenger Bay. When the dive master called aloud, "Dive time!" everybody rushed downstairs for our dive instructions. Because it was my first dive in six months, we asked an instructor to guide us. The water was very clear and we saw lots of fish and coral. It was as if were swimming in an aquarium!

The second dive was at Pixie Pinnacle. I like diving on coral pinnacles; it’s very easy to navigate, you just swim around them! The third dive was one of the best--Cod Hole. The giant potato cod were fed by one of the instructors and it was amazing to see how big these fish were. The very old ones where like prehistoric monsters. There where a lot of them and we all got the opportunity to touch them and see them very closely. Marcel saw white tip reef sharks on the fourth dive. One shark was swimming towards him and circling him, so it was a bit scary. We were all so tired that we went to bed early.

The first dive the next morning was at Clam Gardens. I have never seen Giant Clams before and when you touched them their shells snap closed. The second dive was at Steve’s Bommie, where we saw a sleeping turtle, reef sharks, and spinner dolphins. That evening we had our first and only night dive at the Beer Garden. Marcel enjoyed it immensely. Our last day on Friday was a very nice one. We saw lots of fish, a Moray Eel, and a group of giant parrot fish.

On Friday the boat returned to Cairns. I would have liked to stay longer, but apparently everything has to end. (Even the good things in life!) We had a very good time on board and I hope we can come back some time. I will certainly recommend this trip to anyone who’s interested. It was one of my best dive experiences ever."

(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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