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Reef Report for Friday, October 11, 2002

Warmer, but Windier out on the Reef This Week

The only downside to being out at the reef this week diving and snorkelling was the stronger winds experienced. On all reports there was plenty to see and to be enjoyed by all. Winds are still SE over the weekend and possibly holding 20 knots. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises The beautiful sunshine should remain with the water temperature slowly heating up still makes for pleasant conditions.

Introductory divers this week on board Passions of Paradise had the pleasure of sighting a White Tip Reef Shark and a Green Turtle all on the same dive. Certified divers reported seeing a school of red emperor, along with long fin batfish and Moorish idols. Snorkelers didnít miss out on the action, lots of bright Parrotfish and damsels were seen along with a Bluespotted Lagoon Ray. Visibility at Paradise Reef has been between 15 and 20 meters.

Out of Port Douglas this week divers on board Poseidon enjoyed over 20m visibility up at the Agincourt Reefs, despite the stronger winds experienced throughout the week. Divers were overwhelmed when confronted by a magnificent 3m Manta Ray at Castle Rock, the local Estuary Cod (Daisy) paid a visit at Advanced Bommie along with 3 resident moray eels, lionfish, several pairs of courting cuttlefish, lots of green turtles and plenty of large oceanic blue spot coral trout getting ready to spawn. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises There was plenty of pelagic action in the passes with giant trevally, Spanish and spotted mackerel, horse-eye jacks, pompano, rainbow runner and barracudas hunting amongst the clouds of fusiliers and other bait fish.

Divers on board Big Cat had a great week of diving at Green Island. Visibility this week ranged between 10 to 12 m with water temperatures around 25 degrees. Introductory and certified divers got to dive at King's Cross and at Three sisters. At King's Cross, certified divers were very excited about seeing a Blacktip Reef Shark during the first few minutes of their dive. They were lucky to see it swimming by and finding a place to rest right under the dive tender. Introductory divers were equally lucky this week when they spotted well-camouflaged Wobbegong Shark and an adult Maori Wrasse at Three Sisters. In the shallow waters they spotted a Blue-Spotted Lagoon ray and were also shown a majestic Giant clam.

Some of the reef sites visited during the week by Reef Magic Cruises was Hastings, Thetford and Saxon reefs. The dive at the "Canyons" on Thetford Reef always provides a great dive combined with a swim through the Clam Gardens.

TAKA dive guests on the Cod Hole and Coral Sea trip during the week enjoyed the sunshine and warmer waters and visibility up to 30 metres. Sightings included a huge school of dogtooth tuna, a 3.5 metre Hammerhead Shark and large Potato Cod. A rare sighting was made of a Queensland Grouper approximately 2.5 - 3 metres in length.

For something different I completed two dives at Lake Eacham over the weekend. A few friends, some seriously warmer diving suits and as much air as one can carry. I have heard stories that the lake is over 100 metres deep but I only managed just short of 40 metres. Unfortunately for me, my air consumption restricted my depth but I was still surprised at the visibility at this depth though there was really not much to see. Well worth a trip and day out and you can easily hire all your equipment from the majority of dive shops in town. So until next week have a great weekend and always safe diving,

(C) Pro Dive Cairns This weekly reef report was written by Steve Brady of Pro Dive Cairns, who compiles them from the dive trips he takes, as well as the many conversations he 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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