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Reef Report for Thursday, October 5, 2000

Heat Wave Spurs Coral Spawning and Family Diving

We all experienced an absolute scorcher last weekend, despite my predictions, so I’m hesitant to predict what will happen this weekend. Fortunately for our parched lawns, we saw a few sprinkles of rain. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises The bureau predicts a few more scattered showers, and for the winds to increase a little to 20-25 knots.

At Flynn Reef, Skipper Russell onboard Kalinda reported windy conditions. However, he said that unlike on the main land, seagoers were getting a little more sunshine. On his last dive he spotted a giant Stonefish perched quietly on a coral shelf. Russell marveled that it was at least 35 cm long. A monster! Visibility averaged between 12 and 15 metres.

Brad from Cairns Dive Center reported what was happening at Labyrinth Mooring at Moore Reef. At the beginning of the week, while conditions were still kind, open water students were amazed by 20 metres visibility that allowed them to clearly observe a three-metre-long Flowery Cod. The dive crew reported a lot of sea cucumbers spawning, which means that the water is warming up. (It is currently 25 -26° Celsius.) During this time of year as the water temperature increases, the reef begins to prepare itself to reproduce. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises The annual coral spawning period is only a month away. Have you decided where you plan to view one of nature’s greatest wonders?

At Paradise Reef, guests onboard Passions of Paradise also experienced fantastic diving. Divers reported a lot of the deeper ledge dwelling fish such as Coral Trout coming up to the shallows to begin the breeding cycle. They also witnessed large schools of shark mackerel, fusiliers, and sergeant majors, as well as a Blue Spotted Ray. We are now in the best diving season of the year, so take advantage and dive in!! It is also a perfect time of year to get the whole family involved in diving.

In the recent issue of Undersea Journal, Editor in Chief Drew Richardson had this to say about diving families: "Scuba diving provides a safe outlet for families to rejuvenate their spirit and synergy, while experiencing life’s wonders together. Diving is a vehicle that both nurtures and educates families. It is a way for people of all ages to live out their dreams, and it has the power to bring families together in the spirit of underwater exploration."

Here at Pro Dive Cairns, we’ve also noticed an enormous increase in whole family units learning to dive and going on dive adventures together. Scuba diving can attract young and old people alike as it combines adventure, thrill, and fun, as well as technology and equipment. It builds self-esteem, in both the young and the not so young, and ultimately provides rules to respect. Combined with new responsibilities and shared knowledge, scuba diving can lay a strong foundation of common ground on which a family can stand and flourish.

(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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