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Reef Report for Thursday, November 16, 2000

Reef Adventures Not Dampened by Rain

Conditions have been spiteful this week. Weather authorities teased us with sunny skies, only for Mother Nature to saturate us with a downpour. Happily, these temperamental conditions haven’t stopped visitors from exploring the reef. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Local dive boat Passions of Paradise reported reasonable conditions at The Wall, with 12 metres visibility. Divers were able to see a rare Olive Sea Snake, as well as a Blue Spotted Ray just below on the sandy ocean bottom. There were also many fusiliers and moon wrasse around, perhaps preparing themselves for the reef’s annual coral spawning period. On your next night dive, keep your eyes open for the miracle of birth . . . coral birth that is.

Although coral spawning has been a bit slow to commence this year, Triggerfish breeding seems to be in full force. Certified diver Aaron reported a feisty encounter while on a pleasure dive at Gordon’s Mooring on Flynn Reef this week, where a nesting Triggerfish very aggressively defended its territory. Aaron’s group of divers had apparently begun investigating two large bommies that were completely surrounded by sand. In between the bommies was a patch of coral only two feet high, and across that appeared to be the nesting ground of a rather large Triggerfish. Its sanguine environs suddenly trespassed upon, the Triggerfish became very agitated as soon as it sited the divers. Fearless dive guide Heinz was first to venture under the fish’s glare, causing the Trigger to swim back and forth very rapidly before charging at Hienz seeming to go directly for his jugular. Hienz had to quickly roll onto his back and put his swim fins between himself and the hostile fish, kicking his fins rapidly. The fish continued to attack until Heinz could break away (his camera the only thing protecting his face) as his fellow divers bode a hasty retreat from the breeding ground. This close encounter definitely left Hienz and Aaron with a dive experience they’ll never forget!

As for the weather forecast, scattered showers will continue over the weekend, and the southeast to northeasterly winds will increase from 10 to 15 knots.

(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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