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Reef Report for Thursday, November 23, 2000

Coral Rebirth Dazzles Divers

A number of exciting things have been happening this week, so Iíll try to contain my enthusiasm and start at the beginning. Last Friday night, Amanda of TUSA Dive, along with crew and guests onboard TUSA IV, engaged in a saucy rendezvous on the reef during its annual coral spawning season. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises They moored at Fish Bowl on Hastings Reef on a magical night with calm seas and only five-knot winds. Visibility was 15 metres, and the water temperature was a toasty 27 degrees.

Some seasoned divers said it was the best coral spawning they had seen in seven years, with the festival of color so spectacular that it left them breathless. Pink and white clouds steamed up from every species of coral in sight and schools of fish gorged themselves on the smorgasboard of food that exploded from the reef. Divers were joined by turtles, white tip reef sharks, worms, shrimp, crabs, and cray fish. A great night was had by all.

Meanwhile, dive boat Nimrod Explorer reported the latest news from the Ribbon Reefs. Visibility was down to 20 metres at Dynamite Pass, and Pixie Pinnacle had only 12 metres. However, visibility at Cod Hole cranked to over 25 metres. A lot of plankton in the water is reducing visibility in some areas. However, if you are observant, youíll see some of the larger and more interesting of the planktonic animals. Hollywoodís weirdest monsters donít come close to the strange assortment of tiny jellyfish and salps that are now on show in the mirror calm waters.

Guests onboard Kalinda have had 25 metres visibility at Gordonís mooring despite a slight chop during the day, and spectacular thunder and lightning storms at night. The trigger fish have calmed a little, although only yesterday I was told of a diverís unfortunate encounter with one on Wednesday when he was a mere two metres from surfacing. The Trigger Fish charged the diver and took a huge bite out of the side of his ear, literally leaving him with half an ear! Remember to give them a wide berth for the next couple of months.

Last weekend, a brand new childrenís SCUBA program was launched at Down Under Diveís facility. Scuba Rangers, the "way cool kids club", is a unique club for children aged 8-12. The course runs four days and teaches children a new set of underwater skills each day. Scuba Rangers was developed in the United States, and has so far run once in Perth and in Melbourne. For more information, please contact Claire at Down Under Dive.

(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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