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Reef Report for Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Whale Sharks All Over!

There were some very special sightings on the reef this week. Skipper Cameron on Scubapro spotted a 2 1/2 metre baby Whale Shark feeding on the surface. It lolled around for just over a minute with its giant mouth open before it ducked back under. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Cameron also commented on the increase of turtles feeding on the surface. He speculated that as the water had warmed there was an increase in small jellyfish and plankton on the surface and maybe this was why the animals were feeding there.

Instructor Mick from Down Under Dive also had a wonderful encounter with a Whale Shark this week. Whilst diving with his open water students a 10-metre Whale Shark cruised past. Back on the boat a dive student said to Mick that she was looking at the coral thinking "Why is the coral moving like that?" before she realized what was going on. What a fantastic sighting!

Scubapro passengers all week have been treated to the show-off antics of resident bottle-nosed dolphins along with passengers on many of the other dive boats. Not only have the dolphins been surfing the bow waves, they have been leaping and chasing each other through the air.

On TAKA II during the shark feed at Osprey reef divers watched the different feeding methods of the sharks. Grey whalers rip side to side and the white tip reef sharks twist and roll. Divers also spotted a 3-metre Oceanic Silvertip Shark. TAKA’s videographer found a new Nudibranch at Steve’s Bommie. He told us the nudibranch had a definite Xmas feel to it, looking a bit like Rudolph the red nose reindeer, with a red nose, horns and flakes and lines. It was 10cm in size.

The visibility on most reefs has been exceptional; between 20 to 30 metres all week and everywhere. Reef Magic also experienced 20 metres visibility at their two new sites on Thetford reef. The moorings, named "Lagoon" and "Canyons" provided great diving and snorkelling opportunities for all on board.

Conditions should stay fine for the weekend despite thundering conditions in the evening. The winds will blow 10 - 15 knots south to south east for the duration of the weekend.

(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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