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Reef Report for Friday, December 13, 2002

Flat Clear Water Makes for Great Diving on the Reef

The sea conditions were fantastic during the week even though northly winds were prevalent at approximately 5-10 knots, which made for excellent diving and snorkeling this week on the Great Barrier Reef. © Grreat Barrier Reef Enterprises


Reef Magic headed off to Milln Reef, where the underwater visibility was 20-25mtrs. During lunch they moved back to Thetford Reef and spent the afternoon in the lagoon. The visibility was down to 10-15mtrs but there were calm conditions for all to enjoy.

Guests onboard Pro Dive’s vessel Scubapro also enjoyed the great weather and dive conditions. One of the crew was lucky enough to swim with 8 dolphihns while at Flynn Reef. A stonefish was spotted in a cave at Tracy’s Bommie and the local resident Hawksbill Turtle was spotted at Gordon’s Mooring.

Divers out with Passions of Paradise were excited to find a school of hump-headed parrotfish grazing on outcrops of coral. The recent coral spawning has meant that fish have become very active, and large schools of fusiliers and sergeant majors were everywhere. A large Triton Triggerfish was found building its nest and the divers saw several turtles. A couple of black-tipped reef sharks were spotted gliding along the wall as well as a juvenile Maori Wrasse.

Port Douglas:

Passengers on board the vessel Calypso had a fantastic time on the reef with some amazing conditions. Visibility was 35 meters! The marine life has remained very active since coral spawning and the warmer water. Divers were treated to manta rays, sharks, dolphins and moray eels.

Far Northern Reefs:

A recent expedition to the Far Northern reefs with Undersea Explorer was reported as being an absolutely stunning trip! With frequent glass-outs and great visibility divers were blown away by a unique ‘Black Water Hang’ night dive in the Coral Sea where they spotted lantern fish and 4-metre salps (a species of non-venomous jellyfish) trailing their fishing lures. Additional highlights included large spawning aggregations of barracuda, Maori wrasse and 2 types of trevally at Silver City, along with 2 giant Queensland groupers and a 4 metre Marlin, which almost ended up on the dive deck as it leapt out of the water behind the vessel.

Northern and Coral Sea Reefs:

TAKA II has been entertaining their guests with a 3m Tawny Nurse Shark, 8 white- tipped reef sharks, and a few grey whalers regularly showing up for the shark feed. © Grreat Barrier Reef Enterprises At Osprey Reef the Triggerfish were nesting and became territorial beyond their small size, acting aggressively towards divers who ventured too close to their nests. At the Clam Gardens lots of giant Australian cuttlefish, as well as an Ornate Wrasse and a Blue Spotted Lagoon ray were sighted. The dive trip was cappeed off with a final dive at Steve’s bommie, which was once again a highlight for divers with large schools of big-eye trevally, surgeonfish and chevron barracuda.

Divers on board Diversity also enjoyed their trip to the Cod Hole. The diving ranged from swimming with huge potato cod, silver-tipped reef sharks, grey nurse sharks, and bump-headed parrotfish to watching cuttlefish attend to their eggs made for a great dive trip.

This week I will be completing my Rescue Diver Certification with Pro Dive, which will see me out at Flynn, Milln and Thetford Reefs for three days and two nights.. In between our training dives time will allow for a few pleasure dives (I hope) so stay check back next week.

It looks like the weather will hold over the weekend so if you can get away for a day trip or you are thinking about taking time off for a live a board dive trip now is the time to go get wet!

Safe diving, Steve Brady.

(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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