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Reef Report for Thursday, December 14, 2000

Mantas and Wrasse and Eel! Oh My!

Most of the week left us wet behind the ears and web-toed. When the rains finally stopped we had almost forgotten what color the sky is! Despite the misery on land, divers enjoyed surprisingly calm waters and good visibility at most sites. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Passions of Paradise had 15 metres visibility at Nursery Bommie, where introductory divers were treated to a Manta Ray cruising past with a wingspan of around 1.5 metres. Accompanying the manta was a multitude of moon wrasse.

At the Snake Pit, Nimrod Explorer had 20 metres visibility, with inly 10-15-knot winds. Three manta rays let divers approach to within two metres of them. They observed the divers for the entire duration of the dive. Also spotted was a rarely seen Blue Ribbon Eel. The male has a bright blue body and the female is completely yellow, with black anal and dorsal fins. Nimrod reported that Cod Hole had 25 metres visibility. About 10 cod made their appearance, including a new cod not seen there before. Only 70 centimeters long, he was christened "Spud". The cod are displaying a lot of courtship. This is amazing to watch. The female and male will turn an amazing ash white colour and brush up against and nuzzle each otherís bodies. The cod are completely oblivious to the presence of the divers, often bumping into them as they get excited. Courtship ends with a short fast spawning rush to the surface, after which they resume their normal color pattern.

Conditions should remain fair over the weekend. Isolated showers will occur and the breeze should remain southeast to northeast at 10 to 15 knots.

Christmas is just around the corner...have you got all your gifts organised?

(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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