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Reef Report for Friday, December 6, 2002

Low Winds and Flat Water Make For Fantastic Diving

The conditions for diving and snorkeling this week have just been fantastic! Winds from the NE/NW winds have been averaging between 10-15 knots, providing visibility over 20m on most sites. The weather in Cairns is hot and sultry, but the water temperature is still holding a comfortable 28 degrees C on the reef. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises


On board Reef Magic Cruises this week passengers visited Milln Reef, where certified divers were dropped off at " The Pinnacles" - barracuda, trevally, fussilers, mackerel, reef sharks & tuna were seen. Saxon Reef also provided near perfect conditions with underwater visibility at 25m. Flat calm seas and plenty of blue sky made for a great day. With the incoming tide, fresh clear water from the Coral Sea brought in food for the fish, so wherever you looked the fish were going off. At Moore Reef diving the outside walls was described as"fish city". Huge schools of barracuda kept divers amazed for quite some time.

Last Sunday the local dive club chartered the Falla and headed to Upolu Cay for a day of diving. Randy`s Bommie provided a great dive, including a ‘swim through’ which had 4 lionfish hovering about and 2 large rays at the entrance.

Divers onboard TUSA Dive this week had some great sightings at Jorgey’s Patch. An Octopus, white tipped reef sharks and sting rays were spotted.

With the wind easing off to almost nothing this week, we were treated to one of those picture postcard days last Thursday. On the heels of the coral spawning, there seems to be lots of feeding action on the surface. The team from Reef Teach checked in on their way out to Norman Reef, large flocks of birds circling overhead signalled several large shoals of feeding fish, most likely tuna or mackerel. At Norman Reef they saw clownfish eggs attached to the rocks beside two different anemones. A pair of signal gobies flashing codes to each other by using their dorsal fins and a large Hawksbill Turtle being cleaned by moon wrasse made for a most unusual sight.

Port Douglas

The return of calmer conditions and the northerlies has enabled divers on Poseidon to enjoy many of the sites outside the Agincourt Reefs that are only accessible in calm conditions. Water clarity has remained good at 20-30m. Coral spawning has been intermittent, but many fish species are aggregating, including red bass, parrotfish, chromis, Moorish idols and members of the butterfly fish family.

Northern Reefs and Coral Sea

On board Undersea Explorer divers have been having an incredible time on their recent expeditions to the remote Far Northern reefs. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Guests experienced the coral spawning on Sunday night on the Great Detached Reef, as well as seeing a Whale Shark and tiger sharks during daytime dives. This week in the middle of a glass-out everyone was watching 10 manta rays doing back flips in the sun! Divers were treated to turtles galore on a sunrise dive in the waters off Raine Island, then watched as tiger sharks hung around waiting for unsuspecting hatchlings.

Quicksilver Dive check in and updated us on a recent 2-day dive trip to the Cod Hole. The crew reported that the weather was stunning, just 5-10 knots of wind. and the visibility 25 metres. They saw the granddaddy of all loggerhead turtles that was at least 1.2m across the shell at 35-mile Reef. At Steve’s Bommie there were a number of stonefish. The trip was perfectly finished by a school of a dozen spinner dolphins playing in the wake of Diversity at the entrance of Port Douglas Marina.

Next Week’s Forecast

The forecasts for the weekend are possible storms, scattered rain and hot weather conditions for Cairns but are looking much better for being out on the reef. With Northerly winds still around and winds between 5 -10 knots why not get to the reef and enjoy some great diving and snorkeling.

Have a great weekend and as always 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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