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Reef Report for Wednesday, February 7, 2001

A Week of Fabulous February Diving

The seas teased us with flawless conditions earlier this week. Passions of Paradise reported "glass out" conditions and 20-30 metres visibility at the Fish Market. Certified divers saw a Whitetip Reef Shark, as well as schools of unicorn fish, harlequin tuskfish, and cute little scalefin anthias.

Passengers aboard the Kalinda also made mention of fabulous conditions earlier in the week, with sightings of spectacular marine life and up to 30-metre visibility. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Skipper Heinz told us tales of ravenous trevally feeding from below on schools of smaller fish on the surface at Flynn Reef, while schools of sooty terns dove in from above for a fabulous multi-species feeding frenzy! Fortunate snorkelers at Milln Reef even encountered a cheeky Hammerhead Shark cruising through the clear waters.

Many hawksbill and green turtles have also been spotted frequenting Flynn Reef recently. Divers are often able to interact closely with these engaging sea creatures, as they are quite tame. In days gone by, divers would latch onto the turtles back in hope of a joyride. However, this distresses the turtles because they need to breathe air from the surface and "riding" them does not allow them to obtain a sufficient air supply. We advise all divers to under no circumstances touch or handle turtles while observing them. Sea turtles sleep underwater, usually finding a sheltered location to camp for the night. Night divers will regularly encounter them hiding out in crevasses and caves throughout the reef, taking great care not to awaken them.

Despite the perfect diving conditions earlier in the week, the wind is set to ruffle more than a few feathers this weekend. Conditions will fire up as southeasterly winds strengthen to 20-30 knots. It looks as though the sunshine has gone inside to hide, while scattered showers are to set in.

(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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