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Reef Report for Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Easter Colors on the Reef

It has been a lovely week on the reef, with conditions starting off a little hairy but calming down as days ticked off the calendar. It should be a great time on the reef over the Easter weekend. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises East to southeast winds will blow at 10 knots, making for a nice easy boat ride for the Easter Bunny.

Calypso, which departs daily from Port Douglas marina, had an excellent week of diving and snorkeling even though the wind was up a little. Visibility was around 15-20 metres at Opal and Tongue Reefs. The tides were favorable and look to be dropping even more by the end of the week. The divers saw plenty of turtles, barracuda, white tip reef sharks, a Lionfish and a large Moray Eel. Snorkelers had the same great reports from their dives.

On Passions of Paradise this week divers saw three lionfish in 8m of water, they also saw a school of red emperor snapper. The certified divers saw a Blue-spotted Lagoon Ray as well as two white tip reef sharks. Snorkelers reported seeing a Green Sea Turtle and a school of bright parrotfish. The visibility was 12 metres at Paradise Reef.

On Flynn Reef this week at Tracieís Bommie visibility has teetered around 8 to 10 metres. Diving off the Scubapro II Instructor Mel had encounters with a White Tip Reef Shark, turtle and a Lobster, which was hiding on a coral shelf near the mooring blocks. Mel also spoke of a fabulous Nudibranch one of her students encountered at the end of their second training dive. Just the size of your little finger, the nudibranch was white with brilliant orange and purple spots.

Onboard TAKA great diving was had by all, despite lumpy conditions. Winds were up at the beginning of the trip but subsided as the trip went on. At Osprey reef they had 25 metres visibility. There was a huge amount of sea life spotted at Cod Hole; white tip reef sharks, bull rays and a Shovelnose Ray. The most spectacular sighting was that of a magnificent Marlin. At Steveís Bommie divers spotted olive sea snakes, a Manta Ray, mantis shrimp, stonefish, snake eels and many brightly coloured nudibranchs.

Reef Magicís mooring at Michaelmas Cay had 10 metres visibility. Of course one of the highlights of the day was the cay itself, a coral sand island, now a bird sanctuary where there are currently at least 10,000 pairs of birds nesting. It is a great location for introductory diving and many people tried their first dive their enjoying the beautiful coral gardens.

(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.

Index of all reef reports.

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