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Reef Report for Monday, March 6, 2000

Rain, Rain Go Away . . . Before the Easter Holiday!

The rain just keeps coming down! Now that the excitement of cyclone Vaughan has abated, weíve all been able to resume normal operations. Day boats and live-aboard vessels have experienced better than normal conditions. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises For example, Kalinda on Flynn Reef reported glorious sunshine and 10-15 metres visibility. Day boat operator and tourism award winner Passions of Paradise reported 10 metres visibility at Paradise Reef. Divers were treated to a great display of batfish under a coral shelf, as well as spotting an Eagle Ray in about seven metres of water.

The wind will continue to blow at 20 knots over the weekend, with occasional showers. Letís hope the sunshine breaks through enough for us to not go completely stir crazy!

With the Easter holiday approaching, have you thought about using this time to take your diving education to the next level? A crucial step is the PADI Advanced Open Water course. It is designed to give newly certified or novice divers greater confidence in their diving through additional skills and training. A prerequisite for this course is a PADI Open Water Certificate or an equivalent certificate from another dive agency.

Your PADI advanced training will consist of two core dive courses, deep diving, underwater navigation, and three elective courses. These three courses will be chosen with the guidance of your instructor and may include night diving, boat diving, multilevel diving, search and recovery, underwater naturalist, and underwater photography.

Underwater Photography

This elective dive is ideal for taking home some lasting memories. On your Underwater Photography dive youíll be taught pre- and post dive camera care and youíll also be shown how to get the best results from your photo equipment. After loading your underwater camera, your dive will be devoted solely to the task of capturing the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. If you donít have your own camera you can hire an underwater camera for about $35.00, which includes camera, strobe, and film.

Underwater Naturalist

To learn more about the Great Barrier Reef and its ecosystem, this dive is an absolute must. We will teach you how to identify the main families of fish from the elusive Damsel Fish to the more common Trigger Fish. Youíll also learn how to identify the many different types of coral. If this dive interests you, make sure you don't miss the complimentary Reef Teach the night before your trip departs.

Boat Dive

As you may already know, some of the best dive sites are only accessible by boat. The boat dive option will teach you how to dive off a variety of different sized vessels ranging from small inflatable boats to large live-aboard vessels. You will also learn about boat etiquette and radio and safety procedures while on board. Your dive will involve being taken, in a tender, to areas not normally reachable by divers from the main vessel in a single dive. This will allow you to experience a leisurely dive without the need for complicated navigation.

Search and Recovery

If youíve ever lost anything while diving or treasure hunting, this option will be very useful for you. During this dive, youíll not only learn how to conduct searches but also how to retrieve submerged objects from the ocean floor. We will teach you how to swim various search patterns using your compass or a simple length of rope. You will also be shown how to correctly secure objects to a lift bag and bring them back to the surface.

Multi Level Diving

The Recreational Dive Planner table version does have some restrictions on deeper diving. For example, only relatively short bottom times are permitted so that divers ascending to shallower depths absorb less nitrogen. The wheel version, on the other hand, will allow you to extend your available bottom time by more accurately calculating nitrogen absorption at various depth levels. During this elective we will show you how to plan and dive a deep dive using the PADI Wheel.

(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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