Reef Report for Wednesday, April 24, 2002
Perfect Diving Conditions Mark the Week
If you haven’t been to the reef this week or aren’t planning to go this weekend…well you should have your head read. It really does not get any better than this. Very little wind, excellent visibility and more than enough sunshine make for superb diving and snorkelling conditions.
Out on Reef Magic this week they had 20 metres visibility. Blue-spotted lagoon rays were seen by snorkellers and a school of drummer fish were close at hand whilst Wally the Maori Wrasse played poser with the introductory divers. On a different day Reef Magic was escorted by a large pod of dolphins while heading out to Milln Reef. Underwater visibility was 25 metres! Certified divers were dropped off at the pinnacles, where there were schools of fusiliers, mackerel and barracuda. Snorkelers also spotted turtles.
Out in the Coral Sea this week certified divers had even better than usual visibility and conditions. The sun was shining; the winds were down to 10 knots. TAKA visited North Horn Reef and more sharks than average came in close to inspect the divers. There were also sightings of oceanic silver tips and hammerhead sharks. At Steve’s Bommie divers saw Manta rays and were busy feeding stonefish. Agincourt Reef was also alive with reported sightings of giant loggerhead turtles and a few slipper lobsters.
At Flynn and Milln Reefs, Instructor Gareth from Pro Dive raved about the amazing conditions. At Tracey’s Bommie they had 35 metres viz, with an average of 25 to 30 metres visibility. Sightings included white tip reef sharks, an Octopus feeding and scuttling along on the sandy bottom and two eagle rays swimming past. At Gordons mooring there were a number of shovelnose rays.
Certified diver Craig was also out this week on board Cairns Dive Centre’s Sunkist and had a fantastic encounter with an 8-foot Shovelnose Shark. The fish was cruising very slowly on the sandy bottom the shark did not seem too worried by Craig and his buddy.
Pro Dive Instructor Paul had an incredible encounter with two Mantas Rays at Fitzroy Island. The mooring sight called coral gardens provided Paul and his group of students the setting for the sighting of the gentle giants. With a wing span of a 2 metres each, the fish swam hung around long enough for the gasps of wonder to be heard and then swam off into deeper water.
The weather folk advise similar fine conditions for the weekend. Light to moderate south to south easterly winds to 15 knots with maybe a shower late Sunday arvo.
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.