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Reef Report for Tuesday, April 4, 2000

Improve the Joy of Diving

A number of things have happened during this week that I’d like to share with you today. Firstly, I was very fortunate to experience a day on the reef with a number of my peers. After indulging in a hot breaky onboard MV Scubapro, a group of 30 of us then tramped to MV Tusa IV to indulge in a day of diving, snorkeling, eating, drinking, and basically celebrating Cairns’ wonderful lifestyle! Tusa IV steamed out to Flynn Reef and moored at Coral Gardens. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises

Coral Gardens is a fabulous wall dive. As there was nil current, the certified divers and introductory divers were treated to very pleasant conditions. Visibility was around 10 metres, with the water a toasty 29 degrees. Snorkelers enjoyed the beauty of a giant clam in the shallows and a few of the cert divers came across a large feeding turtle.

The trip home was a little bumpy. As the rain squalls increased, so did the wind. Southeasterly winds will continue to blow fresh over the weekend around 20 -25 knots, although they should decrease to 15-20 knots by Sunday. There will be scattered showers, but mainly fine conditions.

The second subject I thought I would discuss is the amount of divers on the trip who had their own equipment. I cannot recommend highly enough the comfort and ease of having at least your own snorkel and mask when diving. Everybody has a differently shaped face and there are masks made to accommodate these different shapes. John Greenwood of local diving equipment supplier Ocean Adventures has some recommendations for people interested in buying equipment for recreational diving. For example, there are masks that have low volume, which means that the "lense" sits close to your face. These masks are extremely easy to clear underwater and offer greater visibility. Make sure that the mask you are buying is made of silicone. This material is much softer against the skin and lasts much longer than plastic or other materials. Check also that the mask has adjustable straps for greater comfort without having to take the mask off.

An essential part of snorkeling equipment is the snorkel. The mouthpiece should be made of silicone. This will provide comfort in the mouth and again, soft to the skin. A snorkel such as the Tusa Hyperdry has a dry top. This means no water is able to enter the snorkel via its top. All new snorkels should have a purge valve. It is located at the bottom of the snorkel and is used to expel water on the surface after a duck dive or snorkel exchange. There are a number of fine establishments in Cairns that can assist you in purchasing your own diving equipment.

(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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