Reef Report for Saturday, April 5, 2003
Sunshine Brightens the Week
Once again good weather was prevailing at the Outer Barrier Reef with winds around 15 knots and plenty of sunshine.
Passengers onboard Calypso has had some excellent diving and snorkeling at Opal and Tongue Reefs.. A variety of sharks were sighted this week including white tip, leopard and even a Wobbegong impressing the divers. Also sighted were moray eels, squid, rays and friendly dolphins during the day.
Northern Reefs/Coral Sea
This week out at Osprey Reef TAKA II advised that the crossing between the Ribbons Reef to Osprey Reef was a little difficult but everyone still enjoyed some great dives. They reported the water temperature to be a toasty 29 degrees with sunny and overcast patches throughout the trip. Cuttlefish, a huge Manta Ray and lots turtles were seen at Challenger Bay. The cod feed and shark feeds provided divers with an array of some very interested pelagic fish, including a variety of Cod, Grey Whalers, White Tip Reef Sharks, Oceanic Silver Tip and an inquisitive Tiger shark.
There was certainly no lack of life out on Diversity as well, with sightings of a possible Pigmy Seahorse hanging from a Gorgonian Fan and schools of baitfish, which were sandwiched between attacking tuna from the depths and predatory birds from the air.
Recently onboard Scubapro, Scott Eagleton, one of Pro Dive Cairns’ instructors, took a great photo of a Hermit Crab living in a spider shell (see image). Hermit crabs are quite common on the reefs nearyby inhabiting a range of habitats ranging from deep water to life on shore. These crabs are unusual in that they have a long curved abdomen, which is unprotected by any shell. Most species take shelter in empty shells of mollusks switching to larger shells as they grow
Passions of Paradise passengers enjoyed spectacular weather conditions with introductory divers spotting a pair of spotted unicorn fish and a school of red bass snapper. Certified divers saw lots of damsels as well as some Chinese footballer trout.
The coral viewing vessel tours run by Reef Magic Cruises were kept busy at Hastings Reef as the conditions provided some excellent visibility. On show were colorful plate staghorn and boulder corasl and as well as giant clams.
This weekend looks like the weather should be good for diving and snorkeling with SE winds around 15 – 20 knots. I am always interested in getting different dive experiences so please email with your stories. As always safe diving!
This weekly reef report was written by Steve Brady of Pro Dive Cairns, who compiles them from the dive trips he takes, as well as the many conversations he 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.