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Reef Report for Saturday, May 6, 2000

Winds and Rain Sweep In the Rare and Beautiful

Its been another wet and windy week. It looks like the sun will continue to hide over the weekend, with showers predicted through Sunday. Winds will blow southeasterly at 20- 25 knots. It will also be windy along the coast and some parts of the reef will have gusts of 30 knots.

Some of our diving friends reported several magical moments on the reef despite the murky weather. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises Instructor Desmond aboard TUSA came across a Mandarin Fish at Petaje Reef, a very rare occurrence in these parts, as mandarin fish are normally found in waters around Papua New Guinea and Borneo. Their brilliant mandarin orange coloring, with green, yellow, and sometimes blue markings, make them quite a sight to behold. Desmond also spied some lovely nudibranchs, as well as a large Cowrie shell feeding. When these shells feed they extend their stomachs out over their shells. As particles and food float by, their stomachs catch these bits. The stomach then retracts into the shell and they feed.

David O'Brien aboard Ocean Spirit reported unusual activity with the martin birds out at sea. He commented that it was very unusual that these birds were so far away from land. They were flying around the back of the boat, and it appeared that they were feeding. On Michaelmas Cay, David noticed an unusual increase in female frigate birds, saying that he had personally only ever seen two female birds in seven years. What is Mother Nature up to?

Elsewhere on the reef, Passions of Paradise experienced an up-close-and-personal encounter with a 2.5-metre Bronze Whaler Shark. All passengers were on the back deck having lunch when the shark cruised right along side the stern. Id say that was plenty close enough for most passengers!

Happy diving!

(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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