Reef Report for Wednesday, May 8, 2002
Surface Chop on Top, Great Diving Below
A little more wind and a lot more rain gave us what for this week. I was indeed pleased to see the sun show its warm face finally as Friday came around. The weather folk predict another windy weekend with 15 to 20 knots to blow south to south east right into Monday.
Passions of Paradise certified divers this week saw groups of spine-cheeked anemone fish in 8 m of water. The boat was moored at Fish Bowl, where divers also spotted a huge school of harlequin tusk fish wrasse. Introductory divers were surrounded by bright parrotfish and also spotted oriental sweetlips under a ledge of coral in 5 m of water.
Visibility was still fairly clear at 15 metres despite the choppy surface conditions. Underwater is the place to be to escape the surface chop and wind. Water temp is a warm 27 degrees.
Up in Port Douglas Calypso Reef Charter trips to the Outer Barrier Reef have continued to be enjoyed by passengers despite the poor weather over the past week. . Our Divers and snorkellers at Opal and Tongue reefs spotted reef sharks, barracuda, squid, turtles, and giant clams as well as thousands of spectacular smaller fish, feather stars and anemones nestling around the tops of the reefs.
Tusa Dive has had some fair visibility at Norman and Saxon this week, a pleasant surprise for all on board. Around 10 to 15 metres were had.
Conditions in the Coral Sea were also a little cooler this week with the water dropping down to 24 degrees. There was a mild current at the Temple of Doom site, but considering the strong wind warnings and the 3 metre swell it wasn’t too bad and some wonderful dives were had. On TAKA’s trip at Steve’s Bommie there were sightings of: epaulette sharks, stonefish, and a comet (above the water of course…very far above the water!) Divers were also very impressed with the drift dive at Pixie’s Wall. They cruised past a 200 year old clam in clam gardens whilst on the drift dive.
And finally on Scubapro II this week 8 newly certified divers had an experience of a life time when on the second night of their live aboard adventure, on their very first night dive ever, a 2 metre wide Manta Ray cruised right over the top of them. It happened at Gordon’s Mooring and Instructor Gareth couldn’t believe what he saw whilst on deck watch. The white belly broke the surface of the water around 8.30 and then headed straight for the divers. What an experience!
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.