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Reef Report for Friday, June 6, 2003

Strong Trade Winds Dampen Diving

All reports received on the diving conditions at the reef for last weekend were not very favorable! It is not uncommon for us to regularly receive strong winds out on the reef during the month of June. © Taka Dive So you just have to choose your days the best you can, and bring out your kitesurfing gear on those windy days.

Regardless of the conditions though, dive sites such as Steve’s Bommie at the Ribbon Reef No 3 and North Horn at Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea will always produce great dives. Having dived at both sights I can understand a comment this week received from guests onboard TAKA II that they considered “Steve’s Bommie” (see image) to be the best natural dive site in Queensland.

Steve’s Bommie, a coral pinnacle, is home to main species of corals such as plate corals, boulder corals, gorgonian fans, soft corals and golf ball corals, not forgetting the many different species of fish life. It is a great dive site for both the novice and experienced diver. Located approximately 150 nautical miles north of Port Douglas, it takes an overnight trip to for most dive boats to get there.

The base of Steve’s Bommie sits at approximately 30-metres depth, and rises up to the surface. Divers normally go to their planned depth and then spiral up. Between June and August you can see pods of minke whales, barracuda, giant trevally to name a few circling the bommie. Some rare sightings seen this week at Steve’s Bommie were a Foster’s Hawkfish and a Gold-spotted Rabbitfish along with the usual large cod, spotted lagoon rays, and flame file shells.

Now as we move into June it is a good time to start planning your dive trip to Ribbon Reefs. Several operators visit the area, including Taka Dive, Explorer Ventures, Spirit of Freedom and Undersea Explorer.

This coming Saturday Undersea Explorer starts its first Dwarf Minke Whale expedition for the Ribbon Reefs. It is all about to happen if you are interested in seeing these gentle giants and also the larger pelagic fish!

At Osprey Reef you will experience walls with 1000-metre plus drop offs. Many large pelagic fish such as ocean dwelling sharks inhabit this reef. If Sharks are your thing you will see them in greater numbers at Osprey Reef.

Over the weekend one of the passengers aboard Diversity faced her fears of sharks while on a dive at North Horn. 'Cassie' relaxed enough to enjoy her dive while a 3m Silvertip Reef Shark followed her group for the entire dive. Back on the boat she was all smiles and amazed that she had conquered her fear.

Well it seems like all the good weather is happening Monday to Friday, with this weekend is predicted to have strong winds as high as 25 knots. Should you venture out for a dive or snorkel this weekend have fun and as always, safe diving! Steve Brady

(C) Pro Dive Cairns 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.

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