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Reef Report for Thursday, July 12, 2001

Lots of Great Diving This Week!

As town begins to swell and sway with visitors from across the globe, scuba diving and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef has never been a more attractive holiday activity option. Thatís especially true when it involves sharing the water with a giant male Minke Whale! Guests onboard Scubapro this week were thrilled to by a visit of one of the gentle giants of the sea. © Dive The Reef The whale lolled around the boat for just over an hour before it sleeked off. What an amazing experience!

On the same trip Dive Master trainee Michelle had a close encounter with a Moray Eel. With her dive buddy they were exploring a small bommie at Swimming Pools mooring. As they hovered looking into the crevasses in the coral, Michelle inched closer to watch a blue Cleaner Wrasse dart quickly back and forth. She was wondering what the reason was for the little fishís the frantic movements, when suddenly her eyes focussed on the bigger picture, and she found herself staring very closely into the mouth of a Moray Eel! Needless to say, She quickly pulled back to watch the cleaning fish dart in and out of the Moray Eelsí mouth, Giving it a cleaning worth of any skilled dental hygienist. As the divers circled around to the back of the bommie, they discovered the Eelís tail. © Dive The Reef Michelle guestimated it would have had to be at least 2 metres long.

On Passions of Paradise this week, certified divers spotted a school of chevron barracuda along with the resident Napoleon Wrasse. The introductory divers enjoyed the clear 15-meter visibility and were treated to the sights of several giant clams.

On board Tusa this week, 15 metres viz was also enjoyed at Thetford Reef. Skipper Mark reported another Minke whale siting, with two 5 to 6 metre long whales spotted of about 50 metres from the moored boat. At Milln reef Skipper Jason reported Introductory and Certified divers were treated to sharing their dives with a 3-metre baby whale. This is the closest encounter the crew have had thus far this season. What are we doing sitting in these offices? Do I feel a case of "reef flu" coming on, call in sick and get to the reef NOW.

Also this week Stuart and Lisa from Calypso Productions were filming and taking photos at Arlington Reef. On arrival to the reef with Sunlover Cruises, they immediately spied two manta rays feeding on the surface. They were both over 2.5 metres long and so engrossed in feeding they did not notice the divers equipped with cameras approaching. One was quite the actor, and as continued feeding, filling its gills with plankton. Totally unconcerned about the fact that the raysí faces filled the entire viewfinder of the camera, Stuart and Lisa both kept their cameras on the creatures. One of the Mantas glided right over the diversí heads, then rose to the surface and made a spectacular flip displaying itsí white belly to the surface. What a Gentle Giant!

(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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