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Reef Report for Friday, July 25, 2003

Whales Abound on the Reef This Week

With the minke whale season coming to an end guests onboard Undersea Explorer’s last dedicated trip were not disappointed by the sighting of a mother and baby calf, which I have been told is quite rare in this area. © Wet Image Divers also had the experience of sharing their dive with a 3-metre Hammerhead Shark. U.E.’s next trip will be back to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea, which is certainly a must do dive trip for any keen diver!

Also on the Ribbon Reefs, Passengers onboard Diversity also had a great trip with sightings of minke whales at Lighthouse Bommie, where the whales seemed to be in no hurry to move on, which thrilled crew and passengers to no end.

The weather over the past few weeks certainly has not been ideal conditions to be out on the reef, with consistent strong winds, rain and low visibility being experienced. As I have said before, no matter what the conditions are like out on the reef, there is always something special to be seen and generally some great diving to be had.

This week guests onboard TAKA II were lucky enough to have seen an extremely rare Harlequin Ghost Pipefish. In addition two pineapple nudibranchs were seen mating and an amazing Frog-mouthed Coral Wrasse was spotted. Some other great sightings were a large school of oriental sweetlips and bump-headed parrotfish, as well as a Red-marbled Lizardfish and an Ashburton’s Batfish.

TAKA’s dive at the Clam Gardens provided everyone a playful interaction with a huge family of giant cuttlefish. There was a large Goblin Shark seen at Steve’s Bommie along with a very friendly turtle who intrigued passengers. At the Beer Gardens a loggerhead and two green turtles interacted with divers. To finish off the dive trip a 3m Moray Eel was seen swimming along the sand.

Cairns: Onboard Reef Magic Cruises guests were taken to Saxon Reef. With conditions slightly improving again an abundance of marine life was out to play. On show were turtles, big cuttlefish, stingrays, barramundi cod and scorpion fish.

Unfortunately the weather this weekend is still expected to be around 20 knots. In comparison to what we have been experiencing this is still good diving conditions.

So should you venture out 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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