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Reef Report for Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Sunshine, Sunshine, Sunshine

What a glorious week of sunshine. The rays have tanned our skin, warmed our pools, and put a skip in our step and it looks like it will continue over the weekend despite the drizzle on Wednesday morning. © Dive The Reef Light east to southeast winds will hopefully stay blowing at only 15 knots.

Onboard Scubapro this week Skipper Rus reported seeing a pod of 4 humpback whales cruising off Cape Grafton. The visibility at Milnn was 12 meters, and improving every day. On Briggs Reef Skipper Marc had 25 meters visibility. Certified divers spotted Crayfish, Lion Fish, Giant Trevally and even an octopus.

Onboard Passions of Paradise this week, divers were treated to a rare glimpse of a couple of lionfish in 10 meters of water. These spectacular fish have brilliant orange colours and a sensational arsenal of fan-shaped of fins. Our introductory divers spotted a white tip reef shark resting on the ocean bottom in 8 m of water.

Many of you certified divers might have thought about advanced certification opportunities. The Cairns area is a great place to work on developing your skills; with so many dive schools here, there are many options.

An advanced certification can easily be earned in the course of a two-day dive trip, and is an option offered on most overnight boats operating out of the Cairns area. © Dive The Reef The outline below is for a PADI Advanced Open Water Certification, but SSI and NAUI also offer very similar courses.

The advanced course is the important first step in continuing your dive education. It is designed to give the newly certified or not so experienced certified diver added confidence and enjoyment in their diving through additional skills and training

An example of an advance course schedule could allow for a total of 11 dives with 5 of these dedicated to advanced course training and the other 6 are recreational dives for you to explore and enjoy the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

Your Advanced training consists of 5 training dives: Deep diving, Underwater navigation, Night diving, Underwater naturalist and choice from one of the following elective dives; Search and Recovery or Underwater photography.

Here is an example of a typical Advanced Open Water Course might take place during a two-day dive trip to the reef.


DIVES 1 and 2: You start with two pleasure dives to gain an introduction to diving on the Great Barrier Reef. This is also a great opportunity for you to acclimatise to diving conditions, fine tune your skills or even to refresh your skills if it has been some time since your last dive.

DIVE 3: Advanced Course Navigation Dive:

After a knowledge review, your instructor will brief you on your navigation dive, where you will complete some exercises using both compass and natural references to help improve your under water navigation skills.

DIVE 4: Advanced Course Night Dive:

Here you will be introduced to night diving on the Great Barrier Reef. © Dive The Reef With you instructor, you will complete a simple navigation exercise before being given a guided tour with your instructor. During your night dive you can expect to find sleeping turtles, parrot fish and a variety of other marine life only encountered at night.


DIVE 1: Advanced Course Deep Dive:

During this dive you will gain the experience to safely conduct dives beyond your 18-metre depth limit as an open water diver. Under the close supervision of your dive Instructor, you will be taken down to 30 Metres, where you will be tested for signs of nitrogen narcosis, shown the effects of increased pressure and colour absorption at depth.

DIVE 2: Underwater Naturalist

To learn more about the Great Barrier Reef and its Ecosystem this dive is an absolute must. We will teach you how to identify the main families of fish from Damselfish to Trigger fish you will also be taught how to identify the different corals. If this dive interests you make sure you donít miss the complimentary Reef Teach the night before your trip departs.


With your four course dives now complete, you have just one daylight dive remaining to earn the Advanced Open Water Certification. You may choose either of the dives below to meet the requirement. Each dive is designed to introduce you to other interesting areas of diving that might interest you.

Underwater Photography

If you want to take home some lasting memories this elective dive is ideal. On your Underwater Photography dive you will be taught pre- and post-dive camera care and you will also be shown how to get the best results from your underwater camera. After loading your underwater camera your dive will simply involve exposing a role of film trying to capture the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. If you do not have your own camera you can hire an underwater camera at a cost of around AUD$35.00 which includes camera, strobe and film.

Search and Recovery

If you have ever lost anything while you have been diving or treasure hunting appeals to you then this option will be very useful for you. During this dive you will learn skills not only how to conduct searches but also how to retrieve submerged objects from the ocean floor. We will teach you how to swim various search patterns using your compass or a simple length of rope. You will also be shown how to correctly secure objects to a lift bag and bring them back to the surface.

(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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