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Reef Report for Friday, August 30, 2002

Port Douglas Diving is High on the List

Firstly what has been happening on the high seas? I went diving this last weekend and it was FANTASTIC. I was lucky enough to experience firsthand the sleek professionalism and fun attitude of the cast and crew on Quicksilver’s Quicksmart. The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas is a truly magical section of coastline and reminded me that I must do it more often. We boarded Quicksmart and enjoyed a complimentary coffee and foccacia. The trip out was smooth and the safety briefings thorough. We moored up at "Triggerfish" and the visibility was 20-metres. Calm conditions and loads of fish life made for a great dive. Dive buddy Crystal discovered a Reeftop Pipefish on the sandy bottom in 10-metres of water. The pipefish was almost invisible as it was the same colour as the sandy bottom.

The species is normally found in sheltered bays or old concrete wharves and was an unusual thrill to see out on the reef. For the first time I also saw of Garden Eels. These creatures have an amazing lifestyle; as they extend far out of their holes when feeding, yet quickly disappear back down their burrow when they sense danger. © Great Barrier Reef Enterprises When looking over them one cannot help to think they look like sea grass. There was also loads of time for snorkeling. Thanks you Quicksmart!

Also on the ocean this week Reef Magic customers had 16-metres visibility at Saxon Reef. Certified divers drifted down on a wall dive to see reef sharks, moray eels and school of spangled emperors. Passions of Paradise introductory divers this week saw a school of parrotfish, as well as a colourful school of Damselfish. One pair of lucky certified divers spotted a Black tip reef shark lying on the ocean bottom in 14 m of water. Snorkelers didn’t miss out either, with a group seeing a Green Sea Turtle near the surface. Winds remained at 15 - 20 knots. Visibility at Paradise Reef has been between 10 and 15 meters, with calm surface conditions.

TUSA Dive visited Milnn reef during the week and divers spotted a variety of marine life. This included 3 appearances of beautifully coloured nudibranchs. Visibility was 20 metres.

Scubapro II guests also had lovely conditions. They spotted a humpback whale and its brand new calf just off Fitzroy Island. Skipper Dave reported that the calf looked like it was trying to breach. The passengers were transfixed on the magical display.

The weather people predict South East winds 15/20 knots increasing to 20/25 knots by the end of the weekend.

On a personal note, this will be my last week writing for The Cairns Post and working from Pro Dive Cairns. A change is in the air! I would like to thank all my readers for supporting the article for the last two years. Steve Brady will be taking you diving as from next week. Safe diving always, Sue-Anne.

(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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