Reef Report for Saturday, September 21, 2002
Windy Weather Fails to Interfere With Great Dive Conditions
The weather during the past week provided us with some varying wind conditions as high as 30 knots. Towards the end of this week and hopefully holding for the week-end the winds should remain around 10-15 knots.
Regardless of the strong winds the reef still delivered some excellent visibility and very interesting sightings for all divers and snorkelers.
Passengers on board Passions of Paradise saw a pair of angelfish, puffer fish as well as a number of yellow boxfish. Divers on board Tusa while at Milln Reef were overwhelmed by the beauty and power of a large Manta Ray, which they reported had a wingspan of 2 ˝ metres.
Diving at Green Island produced some very interesting sights of scrawled filefish, moray eels and 2 very large octopi. Paddy from "Reef Teach" took time out and dived out at Saxon Reef during the week. His group saw many species of soft corals and fish changing colour. Most impressive an Emperor changing color patterns from banded to dark grey to silver. Paddy also spotted a group of copper sweepers swimming upside down. This is due to the fact that these fish can get confused when the direction of light is reflected off the light colored bottom sediments, these fish have evolved to think that the brightest light comes from the sun, and these bright bottom reflections can throw them off. Copper Sweepers have a swollen, pregnant look and generally habitat caves and crevasses.
Paddy’s dive group also observed a cleaning station where large coral trout changed colors. They were white while being cleaned and blue-spotted as they swam off. The whiteness of the coral trout results from it being in a completely relaxed state caused by the cleaning wrasse.
Passengers onboard Calypso and Reef Magic Cruises also enjoyed some good weather conditions and everyone all came back with smiling faces! There were plenty of turtles, reef sharks and rays to see, as well as an abundance of small reef fish. Visibility at Reef was between 15 and 20 meters at most sites with water temperatures slowly heating up but is still a nice and pleasant 26 degrees.
Taka II’s passengers diving at the Cod Hole and the Coral Sea received some dubious weather, although they still got treated to some good diving with visibility ranging between 15 to 30 metres. Playful spinner dolphins, cuttlefish, barracuda, a giant green turtles and of course our friendly Humpback whales made up for some terrific sightings at the Cod Hole and Coral Sea during the week.
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.
Index of all reef reports.