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Old 21-10-2003, 09:04 PM
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Dive Report Suzies Bommie

Dive boat Soletai, from Bootless Bay nr Port Moresby
Water temp, 24 Celcius
Viz about 10m
Dive kit: skin suit

Sun 12th October
30.6m 60mins Suzie's Bommie
21.5m 67mins Whale reef. (SInt 1h8min)

Well after last week, and feeling a little chilly after my dives I relented and purchased a skin suit. This was a good purchase, considering that the water temp dropped a few degrees in the last week and I managed to go an hour on both dives with gas to spare. The viz was down on too, the result of a bit of a mid week blow.

Suzie's Bommie, this is an absolute cracker of a dive:

We start off on the main reef and start to descend down to the sandy bottom, first one Napolean wrasse and then its partner loom out of the darkness and then off again. We say hello to a curious Moray poking his head out of a hole, then across the bottom to Suzie's taking in a resting white tip shark.

We go round the corner into the gentle current and are met with a wall of fish, 10m viz has dropped to fish viz! Lots of piccies taken to try and capture the spectacle, but none do it justice. Then on through the shoals, a group of fusilleers plummet down into the depths as we pass. The biglips seem to be where we found them last time, and yet again masses of lion fish, not in shoals, but one here, two there.

A few shrimp poke their feelers out to catch what's passing. We spiral around and up and stop at a point high above where we came in, on the reef top. Clown fish protect their territory and the big fish jostle for the best postion in the current. Large brown fish wait mouths open and teeth barred waiting for a tasty snack, whilst smaller blue swim around and into their gills (must get me a fish recognition card!).

We just wait here an age watching the fish world go by, then off across the chasm to the main reef to do our safety. The safety is almost another dive, the reef top being in about 6m. Corals of all shapes and colours lie undisturbed, smaller fish hide in them for protection, or lie on them dead still pretending not to be there, until you get a cm too close and then dart off. Getting cold now, hot noodles beckon, say goodbye till next time.

Early afternoon seems to bring with it a bit of a breeze, no exception this week and whips up quite a chop on the outer reef, with the horizon showing a ring of white horses. We head for shelter on the inner reef.

Whale reef:

Damaged in parts by the result of an old cyclone. Slowly mooch down through the small coral tops, an orange flatworm and a white and black spotted nudibranch in the shallows and clown fish abound. A brown puffer hides in the head of a soft coral. Down onto the sand past large grazing sea cucumbers. A large trigger fish nibbles at the sea bed, and then first one and then another white tip, circle into view. Swim on to visit the remains of a wooden yacht, not much left, just the dunny (as Mike my aussie dive buddy put it), the water tank and a couple of spars.

Then back along the bottom, stop to take another photo, but no!, memmory card is full (128 Meg in one and a half dives)! Up onto the reef for our safety. The coral here is mainly staghorn and an excellent cover for all the small fish. Time ticks by fish watching, rise to about 3m on a pile of broken coral, home to a small clown fish dutifully protecting his lair whilst fighting against the surging tide. End of another good dive.

till next time
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