TOUR OF THE WEEK
The water visibility was sensational today, glowing the bright turquoise green, a colour that epitomizes the Great Barrier Reef. The highlight of the day was the afternoon snorkel safari. The snorkel safari started at the lighthouse. vAfter only a minute in the water an enormous Manta Ray (Manta alfredi) appeared in the distance. The snorkel safari then proceeded slightly closer to the shore where two Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) were cruising with some big white batfish that made for an excellent photo. One of the guests made me laugh saying “When I arrived I was on the lookout for turtles. Now I am looking for the background!” We definitely have a lot of turtles around our island here, and shortly after those two were spotted an enormous, humungous Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) surfaced for a breath. The snorkelers quickly changed direction for a good look. Then another huge Manta ray glided past as well as a southern stingray with a short stumpy tail. Everybody realized how special the snorkel was becoming. The group then went for a bit of a swim and came to second reef. There they saw schools of Blue Green Chromis (Chromis viridis) and Scissortail Fusiliers (Caesio caerulaurea) as well as a lazy White-tipped Reef Shark (Triaenodon obesus) that was big and perhaps pregnant and left its hiding place as we approached. It was not keen to leave the area though and kept returning to its favourite cave about five metres below us all. Guests were rapt they had seen all of our big creatures in less than 40 minutes. Then for the icing on the cake a big unidentified stingray, perhaps the largest one I have ever seen came out of the inky depths and passed no less than three metres from everybody. It was a great big thrill and sealed the deal on an unforgettable hour in the water.
DIVE OF THE WEEK
Wow……what an amazing dive. More wildlife than you could poke a stick at (not that we’d want you to). A group of 6 divers went on the afternoon dive to Lighthouse bommies on Thursday the 19th of August. The entire dive was one amazing creature after another. The current was quite strong but that didn’t have any impact on the quality of the dive. It all started with everyone descending down to a plethora of rays. Manta Rays (Manta Alfredi), Cowtail Rays (Pastinachus atrus), Leopard Whiprays (Himantura leoparda) were all seen congregated on the bottom resting together. This enabled all the divers to get a real close look at these wondrous animals in the wild. At one stage a few of the rays got off the bottom and cruised around the divers, a great thrill. As they moved further south towards 45o bommie a Manta Ray was found being cleaned. Small little Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) and Moon Wrasse (Thalassoma lunare) darted around the large figure removing parasites at will. Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort is famous for its Manta Ray populations and indeed the cleaning stations that are at various dive sites all around the island. As the divers moved away from all the rays a Leopard Shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) was seen quietly minding its own business on the bottom. This particular shark if approached slowly will allow you to get extremely close for an amazing experience, which is what everyone did. The action continued when a large female Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) swam up to the group for a closer look. Moving further along a Whitespotted Eagle Ray (Aetobatus narinari) was seen being cleaned on the bottom which is a rare site. It than pushed itself off the bottom and swam right for one of the divers, senseational. If that wasn’t enough wildlife just before returning to the mooring line 2 White-tip Reef Sharks (Triaenodon obesus) passed by and did a few circuits of ‘L’ shaped bommie, this gave the guests a chance to really take the beauty of these animals, how well they move and their perfectly streamlined shape. All in all another jaw dropping dive at Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK:
WHALE SEASON CONTINUES - PLETHORA OF RAYS WHILST DIVING