We had more rain this October then last year, but the majority of days were great out at the Reef. A day out on the Great Barrier Reef is always an experience and nature determines what we get to enjoy.
We did not mind the rain, but it came quite a bit earlier in the year than normal so we were a bit concerned about the temperature of the water and the amount of fresh water. The water needs to stay at a normal temperature for the health of the coral and a lot of fresh water could in certain cases be a worry. For example, starfish love fresh water conditions. The thought of a coral bleach due to rising water temperatures is always a concern.
Coral bleaching means that coral looses it colour due to external environmental conditions. In most cases it occurs when water too hot. Coral bleaching is more apparent closer to the surface where water temperatures heats up quicker. It is is a complex disintegration of the living arrangements coral have with their dependants. Whereas fish can swim to a better life, coral is stuck in conditions inconducive to their life systems creating stressors, leading to bleaching.
Remembering that coral reefs are living structures, animals in fact, it is very important to us to educate our visitors on how important the reef is for our future - our ecosystem.
For more information: http://www.reef.crc.org.au/discover/coralreefs/bleaching/coralbleachingbiology.html
On the brighter side of things, visibility was steady around 20 meters. Snorkellors and divers had the opportunity to swim with Reef Sharks, Wobbegongs, the usual suspects of Groupers, Sweetlip, Fusiliers, Parrotfish, Nudibranchs, Turtles and Clown Fish. Looking at that list - it is pretty awesome company down in the Deep Blue!