December 31, 2006 - January 1, 2007 - January 3, 2007 - January 4, 2007 - January 5, 2007

December 30, 2006: Queensland, Australia

A New Years in Australia 2007 dive
"Wheeler Reef (Townsville)" - "Reef Princess (Townsville)"

First day on the Great Barrier Reef, after a sleepless night ...
Diving off the northeast coast of Australia:
  • Directions from Tampa: Um. Well, talk to a travel agent. It's in another hemisphere, no matter how you look at it ...
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Sunny and hot.

  • Personal Notes: I'll have to look at my video and give this a bit better description. I do remember that the air conditioner was malfunctioning the night before, which meant no sleep (the rocking of the boat, while a problem for most, wasn't a big deal for me).

    I can't say the day wasn't memorable - I can only say I don't remember much of it, going through it in a slightly sleep deprived haze.

    We don't have much in the way of anemone fish in the Atlantic and Caribbean, so I do remember thinking it was nice seeing them, and there were quite a few. I came across a small colony of shrimpgobies and even got a photo of one with his shrimp. When I saw the Map Puffer, being that I recognized it as a puffer but also 50 times larger than any puffer (not porcupine or balloonfish) I had seen previously, I went after it with some abandon - and lost my buddy. No biggie, we made it back to the boat at around the same time.


Wheeler Reef (Townsville)
This is a giant Clam ... probably about two feet wide.
I'm guessing that this is some kind of Chromis fish but I don't know what kind.
My guess is that this is a Map Puffer. For a puffer, he's huge!
This is a Yellowtail.
Six Banded Angels were not uncommon, and aren't something you see in the Caribbean.
I looked but I couldn't quite identify this fish.
This I'm guessing is some kind of Anthias fish, but I don't know which one.
This is probably a blenny due to how he's sitting with his tail curved (gobies, according to my book, don't do this as much). What blenny exactly I have no clue.
These are (I think) Orange-Finned Anemonie Fish. While cautious, they didn't do any of the posturing that we would see another anemonie fish do later ...
A closer shot of the Orange-Finned Anemonie Fish.
This I'm guessing is a Shrimp Goby of some sort ... only because :
Here he is with a shrimp.
Reef Princess (Townsville)
Here are some Orange-Finned Anemonie Fish.
The Stag Horn Coral was incredibly healthy.
This Sea Star is waving!
This is probably a nudibranc but it could be a sea slug. I don't know which.
This is some kind of Sea Cucumber.
A Giant Clam.
Crinoids are very beautiful - though they look like plants, I think they're still considered animals. They tend to extend their tendrils at night.
Some Orange-Finned Anemonie Fish that haven't gone to bed yet.
Just some coral that looked kind of cool.
Another Crinoid opened up.
Crinoids come in all shapes and colors.

Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
343 Wheeler Reef (Townsville) 66 feet 53 min. 79 F
344 Wheeler Reef (Townsville) 52 feet 66 min. 79 F
345 Reef Princess (Townsville) 46 feet 66 min. 79 F
346 Reef Princess (Townsville) 58 feet 45 min. 79 F
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