Summer treasure at Opal Reef
“I THINK February is my favourite time to be on the reef,” says reef naturalist Paul O’Dowd of Cooya.
“People think that the wet season means it’s cloudy and horrible offshore as well, but in fact with these northerlies the water is nice and calm and the clarity is phenomenal — I reckon it is up to easily 30 metres quite often.”
This week, out on Opal Reef about 35km north-east of Port Douglas, aboard Wavelength, Paul and the visiting tourists experienced what can be a typical day of enjoying the reef at its best.
In a one-hour snorkel the visitors saw some of the best coral gardens anywhere on the Great Barrier Reef, and abun- dant wildlife encounters including turtles, squid, a sleepy tawny nurse shark, small lagoon rays and vast clouds of colourful fish.
So who says the reef’s a washout in summer?
An anenome provides a safe haven.