With Cairns being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, we were eager to go back to the reef as soon as we had conditions we were comfortable with. We were lucky and returned to stunning Milln Reef, 30 miles offshore, for a few days.
We had fun: great sail from Cairns, and other than a couple of dive boats, no-one around, even on a weekend! It was a good opportunity to try the new camera gear, although not calm enough for split shots.
What we did find were BIG fish: some colourful and pretty, some only a mother could love. It is as if with the stronger conditions there was more food about which attracted the larger species.
The Green Bumphead Parrotfish was one that won the ugliest face contest: a big hump on the head and teeth like a horse. These are the largest Parrotfish, up to 1.5m long and produces 90 kilos of sand each year.
Another big Parrotfish was the Steephead, also with a bump on the head but very colourful and not as imposing at about 70cm long.
We were amazed by the schools of Surgeonfish: at least 40 individuals! They went past us as if we were just part of the coral on the side of the gutters.
And then there were the not so big and really attractive species: Emperor Angelfish, Black & White Snapper, Barrier Reef Anemonefish, Moorish Idol and so many more! Here is a slide show for you.
So despite there being more movement in the water that tossed us about a little, we had a great time and the water was crystal clear for amazing underwater seascapes.
Trips to the Outer Reef are always a bit brief but so rewarding. You take the opportunity when you can, then when the forecast dictates, you head back to the coast. Off to Fitzroy Island next!