Expedition update: Agincourt Reef

After three days of no technical or weather issues, today has been a series of unfortunate events; from camera and scooter issues to ripping currents. Despite this, we managed to get all of our surveys done! Agincourt Reef is a favourite diving spot receiving visitors daily. Today we dived along a well-known dive site called Nursery Gardens, known for the extensive colonies of staghorn (Acropora sp.) corals and of course the juvenile fish that live amongst the corals. At this location, just two years ago, the impact of Cyclone Yasi resulted in the overturning and breakage of many of the staghorn stands, yet today you would need to have a careful look to see the damage. Comparing this with other sites that had similar damage but are overgrown with turf algae makes you wonder what drives the recovery of corals. Many factors govern the reef's resilience, including the chronic illnesses of the reef, such as sediment and nutrient run off, as well as episodic events like a Crown of Thorns outbreak.