Reef Reading

There is no dark secret attached to the al ¡lity to read the reef. It is merely the al i lity to distinguish water colour. Experience is, of course, the best teacher; how-e. er, with a few practical hints, even the novice will be able to feel his way to an anchorage within a few days.

11 is important to have the sun overhead ir order to distinguish reef areas. That is v- ly most charter companies insist that the boats be at anchor by 1600 hours. Do not attempt to negotiate a reef-fringed entrance with the sun in your eyes, and always have someone on the bow keeping an eye on the water in front of the boat.

Deep water of 50 feet and over will be "inky" blue. This can be lighter if the bottom is white sand.

A light green or turquoise would indicate a depth of 15-25 feet. If the bottom has rocks or coral, these will change the colour to a brownish shade.

Water of 10 feet and under will show as a very pale shade of green if there is a sandy bottom, or a light brown if rocks and coral are present.

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