The Cod Hole is one of the signature dives on the far northern section of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Our recent expedition to the region was only a few months after Cyclone Yasi, and I’d heard some worrying reports of coral damage. I was anxious to see it for myself, and to spend some quality time with the biggest friendly fish I have ever had the pleasure of diving with.
The reassuring news is the Cod Hole is still in very fine condition. The storm did cause some coral damage in the shallows, but below approx 8m (26′) the coral is looking good—in some areas it’s excellent. The fish life is as plentiful and as unafraid of divers as ever. And, most importantly, the Potato cod (Epinephelus tukula) are out in force, happy to pose for any camera.
I was lucky enough to be there when two of the largest residents were getting frisky. I’ve done more than 100 dives at this site, but never before seen this kind of courting behaviour in the cod. I squeezed in two 90-minute dives back-to-back—a memorable couple of dives indeed. This video shows some highlights.