Pinned on Pete’s dive shop wall were faded colour photos of the coral reef flat around the Middle Island Underwater Observatory at low tide.

Every round, pin-cushion-shaped coral colony was a different shade of pale pink, blue, purple and yellow, like a Ken Done painting. It was beautiful.

But I was later to learn that this colourful coral ‘fluorescence’ was actually bleached coral.

This image was taken during the 2002 coral bleaching event.