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Dive Review of Explorer Ventures/Nimrod in
Australia

Explorer Ventures/Nimrod, Oct, 2004,

by Leanne Wells, TX, USA . Report 1448.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Los Roques, Venezuela; Galpagos; Cozumel; Sea of Cortez, Mexico; Indonesia x3; Pemba Island, Tanzania; Honduras; Costa Rica; Malpelo, Colombia; Dominica Island[Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 74 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Had divemaster in water with us only if requested. We were asked to limit dives to 70 minutes/750 psi.[Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Separate rinse tank and tables for equipment.[None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The operation office is in Cairnes,and as we intended to do much of our diving in the far north in the Coral Sea and near Papua New Guinea, we were flown by twin engine planes to the Lockhart River where we met the liveaboard. The prevailing winds and currents prevented our going further north than Raines Island, this was quite good diving. The best was around Raines, where the green turtles were breeding and nesting. It was great to be in the water with so many turtles and watch them go ashore in the late evening to lay their eggs. There were always lots of sharks in the water because of the presence of the turtles, mostly white tip, grey reef, and a sprinkling of silver tip. Tigers were in the area, but we did not see them.
The boat is very safety conscious. every diver was issues a unique,collapsable, rigid "see-me" signal flag in addition to safety devises owned personally. When divers were in the water, crew were always alert and watching the surface. All divers were logged in and out of the water by personal check-in with the divemaster,and logs were kept of time-in and time-out of water for the whole trip. They were very strict about this.
Diving was from the platform at the back of the boat, both out and back profiles, and drift with boat drop-off and pickup. In the case of current and diver surfacing away from pick-up site, retreival was very odd: the dinghy circled the diver to deliver a tow rope, and then pulled the diver, holding onto the rope and wearing all his gear, back to the liveaboard. It worked, but I felt like chum on the end of a troll-line with all the sharks in the water! Did not like it at all, and always made every effort to monitor current so that I could get back to the liveaboard. There was usually a buoy or anchor line for descent and safety stop if there was current. The crew was very attentive and helpful, with no divemaster supervision underwater unless someone requested a guided dive. This was probably because anchors and buoylines were set and retrieved by divemasters at every site and they accrued a lot of time at many depths. Good dive briefings were given before each dive, but the currents and very large tides made things a bit unpredictable. We returned to Cairnes by low level flight (<1000 ft) because of our busy dive log. We logged 3-4 dives every day for 10 days. This is a good, safe operation and I would recommend it to anyone wishing to dive known sites in the northern reefs, or for exploratory diving. The food is good, plentiful, but a bit bland. We are from Texas, and carried our own hot sauce. And beware....hamburgers have BEETS on them.
Be sure to allow time to see Australia! The people are remarkable in their friendliness and cheerfulness. We only toured in the Cairnes and Port Douglas area, but it is home to the oldest rainforest in the world and has the most unusual plants and animals. Oz is truly a world apart!
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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