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Dive Review of Mike Ball Dive Expeditions (Spoilsport) in
Australia/Coral Sea & GBR

May, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Richard J. Troberman, WA, USA
Contributor   (12 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 485
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii; Bahamas; Turks & Caicos; Cayman Islands; French Polynesia; St.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
77   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
130 feet  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions (Spoilsport) is a first class dive operation.
The crew did everything possible to accommodate the divers, and to meet
every need. The level of service was superb. Surprisingly, however, the
dives were not led by a divemaster.  Once the boat arrived at a dive site,
a crewman usually went into the water to check currents and other
conditions.  This was followed by a thorough dive briefing. The dive deck
was then open for diving for a specified length of time, and you could do
as many dives in that time as your computer would allow, depending on depth
and bottom time. This was a very efficient and enjoyable way of diving, and
even though there were 26 divers on board, there was plenty of space to
accommadate everyone, and everyone managed to keep out of everybody else's
way. A guide was available if requested. Divers were asked not to go below
130 feet; to do two safety stops (30 feet for 2 minutes and 15 feet for 3-5
minutes); and to return with 500 PSI. There is a hanging bar at 15 feet and
2 lines at 30 feet. The week before my trip, the weather was bad, and the
boat was unable to dive the wreck of the S.S. Yongala.  Consequently, we
went there first in order to make sure we could dive the wreck.  The
Yongala (300 feet plus) sank in a cyclone in 1911 and is a world-class
wreck dive. It rests on its side at about 90 feet. No pentration is allowed
(per Australian government). It is thoroughly covered with corals, and
resembles a reef dive.  Because there is nothing else around for miles, it
is thick with marine life of all shapes and sizes, including sea snakes and
some groupers weighing over 500 pounds. At night, squadrons of marbled rays
patrol the site, often covered by 3 or 4 smaller rays, stacked like
pancakes. I saw up to 15 rays at a time.  Other sites in the Coral Sea
included bommies and walls, some with caves and swim throughs. Many were
frequented by spectacular lionfish and cuttlefish, as well as the usual
array of reef fish. Unfortunatley, there was evidence of coral bleaching at
several of the sites, but even at those sites the diving was enjoyable. The
only disappointment was the lack of very many sharks.  Saw only a few white
tips, grays, and a few silvertips.  On the other hand, Scuba Zoo (shark
feed) was a bit hokey and way too long.  Steve, the chef, did a fantastic
job preparing meals.  The food was excellent and plentiful. Spoilsport is a
very well run boat in every respect.
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Other dive reports on Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

All Australia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Australia
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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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