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Dive Review of Mike Ball in
Australia/Great Barrier Reef / Coral Sea

April, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Tracey, MD, USA
Report Number 2798
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Carribean, Cozumel, Australia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Mostly allowed to dive our computer, but sometimes had time restrictions
due to boat schedules.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Central table set up for UW photography.  They have a computer available
for you to use to review the photos, and can make CDs of your photos.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
The reputation the Mike Ball's boat have did not match our experience. Not
that it was bad, but I would say it was only OK.  We were on a 4 day trip
leaving from Carns, up the ribbon reefs, and out to Osprey Reef in the
Coral Sea.  Return by small plane from Lizard Island.

The first evening, I went to retire in our room, and discovered the bed was
soaking. The air conditioner was directly above the bed, and the
condensation leaked onto the bed.  The hostess got us clean bedding and
said she would keep an eye on it. And also, that this happens quite often! 
We were moved to another cabin, and it's air conditioner also leaked, but
not nearly so bad. 

The dive deck was a bit chaotic.  They would call the dive briefing, my
buddy and I would suit up. And then wait, and wait.  We had to wait for a
DM to check the reef, currents, etc.  They also wanted to have a DM in the
water before the rest of us got in, so we waited.  My buddy & I were
often the first in and the last out.

The food was decent, but nothing to write home about. Sometimes it was way
too spice for my taste.  The staff was all very nice and the captain was a

The diving was very good.  The dives up the ribbon reefs are relatively
shallow - 40 to 80 feet.  Were were looking forward to diving Cod Hole - we
were to have 2 afternoon dives and one evening dive there. When we started
our first dive ferried by tender down the reef for a drift style dive back
to the boat.  During the dive, the tide came rushing in, changing our drift
to a freeway.  We were moving so fast that it was impossible to do anything
except to hang on. All the divers grabbed the anchor line and hung on.
After this experience, the DMs decided it was too dangerous to dive again,
and we moved to another site for our night dive. 

The overnight trip out to Osprey Reef is rough, but the dives are worth it.
 The corals are incredible, almost magical. We were treated to a Shark Feed
dive, where you sit in a coral amphitheater and watch the sharks, cods,
remoras, and dozens of other fish feeding on the frozen tuna heads.  A very
interesting experience!  It was over in about 20 minutes of air time, and
we were allowed to finish our dive after the feeding.  
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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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