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Dive Review of Mike Ball in
Australia/Townsville Great Barrier Reef

July, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Rene Umberger, HI, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 2081
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
California, Hawaii, Roatan, No. Great Barrier Reef
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

windy, cloudy  
Water Temp
71   to 75    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 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
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
Spoilsport is a beautiful, well maintained vessel.  We chose this trip with
Mike Ball specifically to dive the Yongala after several days of diving
with them on their No. GBR Minke Whale trip.  The weather was not
cooperating and we had to wait until the last day of the trip to try for
the Yongala.  The crew was professional and we trusted them to make the
right decision on whether it was calm/safe enough to dive there - which
they did.  They provided exceptional service (with smiles) by accommodating
our special needs to don and doff our gear in the water, due to back
injuries. One very disturbing incident on Wheeler Reef which is a
"poster child" for successful reef conservation efforts world
wide.  Crew anchored too close to a large beautiful coral bommie and during
the dive we witnessed the anchor chain shearing off entire huge coral heads
and cleaving giant chunks off others - it was too painful to watch...  This
was anchor destruction at it's worst.  Though there was a mooring there, we
were told it was an illegal one and so they weren't allowed to use it. 
Apparently, on that very day, Mike Ball's operation was granted a permit to
put in a permanent, legal, mooring, however, it does not excuse lazy
anchoring techniques.  There are plenty of large sandy areas and if they
simply put a crew member in the water to guide the capt. to one of them,
they would have prevented the horrible destruction their anchor did to that
reef that day.
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Other dive reports on Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

All Australia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Australia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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