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

Mike Ball, Jul, 2005,

by Rene Umberger, HI, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 2081.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving California, Hawaii, Roatan, No. Great Barrier Reef
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 71 to 75 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 7
Water Visibility 20 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments 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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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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