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Dive Review of Nimrod Explorer in
Australia/Great Barrier Reef

April, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Barry Zigas, DC, United States
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 1082
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Mexico, Turkey, California, New Zealand, Florida, Hawaii, Grand Cayman,
Curacao, Turks and Caicos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
19   to 22    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 25    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Back on board with 750psi, no decompression dives. Recommended depths on
each dive, but computer divers allowed to follow own profiles  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Rinse tanks on dive deck, film processing and camera rentals available. 
All photographers on board used digitals.  No digital transfer facility
availble per se, but DVD and VCR available, and computers could be powered
off boat's outlets.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
Nimrod Explorer may have had something of a checkered past, judging by
other readers' past reports, but my trip was first rate all the way and I
would recommend it without hesitation.  This was my first live-aboard
experience, but it set a high standard for any to follow, in no small part
because of the staff of 5 who were friendly, unobtrusive, and
serivce-oriented.  No tips solicited, but a tip jar was there, and most of
us contributed.  Two dive staff, a cabin hostess, cook, engineer and
skipper.  All got in the water at some point.  Food was varied, fresh,
wonderfully prepared, and plentiful.  Cold breakfast before the first dive,
followed by hot breakfast, usually a hot lunch, midday snack, and dinner.
Soft drinks, coffee, tea and biscuits available all day; beer and wine for
sale.  Staff did a nice birthday celebration for one diver, and
accommodated special diet request from another.  Good library of fish,
coral and creature ID books.  Cabins were straightened up every morning
while we were on the first dive.  Bath and dive towels provided, changed
mid-trip.  Quad cabins a little crowded; I was upgraded to a double that
was comfortable.  All cabins have own heads.  Shower on dive deck for
rinsing, hot water in cabin showers always availble.  Rental gear was in
good shape, everything available, including computers.  Fills all 3200+
psi.  Tanks filled on dive deck with gear attached. Refills completed
within one hr. of each dive return.  Between 4 and 6 dives daily, depending
on weather and conditions.  Exit and entry from dive deck.  All divers
checked in and out, required to sign before leaving dive deck on return. 
Dive briefings comprehensive, with good charts beforehand.  Strong safety
briefing first night.  Hands-off approach by dive staff, but ready to help
if asked.  Buddies left to dive own plans/profiles.  Steady 25-30 knot
winds the whole week forced cancellation of our planned Osprey Reef leg in
the Coral Sea.  The boat handled the weather okay, but the ride back to
Cairns against the wind was a punishing 10 hour Nantucket sleighride, done
overnight.  The weather caused some discomfort for some divers, but
everyone was able to dive each day.  Some sites not accessible because of
surge or currents.  Cod Hole feeding was a little hokey, but exciting
nonethless.  Abundant fish life on most dives; Steve's Bommie, Pixie's
Pinnacle and Lighthouse Bommie were standouts.  One night dive on
Challenger Bay was full of fish, including snappers and jacks feeding under
the boat's lights, but another at Tak's II was disappointing.  Plenty of
cruising white tip sharks; one diver logged 15 sightings in 21 dives. 
Turtles, big Maori Wrasses, Potato Cods, Sweetlips, Giant Clams,
cuttlefish, rays.  Loads of smaller Anemone Fish, Chromis, Batfish,
Butterfly Fish, Moorish Idols and others.  Hard and soft corals in great
shape.  Staff highlighted Flame File Shell in hole with sparking bacteria
on its edge.  Also spotted a large sea snake.  A memorable trip that sold
me on liveaboards.
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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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