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Dive Review of Nimrod Explorer in
Australia

Nimrod Explorer, Sep, 2005,

by Bill, CA, USA . Report 2063.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Carribean, Western, Central and Eastern Pacific, Cortez
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 72 to 76 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Divers were urged to dive their training limit e.g. open water only to 60. 70 minute max bottom time. Nothing below 130 feet.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera table is tiny, three feet by four feet. My double strobe Nikonos wide angle rig ate up half of the table. No cover net for equipment for long transit over choppy water, requiring divers to move cameras, strobes, etc. into cabins. No converted battery chargers at the table (take non-rechargeable batteries and a converter for battery packs). No photo pro on board.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This catamaran was built in 1984, and whether refitted or new as a dive boat, the very spacious dive deck created a tiny camera table and leaves off a small toilet cabin on the dive deck, in the "wet" area. As in some "cats" the cabin geometry gets wierd: I booked early and got a main deck cabin for me and my lady,with a full dresser, queen bed, nightstands, en suite full bath and a monster closet - sort of a small hotel room! However, the quad cabin (belowdeck in one of the hulls) sardines four people in a v-berth. I recommend that you book early for a good cabin. The boat needs an icemaking machine (no ice available) but all drinks were refrigerated. Local soft drinks, beer and wine plentiful. Salon got a little cramped for 18 divers. I booked for mid-September, to avoid cyclone season. Sunshine was uncommon; winds blew 24/7 . I didn't do my weather/water temp research well, and expecting balmy, smooth Western Pacific conditions, we got 73 water, and 24/7 15-20 knot wind in 65 degree air. I am now informed that in the later Aussie summer things warm up and settle down. In a 3mm suit my buddy got cold; my 2mm suit was just enough; most were diving in heavy neoprene,some with hoods. Match your dive suits to the conditions, although the boat has a rack of its own heavy suits available. Whitecaps everywhere. The hard coral was beat up pretty bad - expanses of dead corals. Soft corals were scarce. Occasional sea fans; standard enchanting Pacific small fish life; ocasional rays; one flame scallop and one weed scorpionfish; no pelagics showed

Cabin linens were changed early and nicely. Wierdly, no bath washcloths were aboard - take them with you! Cook Sue put out many splendid meals, Aussie style. Captain Jack and his dive staff were most professional,always helpful. Demi, the senior deck guy, is a Japanese vaudevillian, with limited English skills; his lengthy dive briefings were unique, thorough, and sometimes raucous. Nimrod's safety briefings and deck safeguards were optimum - the boat does not move until all signatures are on the clipboard. This boat is fine for novice divers, with any dive accompanied upon request.
Experienced folks were at liberty to dive their computers consistent with their training levels, with bottom times not to exceed 70 minutes. Nitrox on board. Most of the good stuff on the bommies was at 70 feet upward.

The missing small amenities on Nimrod are more than made up for by the great crew of six. Nimrod does not pennypinch on fuel to avail of good diving conditions; on the ribbon reefs the vis was sometimes 40 with particles kicked up from surface chop in the shallows; the skipper did a 120 mile, 14 hour seaward transit to Holmes reef,with Osprey reef not doable due to sea/wind conditions. The transit running into the seas was a challenge for those prone to seasickness. Holmes had some great dive sites, better critters, 100 foot vis.

This was my third trip with Explorer Ventures (two to St Maarten); consistent with the Caribbean boat, the high point of Nimrod was the great crew. Jack the skipper, Sue the cook, and Demi (who probably stays up all night anyway working on his theatrical dive briefings) helped us off the boat at 0500 for an ealy Cairns flight. Nimrod's Cairns land support office folks were great. Don't expect Palau or Little Cayman diving conditions; don't expect a super plush boat; photographers should not be excessively equipped; expect a well run, fairly appointed boat with a service oriented, super-fine crew .





















































































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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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