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Dive Review of Nimrod Explorer in
Australia

September, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Bill, CA, USA
Report Number 2063
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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Other dive reports on Explorer Ventures

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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