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Dive Review of Sea Trek in
Australia/Ningaloo Reef, W.A.

June, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by John Crossley, CA, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 161
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Indonesis, Sipadan, Philippines, Truk, Palau, Yap, Galapagos, Cocos,
Caymans, Bahamas, Bonaire, Florida, Hawaii, Cozumel, & more
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy  
Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
 Could not scuba with whale sharks until Captain felt they were secure with
divers.  Then could not get closer than 6 feet. Could not use strobes on
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
5 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  
Very accomodating for photographers, but not a huge amount of space.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
 Our group of nine flew from the US to Sydney, then on to Perth where we
overnighted before flying up to Exmouth. The plane to Exmouth has severe
restrictions on baggage, so individual divers need to pack light or arrange
a truck to carry heavy photo equipment cases up to Exmouth, which is what
our group had arranged.

At Exmouth, we boarded the 56 foot livaboard, the Sea Trek.  With nine
divers, four crew, and lots of cameras & videos, it was very cramped
conditions. Cabins were small and it had only two toilet/shower rooms to
serve the whole group.  However, the dive deck was very adequate, with two
double deck camera tables and two large camera rinse buckets. The Captain,
Ray, and his crew were excellent and tried hard to meet every need.  A
highlight of the trip was the fantastic food served by chef/divemaster
Carl.  Operating from a tiny kitchen, Carl turned out the best food Ive
had on any livaboard Ive been on (15 ships). 

Each morning we had a spotter plane fly for 3 hours to locate the whale
sharks, which are easy to spot from the air if seas are calm. It took as
little as an hour and as long as three hours to find a whale shark.  We
found the big (25 to 45feet) yet gentle sharks five days out of six, even
though early June is at the tail end of the prime season, and despite bad
weather and rough seas.  We snorkeled side by side with the whale sharks,
and on a few occasions, when they seemed at ease with us, we would put on
scuba gear to dive with them.  One day I was in the water 11 different
times with the giants, swimming till I was tired each time. Thats called
getting Sharked Out!  Each afternoon we did a one or two regular scuba
dives on Ningaloo Reef and saw Olive Sea Snakes, three Wobbegong Sharks,
and a big, beautiful Manta Ray. A night dive included a huge Spanish Dancer
and some nudibranchs.  Each night, after dinner, we would listen to Stans
stories; fantastic adventures told with great humor, from a humble yet
master storyteller. 

Water temperature was about 77-79 degrees and visibility ranged from 20 to
30 feet on the reef dives to 50 feet in open water with the whale sharks. 
While snorkeling with the whale sharks, most everyone wore at least a lycra
suit, to protect from the hundreds of 6-8 inch red jellyfish that filled
the water column.  They were more of a nuisance than anything.  Overall, it
was an expensive trip, but well worth it for lifetime memories.  If I
were to do it again, I would try to go a little earlier in the season when
the whale sharks are supposed to be more plentiful, and the weather calmer.

Sea Trek is booked through Diving Ventures:

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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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