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Dive Review of Mike Ball Dive Expeditions/Spoilsport in
Australia/Gt Barrier Reef & Coral Sea

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions/Spoilsport, Oct, 2013,

by Martha & Jeff Hubbard, NY, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 17 Helpful votes). Report 7373 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Our 6th Mike Ball charter – as good as ever. One day diving near Lizard Island on Great Barrier Reef, overnight passage 84 miles NE to Osprey Reef, 2 days there, Sunday night passage to Lizard Island, Monday to Wednesday diving back down the GBR towards Cairns. Vessel and dive deck were full, but well organized, and little feeling of crowding, although not everyone can sit at their stations and gear up at once. There is a centerline stern entry gate which relieves crowding on the starboard and port dive steps when everyone is trying to launch at once. Several rookie divers seemed well cared for – always a guide in the water, excellent briefings. Each diver’s BCD is rigged with a loaner Nautilus Lifeline radio in case of separation. Twenty-seven possible dives (no night dives when there’s an overnight passage.) The two passages are rough – bring your seasick medication if you have any susceptibility. Dive your computer, but there is so little reason to go below 80 feet (we did on one dive only, to watch the sharks) that the nitrogen load is modest. But, Yes, you could get in trouble if so inclined. We breathed nitrox. Report max depth and bottom time after the dive and sign the sheet. I didn’t perceive deterioration of reefs or fish compared to our first visit to GBR, some of the same sites, on Mike’s Supersport 21 years ago. Tanks consistently >3000 psi, nitrox 29-31% (nominally 32.) Favorite sites? Sure: Snake Pit (lots of olive sea snakes) and Steve’s Bommie.
Crew of 11 works hard. Tour Director Kerren is everywhere at once, limitlessly patient and careful. Attendance is taken at dive briefings, and he checks buddy pairs, assigning unpaired guests (or those wanting a guide) to a crew member. Captain Peter took us safely through 510 miles (my estimate) of reef-studded sea, and doubles as an excellent guitarist, singer-teacher of Australian songs, and as a sterling dive buddy.
Website layout diagrams do not (as of November 10, 2013) include the recent refit of cabin 9 & our cabin 10 (at least.) They now have a very nice larger bathroom, no twin bed, space to get out of the queen bed at foot, a little desk, chair and a dresser. All the changes are for the better, but a closet would be welcome.
We are looking forward to Mike Ball charter #7.
Websites Mike Ball Dive Expeditions   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Fiji, Palau, Truk, Yap, Kosrae, Hawai'i, PNG, Fernando de Noronha
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Stay above 130 feet, return with >500 psi.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 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]
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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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