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Dive Review of Mike Ball Spoilsport in
Australia/Coral Sea

Mike Ball Spoilsport: "Tight ship in the Coral Sea", Oct, 2022,

by Caroline Mason, Geeveston, AU ( 1 report with 2 Helpful votes). Report 12200 has 2 Helpful votes.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

The author (right) Nonki Bommie Dive briefing Big-eye trevally at False Entrance Soft corals at False Entrance
The ladders and safety stop bar Dive deck Pristine coral at the Cod Hole Nonki Bommie

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments We met up with the other divers on the Coral Sea Exploration trip at the pub round the corner from the Mike Ball office in Cairns; during the day, we had all dropped our luggage off at the office, whence it would be delivered to our cabins on Spoilsport. As we peered at each other's name-tags and made small-talk, a couple of Spoilsport's crew arrived to lead us across the road to the boat. Once on board, we were offered a glass of sparkling wine, and taken through exhaustive orientation and safety briefings while the boat slipped away from the wharf on our overnight passage to the seamounts of the Coral Sea.
The first night was bumpy and uncomfortable as we travelled with seas on the stern quarter – some guests who were unprepared for the motion didn't turn up to breakfast the next morning. After a generous cooked breakfast, Kerrin the trip director gave us a comprehensive rundown on Spoilsport dive procedures – my dive log records that my buddy and I hit the water at 9.24 in the morning.
Despite a lumpy sea and some drizzle, the light wind had allowed us to get out to Holmes Reef. For our first dives, we were moored off the Nonki Bommie, at the western side of the Holmes Reef complex. Nonki rises from about 35m to within a few metres of the surface, and has a cleft at the top that is filled with huge, photogenic seafans – it made a spectacular first dive for the trip.
After the second dive at Nonki, Russell the skipper moved Spoilsport to the second site of the day, nicknamed 'Amazing' after the maze of bommies rising up from pure white sand. We were offered two dives here, an afternoon and a twilight dive.
After dinner Russell motored away on our overnight passage to Bougainville Reef.
At 6.30 the next morning we were woken by Kerrin walking past the cabin doors calling out “Wakey, wakey!” in an improbably cheerful manner. Improbable, that is, until we got to know him better – he remained good humoured throughout the trip despite working long, hard hours. We were moored at the wreck of the Antonio Tarrabocchia, which ran aground on Bougainville Reef in 1961.
...Top up the blood caffeine level from the coffee machine in the saloon, grab a mouthful of fruit salad, then dive briefing at 7am and into the water for the first dive at 7.35am. Full cooked breakfast at 9am, while the crew moved Spoilsport to anchor off the north east edge of the reef. A couple more dives, then buffet lunch, then the boat was moved again, to the Crystal Plateau site for an afternoon and a twilight dive.
This would be the routine for the next five days: “Wakey, wakey;” COFFEE; dive; breakfast; move boat; a couple more dives; lunch; move boat; afternoon dive; night dive; dinner; SLEEP/overnight passage.
I had travelled to Cairns with two friends from my dive club. My buddy and I shared a bunk cabin; these cabins are small, and you have to be reasonably nimble to climb up to the top bunk, but the mattresses are comfortable. The temperature of the cabin air-conditioning is adjustable and effective in kee ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Websites Mike Ball Spoilsport   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Cairns Getting There Fly to Cairns. It is an international airport, but it may be easier for overseas visitors to fly in to one of the larger airports (Sydney/Perth/Brisbane) and then take a domestic flight.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 26-28°C / 79-82°F Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 15-30 M / 49-98 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 40m max depth and no deco.
Tell the dive deck crew if you intend to make a dive longer than 60 min.
Must carry Nautilus tracker (provided) and SMB.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments The photographic facilities on Spoilsport consist of a central (wet) rack for cameras on the dive deck, with two easily accessible air-lines for blowing water off housi ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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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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