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Dive Review of Mike Ball Spoilsport in
Australia/Coral Sea

Mike Ball Spoilsport: "Good diving in the Coral Sea", Oct, 2014,

by Robert & Gayle, OR, US (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 8026 has 2 Helpful votes.

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 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Mike Ball Dive Expeditions does not pick you up at your hotel. You make your way to their office some time during the day to drop off your luggage. It's a "5 minute walk" from Hotel Cairns, but not if you're lugging all your dive gear! We took a cab from the hotel, dropped off our bags, then went to a movie and walked around town until it was time to meet up with the other guests at a local hotel restaurant. We had dinner there, then everyone was walked down the pier to board the Spoilsport. Mike Ball runs a tight ship. There are stringent checkout/check in procedures for every dive. The meals are diverse and well-prepared. Room Ten was close to the dive deck, roomy enough. Storage consisted of 5 drawers and open space under the double bed. This boat has the best dive ladders EVER! With a full complement of divers, the dive deck is extremely overcrowded. Dive briefings were complete, with diagrams for every site. There is the usual schedule: light breakfast, dive, full breakfast, dive, lunch, dive, then usually a dusk/night dive before dinner. Kerran was the dive coordinator. He was very conscientious about dive times and good about communicating in advance when the dive times were going to be, what the dive sites were going to be and any other scheduling things divers needed to know. Everything ran like clockwork. Diving was on Osprey Reef. The Snake Pit had sea sakes the size of eels! There was a shark feed on one dive at the amphitheater at North Wall. The last day of diving, at Steve's Bommie and Flare Point, offered some of the most interesting sea life: cuttlefish, a stonefish, turtles, eels and sharks. Mike Ball offers 7-day, 4-day and 3-day trips, so the '7-dayers' lose morning dives while they offload the '4-dayers' and pick up the '3-dayers' at Lizard Island airport. Because of the new group, the '7-dayers' get to dive Cod Hole twice. There was a hurricane earlier this year, so there was some rubble, but there were still lots of fish and healthy corals. At Goggle Garden, we saw a Solar-Powered Slug, something we had never seen before. Overall, we saw turtles, various sharks, some giant clams, eels, a few ray, a manta, stonefish, cuttlefish. There were plenty of the "usual suspects": batfish, unicorn fish, longnose hawkfish, butterfly fish, coral trout, tangs, blennies, surgeon fish, parrot fish, etc. Photo pro gave reef and ecology talks between dives. There was a photo contest among the photographers on board.
Websites Mike Ball Spoilsport   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Honduras, Belize, Costa Rica, Palau, Truk, Fiji, PNG, Red Sea, Tahiti, Bali, Sulawesi, Solomon Islands, Raja Ampat, Philippines, Australia
Closest Airport Cairns Getting There LAX to SYD to CNS

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 77-79°F / 25-26°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No unusual restrictions; no deco, photo pro not allowed to take your picture if you take your regulator out of your mouth, keep within Nitrox limits.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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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