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Dive Review of Mike Ball Spoilsport in

Mike Ball Spoilsport: "The Great Barrier Reef is Still Great", Sep, 2019,

by Jacob Rosenstein, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 11187 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I booked my Coral Sea trip through Dive Discovery. Although they were thorough in the past, there were glitches this time around. The Mike Ball office address had not been updated in 5 years, so we were sent to the wrong place. Also, the Diver Booking Information Package had not been forwarded to the dive operator. I had to fill out detailed questions regarding my dive history 4 days before the trip while in Melbourne, with no access to my dive logs which were in a Cairns hotel. Sorry Undercurrent, you had recommended this travel agent in the past!

Anyway, the diving was fantastic for the most part. Our first dive at Goggle Gardens was rather bland. Coral were colorless and few fish. It got better at Pixie Pinnacle, which had profuse marine life on this dive site. Due to rough seas, the diving itinerary was changed, and Bougainville Reef was not on our route. The boat headed north instead. We had great dives at Osprey Reef, where shark feed at North Horn attracted many White tips, Grey Reefs, and solitary Silver tip sharks, and at Admiralty Anchor, where a tunnel created a swim-thru with an old anchor. TMO was also on the dive route, and Norsigan Reef south of it. Other famous dive sites, like Ribbon Reef #10, Cod Hole, Lighthouse Bommie, and Steve's Bommie were also on the route. The reefs were healthy, except for some sand deposited by storms at the beginning of some sites. Water visibility was good at some dive areas but not all. There were schools of Jacks and Barracuda on many dives as well as lots of big Potato Cod and a huge Bump Head parrotfish on our last dive.

Kudos to the dive crew. They were meticulous in planning and guiding divers who wanted their expertise in these locations. They were also helpful in aiding with dive gear. As noted above, rough seas plagued us for the first 3 days. There are no grab bars in the showers, or in common areas like galley or lounge, which for older divers can be problematic. Otherwise, the "Accommodations" section would receive 5 stars. Food was delicious and varied, but more fruit for breakfast and lunch would be a great addition to meat, cereal and eggs. There's a no gloves policy for divers, but the pro photog wore fingerless gloves.

Websites Mike Ball Spoilsport   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Fiji, Indonesia, Palau, Red Sea, California Channel Islands, Cuba, Sea of Cortez, Galapagos
Closest Airport Cairns Getting There International flights go to Sydney first, then transfer to the domestic terminal to flights for Cairns.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 74-76°F / 23-24°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-80 Ft/ 9-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Not deeper than your Nitrox MOD and not longer than 60 minutes, although many divers had longer dive times with shallower depths.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There is ample camera table room for photo and video buffs. Camera rinse buckets and air hoses are provided. It's a safe environment, as there are no charging stations on the dive deck. Charging of camera and dive gear is in cabins only.
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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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