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Dive Review of Mike Ball in
Australia/Great Barrier Reef / Coral Sea

Mike Ball, Apr, 2006,

by Tracey, MD, USA . Report 2798.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Carribean, Cozumel, Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Mostly allowed to dive our computer, but sometimes had time restrictions due to boat schedules.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Central table set up for UW photography. They have a computer available for you to use to review the photos, and can make CDs of your photos.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The reputation the Mike Ball's boat have did not match our experience. Not that it was bad, but I would say it was only OK. We were on a 4 day trip leaving from Carns, up the ribbon reefs, and out to Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. Return by small plane from Lizard Island.

The first evening, I went to retire in our room, and discovered the bed was soaking. The air conditioner was directly above the bed, and the condensation leaked onto the bed. The hostess got us clean bedding and said she would keep an eye on it. And also, that this happens quite often! We were moved to another cabin, and it's air conditioner also leaked, but not nearly so bad.

The dive deck was a bit chaotic. They would call the dive briefing, my buddy and I would suit up. And then wait, and wait. We had to wait for a DM to check the reef, currents, etc. They also wanted to have a DM in the water before the rest of us got in, so we waited. My buddy & I were often the first in and the last out.

The food was decent, but nothing to write home about. Sometimes it was way too spice for my taste. The staff was all very nice and the captain was a hoot.

The diving was very good. The dives up the ribbon reefs are relatively shallow - 40 to 80 feet. Were were looking forward to diving Cod Hole - we were to have 2 afternoon dives and one evening dive there. When we started our first dive ferried by tender down the reef for a drift style dive back to the boat. During the dive, the tide came rushing in, changing our drift to a freeway. We were moving so fast that it was impossible to do anything except to hang on. All the divers grabbed the anchor line and hung on. After this experience, the DMs decided it was too dangerous to dive again, and we moved to another site for our night dive.

The overnight trip out to Osprey Reef is rough, but the dives are worth it. The corals are incredible, almost magical. We were treated to a Shark Feed dive, where you sit in a coral amphitheater and watch the sharks, cods, remoras, and dozens of other fish feeding on the frozen tuna heads. A very interesting experience! It was over in about 20 minutes of air time, and we were allowed to finish our dive after the feeding.
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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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