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Dive Review of Mike Ball/Spoilsport in
Australia

Mike Ball/Spoilsport, Feb, 2009,

by Randall Stephen Preissig, TX, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 30 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 4678.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Sipidan, Palau, Galapagos, Cocos, Carribean, Fiji, PNG, Truk, Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 76 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Nitrox limits, o/w "sport diving" 130 ft.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

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 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 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 Everything needed--separate wash tanks and tables, charging slots, computer for digital use, excellent photo pro with classes, photo shows and contests and a great attitude.

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 Almost 1,000 dives and I finally made it to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. When I boarded and found out there were 26 divers onboard(YIKES!)and 13 diving crewmembers, I was concerned. (It can accomadate 28 quests) I was pleasantly surprised at the extremely efficient operation and rarely felt crowded--on the boat or in the water. Mike Ball has moved its operations North to Cairns to be at the less harmed(by global warming)parts of the reef. I was happy to find the quality and quantity of life on most dive sites was excellent . Cuttlefish, leaf fish, mating octipii(!!), sea snake, schools of baitfish to jacks, giant clams, shark feeding(well done), huge cod, etc--Pacific diving at its best. Some currents--GREAT!--that brings in the big stuff! Food was plentiful, often, and good. The crew were exceptional--I think Peter Hughes and Aggressor could take a few "tips" from these Aussies. Speaking of tips, one low-key sentence about "how to tip if you wish to" was all we got--a welcome relief from the often high-pressure spiel we get on other live aboards nowadays. Richard was the best "program director" I've ever had. The engineer tried heroicly to fix my flooded dive light. 26 dives were offered in 6 days of diving including 4 "evening" dives at dusk. Dive guides were available on every dive, often two. With the Aussie dollar at 65 cents, the trip was quite a bargain at $1700US. I won't wait 30 more years to dive here again! Undercurrent hints: 1. Book direct at MikeBall.com and cut out the middle man--they may surprise you with a cabin upgrade(we got one), free nitrox, cheap air reservations, etc. 2. Remember: Nov. thru April is the rainy season! Expect some bad weather at these times. A cyclone hit the day after we disembarked.
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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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