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Dive Review of Odyssey Expeditions in
Australia/Rowley Shoals

Odyssey Expeditions: "Stunning Isolation", Nov, 2016,

by Judy Ormandy, Lower Hutt, NZ ( 1 report). Report 9258.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Rowley Shoals are an isolated group of 3 atolls off the coast of Broome. They are only able to be dived 1-2 months per year so very few people get to dive here.

Odyssey is usually used for trips up into the Kimberley so it is not primarily used as a dive boat. While she was more than adequate, on occasions it was obvious she hadn’t been designed as a dive boat. There are 4 bathrooms (each with hot shower & toilet) on the dive deck, used by punters & crew. None of the rooms have ensuites. The deluxe rooms have a sink, the standard rooms don’t. I had a standard room and it was fine. All have a fridge and separate aircon (although this doesn’t work when the compressor is in action), the mattress was comfortable & there was plenty of storage space. Soft drinks, juices & water provided, beer, wine & spirits extra.

Diving is done from “Homer”, the tender. All of us dived from the one tender and while there was more than enough space, it took a while to pick everybody up / get everybody on board / into the water. An extra zodiac would improve efficiency significantly. There was no dedicated camera area on Odyssey, but a crate with fresh water to rinse cameras off in afterwards. Luckily, most of us just had GoPros but I think if anyone had a large camera / complex set up they may have found it annoying. There was a hose at the back of the boat to rinse of wetsuits etc after each dive but nothing to soak them in – I generally rinsed mine off in the shower. Nitrox was not available. We missed one dive as the compressor broke.

Crew were easy going, friendly and efficient. Liam the chef kept the good food coming. Cooked breakfast every second day and on the days with no cooked breakfast you got dessert. I put on weight on the trip!! Plenty of snack food available – home baked cookies, fresh fruit…. It was about a 20 hour overnight steam to get to Rowley Shoals from Broome. Seasickness tablets were provided and I took my own concoction and felt fine. Others looked a little green about the gills. We boarded mid afternoon on the first day and our first 2 dives were the second day in the afternoon at Clerke atoll. Then 3-4 dives per day, with 2 on the last day before another overnight steam back to Broome. Fishing also available for those who were keen (I wasn’t but the fishermen in the group seemed pretty contented). The diving was good. We had one dive master for 15 punters… other crew members dived but they went off on their own rather than diving with the group. Max depth 30m, no deco diving. Briefings usually went along the lines of ‘descend to the wall, drift with the current and see what you see, follow the current, come up at 50 bar or 50 minutes, whichever comes first and set your SMB’(!!). Dive master kept an eye on us and pointed some things out but not outstanding at pointing things out but I guess she was busy enough keeping a watch on people which she seemed to do. Dives limited to 50 minutes or 50 bar (sigh, so not long dives) and then you set your SMB and were retrieved by Homer. Currents present but not strong.

The diving – I was happy. The best thing for me was the stunning isolation, 360 degrees of horizon, turquoise waters (water temps 29-30 – most people dived in rash suits, I am cold blooded and even I was plenty warm enough in sharkskin!). The coral was pristine (I guess not often visited), colourful… Fish – plenty of white tipped reef sharks, grey reef sharks, saw some leopard sharks & a hammerhead was spotted. Turtles. Potato cod but the big cod promised at cod hole never eventuated. Schooling Trevally, the hugest Bumphead Parrot fish I have ever seen, coral trout, angel fish… many varieties of clown fish… We also had dolphins swimming at the bow of Odyssey and were lucky enough to see a Mama Humpback whale & her calf up close at Mermaid Atoll (this alone made the trip really!). We had 18 dives in the week long trip. Overall a fun trip with a good group of people.
Websites Odyssey Expeditions   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Asia, Australasia, Pacific
Closest Airport Broome Getting There Broome is 2 1/2 hours flight from Perth. Perth is isolated from most places

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 29-30°C / 84-86°F Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30- M / 98- Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]max depth 30m, no deco diving
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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