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Dive Review of Sea Trek in
Australia/Ningaloo Reef, W.A.

Sea Trek, Jun, 2002,

by John Crossley, CA, USA (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 161.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Indonesis, Sipadan, Philippines, Truk, Palau, Yap, Galapagos, Cocos, Caymans, Bahamas, Bonaire, Florida, Hawaii, Cozumel, & more
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 77 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Could not scuba with whale sharks until Captain felt they were secure with divers. Then could not get closer than 6 feet. Could not use strobes on cameras
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Very accomodating for photographers, but not a huge amount of space.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments
Our group of nine flew from the US to Sydney, then on to Perth where we overnighted before flying up to Exmouth. The plane to Exmouth has severe restrictions on baggage, so individual divers need to pack light or arrange a truck to carry heavy photo equipment cases up to Exmouth, which is what our group had arranged.

At Exmouth, we boarded the 56 foot livaboard, the Sea Trek. With nine divers, four crew, and lots of cameras & videos, it was very cramped conditions. Cabins were small and it had only two toilet/shower rooms to serve the whole group. However, the dive deck was very adequate, with two double deck camera tables and two large camera rinse buckets. The Captain, Ray, and his crew were excellent and tried hard to meet every need. A highlight of the trip was the fantastic food served by chef/divemaster Carl. Operating from a tiny kitchen, Carl turned out the best food Ive had on any livaboard Ive been on (15 ships).

Each morning we had a spotter plane fly for 3 hours to locate the whale sharks, which are easy to spot from the air if seas are calm. It took as little as an hour and as long as three hours to find a whale shark. We found the big (25 to 45feet) yet gentle sharks five days out of six, even though early June is at the tail end of the prime season, and despite bad weather and rough seas. We snorkeled side by side with the whale sharks, and on a few occasions, when they seemed at ease with us, we would put on scuba gear to dive with them. One day I was in the water 11 different times with the giants, swimming till I was tired each time. Thats called getting Sharked Out! Each afternoon we did a one or two regular scuba dives on Ningaloo Reef and saw Olive Sea Snakes, three Wobbegong Sharks, and a big, beautiful Manta Ray. A night dive included a huge Spanish Dancer and some nudibranchs. Each night, after dinner, we would listen to Stans stories; fantastic adventures told with great humor, from a humble yet master storyteller.

Water temperature was about 77-79 degrees and visibility ranged from 20 to 30 feet on the reef dives to 50 feet in open water with the whale sharks. While snorkeling with the whale sharks, most everyone wore at least a lycra suit, to protect from the hundreds of 6-8 inch red jellyfish that filled the water column. They were more of a nuisance than anything. Overall, it was an expensive trip, but well worth it for lifetime memories. If I were to do it again, I would try to go a little earlier in the season when the whale sharks are supposed to be more plentiful, and the weather calmer.

Sea Trek is booked through Diving Ventures: www.dventures.com.au

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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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