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Scuba Diving on the Great Barrier Reef-A First-hand Report

Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef with Mike BallThis is a first-person report from Judie Haynie on her recent live-aboard dive trip with Mike Ball Dive Adventures.

I first met Mike Ball in Connecticut on a cold winter night in January 2007. Snow was piled up about three feet, around the local dive shop. About thirty of us ventured out to hear about diving Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. And we weren’t disappointed. His presentation to the dive club stirred the imagination, and raised the desire to make a journey to that far off land down under. There was no question about it, we were going to Australia…

The reef was perfectly gorgeous. Very diversified and healthy looking, including very large coral growth sprinkled  about with Giant Clams. Nowhere did we see signs of coral bleaching. We could do five dives a day if we so desired. The fifth dive was a night dive, which started right around sunset. I did one night dive with three Australians as dive buddies. It was thrilling, as we were surrounded by giant Trevallies. Everywhere we shone our light there was a hunt in progress.

Our three daily dives were always a treat. We were able to dive with many different crew members. My favourite dives with Captain Larry, and Ship’s Engineer, Brendon were some of the best in my years of diving. One particular dive, Fast Eddies, started deep, but then he took us up a channel through a beautiful swim thru, and into very shallow water. We saw countless numbers of Dot Dash butterfly, Napoleon wrasse, and Titan trigger fish. Diving Cod Hole, Brendon treated us to a big Potato Cod up close and personal. Two big Cods swam around and around us for the several minutes. All the divers got to experience the large creatures swimming close yet never touching any of us. Snake Pit was an interesting dive site. As you would expect from the name it was full of sea snakes. I’ve seen snakes in the Philippians and in Fiji, but nothing like the Australian Olive Green Snakes.

The Mike Ball live aboard was a wonderful experience! The food was fantastic and the company delightful. The crew, all twelve of them, worked so hard to make sure we would have a fun filled experience and great diving. Having really good people and the good sense to locate a business in one of the ocean’s finest diving areas makes it easy to see why the Mike Ball Liveaboard is regarded as one of the best in the world.  We will remember the experience and hopefully be back to enjoy it another time.

There are several new opportunities for divers wishing to visit Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. For example: Great Barrier Reef flights only $898 + taxes, so…COME DIVING!

$898 Qantas return flights, from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Cairns.  Includes  a free stopover in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Auckland. On sale until March 31st and travel dates are available from May 1st to June 8th and July 24th to September 21st.

For more details, go to the website at

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