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Cod Hole

Cod Hole

ISSUE 21 ARCHIVE - COD HOLE

Chantelle Wyatt

'Mike Ball Dive Expeditions' is one of the most outstanding dive trips I have ever been on and they are renowned for their reputation for exceptional diving and extraordinary service and it is their attention to detail that sets them apart from other dive operators and I really witnessed this in all of its glory.

I ventured out on the 3 night fly/Dive Cod Hole trip and every moment of it was spectacular and went far too quickly.

The Great Barrier Reef sports the beautiful ribbon reefs and a huge amount of dive spots that are suitable for all levels of divers. Spoilsport is a huge liveaboard with room to roam comfortably and relax after dives. The friendly crew kept the cabins clean and tidy, were funny and informative and went out of their way to provide exceptional service at every level.

The low level flight out to Lizard island got us all excited on the way out to board Spoilsport. Seeing the reef from above and being teased by all that we would soon be exploring was a great way to start the trip.

We were met and greeted with smiles by staff at every stage of the trip, at all pick up and meeting points and not once did anyone not know what we were doing, or where we were going. This sort of touch on a liveaboard is invaluable. It ran smoothly and professionally.

My first glimpse of other people when we got to Lizard Island before a short walk to the boat was a couple who had actually just left the boat and loved it so much that they had turned around to go back. What a great first impression for us newbies waiting to board.

We first met Ricardo (Spoilsportís host) and were offered a glass of chilled water or orange juice. There were also light refreshments available. Settled in the lounge, the trip director introduced the crew and we each introduced ourselves. This was a great ice breaker and got us all talking.

Introductions complete, it was time for briefings, covering everything from the boat, to safety features and procedures, the trip itinerary and of course, diving.

We then moved to the dive deck, where we were allocated our equipment and places. We completed gear set-up and individual interviews with the Trip Director to allow him to gauge each diverís experience and match up buddies (if necessary).

He also outlined Spoilsportís dive rules and procedures including; dive safety, no time limit, no deeper than your previous limit, solo diving available, nitrox courses available, and underwater photography courses with onboard videographer. I felt aware of what was going on and what was expected from us as the guest divers but also of what we should expect from the boat and this high standard remained constant.

Ok so the real bit you are all interested in. Giant potato cod, anemone fish, sweetlips, huge schools of trevally, stonefish, lionfish, the list is endless. The life at each dive site we went too was flourishing.

Damsels, glass fish, all of the types of coral you can imagine and red bass hunting intently. The dives got better and better. Moray eels, parrot fish and unicorn fish came out to play. We were greeted by hundreds of fusiliers circling us as if curious, barracuda spiraling and even a few eagle rays. For any diver this is what it is all about. Turtles on every dive and sea snakes sneeking around us.

People really stood out for me on this trip. I felt pleased and honoured to be surrounded by such amazing people and divers. I was reminded of the unity that we all as divers share and that common love of the ocean and marine life. Sat around discussing the dives afterwards over cool drinks on a sunny dive deck. How could life get better? One girl in particular really sparked my attention. A fairly new diver with crazy enthusiam and incredible knowledge as well as an amazing talent to draw and paint. Sketching things she saw on her dives eagerly afterwards. Mel is an incredible artist and it was inspiring to see her onboard. Do things, go places, MEET people!

My opinion of this dive trip. Go is my opinion! I had a great time with great people on a great boat with great staff. You will not find a better way to spend those holiday dollars whilst in sunny Australia.

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