Mike Ball Dive Expeditions - Blog and Company News


The Green Zone
Trevor Jackson – Spoilsport Captain

With so many different trips on our agenda this year we’ve had to create an ‘Expedition Schedule Planner’ to go on the wheelhouse wall, just so the crew can keep up, it is after all a complicated affair. And you know when you make one of these types of things, whether it be for work or for the kids sporting events or even just the weekends, colour coding can go a long way towards making it all make sense. Ours is colour coded. Blue for Coral Sea Exploratory Expeditions, purple for Deep Reefs, orange for Minkes, yellow for far Northern stuff….but the predominant colour is green……and there’s a lot of green…..the green zone is for Yongala. Read the rest of this entry »

Annalize Vosloo - Reef Scene

Both Bases Covered 

Captain Trevor Jackson

Osprey Reef, Ribbon Reefs and Minke Interactions – 3 nights, 4 nights & 7 nights.

They were and are, fantastic dive trips and we are very adept at running them.

Recently though, the vessel staff received a memo from the office suggesting that not all staff were totally familiar with the products we are currently offering the diving public. I have to confess, I hadn’t kept track of just how far our product development had come in the last few years. Mike Ball Dive Expeditions has evolved from 4 to 14 diverse dive expeditions. I jumped on the website to compile this quick rundown: Read the rest of this entry »

Dave Jackman - Anemone Fish

Deep Reefs…..What will we find this year?

Captain Trevor Jackson

 They have a few things in common, those deep offshore mountain tops. They all plunge thousands of metres to the seafloor, they all have water so clear you can get the impression you’re base jumping off a cliff and sharks…they are everywhere. Moreover they provide the backdrop for our once a year Deep Reefs expedition. Folks on board Spoilsport will often read our brochures and become intrigued about what Deep Reefs is all about. Read the rest of this entry »

Mark Kevin - Sweetlips

There’s Still Time
Captain Trevor Jackson


If you’re reading this and the ink is still drying, our departure is just a week away. From Thursday Island in the Torres Straits to Cairns, diving 6 historically significant shipwrecks and the single best reef dive on the entire GBR (okay that last bit is just my opinion but what the heck, it’s worth pointing out).

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Safety Counts
Captain Trevor Jackson

I’m a late blooming father. At 48, I have two girls under five. They are the love of my life….precious beyond comprehension. They were with me in the car the other night, stuck at the traffic lights, when for reasons I can’t explain I began to think about the boat….and how we….no, I, have all those lives on my conscience when we are way out there. But then I thought “Hang on, it’s only 400 kilometres from Cairns”, not so far in the grand scheme of things, right? Read the rest of this entry »

Matt Moreno - Grey Reef Sharks

Pitch Panned Out
Captain Trevor Jackson

Every now and again I get the urge to think up some new idea for a trip. ”Where haven’t we been, where could we go and what would we see?” It’s real boys-own stuff and it makes life very, very interesting around here. Of course there are the usual constraints -I can’t be planning a trip to Antarctica on a boat based out of Cairns. But there is scope to go further afield than one might think. I got this urge the other day…bounced out of my bunk, through the cabin door and strode the few metres across the Wheelhouse to the chart plotter.
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Wake of the Navigators Part 2

Story by Trevor Jackson
Images by Julia Sumerling and State Library of Qld

There’s a bit of shipwreck folklore that goes something like this: In the Menai Strait off the coast of Wales, 3 ships have been lost over the centuries and the same day, December 5th. A bit of a coincidence yes, but it goes further. December 5, 1664, a ship sunk in the Menai Strait, every person but one perished, the sole survivors name was Hugh Williams. On December 5, 1785, another ship sunk in the Menai Strait, with again everyone aboard dying except for one man…named Hugh Williams. And then again, on December 5, 1820, yet another ship sunk in the Menai Strait. Only one man survived, and he was named Hugh Williams. This legend is perpetuated later in further folklore which states that another two ships sank in the same area with the survivors bearing the name Hugh Williams, except they weren’t on December 5. In one of those wrecks, there were actually two survivors, an uncle and nephew, and both were named ….you guessed it ……………Hugh Williams.
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Wake of the Navigators
Part 1
By Trevor Jackson

Let me be perfectly honest with you…I’m taking a big boat up north to go on a wreck diving trip and I want you to come with me. Yes, it’s going to cost a bit…but it’s worth it…..it’s a once in a lifetime thing….to wrecks you can’t take a plane to…there will be no cocktails under the palm trees in the afternoon….there’s no ex scuttled prefab warships……no rubber ducky off the beach……no arguing honeymooners……no cultural dancing…..no theme parks. Read the rest of this entry »

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

Skippers Are Human Too
Captain Trevor Jackson

Myself and Peter Conlon are the full time Skippers on board Spoilsport. We work ‘week about’, and despite the obvious glamour and appeal of being the boss on the country’s best dive boat….our job is a serious one. The working week starts on a Thursday morning, a few hours after the boat has docked. We do a formal handover which consists of a meeting where we discuss the current issues of the vessel and its crew…this discussion includes matters like engineering problems, dive procedures, moorings and of course the crew; how they are going, what needs addressing, etc. The rest of the day is spent preparing the ship for departure that evening, which is usually around 1830 if everything is proceeding as normal. Read the rest of this entry »


Where Will You Be?
Captain Trevor Jackson


I used to do this exercise in my head each day, wondering where I would be at an exact point in time in the future. Why don’t you try it now…where will you be say next Tuesday at 10:45am? Chances are your answer didn’t impress you much. Maybe you said “At my desk”, or “In the car on the way to another meeting”, or “Stuck in traffic”. At least those were the type of answers I used to give. Problem was it never changed.
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