Mike Ball Dive Expeditions - Blog and Company News


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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Phoenix

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 »


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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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Dwarf Minke Whales in the Great Barrier Reef
Jurgen Freund

It’s been a while since I was out diving and snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. This time I went with the superb liveaboard “Spoilsport” of the Mike Ball Dive Expeditions during the best time of the year to see minke whales underwater. The weather was amazing with only 10-15 knot winds and about 20-30 whales around the boat mainly at Lighthouse Bommie. Water visibility was a bit challenging for photography but workable. It’s a wonderful experience being back on the minke line and I can’t recommend it enough to everyone to try it even once in their life. Read the rest of this entry »


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Century of Coral
Captain Trevor Jackson
We went, we saw and despite some early weather issues, we dived the heck out of it…the SS Yongala that is. Last month’s 4 expedition sojourn to Australia’s most famous wreck dive were memorable to say the least…but that of course was to be expected. The Yongala didn’t gain her reputation in diving folklore for nothing, she is the quintessential dive. But, for many on board, the real eye opener was one of the extras we threw in. The SS Gothenburg, lost at Old Reef in 1875. This wonderful little shipwreck proved to be just as popular as her larger, better known counterpart. Read the rest of this entry »


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“ERROR: Card Full!”
by Damien Siviero

Usually that’s the last thing you want to see on your camera underwater, but after 90 minutes shooting sharks it meant my camera was full of images. My card was full because I’d gone wild on the trigger, but it wasn’t my fault. Sharks just kept coming, and by that I mean kept coming closer. Read the rest of this entry »


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