Nautilus Interaction Expeditions - Coral Sea Research

2017 Departure dates: 6 April | 4, 11, 18, 25 May | 28 September | 26 October | 30 November | 21 December.

Adventure liveaboard diving on the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, Australia. Highlights include observation, interaction and diving with the ancient Nautilus*, as well as clear water, plummeting walls and amazing shark action. Can be booked as 4 or 7 night trips.

The Nautilus Interaction Expedition is in the Coral Sea & Great Barrier Reef and features:

  • Rare opportunity to observe ancient Nautilus,
  • Big fish action in 40 meter visibility,
  • Drift dive with reef sharks at North Horn,
  • Coral gardens and sea snakes at the Snake Pit,
  • Outstanding marine life biodiversity,
  • Diver-sized fish at the Cod Hole,
  • All dives over 100 miles north of Cairns,
  • Coral sea walls with 1,000m drop offs and huge soft corals,
  • The amazing Amphitheatre shark dive,
  • Superior vessel stability in adverse weather conditions.



7 Night Nautilus Interaction Expedition

Each year we run Nautilus Expeditions, including a capture and release program for the Central Queensland University research department. Nautilus traps are set overnight at Osprey Reef and retrieved the next morning. Guests have the rare opportunity to observe, photograph and dive with these deep sea creatures.

Your adventure begins

As the sun sets over the coastal port city of Cairns, you’ll board Mike Ball’s Spoilsport to begin your epic diving adventure. Meet the crew, mingle with guests and settle into your cabin as you cruise northward overnight to the magnificent Ribbon Reefs, the first stop on your 700km dive odyssey.

Cod Hole - Ribbon Reefs

One of the Great Barrier Reefs most amazing phenomenons awaits you at the Cod Hole, where you’ll swim with incredibly inquisitive ‘small diver size’ potato cod. Also a great site to check out white tip reef sharks sleeping in the sand, the occasional grey reef shark and if you’re lucky, sometimes a hammerhead.

Lighthouse Bommie – Ribbon Reefs

Big schools of brightly coloured yellow and blue snapper cruise the top of an adjacent reef, while numerous species of anemone fish have also made it their home. For the trip departing Cairns 17 July, this is a unique opportunity to possibly see the amazing Minke Whales.

Snake Pit - Ribbon Reefs

This Ribbon Reef site is one of the few places on the Great Barrier Reef where olive sea snakes are found. Sea Snakes are both very curious and very complacent, allowing the more adventurous diver and photographer to get very close indeed! It is also common to sight a variety of ray species.

Fairy Grotto - Coral Sea

Cruise overnight Friday, venturing 75 miles northeast beyond the Great Barrier Reef to the remote Coral Sea. Awake to find yourself exploring plummeting reef walls in gin clear water at the Fairy Grotto. This dive site offers a great introduction to Osprey Reef with lots of small caverns and swim throughs.

Admiralty Anchor - Coral Sea – Nautilus Time

This Osprey Reef location is the perfect place for the Nautilus catch and release. Mike Ball Dive Expeditions is proud to support the Central Queensland University with its Nautilus study, where the research goal is to help produce data to assist with decisions on whether the nautilus needs formal protection against harvesting.

North Horn - Coral Sea

Exciting shark action in the Coral Sea! Your Osprey Reef adventure includes a spectacular shark dive at North Horn. You will see 10-30 grey reef sharks, white-tip reef sharks as well as other species. You can photograph these sleek high order predators at close- range, or not so close, you choose!

False Entrance - Coral Sea

False Entrance is another amazing dive site! Other than the resident schooling big eye trevally and barracudas, which make for a great photo opportunity, there’s colorful gorgonian fans, whips and soft corals. Keep one eye out on the blue water for cruising hammerheads in the cooler months.

Dive Site Guarantee!

Spoilsport’s outstanding stability minimizes disruption to your itinerary and your scuba diving experience. If weather forces an itinerary change we divert to the best, ‘safe, accessible sites’ to ensure you get the best scuba diving available. 9% of Coral Sea itineraries are diverted to the Great Barrier Reef.

All itinerary details are subject to change, specific marine life cannot be guaranteed.

Sorry no dive site map yet.

7 Night Expeditions: Departing Cairns April 2016 - March 2017
CabinPrice
Premium$5362
Standard$4878
Club$4219
Budget$3596

Reef Tax $6.50/day
Fuel Levy $0

4 Night Trip: Departing Cairns April 2016 - March 2017
CabinPrices
Premium$2897
Standard$2641
Club$2384
Budget$2073

Reef Tax $6.50/day
Fuel Levy $0

Courses
ItemCost
Openwater Referral (PADI)$245
Openwater Referral (non-PADI)$350
PADI Scuba Diver Upgrade$350
PADI Open Water Diver (3 Night Expeditions only)$395
PADI Advanced Diver$215
PADI Nitrox$325 or $200 Referral (incl 3 days free fills). NB referral is from shop (not elearning).
PADI Discover Scuba (Resort)1 free per day (conditions apply). Not available during Minke Season.
PADI Underwater Photography$250
PADI Underwater Naturalist$220
SDI Easy Nitrox$275 (incl 3 days free fills)
SDI Solo Diver$220
Photo Services
ItemCost
Camera Rentals & Extras
Canon G16$60/day
USB Stick - 16GB$15
Holiday Video & Photos
Standard Holiday Trip - DVD$80
Purchase of Second DVD$40
Personalized Holiday Trip - DVD$250 (Max 4 people)
Personal Holiday Photographs$100
Photo CD$50
Purchase of second photo CD$25
Hire Gear
ItemCost
Reg, Ocy, Gauges$15/day
BCD$10/day
Computer$12/day
Snorkel Gear$5/day
Light/Torch/Cyalume$10/day
Wetsuit$10/day
Safety Sausage (SMB)$10/trip
Cyalume Light Stick$2/each
Nautilus Lifeline GPSNo charge
All of the above$44/day
2L (13 cu.ft) Pony Bottle + Reg$15/day
15L (120 cu.ft) Steel Bottle$25/day
Nitrox Fills$75 for the 3 or 4 night/ $150 for a week
Extra Charges
ItemCost
Reef Tax$6.50/day
Sole OccupancyBerth cost + 70%
Fuel Levy - Standard Expeditions$0 (subject to change)
Fuel Levy - 7 Night Northern Reef Exploratories$44/pp (subject to change)
Yongala Environment Charge$13.55/day
Personal Dive Guides$250/day (+ berth cost for guide) or $50/dive.
Nitrox FillsSee below
Hire GearSee below
CoursesSee below
Photo ServicesSee below
Special Catering Admin Fee$30/trip
Bar and Ship Shop PurchasesVariable
Hire Gear - Sizes
ItemCost
BCDAqualung Wave x5 sizes.
FinsTechnisub Stratos (full foot) x6 sizes. We recommend wearing sturdy or neoprene socks with full foot fins.
Wetsuits5mm full length steamer. 6 male and 6 female sizes. Includes 3mm hood.
Discounts
ItemCost
Non-diver10% (not applicable on Minke Whale expeditions)
Non-diving child (8-15 years)25%
VIP5%
Global Shark Diving5% (must quote card number)
Airline Staff5%
Military5%
Dive Industry Staff$200.00
Agents / Media / ResearchersVariable discounts offered
Discounts are only accepted at time of booking and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Proof of employment is required.

Fitting extra small and extra large people can be difficult. Please bring your own equipment if concerned about fit. View Sizes chart

Itinerary

Sample itinerary, subject to change based on conditions.

Thursday:  

  • Check in at our office (3 Abbott St, Cairns) between 8.30 am and 4.00 pm.
  • From 4.00 pm:  Make your own way to Mondos Café, Bar & Grill (200m from MBDE office) to meet your fellow passengers.  Please note that dinner is not provided on the first evening so you may wish to eat before boarding.
  • 5.50 pm: Our crew will lead you from Mondos to board Spoilsport.  Enjoy a glass of champagne and light snacks while your Trip Director provides a full briefing.
  • 6.00 pm:  Spoilsport departs Cairns
  • Time to organise any rental equipment and put your dive gear together on the dive deck.

Friday:  (4 dives + night dive)

This is a sample of a ‘typical day’, however exact times may vary to optimise the prevailing weather conditions on the day.

  • 30 am: Wake up call, light breakfast available in dining room
  • 7:00 am: Dive brief & diving commences
  • 9.00 am: Full cooked Breakfast
  • 10.30 am: Dive brief & diving. “Open decks” accommodate 1-2 dives either am or pm
  • 2.00 pm: Lunch
  • 3.30 pm: Dive brief & diving
  • 4:30 pm: Afternoon Tea
  • 6:30 pm: Night dive brief & dive
  • 8:00 pm: Dinner

Saturday:  (4 dives + night dive)

  • As per above

Sunday: (4 dives)

  • As per above, however all diving is finished by 5pm. Spoilsport moors off Lizard Island for the evening.
  • As the sun sets we pour the champagne, lay out the nibbles and get ready for an Aussie BBQ party night. Don’t forget to wear your loudest tropical shirt or dress and sing along to music played by our talented crew.

Monday:  (2 dives + night dive)

  • 7.00 am:  Light breakfast
  • 8:00 am:  Bid farewell to passengers doing the 4 night Fly Dive Coral Sea Expedition who will disembark here.
  • 8.00 am:  Stay onboard or take a tender over to Lizard Island to stretch your legs and explore a little of this beautiful island.
  • 11.00 am:  New passengers join us here.  Champagne and light snacks provided.
  • 12.45 pm:  Dive brief and dive
  • 2.00 pm:  Lunch
  • 3.45 pm:  Dive brief and dive
  • 4.45 pm:  Afternoon tea
  • 6.00 pm:  Dive brief and night dive
  • 8:00 pm:  Dinner

Tuesday: (4 dives + night dive)

  • 6.30 am: Wake up call, light breakfast available in dining room
  • 7:00 am: Dive brief & diving commences
  • 9.00 am: Cooked breakfast
  • 3.30am: Dive briefing & diving. “Open decks” accommodate 1-2 dives either am or pm
  • 2.00 pm: Lunch
  • 3.30 pm: Dive brief & diving
  • 4:30 pm: Afternoon tea
  • 6:30 pm: Night dive brief & dive
  • 8:00 pm: Dinner

Wednesday: (4 dives)

  • As per above. Exit last dive 5pm.
  • As the sun sets we pour the champagne, lay out the nibbles and get ready for a final farewell party!
  • Overnight cruise to Cairns

Thursday:

  • 7.00 am:  Light breakfast
  • 8:00 am:  Disembark and courtesy transfer to Cairns inner city hotels, the airport or our office where we can store your luggage until 5pm if you have a later flight.

Important:

  • We recommend that you allow 24 hours between your last dive and your onward flight (all diving is finished by 5pm Wednesday).
Summary
Adventure Diving. Nautilus Interaction
Experience
Advanced Divers
Embark
Thursday 6pm - Trinity Wharf, Cairns.
(Check-in before 4pm at the Mike Ball office).
Contact UsSecure your spotClick here »Check AvailabilityWhen can I diveClick here »Latest OffersDiscover our latest offersClick here »

More Information

Compare ExpeditionsWhich expedition best suits you!Click here to read »