Far North Coral Sea Exploratory - Bougainville, Osprey; Tijou Reef & the Ribbon Reefs

2018 Departure dates: 6 September | 4 October | 20 December.
7 Nights – 28 Dives. This 650 mile expedition explores three unique regions: Remote Coral Sea; the Far Northern Reefs & the superb Ribbon Reefs.

7 Night Far North Exploratory featuring:

  • Bougainville Spectacular big fish action at Crystal Plateau.
    Explore the Dungeons & Dragons labyrinth of caves & caverns.
    Dive the scattered remains of MV Antonio Tarabocchia.
  • Osprey 2-3 shark attraction dives, see 100’s of sharks.
    Includes Passive Attraction, Shark Feed & Private Shark Shoot.
    Spectacular topography, visibility & pelagics at False Entrance
  • Far Northern Reefs Tijou, Cat, Mambo #5 & Aladdin’s Cave.
    The upwelling currents attract schooling pelagics including:
    trevally, barracuda, mackerel, patrolling tuna & sharks.
    Mantas, mobula & eagle rays cruise the Continental Shelf.
    Photograph huge yellow & red soft corals on the deep walls.
  • Ribbon Reefs Explore the Ribbons best fish & coral sites.
    Buddy up with diver size fish at the Cod Hole.
    Night dive with moray eels, giant trevally & sharks at Gotham City.
    Find the Great Barrier Reef’s largest clam at the Clam Beds.
    Diverse critters & pelagics at Lighthouse & Steve’s Bommie.

What awaits you?

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 overnight to the first stop on your 450 mile dive odyssey.

7 Night Exploratory Expeditions

This trip is suitable for advanced recreational and technical divers alike. Diving support includes nitrox, solo diving pony bottle rigs and rebreather service and consumables. Visit Bougainville; Osprey Reef venture 300 miles north to the best of the remote northern reefs before returning to the Ribbon Reefs.


A. Tarabocchia - Bougainville Reef - Coral Sea

Plummeting clear blue waters, giant potato cod. Spectacular big fish action at Crystal Plateau. Explore the Dungeons & Dragons labyrinth of caves & caverns. Dive the scattered remains of MV Antonio Tarabocchia. Sites we will visit: Dungeons & Dragons, Middle Earth and Crystal Plateu.

Admiralty Anchor - Osprey Reef - Coral Sea

Glide past huge black coral trees, giant feathery soft corals, golden fans and red whips housed along the plummeting walls. Swim amongst schools of giant trevally, dog-tooth tuna, blue spot trevally, barracuda or bumphead parrotfish. Observe or be observed by the many shark species in the area.

North Horn - Osprey Reef - Coral Sea

Exciting shark action in the Coral Sea! Your Osprey Reef adventure builds to a climax with 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!

Tijou Reefs – Northern Great Barrier Reef

A diver’s paradise, Tijou offers wall dives and drift dives. The outer wall drops off to 90m is covered in hard and soft corals. Watch out for large schools of pelagic fish and many species of shark, including grey and silvertip.

Catchers Mitt - Tijou Reef

A sheer walled ‘V’ cuts into the reef at Catchers Mitt on the northern end of Tijou Reef. Plummeting cliff faces and world class drift diving. Sharks and massive schooling pelagics. A diamond rated dive site that will thrill the most experienced divers.

Cod Hole - Ribbon Reefs - GBR

An amazing phenomenon awaits you at the Cod Hole. This world famous dive site is home to a resident population of friendly, ‘small diver size’ potato cod. Once you’ve taken the obligatory photo, spend the rest of the dive exploring shallow, sunlit coral gardens or cruise over to ‘Shark Alley’.

Returning to Cairns

Disembark Thursday 8:00am at Trinity Wharf, Cairns.

Courtesy transfers are provided from the vessel to the Mike Ball office, inner city hotel locations and the Cairns Domestic and International Airports.

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.

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
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
Reg, Ocy, Gauges$15/day
Snorkel Gear$5/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
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
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.
Non-diver10% (not applicable on Minke Whale expeditions)
Non-diving child (8-15 years)25%
Global Shark Diving5% (must quote card number)
Airline Staff5%
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


Sample itinerary, subject to change based on conditions.


  • 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.

  • 6.30 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

Sat – Tue:  (4 dives + night dive)

  • As per above

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


  • 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.


  • We recommend that you allow 24 hours between your last dive and your onward flight (all diving is finished by 5pm Wednesday).
Coral Sea and Northern Great Barrier Reef
OWD to Advanced
Thursday 6pm – Trinity Wharf, Cairns
Thursday 8am – Trinity Wharf, Cairns
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