Coral Sea Exploratory - Holmes, Bougainville, Osprey and Ribbon Reefs

2017 Departure dates: 26 October | 21 December.

7 Nights – 28 Dives. This action packed 450 mile Coral Sea adventure combines the Holmes; Bougainville and Osprey reefs with superb Ribbon Reef biodiversity.

A: Fair Weather Itinerary (Max out on viz, pelagics & sharks):

  • Holmes Reef, Coral Sea – dozens of sharks, spectacular Nonki Bommie covered in soft corals.
  • Bougainville Reef, Coral Sea – Dungeons & Dragons labyrinth of caves & caverns, giant potato cod, big fish at Crystal Plateau.
  • Osprey Reef, Coral Sea – 2-3 shark attraction dives. spectacular topography, sheer walls, soft and hard corals.  Big fish action in 40 metre visibility.
  • Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef – a prized region with excellent fish & coral biodiversity.
  • Cod Hole – Swim with diver size potato cod.
  • Dive the GBR – Joani’s Joy, Clam Beds, Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Pinnacle, Goggle Gardens, Flare Point, Trolly Shoals, Steve’s Bommie.
  • September to January, most reliable Coral Sea access.
  • If itinerary A doesn’t proceed, reverts to B.

Or B: Standard Itinerary:

  • Osprey Reef, Coral Sea – Big fish action in 40 metre visibility, 2-3 shark attraction dives. Spectacular topography, sheer walls, soft and hard corals.  
  • Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef – a prized region with excellent fish & coral biodiversity.
  • Cod Hole – Swim with diver size potato cod.
  • Dive the GBR – Joanie’s Joy, Clam Beds, Lighthouse Bommie, Pixie Pinnacle, Goggle Gardens, Flare Point, Trolly Shoals, Steve’s Bommie.

Get Spoilt:

Spoilsport is Australia’s most awarded liveaboard.
Enjoy sumptuous cuisine and a superb combination of diver conveniences, space & stability.



7 Night Exploratory Expeditions

These expeditions are suitable for open water to advanced divers alike. Weather permitting our best selection of Coral Sea dives, at Holmes, Bougainville & Osprey.

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.

Nonki Bommie - Holmes Reef - Coral Sea

Nonki bommie thrusts to the surface from 35 meters with a big crack in the middle. The canyon in the middle is decorated with golden gorgonian fans plus giant yellow and red sponges. In the distance sharks circle the bommie to complete the recipe for an amazing dive.

Amazing - Holmes Reef - Coral Sea

Pristine white sand slopes up from the depths until cut off by tall bommies that lead to the shallow reef wall patrolled by grey reef and silver tip sharks. The wall is peppered with beautifully arched passageways  big enough to fit a small car.

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 Plateau.

False Entrance - Osprey Reef - 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.

Admiralty Anchor - Osprey Reef - Coral Sea

Glide past huge black coral trees, giant feathery soft corals, golden fans and red whips 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.

Nautilus Capture & Release - Coral Sea

In association with Central Queensland university guests have the rare opportunity to observe, photograph and dive with these deep sea creatures.

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 30-50 grey reef sharks, white-tip reef sharks and silvertips. You can photograph these sleek high order predators at close- range.

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’.

Snake Pit - Ribbon Reefs - GBR

An isolated platform reef shoaling up to form a number of deep coral bommies festooned with multi coloured crinoids. Olive sea snakes are commonly found and are both very curious. It is also common to sight a variety of ray species, cuttlefish and turtles.

Steve's Bommie - Ribbon Reefs - GBR

Steve’s Bommie is one of the Great Barrier Reef’s best and most popular sites. This site is a photographers dream! It’s hard to put into the words the quantity and variety of Great Barrier Reef fish and corals that you will see here.

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 plus 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.

 

Expedition prices, per person in Australian dollars.

Special Coral Sea Exploratory (April 2017 - March 2018)
CabinPrice
Premium$5523
Standard$5024
Club$4345
Budget$3704

Reef Tax $6.50/day
Fuel Levy $44 per person.

Special Coral Sea Exploratory (April 2018 - March 2019)
CabinPrices
Premium$5578
Standard$5124
Club$4476
Budget$3815

Reef Tax $6.50/day
Fuel Levy $44 per person.

Rates include:

  • Accommodation in twin/double cabins
  • Delicious meals & snacks, complimentary soft drinks and wine with dinner
  • Tanks, air fills and weight belt
  • Daily cabin service
  • Reef ecology programme
  • Dive computer workshop
  • Transfer to the airport or Cairns hotel after your expedition
  • Vivid Pix digital photo editing software workshop

Please note that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority requires us to collect an Environmental Management Charge of $6.50 per day spent on the Great Barrier Reef.  This amount will be added to your bar bill at the end of your expedition.

Click on the links here for extras such as dive courses, photo services and gear hire, plus discounts available.

Premium – queen or double bed, private bathroom, ocean views.
Standard – twin beds, private bathroom, ocean views.
Club – twin bunk beds, private bathroom, no ocean view.
Budget – twin bunk beds, share bathroom, no ocean view.

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.

  • 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

Saturday – Tuesday:  (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

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
Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea
Experience
Openwater to Advanced
Embark
Thursday 6pm – Trinity Wharf, Cairns
(Check-in before 4pm at the Mike Ball office).
Disembark
Thursday 8am – Trinity Wharf, Cairns
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