The following statement appears on all Mike Ball Dive Expedition 'Booking Form':
"I state that I am in good health for diving. I have no medical history of heart or lung disorders, asthma or epilepsy, neither am I an insulin dependent diabetic. I will not dive on your expedition if I am feeling unwell or I have a chest cold or respiratory congestion on the expedition. I understand if I have any medical condition contrary to these requirements I must produce a diving medical certificate completed by a diving medical specialist."
"You are authorized to make medical and transport arrangements as may be determined in my best interest. I agree to pay expenses incurred on my behalf which may be charged against my credit card."
Consumption of alcohol is restricted until after your last dive for the day.
Dive sites may be quite exposed which can create comfort and safety issues for disabled divers. Spoilsport was not designed to facilitate disabled divers and is not suitable for divers who cannot make their own way around the vessel.
Also to be taken into consideration is the Lizard Island transfer in an inflatable dinghy, the walk from the airstrip to the beach (approx 400m with 30 across the beach) and the dimensions of their chartered aircraft which range from 5 to 12 seaters.
Supervision / Dive Buddy - A disabled diver must be completely independent or have an able-bodied buddy who can provide assistance for various conditions in and out of the water. They can provide an additional crew member to provide some assistance at an addition cost). This does not include physically manoeuving guests around the vessel or lifting from water!
Depth guidelines are based on the diver’s experience and industry standards. The maximum recommended depth for divers with appropriate experience is 40 metres (132ft). Dives in excess of 40 metres (132ft) to a maximum of 50 metres (165ft) can only be undertaken by divers with a minimum experience of 100 dives with 25 deeper than 30 metres (100ft) including one to a depth within 3 metres of dive being undertaken.
Dive Cylinders - They have 42 tanks onboard 50% Air and 50% Nitrox; two thirds average 10.3 L (80 cuft) and one third average 11.3L (88 cuft);
Cylinder Valves – Air and Nitrox cylinder valves are compatible with US yoke regulators (UK A clamp)
DIN Fitting Regulators – They have 16 cylinder valves with a removable plug which will accommodate European DIN style regulators.
Please see below the weather chart for water temperatures. If you feel the cold they recommend a 3mm full wetsuit in the warmer months (Nov - Feb) and a 5mm full wetsuit in the colloer months (Mar - Oct).
*Temperature is based on yearly averages and may change depending on conditions. Please see below for monthly temperatures.
*All months have probability of excellent diving.
Tropical storms (cyclones) can occur between December and April. Statistically only 1 week of diving is effected every 2 years. If a cyclone threatens the safety of an expedition it would be cancelled. Trip cancellation insurance is recommended. These statistics are based on 25 years of meteorological records, however tropical weather is variable.
For equipment rental prices and details please click here.
The Mike Ball 'Fly/Dive' flights are at an altitude of 200 to 300 metres. This does not exceed the '600 metre Flying and Diving ceiling' requiring adherence to the 'Flying after Diving' procedures.
Commercial Flight Considerations: The surface interval between your last dive on Mike Ball Dive Expeditions completed at 5pm and flying out of Cairns (at say 11am) is 18 hours. Read below!
Dive Computer Considerations: Normally on completion of diving at the end of your expedition your computer's 'No Fly' times are less than 18 hours. Wait an appropriate amount of time (as indicated by your computer) before flying in excess of 600m.
Dive Table Considerations: PADI's recommendation after 'multi-day diving' is a minimum pre-flight surface interval of 18 hours.
»» Guided Dives
Most of their guests prefer to plan and dive independently with their buddy. Single divers are teamed up with other singles and with their staff. It is not their policy for all dives to be divemaster led. They cater to guests who prefer more supervision with a combination of complimentary orientation dives to enhance skills, a scheduled morning and afternoon guided dive and the opportunity to dive with their staff on an ad hoc basis. This service does not provide constant guided dives or a personal dive guide.Personal Dive Guides
Note: Please request at the time of booking.
As in all oceans, including the Great Barrier Reef , there are a variety of jellyfish (also known as 'stingers'). The majority of stings that can be inflicted by jellyfish such as hair jellyfish (Cyanea sp.), blubbers (Catostylus sp.) and bluebottles (Physalia sp.) can be irritable to painful but can be prevented by wearing a "Stinger Suit" (available for purchase onboard).
The box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri) may be present in North Queensland from November to May/June and are found along the coast and estuaries. These stings can cause fatalities in extreme cases however with the right prevention and medical treatment the risk is minimal. There is a small box jellyfish commonly known as the 'Irukandji jellyfish' (Carukia barnesi) one of a series of species that can give rise to 'Irukandji Syndrome'. Fortunately the stings are rarely life threatening, medical aid must always be sought as soon as possible. Immediate first aid is to wash the area with vinegar and seek medical assistance.
Most of their dives are from the main vessel while moored over the dive site. Each vessel has two inflatables for more personalized diving plus drift and night dives. The inflatables are large and stable with substantial rear entry ladders.
Nitrox fills are limited to 32% oxygen and a maximum operating depth of 40 meters (132ft). Nitrox divers are required to dive on computer. A complimentary computer workshop is offered to those hiring a computer. FREE Nitrox fills during expedition are included with Nitrox Course. Nitrox prices
Prior to booking, you need to complete and return a Rebreathers Diver Record which specifies the various procedures and prerequisites of their rebreather service.Rebreather Service Includes:
Dive site selection is based on the best dive sites available. Less experienced divers receive complimentary "orientation dives" as necessary while experienced divers are given the freedom to plan their own dives.
Fly Dive Cod Hole itinerary - Sites are suitable for competent snorkel divers.
Fly Dive Coral Sea itinerary - The first day of the itinerary is suitable for snorkelling. Note: they do not provide suitable sites or supervision for snorkelling in the Coral Sea.
Coral Sea Safari - Snorkelling limited to Ribbon Reef sites, Coral Sea sites not suitable.
»» Solo Diving
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions Safe Solo requirement:
Minimum age: 18 years if dive master certified or 21 years with proof of 100 ocean dives with 5 in the last 12 months.
Rental pony bottle units are available see equipment rentalSkill Evaluation:
They also offer the SDI Solo Diver certification onboard.
Most divers do 2 morning, 2 afternoon plus a night dive most nights. Normally they have an ‘open deck’ at a single site in the morning and visit 2 sites in the afternoon - this may be reversed. This provides divers with the freedom to dive as much or as little as they want.