Course Blogs

Work Placement on the Great Barrier Reef!

by Boyan Blanchard

On Thursday 1 December 2011 the Mike Ball 5 star dive vessel ‘Spoilsport’ took off from Cairns’ wharf and I was on it as a volunteer for the next two weeks. The time on this luxury live-aboard was definitely one of the best experiences of my life and what I’ve seen is just unreal!

It is the perfect way to gain dive experience and see the most beautiful places and spots of the Great Barrier Reef as Mike Ball goes to several dive sites where not many other dive vessel are allowed to place their mooring line. With Mike Ball you definitely get ‘most out of it’.

The diving on these parts of the reef is second to none

Working on Mike Ball as a volunteer basically means you support the full-time crew, either on the dive deck, in the galley (kitchen) or a combination of those two (dive swing). In return for working on the boat you get to dive the Great Barrier Reef which is a fair deal! I was mostly in the galley, helping out the Chef and the Host which was heaps of fun. The Chef, Keri, is by far the sweetest woman in this world and the food she makes is SO GOOD!!! Every morning there is bacon, sausages, eggs, pancakes, omg!

Besides the food (which is already worth working for two weeks) there is of course diving the Great Barrier Reef. In these two weeks I’ve seen the most amazing things of my life, from 2m turtles during the night dive to massive Cod’s and 3m silvertip sharks that come 1.5m close to you during the shark feed. And not to forget Nemo and his crew! I’ve seen heaps of different marine species, I can’t even count that far in English (by the way Boyan is from the Netherlands!!). The coral is beautiful, the visibility was endless and the water was never colder than 28 degrees which enabled me to dive in boardies and a t-shirt. Mike Ball goes to the coolest places like the Cod Hole, Lighthouse Bommie, Steve’s Bommie, Buouganville, Halway and many more.

The full-time crew always ensures you get to do at least 2 dives a day. Depending on how much you have to do and how fast you work you often get to do even 3 or 4 dives per day. In total I’ve done 30 dives on the Great Barrier Reef.

In short: the diving is INSANE, the food is AMAZING, the full-time crew is AWESOME and the experience is INDESCRIBABLE, UNFORGETTABLE and THE BEST!!! Highly recommend working on Mike Ball as a volunteer, anyone would love it!

Everything is amazing, including the people!


Can’t wait to go back one day, hope you enjoy it as much as I did!





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