2013 Sep - MV Spoil Sport
Arriving at Cairns Airport with Rob Jarvis, Ewen McDougall and I, Mick Todd insisted he had chosen the right luggage carousel to collect his luggage from. “You know I’m always right” Mick told us. We left him waiting at the wrong carousel and made our way to Spoil Sport for our Great Barrier Reef liveaboard trip. Disappointingly Mick realised the error of his ways and joined us in time for embarkation.

The first dive site on the trip was the well known Cod Hole at Ribbon Reef 10. Rob was not impressed: “Ewen and I were immediately accosted by large Potato Cod who followed us around like dogs - in fact they got so close that it was impossible not to physically interact with them”. I tried not to think what Rob meant by that. Our next two dives were at Snake Pit near Cormorant Reef. The first dive was excellent with numerous Olive Snakes and a Leopard shark, the second dive was rather an anti-climax and I could tell Mick was bored. He took his fins off and started walking on the seabed – a sure sign that that he was bored. Then he hung underneath the boat on the Safety Stop bar at weird angles. Yes definitely bored.

Overnight Spoil Sport motored to the Coral Sea before returning three days later to the Great Barrier Reef and Cod Hole. Laurence Buckingham, the Spoilsport Pro photographer wanted a photograph of himself wearing a Santa Claus hood and a Potato Cod so I obliged. All in all this was a fabulous dive but the next two at Challenger Bay in Ribbon Reef 10 were pretty ordinary.

The next day began at Acropolis near Ribbon Reef 10 where Mick was in his element playing with Olive sea snakes. I snapped away while Mick held the highly venomous snake in front of his face. Mick is convinced that this is a perfectly safe practice – he says that he can feel tension or lack of tension in the snake’s body and let’s go when it starts getting tense so as not to agitate the snake. In any case he believes the snake is unable to open its mouth wide enough to be able to bite him. I don’t care if Mick is right - I am still not going to handle a sea snake! Two dives followed at Lighthouse Bommie and then a final dive of the day at Pixie Gardens. As we did a stride entry off Spoil Sport Mick called out “Do you want to do the ton?” That’s Mick-speak for shall we do a 100 minute dive? We did a 103 minute rather uneventful dive the highlight of which was a close encounter with a large Barracuda. Unafraid and armed with large teeth and a menacing look it was quite intimidating – I hoped it would take Mick first.

Our final day on Spoil Sport began with two dives at Steve’s Bommie in Ribbon Reef 3 and finished with a dive at Flare Point where Mick announced we should attempt a two hour dive. Really? Could Mick manage this? I had major doubts. During the next two hours I mentally prioritised which items of Mick’s dive kit I would try to bag first when he did not make it back. Wow - what about his laptop? Hmmm… Rob and Ewen would bound be quick off the mark so I’d need to move quickly if I wanted first pickings. They could have some stuff, say his trainers, shorts and his odd pair of fins. I was still happily day dreaming of the riches that shortly awaited me when I realised that Mick and I were back at Spoil Sport. Oh well it had been a great trip.