Dive Boat: Nimrod Explorer
Operator: Explorer Ventures
Location: Outer Great Barrier Reef, Australia
See: Pictures from the diving
My rating: Five stars (out of five)
Even before I learned to dive, diving on the Great Barrier Reef was a dream of mine. Of course, everyone talks about it like it's the best thing on earth (possibly better than chocolate), so of course I wanted to experience it for myself.
Then I find myself living in New Zealand. Australia, although not close, is just around the corner compared to how far it is from the states. So I took my chance, and went on a trip.
I knew diving was the main reason for my trip. So I did a lot of investigating before I went. Perhaps the best resource I had was Scuba Diving magazine. They have user forums, and there they talk a lot about different dive operations, and people seem to be very honest. I heard great things about some dive operations, and not so great things about others.
People said great things about the Nimrod. But what stood out even more for me was what people didn't say. I don't recall a single person voicing a negative comment about an experience on the Nimrod. With the intensity that negative comments usually get expressed with, this made me sit up and take notice (since there wasn't another dive operation about which someone didn't have something negative to say)
So after asking around to other people, and finding a couple more who recommended the Nimrod, I decided to sign up with them. They aren't cheap, especially compared to most of the other dive operations. But they aren't that expensive, either, especially for what you get. I found it definitely worth any cost difference between this boat and any other boat.
So here are my thoughts on the boat, the crew, the operation of the dives, the choice of dive sites, etc. Perhaps I'll be a bit too wordy for some, but when you're spending this kind of money, it's nice to have a thorough recommendation from someone.
Caveat: This was my first liveaboard dive trip, so perhaps my expectations were different from what they should have been. But all my expectations were exceeded, so I'm sure not going to complain!
In summary, I have only good things to say about the operation. They were friendly, knowledgeable, safe, and provided me with all the comfort I could want on a dive trip.