Connect with us


The Captain’s Blog: 50 Years of Diving



‘That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind’.

It’s been 50 years since Neil Armstrong addressed the world with those words… transmitted across space from nearly 400,000 kilometres away. It was an event that has become the benchmark against which all other human endeavors will always be measured… the effort, the planning, the sheer audacity of it, was then, and remains today, peerless.

But let me go out on a limb here and say, that what really got them there, got them to the moon after just 8 years in the pursuit of the matter… was enthusiasm. No one got distracted, there were no smartphones, internet and reality TV, and the result was… well… nothing quite inspires like Armstrong’s famous words.

Meanwhile, back on earth… 50 years ago, a young Mike Ball was setting up what would become one of the worlds most long-lived dive companies. From humble beginnings as a small ‘diving department’ in a sports store, Mike dreamt big and built the world’s most famous dive boat fleet. Trips on Watersport, Spoilsport, Supersport and Paradise Sport became bucket list items for divers around the world and along the way, Mike racked up an impressive list of diving innovations: Stinger suits, solo diving, custom built catamarans, on board photo developing, specialised rebreather diving.

But it wasn’t these things that kept Mike Ball Dive Expeditions at the forefront of diving trips all these years. Sure, they played a part, but the backbone of the success, was again, enthusiasm. Enthusiasm in its product, its marketing, its change management… and most importantly, the day to day enthusiasm of its staff.

Mike’s real talent wasn’t the boats or the diving, it was in choosing the right people to run those boats and orchestrate that diving. And these good choices have just kept on going, decade after decade… the right crew, doing what they love, showing the diving public what they love.

Today on Spoilsport, on any given trip, we have a mix of ‘new crew’ and ‘old crew’… crew that have been on board for one year, and others that have  been on board for 10 or 15 years… what they have in common is that they are all doing it because they love it… and for the divers we share our world with, that makes a tangible difference to the quality of outcome they’ve come to expect from Mike Ball Dive Expeditions.  The world’s best dive company, delivering the world’s best diving. And like the NASA space program from 50 years past…the enthusiasm on Spoilsport, simply never wains.

Captain Trevor Jackson

Find out about the Mike Ball’s Dive Expeditions.

Mike Ball Dive Expeditions operates exciting scuba diving expeditions on custom-built, award-winning liveaboard Spoilsport, to some of the best dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Enjoy spectacular biodiversity on the northern Great Barrier Reef including the world famous Cod Hole, or venture out into the remote Coral Sea for exciting big fish action, shark encounters and excellent visibility. Find out more at


Midlands Diving Chamber donates £20k to Bite-Back



Hyperbaric and dive medical experts, Midlands Diving Chamber (MDC), has underpinned its long-term support of Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation with a one-off donation of £20,000, as the Rugby-based diving doctors wind down the charitable side of its operation.

The donation represents the single biggest financial contribution made to Bite-Back, delivering a huge boost to its campaigns to end the UK trade in shark products.

Spokesperson for Midlands Diving Chamber, Sally Cartwright, said: “For years we’ve admired and supported the ground-breaking work that Bite-Back is doing to save, protect and celebrate sharks. It’s a genuine pleasure to help ensure it stays at the forefront of shark conservation in the UK.”

Midland Diving Chamber first supported the charity at the inaugural Bite-Back at Cancer event in 2007 and then annually for the next six years. It even hosted its own James Bond-themed party on the Thames to fundraise for the marine NGO.

Campaign director for Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said: “We can’t thank MDC enough for its continued support and now for this massive contribution to our pioneering shark conservation campaigns. It makes us very proud that the country’s premier diving medical experts have chosen to back our campaigns that extend from parliament to primary schools. This financial windfall will allow us to continue to lead the shark conservation agenda in the UK and deliver measurable shark conservation breakthroughs to keep the oceans healthy.”

Bite-Back’s No Fin To Declare campaign to end the UK’s import and export of shark fins is now just months away from achieving Royal Ascent into law and, earlier this month it launched a free 56-page teaching resource for Key Stage 2 & 3 students on the importance of sharks and the threats they face.

Midlands Diving Chamber is based at St. Cross Hospital in Rugby and operates a hyperbaric decompression chamber offering NHS funded recompression to divers with Decompression Illness (DCI) together with other Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) treatments. Any diver with medical concerns should contact MDC on either 01788 579 555 or 07931 472 602.

Find out more about Bite-Back at

Continue Reading

Marine Life & Conservation

Watch The Real Watergate from Live Ocean Foundation (Trailer)



Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke established Live Ocean Foundation out of their deep concern for health of the ocean and the life in it. Through their sport they champion action for the ocean, taking this message to the world.

Many of the issues the ocean faces are out of sight, but the science is clear, the ocean is in crises from multiple stressors; climate change, pollution and over-fishing. We’re not moving fast enough, not even close.

Live Ocean Foundation supports exceptional marine scientists, innovators and communicators who play a vital role in the fight for a healthy future.

Thanks to generous core donors who cover their operating costs, 100% of public donations go directly towards the marine conservation projects they support.

Find out more at


Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!


Brothers, Daedalus, Elphinstone, Rocky Island, Zabargad, St Johns, Fury Shoals, Ras Banus and much much more! 14 nights on board Big Blue - and you can clock up 40+ dives on this trip! For more information call us on 0203 515 9955 or check out the e-brochure here: More Less

Instagram Feed