Quickies

Issue# 153, 2015

Welcome to our Spring issue of Quickies,

keeping you posted with some of our latest news and happenings.

Spring is in the air and the water temperature is averaging a very pleasant 24 degrees celcius (75° F). Perfect for diving in to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef!

We had the privilege recently of hosting Australian cricketer Ben Cutting at Quicksilver’s Agincourt Reef platform to showcase this Australian icon, and in a rarely witnessed encounter, excited passengers and crew aboard our Cairns-based dive and snorkel vessel Silverswift witnessed a newborn humpback whale calf emerge alongside mum. Dad was celebrating nearby with a few back flip breaches!

We also congratulate Michael Healy, our Group Director of Sales and Marketing on being appointed to Tourism Events Queensland’s Board of Directors. Meanwhile, Great Adventures 30 metre catamaran Reef King’s interior refurbishment is now complete and looking a million dollars as she traverses the Coral Sea to the Outer Reef each day.

We hope you enjoy a break with our latest Quickies!

With warm tropical wishes from the Quicksilver Group Crew.

WHAT'S NEW


Michael Healy appointed to Tourism Events Queensland Board

Quicksilver Group’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Michael Healy, has been appointed to Tourism Events Queensland’s Board of Directors by Queensland’s Minister for Education, Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and Commonwealth Games, Kate Jones.

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The Board has nine Directors with a diverse mix of skills and experience, representing a range of destinations, of which Michael is the only representative from Tropical North Queensland.

Michael said of the appointment, “I am pleased and honoured to accept the role on the TEQ Board. I look forward to being an active participant and working with my fellow Directors ensuring positive growth and enhancing Queensland’s reputation as a destination of choice both domestically and internationally”.

Michael has an extensive and active involvement in the region’s tourism industry and has over 20 years of experience and expertise ranging across hotels, coach touring and marine tourism. He also currently serves as a Director on the Board of Tourism Tropical North Queensland and in the past on the Board of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree.

As well as being a founding member of the Palm Cove Promotional Association, he has participated in government and industry advisory committees including Tourism Australia’s Chinese Advisory Panel and TTNQ’s Emerging Markets Advisory Panel. Michael is also Chairman of Cairns Access Community Housing, a regional organisation responsible for managing and providing low cost housing in the Cairns region.

Makeover fit for a King, Reef King!

As mentioned in our last issue of Quickies, Great Adventures’ 30 metre catamaran and major reef vessel, Reef King, has undergone a complete internal refurbishment. And she is looking good!

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Reef King’s ccontemporary interior design and refurbishment includes new bars, internal staircase, floor coverings, seating and the installation of a new chair lift to transfer disabled passengers if required between the main and upper deck. Passengers seated on the upper deck also have a special view into the wheelhouse with full viewing windows to watch all the action as the skipper plies the Coral Sea.

Tony Baker, Managing Director of Quicksilver Group said, “We recognize the need to reinvest and keep our products to the standard of a five star, premier reef operator. Presentation of our fleet to the highest standard is very important to our operation and customer service focus ensuring our passengers have the newest and best facilities available to enjoy their journey and time at the Great Barrier Reef,” said Mr Baker.

Cricket Australia Hitting the Reef for Six

Quicksilver’s Agincourt Reef was the magnificent destination chosen to highlight the iconic Great Barrier Reef as part of Cricket Australia’s national promotion to encourage young cricket fans to play cricket.

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Still with bat in hand, Queensland and Australian T20 cricketer, Ben Cutting changed his cricket gear for snorkel and fins to spearhead the campaign. It was also a day to remember for Mossman local and aspiring cricketer Tristian Geddes who managed to have a day off school to travel with one of his heroes.

Ben said after his reef experience “It’s amazing what you can witness out on the Reef. I really enjoyed heading out today with the Quicksilver crew to promote the sport I love in one of the most picturesque spots in the world. If you haven’t been out to see one of the World’s Wonders’ I’d highly encourage you to do it!”

Tony Baker, Quicksilver Group Managing Director said “Quicksilver was pleased to host Ben Cutting from Cricket Australia to showcase the iconic wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. While Cricket Australia is yet to introduce underwater cricket, Nemo and his reef friends cheered Ben as he hit the underwater world for a six.

Card Game benefits Furry Friends

Quicksilver’s Annual 500 card game and 60 enthusiastic players from the tourism industry have raised some much needed funds for Port Douglas animal refuge, Paw and Claws, with the donation of $1210.

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Now in its 15th year, Quicksilver hosted the day of fun and laughs onboard Quicksilver V with players (some good at cards and some not) offering a fantastic opportunity to donate to this worthy local cause.

The monies raised will assist the animal refuge facility and boarding kennels as they move forward to secure new facilities that will enhance the future of Paws and Claws. Michael Kerr, Paws and Claws President said, “This was a wonderful surprise and comes at a time when it is well needed. The refuge is constantly battling to raise money to keep the current refuge open and gain the needed funds to build the new refuge. Donations like this get us in the right direction.”

“The Quicksilver 500 card game has supported Paws and Claws for the past 9 years and to date has raised over $10,000. Paws and Claws is a wonderful community organisation caring for many homeless animals and we’re very pleased to be able to support the great work they do,” said Tony Baker, Managing Director, Quicksilver Group.

The not for profit organization currently has many four legged friends looking for fur-ever, loving homes.

Silverswift Passengers and Crew Witness Humpback Mother and Newborn Calf

It has been an active whale season and excited crew and passengers aboard our Cairns-based dive and snorkel vessel Silverswift saw a rarely witnessed encounter as a female humpback was surfaced and a new born calf appeared alongside.

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Silverswift was on the return journey from the reef, about half way between Cape Grafton and Green Island, when they noticed a large humpback breaching and stopped the vessel.

Silverswift Dive Instructor Sam Killian said they believed it was a male humpback breaching (celebrating perhaps?!), and the nearby female was on the surface when a small calf, less than 2 metres in length emerged to the surface. The calf did a few rolls and swam around close to the mother.

Just previously, a large humpback swam through the dive site while Silverswift was moored at one of our exclusive sites at ‘Tracey’s Bommie’, Flynn Reef.

Humpbacks are generally seen on the Great Barrier Reef between the months of June to September with regular sightings at the Outer Reefs and Green Island, bringing an added bonus for passengers at this time.

Humpback whales regularly migrate from Antarctic waters along the east coast of Australia every winter to the warmer waters of the Great Barrier Reef to breed and calve. They are easily identified by having extremely large pectoral fins (their scientific name is Megaptera, which literally means giant wing), and scalloped flukes. They grow up to approximately 16 metres in length, weighing in at 30-50 tonnes. Male humpbacks produce “songs”, which are believed to attract females at mating times.

European media experience the Great Barrier Reef

As part of Tourism Events Queensland and Tourism Tropical North Queensland initiative to promote our State’s unique destinations, we were pleased to host a contingent of European journalists visiting our region to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Travelling from countries such as Spain, France, Germany and Switzerland, the journalists got to witness first hand one of the world’s most ecologically diverse regions.

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As experienced divers, Pro Dive Cairns 3 Day / 2 Night Liveaboard trip and Silversonic’s day dive and snorkel adventures were the perfect fit for some serious time underwater! Pictured with our Group Media Manager Megan Bell joining Pro Dive Cairns’ liveaboard trip from Germany were Jan Schmitz and Norbert Probst, from France Jean-Michel Mille and from Spain, Francisco Nadal Yuste.

With Pro Dive Cairns visiting a selection of 16 exclusive outer reef sites from Cairns and Silversonic visiting a selection of 29 exclusive Agincourt ribbon reef sites from Port Douglas, these reef systems just over 100km apart showcase the amazing diversity and beauty the Great Barrier Reef is renowned for.

A Green Island Christmas

Christmas Day on a tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef is certainly a special way to celebrate! And to top it off, Green Island Resort’s executive Chef Shuki Salem has created a mouth-watering buffet lunch full of fresh seasonal produce and traditional favourites.

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As well as a treat for house guests, there are limited seats available for day visitors to join in the celebrations at Green Island. After feasting to your content, enjoy the island surrounds with a leisurely stroll through the rainforest, snorkel or view the reef from a glass bottom boat.For more information contact the crew at Great Adventures Reservations on 4044 9944 or email [email protected]

Green Island Resort Emeralds Christmas Day Lunch Menu

Bookings are essential as places are limited, book directly with Great Adventures on 4044 9944 or email [email protected]

EVENTS


Great Adventures Green Island Reef Swim, Sunday 13 September 2015

Our annual Great Adventures Green Island Ocean Swim saw 65 swimmers compete in challenging conditions for our unique Great Barrier Reef swim. Competitors tackled the 1.5km and 3km swims over a 500 metre course, while 3 of our little Nippers in the juniour swim gave it a good crack too.

Despite the tough conditions, this year saw new records set by some of our youngest competitors, all Cairns locals. 14 year old Samuel Tress broke the record for the men’s 1.5km set in 2009 by six seconds, while 14 year old Mitchell Knight followed a mere four seconds behind. The men’s 3km also saw a new record with 16 year old Jack McMenamin beating the previous record by almost a minute. The winner of the 1.5km women’s was Emma Simpson, aged 14, and the 3km women’s medal was taken home by Lauren Arenas, aged 16.

While our young Cairns locals seemed to dominate the competition, we had competitors from all over Australia taking part. There were a few Victorians and New South Welshmen, as well as competitors from the ACT, Western Australia and South Australia. Special thanks to Surf Life Saving Queensland for the in-water safety and Cairns Crocs Triathlon Club for assisting with the timing. A great community event! The full results lists are available on the Great Adventures facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GreatAdventuresCruises

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SEEN ON THE REEF

 

Green Island on the airwaves

What a great way to start your morning as Dave & Inkie from Cairns’ Zinc FM Morning Crew broadcast live from the white coral sands of Green Island. Green Island Resort bathrobes and sarongs were the order of the day as the fun duo hit the airwaves from 5.30am. Our Environment Compliance Manager and resident marine biologist guru Doug Baird joined in the fun on air. Special thanks to the team at Seawalker for an awesome underwater experience, Chef Charlie for a sensational Degustation menu and Oiled Massage Salon for the best massage ever according to Inkie!

Circa on the Reef

Five members of the very talented Circa enjoyed a day at the Outer Reef with Great Adventures. Fresh from performing at Festival Cairns, Circa uniquely blends circus artform, dance and theatre.

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BIO BITS

Ever wondered about how fishes school?

So do scientists! How they learn such behaviour when most juveniles never know their parents is one of the great mysteries in science. We certainly know the benefits. Obviously, there is safety in numbers. Have you ever watched how a school of fish will “part” to allow a predator to go through the school, and then reform behind it, keeping the shape of the school intact.

A lesser known benefit is drag reduction. By “flying in formation”, the fish save energy (up to 60%) as they swim along in a set pattern, usually behind and to the side of the fish in front. The fish maintain their respective position via their lateral lines, a series of modified scales designed to detect changes in the electro-magnetic field around the fish, allowing the school to work as one.


THE ZOO


Introducing the leaders of our amazing reservations team!


Melanie Kerridge
Reservations Manager, Port Douglas

Mel is the Reservations Manager for our amazing Port Douglas products (Quicksilver, Wavedancer, Poseidon and Silversonic). She manages a team of 13 reservations staff, ensuring bookings are answered in a timely and efficient manner whilst maintaining a high level of customer service and accuracy at all times. She values every member of her team, and says working with them is the highlight of her job. “I have an amazing team, everybody comes to work with smiles on their faces and we all enjoy working together and are great friends outside of work as well”

 

Joanne Rasheed
Reservations & Retail Manager, Cairns

Joanne is responsible for managing the reservations department for our fabulous Cairns-based day trips, Great Adventures, Silverswift and Ocean Spirit, as well as mentoring and supporting the reservations crew, ensuring high levels of customer service and sourcing stock for our wonderful retail outlets. Although her position keeps her busy all day long, she still takes time to enjoy the best parts of her job. “I mostly enjoy seeing satisfied passengers and knowing we have given them the best experience possible. I also enjoy being able to help my staff when they need me and seeing them grow and develop in their own roles.”

 

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Postcard.... to Poseidon Dive & Snorkel Adventures


I snorkelled at the three mooring sites, my daughter had one (intro) scuba dive which rapidly became two as soon as she surfaced from the first! She had an absolute ball - and lots of laughter along the way with the instructor…

Safety was paramount - medical questionnaire etc. For example, upon hearing I was asthmatic, I was given a red snorkel ...this colour indicated to the observer on top of the boat that there was potential for a problem. They even had a suitable mask for my poor eyesight! (I must sound a real geriatric!).

So, crew great, kit great, boat great, food great ...a truly wonderful day out! Strongly recommend this trip - appreciate it is pricey but worth every cent. The reef is something to behold.

- Tish, UK

QUICKBITS


  • Did you know we’re on Instagram?! Instagram.com/ReefCruises
  • FREE Wi-Fi: Our dive and snorkel adventure vessels Silversonic and Silverswift, and Pro Dive Cairns' liveaboard fleet all provide free unlimited Wi-Fi - even when 50 km offshore! Green Island Resort guests also have free Wi-Fi from the comfort of their rooms as well as the Coral Cay guest lounge.
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