Issue #182, 2018
Quicksilver Reef Swim - Green Island 2018. Thanks to Courtney Atkinson and HDeVolution for this awesome video of the swim
As the weather cools down South, it’s time to head North for a Winter in the sun, a favourite time of year in Tropical North Queensland!
The minke and humpback whales have arrived, we’re experiencing postcard days on the Reef and wonderful events, including hosting the Quicksilver Reef Swim on Green Island for Ironman Cairns while the fabulous Quicky crew dazzled once again in the annual Port Douglas Carnivale street parade.
Construction of our Quicksilver Dive Centre in Port Douglas is powering ahead and it won’t be long before we are welcoming the first students to take the plunge.
We're also delighted to have joined forces with food rescue organisation, OzHarvest, in a very successful pilot program that has seen over 600 meals per month donated to recipient charities from our Cairns based Great Adventures operation in the three months since it commenced.
We hope you enjoy catching up with the latest news from the Quicksilver Group.
Construction of our state-of-the-art Quicksilver Dive Centre in Port Douglas is powering ahead with the building and pool now starting…
Construction of our state-of-the-art Quicksilver Dive Centre in Port Douglas is powering ahead with the building and pool now starting to take shape. We're also pleased to announce Gary Savins has joined our team as the Quicksilver Dive School Operations Manager.
Quicksilver Dive will offer a range of PADI accredited courses for beginners to advanced divers looking to further their skills in a professional and safe learning environment. Courses will include:
Commenting on the Dive Centre, Quicksilver Group Managing Director Tony Baker said, “We have fantastic dive sites off Port Douglas in the Agincourt reefs and the dive school will complement the services Quicksilver currently provides. Our dive vessels Silversonic and Poseidon will be utilised for open water training and certification dives. With the four day dive course we hope to attract a new market to Port Douglas who will be spending up to a week in local accommodations and participate in other evening activities.”
In a first for Cairns’ reef tourism industry, Great Adventures has joined forces with OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food…
In a first for Cairns’ reef tourism industry, Great Adventures has joined forces with OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation, in a pilot program to provide excess quality food from its daily outer reef operations.
Quicksilver Group Managing Director Tony Baker said, “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to contribute to the work done by OzHarvest in our community. Initially food is being collected three times per week and in the 3 months since commencing, we are donating the equivalent of more than 600 meals per month to OzHarvest's recipient charities. The success of the pilot has now seen our Cairns based boats Ocean Spirit and Silverswift join the program which will see a significant increase in charities assisted.”
Great Adventures meals are catered by the Pullman Cairns International, one of Cairns leading 5 Star hotels, and while food quantities are assessed daily depending on passenger requirements, there is inevitably excess food at the end of the day and this new collaboration with OzHarvest will ensure the food is no longer wasted. This has been a wonderful initiative championed by our Customer Service team recognising there was an opportunity to see this food directly assist those in need in our community.”
Manager of OzHarvest Cairns, Jana Gorski said, “Throwing away good food also wastes all the resources used in the production of that food. Despite the waste, 2 million Australians rely on food relief every year. Wasting food while others go without makes no sense. We are excited to have Great Adventures on this journey with us to reduce food waste while providing much needed assistance to those in need in our community.”
We hope this pilot will allow us to expand the food rescue program throughout the Quicksilver Group and potentially other operators to enable OzHarvest to deliver significant relief for local charities struggling to meet the need in our wider community.”
OzHarvest currently supplies 23 agencies in the Cairns area that provide meals for those in need with new charities coming onboard regularly. These range from shelters and emergency food relief programs to schools with breakfast programs.
Picture left to right: OzHarvest's Jana Gorski with Satoshi, Pascale and Customer Services Manager Annelyse Andlauer.
It was a wonderful sight to see nearly 200 swimmers take to Green Island’s clear waters for the…
It was a wonderful sight to see nearly 200 swimmers take to Green Island’s clear waters for the annual Quicksilver Reef Swim. As a lead up event to the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival and Ironman Cairns, the event offers a very unique Great Barrier Reef experience with swimmers seeing turtles, coral bommies and colourful reef fish as they tackled the course.
Thanks to Courtney Atkinson and HDeVolution for this awesome video of the swim
For the 7th year since inception, we have been delighted to be part of this amazing event and welcome swimmers from all over the world to Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef. Local and Australian swimmers joined an international field from as far as Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, China, New Zealand, the UK and US.
Congratulations to all competitors and to Cairns locals Ebony Crowe and Zac Tabuai on winning overall the women’s and men’s 3km event. And a special mention to Paul Lim, our Pro Dive Cairns General Manager who came home with the 3rd place medal in the Men’s 3 km swim!
With the theme of “Tropical Magic”, the streets of Port Douglas came alive with the colourful annual Carnivale…
With the theme of “Tropical Magic”, the streets of Port Douglas came alive with the colourful annual Carnivale Street parade and the Quicky Crew didn’t disappoint, keeping up a long tradition of joining in the fun.
While we normally see butterfly fish and parrot fish at the Reef, our awesome crew looked a treat decked out as tropical butterflies and parrots with feathers.
As part of the Carnivale week, we were delighted to once again be a sponsor of the Quicksilver Port Douglas Race Week with the Port Douglas Yacht Club that saw around 30 yachts compete.
With next year’s Carnivale set to take place from 24-26 May 2019 it’s time to mark the calendar for a visit to Port Douglas and our beautiful part of the world for some amazing events, food and wine, entertainment and activities for all.
It's always a wonderful time to visit the Great Barrier Reef but with humpback and minke whale sightings,…
It's always a wonderful time to visit the Great Barrier Reef but with humpback and minke whale sightings, it just gets a little bit more special at this time of year! Whale season is now underway and lucky passengers and crew aboard Great Adventures had the privilege to see the first humpbacks sighting in our area.
Reef Adventures’ skipper, Amanda Matthies, stopped the vessel while two whales, believed to be a mother and calf, played in about seven metres of water as the vessel departed Cairns for Green Island.
Their smaller cousins, the dwarfe minke whales have also arrived with sightings at the Agincourt ribbon reefs, delighting passengers and crew aboard our Port Douglas based dive and snorkel vessels, Silversonic and Poseidon. Both of these vessels have permits to swim with these inquisitive animals if encountered. While never guaranteed, from our experience, July to September is the peak season to see minkes as they frequent the Agincourt ribbon reefs.
Humpbacks are generally seen on the Great Barrier Reef between the months of June to September with regular sightings at the Outer Reefs, 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.
From its home on beautiful Green Island, a 6000 year old coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef,…
From its home on beautiful Green Island, a 6000 year old coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef, Seawalker Green Island is a unique “underwater walking” helmet dive experience. It’s perfect for non-swimmers to enjoy an amazing in-water reef experience up close and personal.
Seawalker is an optional activity available to be booked with Great Adventures’ Green Island cruises. Seawalker Green Island joined the Quicksilver Group family in April 2018 and is accredited with Advanced Ecotourism Certification and proud recipient of Queensland Tourism Awards “Adventure Tourism” Award.
New brochures are now available and can be viewed here:
For most people, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is a once in a lifetime experience, however for Wilson…
For most people, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is a once in a lifetime experience, however for Wilson Tela, living and working as caretaker on Great Adventures’ Moore Reef platform is the ideal lifestyle.
Having grown up on the small Melanesian island of Matema, part of the Solomon Islands, Wilson says being on the 45 metre platform is like living on his own little island. “I love the Reef and the ocean and I love seeing all of the amazing marine life. Living and working on the Great Barrier Reef is magic,” said Wilson.
As the pontoon caretaker for the past ten years, Wilson confesses he has the best job in the world and the support of great bosses and a great team. Wilson represents the other side of Great Barrier Reef marine tourism people often aren’t aware of, working behind the scenes based at sea.
Long before guests arrive for a day at the outer reef, Wilson’s day has begun. From 6am he reports the daily weather observations to the mainland operations. Ensuring the pontoon (activity platform) is set up and ready for the arrival of the day’s passengers to enjoy, and driving the semi-submersible vessel tours are all in a day’s work.
“Waking up to a new day on the sea and the seeing beautiful sunrises are always special. I look forward to welcoming the boat and passengers to experience my world, and when they leave, seeing the amazing sunsets over the Great Barrier Reef are definitely highlights of my day.”
Waving goodbye to the passengers and crew as the vessel departs at 3:45pm is the last human contact until the next day. The working day doesn’t stop here though with clean up duties and any maintenance work to be done; as well as being a qualified Coxwain, Wilson is also a small engine mechanic. Then it’s time to enjoy a “knock-off” drink and take in one of those amazing sunsets.
Living on the remote outer reef and World Heritage environment some 50 km offshore from Cairns, Wilson has been privileged to experience many extraordinary moments, from seeing the annual phenomenon of coral spawning to majestic humpback whales putting on private shows, manta rays and turtles appearing beside the pontoon. No UFO or pirate sightings to date!
“I spend five days of the week at sea and sleep in a contained cabin situated on the rear deck of the pontoon. I’m never bored and always find things to do to keep my mind occupied like listening to the radio, TV, reading and keeping in touch with the world on the internet. Living on the ocean can bring its challenges in windy weather but most of all, I love being at sea on the Reef and love the lifestyle.”
A new home for Paws and Claws’ animal refuge in Port Douglas is a small step closer thanks…
A new home for Paws and Claws’ animal refuge in Port Douglas is a small step closer thanks to a donation from Quicksilver’s annual 500 Card Game, now in its 18th year.
The funds raised, $1,605, thanks to 64 enthusiastic card players from the tourism industry, will assist the organisation as they move forward to secure new facilities that will enhance the lives of many four-legged friends in need. While having a day of fun and laughs onboard Quicksilver VIII hosting the event, the players also seized the opportunity to donate to this worthy local cause.
Michael Kerr, Paws and Claws President said, “A couple of months ago we had to close the foster care system, so currently we are working as a service provider for other organisations and rehoming as much as we can through the other facilities in the region. We are still very much concentrating on getting our facility. As everyone is aware it has been a very drawn out process finding a suitable block of land for our new refuge, but we are confident we will eventually have a happy ending. This donation from Quicksilver will go a long way in the many expenses accrued once land is secured to start building.”
“The Quicksilver 500 Card Game has supported Paws and Claws for the past 12 years and to date has raised over $14,000. Paws and Claws is a wonderful community organisation and we hope that very soon they will have the facilities to support and care for many homeless animals in the Douglas Shire,” said Tony Baker, Managing Director, Quicksilver Group.
Pictured are Quicksilver Group's Megan Bell, Wilma the rescue puppy and Michael Kerr President of Paws and Claws.
The romance of sailing to Low Isles aboard our beautiful sailing catamaran, Wavedancer, took on a whole new…
The romance of sailing to Low Isles aboard our beautiful sailing catamaran, Wavedancer, took on a whole new meaning with a surprise 10th wedding anniversary vow renewal. Meticulously and secretly planned by Michelle, it was a wonderful surprise for husband Brendan when he saw his wife and daughter Chanel appear from the island bushes where they had hidden their wedding outfits.
Quicksilver marine biologist Glen Burns was delighted to have the honour of reading the vow renewals as they stood at the water’s edge.
Michelle said it was an absolutely wonderful day and the ceremony was a renewal gift to her husband for their 10th anniversary. Brendan was totally surprised, and joked “Only you could pull off something like this!” It was an extra special day as the Sydney couple were engaged on Wavedancer and Low Isles while holidaying in Port Douglas some 20 years ago and holds many special memories.
We wish Michelle and Brendan continued happiness and look forward to your 20th anniversary vow renewals!
The staff of Green Island Resort were delighted to welcome Diane Fisher for a very special 80th birthday.…
The staff of Green Island Resort were delighted to welcome Diane Fisher for a very special 80th birthday. Diane and her late husband, Eddie, married on Green Island in 1959, the island’s first recorded wedding. And it certainly was an island love affair. Diane from Sussex UK, met Eddie from New South Wales on a Green Island holiday. They then stayed on to work on the island before marrying. During her recent visit, there was a lot of reminiscing and wonderful stories told of their time on the island. After Diane and Eddie’s ceremony, everyone went for a swim before changing for the wedding dinner reception!
While weddings on Green Island are more common today, the pictured extract from The Australian Women’s Weekly, 23 March 1960, is a wonderful piece of nostalgic history from our island paradise.
We were delighted to have dual Olympic athlete and Queensland Ambassador, Courtney Atkinson, join our Quicksilver Reef Swim on Green…
We were delighted to have dual Olympic athlete and Queensland Ambassador, Courtney Atkinson, join our Quicksilver Reef Swim on Green Island. As well as competing in the event, Courtney took some great footage to showcase the swim.
After a gruelling Ironman Cairns, we were delighted to welcome aboard Mirinda Carfrae and husband Tim O’Donnell to…
After a gruelling Ironman Cairns, we were delighted to welcome aboard Mirinda Carfrae and husband Tim O’Donnell to experience a day at Michaelmas Cay with Ocean Spirit. Mirinda finished second in the Women’s Ironman event while Tim crossed the line fourth in the Men’s Ironman. Miranda posted “One of the reasons I choose Ironman Cairns is because it’s not just another race, it’s a destination. I got to show Tim @tointri and Izzy the Great Barrier Reef. Thanks to @reefcruises for having us. #oceanspiritcruises We made some memories we will never forget.
The warm waters of Green Island will once again play host to…
The warm waters of Green Island will once again play host to our annual Great Adventures Green Island Ocean Swim, a wonderful community event. Swimmers aged 12 years and over will compete in 500m, 1.5km and 3km distances in this unique Great Barrier Reef swim. For more info or bookings, contact Great Adventures on 4044 9944 or book online at http://www.green-island.com.au/oceanswim
It was a wonderful sight to see wind in the sails and…
It was a wonderful sight to see wind in the sails and yachts off the shores of Port Douglas for another successful Quicksilver Port Douglas Race Week. Once again, we were delighted to host the “Skippers Welcome” aboard our own sailing catamaran, Wavedancer, in the lead up to the regatta. Congratulations to all entrants and crew on a fantastic event. Overall winners were:
Division One: Whitecap, Mal Richardson, Port Douglas Yacht Club
Division Two: Callista1, Ron Knott, Townsville Cruising Yacht Club
Sports & One Design Division: SPANK, Tony Ritter, Port Douglas Yacht Club
The Green Island Nationals is back for the fifth year, with enthusiastic windsurfers…
The Green Island Nationals is back for the fifth year, with enthusiastic windsurfers returning to compete for the title of Green Island Windsurfing champ, with an Open category event and 2018 AWA Australian Championship titles. If you’re visiting Green Island at this time, be sure to check out the action from the beach.
When snorkelling or diving, watching the underwater world will provide an amazing insight into how the fish live. It is an underwater community and each fish has a role to play in how they live and interact within their neighbourhood. One of the intriguing and entertaining fish you just might see at Quicksilver's Agincourt Reef platform is "Farmer Joe", a white damel fish affectionately named by our crew. Quite often he can be seen on our marine biologist snorkel tour.
“Farmer Joe” lives in about a 25 square metre patch on an open sand bed which we call his farm. While not clearly defined, it's normally in a circle formation and there is a slight discolouration in the sand. This is the algae that forms the edge of the boundary and is part of their feed. They protect their patch and make sure nothing goes inside the farm area. If a piece of coral is placed in the farm they will immediately pick it up and swim it to outside the boundary by 4-5 metres and spit it out. A very entertaining sight to witness!
Congratulations to Monika Baum on her recent promotion to Group Sales Manager, working alongside Sales Director Adam Maroske. Monika…
Congratulations to Monika Baum on her recent promotion to Group Sales Manager, working alongside Sales Director Adam Maroske. Monika will be a familiar face, having represented our range of experiences including a strong dive focus with Pro Dive Cairns and dive vessels in the local, domestic and international markets.
Monika can be contaced at email@example.com
With Seawalker Green Island joining the Quicksilver Group family, we were delighted to welcome aboard Harry Wu as Asia Sales Manager for…
With Seawalker Green Island joining the Quicksilver Group family, we were delighted to welcome aboard Harry Wu as Asia Sales Manager for Diving and Seawalker. Harry had been with Seawalker Green Island for ten years prior to joining Quicksilver.
Harry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d like to introduce and welcome aboard Natalie Murray, who is our new Pro Dive Cairns and Quicksilver…
We’d like to introduce and welcome aboard Natalie Murray, who is our new Pro Dive Cairns and Quicksilver Dive Sales Manager. As a keen diver, Natalie is taking to her new role like a fish to water! Natalie joins us from a tourism sales background and was formerly part of Great Adventures awesome Customer Services team.
Natalie can be contacted at email@example.com
We recently did Quicksilver's Outer Reef tour and wanted to give you a huge thanks and acknowledge to your organisation and single out a couple of your staff. My wife was recently confined to a wheel chair and has no movement on her left side but thanks to Darwie (lifeguard) and Jade (marine biologist) who gave her the confidence, assistance and encouragement to give snorkelling a try. My wife, daughter and I had an extremely positive experience and enjoyable day. We found everyone from the ticket office to the crew on the boat to be outstanding, and Darwie and Jade who made this trip a huge highlight and a memorable experience of our stay in North Queensland and visit to the reef.
Thank you once again, Brad