Issue #202, 2020
G'day from Cairns, Port Douglas and the wonderful Great Barrier Reef!
It's been a while, but we're excited to be back and operating a range of our wonderful experiences to our favourite part of the world, The Great Barrier Reef. It has without question been an incredibly challenging time for everyone as the COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to impact our daily lives.
Now as restrictions start to ease and the Queensland border has opened within Australia (with some exceptions including Victoria at this stage), it’s only fitting that we come out of hibernation to enjoy the Tropical North’s “winter” sunshine and warmth. Operations will be limited initially in accordance with COVID Safe guidelines and dependent on demand.
In this special Quickies issue, we share our current operations and some behind the scenes news. The Reef is looking amazing, we’re COVID Safe, and we can’t wait to welcome you aboard!
Stay safe, best wishes from The Quicksilver Group.
We’re delighted to be cruising again and wish to advise the following products are now operational. Capacity is…
We’re delighted to be cruising again and wish to advise the following products are now operational. Capacity is limited in line with current COVID Safe guidelines and some services and optional activities will be subject to demand.
We continue to follow the latest health advice and extra precautionary hygiene practices onboard our vessels for the utmost safety and well being of our customers, staff and wider community. See COVID Safe advice in this newsletter and also on the respective websites.
|Quicksilver Outer Reef||From 6 July, subject to demand|
|Silversonic and Poseidon Dive & Snorkel||From 6 July, subject to demand|
|Silverswift Dive & Snorkel||From 5 July, subject to demand|
|Great Adventures Green Island Transfers||
|Great Adventures "Great Barrier Reef Adventure"||From 17 July, subject to demand|
|Ocean Spirit Michaelmas Cay||From 7 August, subject to demand|
|Wavedancer Low Isles||From 13 July, subject to demand|
Learn to Dive & Liveaboard Trips
|Pro Dive Cairns||
From 3 August
Green Island Resort
|Soft re-opening 4 July|
For more information and the latest daily updates as we move forward, please contact our Reservations teams at:
Our environmental teams of marine biologists have been keeping busy behind the scenes conducting reef surveys as well as…
Our environmental teams of marine biologists have been keeping busy behind the scenes conducting reef surveys as well as monitoring our coral reef resilience research projects out at Agincourt and Moore Reef sites. And straight from the (sea) horse’s mouth, the Reef is looking AMAZING!
These recent short videos and photo galleries showcase some of our wonderful sites from the Agincourt ribbon reefs in the northern areas down to Green Island off Cairns.
Despite hanging out in schools, our fishy friends pictured here are not quite so educated on the latest social distancing rules!
Despite hanging out in schools, our fishy friends pictured here are not quite so educated on the latest social distancing rules! Lucky we're here to help with current COVID Safe advice...
The Quicksilver Group is committed to ensuring your health and safety at all times. Across our Quicksilver and Great Adventures operations, each facility and vessel has a COVID Safe Plan to minimise any potential risks so you can enjoy your Great Barrier Reef experience in confidence. For your assurance, an overview of measures and additional precautions in place include the following.
General measures implemented as mandatory include:
The Australian Government advises that the following people are most ‘at risk’:
Cleaning & Hygiene - Additional COVID-19 measures:
These general guidelines are in compliance with Queensland Health and Australian Government Department of Health current recommendations, and the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) COVID Safe Plan. Advice will be amended in accordance with the most up to date recommendations.
Safe travels and we look forward to welcoming you to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with you soon.
Throughout the COVID hibernation period, our behind the scenes caretaking teams have been hard at work to ensure…
Throughout the COVID hibernation period, our behind the scenes caretaking teams have been hard at work to ensure we stay shipshape, from vessels to our reef platforms. And while challenging, this time has also brought rewarding opportunities to work across our operations. Usually at the helm of a fast catamaran taking our guests to the Reef, one of our fantastic Great Adventures skippers, Amanda Matthies, has been living her best life on the seas, taking on caretaker duties out at our Moore Reef platform – and loving it!
Here’s a little of Amanda’s story, Why I love being a Caretaker…
"There is no job better than mine, here on the ocean watching the animals and coral do their thing (except maybe being a pirate ). Coming from a Captain/First Mate to pontoon caretaker due to recent events has been fantastic. I love the Reef and over the last few months have been lucky enough to come out here and enjoy life on the sea and see and do the things I love. Life as a pontoon caretaker mainly consists of keeping the pontoon clean and tidy and maintaining it and all associated ancillary vessels.”
But it’s an office like no other!
My day starts at 6am with a coffee and watching the sun rise over the Reef. After phone check in with the mainland office telling them I am still alive and made it through the night(!) and the daily reef forecast, there’s time for a quick visit to my fish friends in the underwater observatory. The things you see early in the morning are amazing and being an ex dive instructor, I love it.
Then music on and off to work… preventive maintenance washing down the furniture, hosing everything with freshwater to prevent salt build up. Onto the tender and over to the semi-sub for a scrub and clean. Life jacket on and away we go! Part wrangler lasso-ing the bollard like a cowgirl! Time to check servicing history of the machinery and polishing silver time. We want the pontoon ready so when the call comes through we are ready for action.
But it’s after the day’s work is done … “ I grab my camera and off I go to find the best spot to photograph the birds, and the clouds, and of course sunset. As I look out at the end of the day to a gorgeous sunset I remember all the cool things I saw... the grouper under the pontoon, two fish fighting, lion fish coming to the windows to say hi (or look at me thinking why is she staring at us?), birds diving for small bait fish, GTs (giant trevallys) fighting for food and patrolling around the pontoon like they are the police, and of course ours and everyone’s favourite, Wally!
As last light hits, it’s the night events… Observatory lights out and torch on to see the lion fish come to the windows to feed, the predator GT chasing the small fish, then I see my most favourite....the sharks, coming to check fish out and keep the place in order. Dinner, a movie maybe and to bed by 10pm ready to do it all again tomorrow.
As for the best thing I have seen out here? I have so many! From spotting manta rays chasing a krill ball and having a whale say hello from beside the pontoon. I get to spend my time on the ocean, I get time to myself, and I get to take some awesome photos and see some amazing stuff. Although it isn't smooth sailing all the way I get to work closely with two great mates (Wilson and Rob) who rotate and share the caretaker duties, heading back into the mainland every four days. The hardest thing is being away from family but I video chat with them every night and hear all about the cool things they did or learnt at school.
Would I ever say no to doing a caretaker shift? Well to be honest..... never!
Check out some of Amanda's beautiful sunset photos in "Seen on the Reef".
Hayley Brien first saw the Great Barrier Reef as a wide-eyed seven year old when her family visited Agincourt…
Hayley Brien first saw the Great Barrier Reef as a wide-eyed seven year old when her family visited Agincourt Reef with Quicksilver. Twenty years later, she is living her best mermaid life as a professional marine biologist with Quicksilver. Her story came to life as part of Tourism Tropical North Queensland's new brand campaign for Cairns and The Great Barrier Reef. Check out Hayley's inspiring story in the short video
At the launch of the new brand platform, TTNQ Chief Executive Officer Mark Olsen said visitors experiencing Cairns & Great Barrier Reef would discover that our place never leaves them. Visitors will:
“Experiencing our 'great'akes visitors greater. From our Great Barrier Reef to our great ancient rainforests and our great Indigenous culture, visitors are transformed for life,” Mr Olsen said.
And we couldn’t agree more with these great sentiments! Quicksilver Group Managing Director, Tony Baker said, "Quicksilver's mission has always been to create ambassadors for the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef, inspiring our visitors to leave as custodians for this very special part of the world. Hayley's story perfectly embodies this and we're absolutely delighted to showcase our great experiences that are truly unique to our destination."
You too can join Hayley and our team of passionate Reef Biosearch marine biologists when travelling with Quicksilver.
Agincourt Reef has been putting on quite a show as we welcome guests back, not only below the…
Agincourt Reef has been putting on quite a show as we welcome guests back, not only below the water, but above as well. Guests aboard Quicksilver have had the thrill of seeing the giant humpbacks at play as well as this cheeky Giant Petrel joining marine biologist Dr Glen Burns' guided snorkel tour!
Thanks to Amanda Matthies for these great sunset shots taken out at Great Adventures Moore Reef platform. We're…
Thanks to Amanda Matthies for these great sunset shots taken out at Great Adventures Moore Reef platform. We're ready and waiting to see you out here again soon!
Our annual Great Adventures Green Island Ocean Swim is set to go ahead…
Our annual Great Adventures Green Island Ocean Swim is set to go ahead at this stage. Swimmers aged 12 years and over can compete in 500m, 1.5km and 3km distances in this sensational 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’s minke season and what a way to celebrate Silversonic’s return to the Agincourt ribbon reefs with a visit from one of these inquisitive fellows! First day back since March and passengers and crew were lucky to have an extra special encounter. Here’s a few fascinating minke facts...
Emily’s smiling face may be familiar to many from her previous roles with Great Adventures and Green Island…
Emily’s smiling face may be familiar to many from her previous roles with Great Adventures and Green Island Resort, first joining the company in 2013. After travelling and obtaining a Psychology degree, we’re delighted Emily has returned to share her passion for the Great Barrier Reef. Based in Cairns, Emily is your “go-to” gal for Great Adventures’ Reef and Green Island Cruises as well as supporting our sensational Port Doulglas based cruises.
Emily can be contacted at [email protected]