Issue #2, 2022
Season’s greetings and G’day from Port Douglas, Cairns and the wonderful Great Barrier Reef!
With summer in the air (and love in the case of corals), It's been a wonderful time welcoming visitors from home and abroad to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.
This year has seen our full range of reef experiences return to service including Ocean Spirit’s Michaelmas Cay Cruise and recently our dive and snorkel boat Poseidon, albeit in a limited capacity.
We're delighted that beautiful Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef have starring roles in the new Tourism Australia campaign, Come and say G'day! If you haven't seen the short film, you can check it out in this issue of Quickies. Be like Ruby the Roo and Louie the magical unicorn; make your New Year's resolution to come and say G'day soon!
We wish you happy and safe holidays. We hope you enjoy catching up with the latest news from the Quicksilver Group.
Heightened stewardship across our extensive network of Great Barrier Reef sites will be assured as the Quicksilver Group…
Heightened stewardship across our extensive network of Great Barrier Reef sites will be assured as the Quicksilver Group participates in the Australian Government’s Tourism Reef Protection Initiative.
Following the success of the program conducted throughout 2021, the new $15 million initiative has dual aims; conservation and protection of high value tourism sites within the World Heritage Marine Park, and the support of the reef tourism industry’s COVID recovery.
“Over the course of 18 months, our experienced marine biologist and dive teams will be conducting around 150 dedicated activity days to reef stewardship initiatives spanning from the Agincourt reefs north of Port Douglas to Moore Reef south of Cairns,” said Doug Baird, Quicksilver Group Environment and Compliance Manager.
Activities will include eye on the reef monitoring, reef health impact surveys, permitted site intervention such as crown of thorns starfish (COTS) and drupella removal (known coral predators) where required, and coral nurturing projects.
This intensive work will support and help improve reef resilience and the important environmental information collected will in turn help management decisions within the marine park.
Administered by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), 26 Queensland reef tourism operators will participate in the Tourism Reef Protection Initiative providing services along the length of the Great Barrier Reef.
We're delighted that beautiful Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef have starring roles in the new Tourism Australia…
We're delighted that beautiful Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef have starring roles in the new Tourism Australia campaign, Come and say G'day! Be like Ruby the Roo and Louie the magical unicorn; make your New Year's resolution to come and say G'day soon!
If you've ever wondered what a day on Low Isles is like, enjoy this short video introduced…
If you've ever wondered what a day on Low Isles is like, enjoy this short video introduced by one of Quicksilver's wonderful marine biologists and Master Reef Guide, Hayley Brien.
Aboard Quicksilver's beautiful sailing catamaran Wavedancer, it's about one hour from Port Douglas. It's the perfect day for young families or if you just fancy a relaxing day on a gorgeous Great Barrier Reef island. Snorkel with a turtle, explore the island with the marine biologist, view corals through a glass bottom boat, laze on the beach under an umbrella, or on the decks of Wavedancer.
An innovative Coral Nurture Project commenced in 2019 at Great Adventures Moore Reef platform area. It is a cooperative…
An innovative Coral Nurture Project commenced in 2019 at Great Adventures Moore Reef platform area. It is a cooperative project with The University of Technology Sydney and is ultimately aimed at helping to preserve the significant ecological, social and economic values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. We have a special permit from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to conduct this scientific program.
What is the purpose of the project?
In the summer of 2017, a coral bleaching event impacted some areas of the GBR marine park. At Moore Reef, an area in the shallower reef flats was affected. The work being undertaken is to restore and increase the resilience of this area. The Coral Nurture Program is not just about “Reef Restoration”, but long-term stewardship and adaptation at valuable Reef locations.
What is involved?
Protect, Plant, Propogate! Very simply, coral “fragments of opportunity” are planted directly, or grown in a nursery to be planted at the coral colony.
What are fragments of opportunity?
On a healthy reef, it is normal to have some broken coral. In the same way that old trees can fall in a forest and break surrounding vegetation, large colonies of fragile coral can be vulnerable to damage in rough weather and feeding by some fish. The coral fragments sometimes re-attach, but this is often prevented by wave action. By collecting these broken fragments, they can either be attached to coral colonies or grown in the nursery to be later harvested.
Great Adventures has two healthy coral nurseries at Moore Reef. The nursery consists of two suspended aluminium mesh frame structures. The coral fragments or “recruits” are attached to the frame and grown, just like an underwater garden nursery.
How are the corals attached?
When the nursery corals are ready for transplanting to the reef, an innovative (patented) coral clip is used to attach the coral recruit to the substrate. The stainless-steel spring clip clamps the coral fragment to the reef for long enough to begin growing onto the substrate securely. It is eventually overgrown by the coral or corroded.
Research and Monitoring
This is a scientific project and understanding the genetic flow of coral populations within and between neighbouring reefs is very important. Our marine biologists and reef stewardship crew regularly monitor the nursery and out-planted corals for growth and survival.
Great Adventures and the Quicksilver Group are Coral Nurture Program industry partners. The Program is a partnership between researchers and tour operators to develop novel “stewardship” based management of high value GBR locations, with the goal to transform both ecological and social resilience to environmental change. For more information check out www.coralnurtureprogram.org
With water temperatures and the lunar conditions just right, the biggest natural event on the Great Barrier Reef…
With water temperatures and the lunar conditions just right, the biggest natural event on the Great Barrier Reef put on quite a spectacle. Mass coral spawning was reported across our reef sites in mid November. Divers aboard Pro Dive Cairns liveaboard trips were lucky to witness this natural phenomenon up close during night dives.
Russell Hore, Quicksilver’s Reef Biosearch Manager said “It is a very significant event and vitally important for genetic diversity across the corals. It also allows for species distribution around the reef.”
What is coral spawning?
Corals have two reproductive methods: asexual and sexual. The asexual process is where the individual polyps split and divide to increase overall size of the colony, and this occurs continuously throughout the year.
However, to maintain a consistently robust gene pool, corals need to have a sexual phase to exchange genes. Coral spawning is when the corals release thousands of egg and sperm bundles synchronised to reproduce at the same time.
The vast majority of corals are hermaphrodites, which means they are both male and female at the same time. On the night of spawning, the polyps begin to expand out of their limestone cups and bundles of orange eggs can be observed. To reduce self fertilization, the eggs will reject sperm from the same parent, but readily accept sperm from other colonies of the same species.
The conditions just right for love on the reef...
For the annual spawning to occur, a number of factors come in to play. We know the moon cycle and specific water temperatures (greater than 26 degrees celcius) play a role, but also tides, salinity levels and day length can also affect the timing. Spawning usually happens two to three hours after sunset, which scientists believe is timed to ensure most of the plankton feeders are asleep, creating a greater chance of pollination for the corals. And it’s romantic too.
Seems like old times... almost! With return of demand, Pro Dive Cairns has reintroduced their Friday, 3 day 2…
Seems like old times... almost! With return of demand, Pro Dive Cairns has reintroduced their Friday, 3 day 2 night liveaboard departures, taking the scheduled departures to 5 trips per week.
Liveaboard trips now depart - Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. This means:
For more information contact the team at Pro Dive Carins
The team at Pro Dive Cairns will once again be conducting Minke Whale Liveaboard Trips in 2023…
The team at Pro Dive Cairns will once again be conducting Minke Whale Liveaboard Trips in 2023 with limited trips to the Ribbon Reefs scheduled to coincide with prime minke whale season.
This special 3 Day / 3 Night Liveaboard Trip will depart everyTuesday from 30 May with last trip 1 August 2023. The Great Barrier Reef’s renowned Ribbon Reefs north of Cairns provide the most consistent opportunity to encounter these remarkable creatures.
Operating over the past two whale seasons, Pro Dive Cairns dedicated minke whale trips have been a great success and full of amazing experiences and encounters for passengers, crew and researchers aboard.
Pro Dive Cairns has one of the few permits from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to swim with dwarf minke whales if encountered, making for a truly unforgettable liveaboard adventure.
For more information contact the team at Pro Dive Carins
After more than a two year hiatus thanks to the pandemic, Poseidon, one of our Port Douglas based…
After more than a two year hiatus thanks to the pandemic, Poseidon, one of our Port Douglas based dive and snorkel catamarans has made a small, but welcome return to work.
While Silversonic is on annual refit in March 2023 and other maintenance days, Poseidon will be operating in her place, visiting 3 different reef sites at the spectacular Agincourt ribbon reefs.
The Wunyami Cultural Walking Tour is a real gem of an experience on Green Island. Wunyami, Green Island's traditional…
The Wunyami Cultural Walking Tour is a real gem of an experience on Green Island. Wunyami, Green Island's traditional name, means "Place of Spirits". Indigenous guides have special permission from their elders to share stories of the GuruGulu Gungganji and Gimuy Yidinji people. The tour takes around one hour and you'll come away with an understanding and new appreciation of the island's traditional history and cultural significance. Whether visiting for the day with Great Adventures or staying at the beautiful Green Island Resort, the Wunyami tour will certainly lift your spirits.
Enjoy this short video for a sneak peek of the Wunyami Cultural Walking Tour.
Advance bookings can be made with Great Adventures or at the Black Seahorse Shop on Green Island.
Finishing primary school with a trip to the beautiful Low Isles with Quicksilver has become a tradition for…
Finishing primary school with a trip to the beautiful Low Isles with Quicksilver has become a tradition for children in the Douglas Shire since 1998.
This year, 150 students and teachers from seven Port Douglas region schools had a magical day aboard our sailing cat Wavedancer, celebrating the end of their primary school journey.
Principal of Miallo State School, Anet Ridley said “We would like to thank Quicksilver Cruises for enabling this to happen. It has become a rite of passage for our senior students for many years and students, parents and staff are incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”
Daintree State School with just three year 6 students even borrowed some snorkel equipment to practice in the lead up to the big day.
It's a wonderful fun day for the children to engage with other schools, learn about the unique environment they live in, creating new young reef ambassadors for future conservation.
Schools joining this year’s trip were Alexandra Bay State School (SS), Daintree SS, Port Douglas SS, Miallo SS, Wonga SS, Mossman SS and Julatten SS.
Layne Beachley, seven times world surfing champion, visited Green Island as host of the new Well Traveller program on Channel…
Layne Beachley, seven times world surfing champion, visited Green Island as host of the new Well Traveller program on Channel 10. Snorkelling and glass bottom boat viewing were the perfect prescription to see this beautiful coral island.
Its not every day you see the biggest fish in the sea – the whale shark, swim before…
Its not every day you see the biggest fish in the sea – the whale shark, swim before your eyes! That’s just what happened to a group of lucky passengers with Great Adventures in a very rare encounter while they were seated in the semi-submarine at Moore Reef. This vision was captured by one of the lucky passengers. The whale shark, estimated to be 4 - 5 metres in length swam up close and alongside the semi-sub window as excited passengers looked on in awe.
The Outer Reef provides the magical location for the Great Barrier…
The Outer Reef provides the magical location for the Great Barrier Reef Ocean Swim Series. This year's spectacular swim event took place at Great Adventures’ Moore Reef platform. The 2023 event is set for 21 October at Quicksilver's Agincourt Reef platform Time to get into training!
The biggest party in paradise, Port Douglas Carnivale, is set for 19…
The biggest party in paradise, Port Douglas Carnivale, is set for 19 – 21 May 2023. Check out Port Douglas Carnivale for the latest program news.
Quicksilver was delighted to be the reef partner for the inaugural
Quicksilver was delighted to be the reef partner for the inaugural Run4Reef event, held simultaneously across Australian and New Zealand cities. The event is about raising awareness for the GBR and Climate Change. Hayley Brien, one of our fabulous marine biologists and Master Reef Guides was a race ambassador.
Many marvelous characters form the wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef, and Sea Cucumbers are no exception.
Junichi Tamakoshi joined Quicksilver Group as Sales Manager in September. He has over 20 years of Sales and…
Junichi Tamakoshi joined Quicksilver Group as Sales Manager in September. He has over 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience in the hotel industry having worked in Fiji, the UK, Australia, the UAE, and most recently Hong Kong. His latest role was in hotel development where he wore a suit and tie every day and dealt with financial institutions so he is very happy to be back in sunny laid back Tropical North Queensland where he started his Sales and Marketing career in Port Douglas in 2000. He enjoys golf, tennis and the beach, and looks forward to working with everyone (and not wearing a suit and tie every day). Junichi can be contacted at [email protected]
The 3 dive sites were as incredible as we expected them to be, but it is the staff that worked tirelessly to make this a truly inspiring and special day. Gordon and Scotty are exceptional dive instructors who were particularly gifted in striking a perfect balance between maintaining an exemplary standard of safety and an engaging approach to education about the reef, and all whilst making it a fun adventure.
We had been hesitant about booking with a larger group/company and there are many other companies we could have chosen. The sheer breadth of attention to detail and effort, and the fabulous catering staff put into making our day wonderful, showed us that we made the right choice to go with Silversonic.
Any tourist experience is only as good as the staff who work so hard to make peoples days enjoyable. The standard to which these guys went above and beyond showed that they are an extraordinary and vital asset, not only to the Quicksilver company, but to the Port Douglas and Daintree areas and perhaps most importantly to the preservation of the Great Barrier Reef itself.
Thank you just doesn't say enough.
Fi and Phil