Issue# 142, 2014

Welcome to our Winter issue of Quickies,

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

Cairns, Port Douglas and The Great Barrier Reef have certainly been the places to be! From welcoming colleagues and industry friends from across the globe to the Australian Tourism Exchange to the excitement of the annual Port Douglas Carnivale (proudly with the Quicksilver crew taking out "Best Float" in the street parade!) and the Cairns Adventure Festival and Ironman events, it's been a wonderful opportunity to showcase our region and hospitality.

In exciting news, we're thrilled to welcome Port Douglas based Poseidon Cruises into the Quicksilver Group family. Meanwhile our engineering teams have been kept busy as major investment in our fleet and across our operations continues to ensure we provide the best facilities available on the Great Barrier Reef. This is highlighted with the completion of wavepiercer Quicksilver V's stylish refurbishment, Great Adventures' Moore Reef platform's 'facelift' and flagship wavepiercer Quicksilver VIII's annual refit now underway.

We hope you enjoy catching up on our latest news showcasing the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

Enjoy a break with our latest Quickies!

With warm tropical wishes from the Quicksilver Group Crew.


Poseidon joins the Quicksilver Family

The Quicksilver Group has welcomed Poseidon Cruises' well respected dive and snorkel operation into our family after finalising the purchase on 30 May.

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Commenting on the acquisition, Tony Baker Managing Director of the Quicksilver Group said, "The purchase of Poseidon Cruises is a wonderful addition to our Port Douglas fleet. Poseidon is a well-established and well respected brand. The crew are a key asset to this product and we have welcomed many of the staff into the Quicksilver family.

We are confident that the investment in our Great Barrier Reef vessel fleet, which is now 13 across all our brands from Cairns to Port Douglas, will enable us to continue to lead in showcasing the Great Barrier Reef across our diverse range of quality reef experiences."

Designed for personalised dive and snorkel adventures, Poseidon, a 24 m high speed dive and snorkel catamaran, operates daily from Port Douglas visiting 3 different reef sites at the spectacular Agincourt ribbon reefs. With access to over 25 individual reef locations, certified and introductory divers can enjoy up to 3 dives including drift and wall dives, while snorkellers can enjoy unlimited adventure snorkelling in this marine wilderness.

Peter and Barbara Wright established Poseidon in 1981 and after many years as pioneers in reef tourism in Tropical North Queensland, have chosen to formally retire and transfer ownership to Quicksilver. The highly successful Poseidon adventure started with expedition dive yacht "Scheherazade" before upgrading respectively to Poseidon 1, 2 & 3 specialising in snorkelling and diving at the renowned Agincourt Ribbon Reefs. The Poseidon brand and product will continue to operate premium diving and snorkelling day trips to the Agincourt Outer Reefs under the management of the professional and very Quicksilver team.

Peter Wright said "We wish to thank our fantastic employees, agents and suppliers for the years of commitment, loyal service and support." Poseidon directors Steve & Katrina Edmondson will cease to manage Poseidon however will continue to own and operate their "Sailaway" Low Isles and Sunset Sailing business based in Port Douglas.

Quicksilver Reef Swim

The warm waters of Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef greeted 165 enthusiastic swimmers competing in the 4th annual Quicksilver Reef Swim on 4 June.

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A classic warm up event in the lead up to the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival incorporating Ironman Cairns, entrants from Australia and around the world took on 1.5km and 3km distances in this unique Great Barrier Reef event. But it was 15 year old Cairns boy, Cameron Keith, who took out the honours of being first across the finish line in the 3km swim while Rebecca Clarke won the women's 3km race.

A remarkable young man, Cameron is also planning a challenging 27km swim from Green Island to Yorkey's Knob on the mainland in August. Born blind in one eye, Cameron is raising money for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Swapping Coach Wheels for Pedals

Congratulations to our very own Ironman, Warren Glover on competing in this year's Ironman Cairns event. At 63 years young, Warren is normally at home behind the wheel driving one of Quicksilver's luxury coaches along the picturesque coastal drive between Cairns and Port Douglas, but it was while sailing solo through the Solomon Islands that he decided to take on the Ironman challenge. So training commenced to compete in the Cairns Ironman with a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and a 42km run.

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It has been 20 years since his last Ironman when Warren was Tasmania's veteran champion for 2 years. When not in race mode Warren is a coach driver for Quicksilver so in place of the coach wheels he had Quicksilver on the wheels of his bike, support of his workmates and even managed to train for the swim at Low Isles!

On competing in the Ironman Cairns, Warren said, "I just wanted to finish the race and enjoy the experience - it was challenging but rewarding to be back on track."

Quicksilver VIII Stops the Traffic

It's not every day you see a 45 metre catamaran crossing a road!

Our flagship wavepiecer Quicksilver VIII did just that when she made an impressive arrival into Cairns for her annual refit as she majestically crossed Cook Street towards the refit sheds at BSE Cairns Slipways.

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While the traffic controller held up a STOP sign we think she stopped the traffic by herself while being towed across the road.

Quicksilver VIII is now back in Port Douglas - and in the water, ready for the start of the peak season.

"Facelift" for Great Adventures' Moore Reef Platform

Not to be outdone by Quicksilver VIII's spectacle, Great Adventures' Moore Reef platform made an equally impressive arrival into Cairns for her major refurbishment.

After a mammoth effort, it took ten hours to tow the 45 metre, 150 tonne platform (pontoon) from her home on the Great Barrier Reef into Cairns.

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Originally built in Cairns and now 21 years young, she made an impressive crossing over Cook Street before finally arriving at BSE Cairns Slipway where she is now undergoing a 3 month refit and maintenance refurbishment.

Brian Cave, Great Adventures General Manager of Operations said, "The upgrade includes the underwater observatory, all the tubular steel flotation sections, flooring and general maintenance. While these platforms have an ongoing and scheduled maintenance at sea each year, this one is major and will involve up to 3 months with her out of the water."

Michael Healy, Quicksilver Group Director Sales and Marketing commented "This reflects the company's commitment to showcasing our reef products, ensuring our clients have the best facilities available on the Great Barrier Reef. We will be using our recently refurbished Norman Reef platform for our Great Adventures Outer Reef cruises".

In the swim with the Minkes!

Those delightful and curious creatures, the dwarf minke whales, have started arriving back in our warm tropical waters and have wasted no time coming in to say hello and mingle with our passengers and crew!

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Passengers and crew aboard our Cairns-based dive and snorkel vessel Silverswift were fortunate to encounter the first sighting of the season at Gordon's mooring on Flynn Reef, when their special guest appeared. The playful minke approached the snorkellers while Silverswift was moored and arrived by swimming over the divers. Curious and inquisitive, the minke came in to have a look and started doing loops and swimming away and then coming back again over 30 minutes to visit and surfaced several times while eyeing off the snorkellers.

Silverswift Dive Instructor Sam Killian said "The minke was about 5 metres in length and was an amazing experience not only for our passengers from around the world but also for the crew. We visit the Reef every day but we still are in awe of the marine life that we encounter.

Not to be outdone, the crew and passengers aboard Port Douglas based Silversonic had an amazing in-water encounter with a 7 metre minke on Saturday 15th June.

The minke believed to be a full adult swam around the vessel and surfaced several times as if saying "hello and welcome to my world" to everyone while the vessel was moored at Phil's Bommie at Agincourt Reef.

Silversonic Dive Instructor Tami Summers said, "The minke was about 7 metres in length and swam in from around 500 metres away to eyeball our passengers as they hung onto the rope to observe the Minke. It came within 2 metres of us. It does not matter how often you have seen them it is still an amazing experience. If fact, I think the crew get more excited than the passengers as they know just how special it is."

Silversonic has one of only 3 permits in this region to be issued by Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to allow our passengers to swim with the minke whales.

Russell Hore, Quicksilver Marine Biologist said "Interactions have become more frequent in the past few years and is one of those once in a life time experiences. 90% of minke whale sightings on the Great Barrier Reef are during June and July and through research data contributed to the Minke Whale Project, it's been established that many identified individual whales are returning to the same reef sites each year."

"Make a Wish" comes true for Aiden

We were thrilled to play a part in making young Aiden Hyde's wish of "Finding Nemo" come true on World Wish Day. Five year old Aiden, diagnosed with a neuroblastoma, was flown to Cairns by the Make A Wish Foundation to find everyone's favourite clownfish, Nemo. And what an adventure he had on the way, thanks to the wonderful work of Make A Wish, Cairns businesses and community and even Australian movie star, Eric Bana!

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After receiving the final clue from Eric Bana and a police escort, Aiden received a hero's welcome (including from Great Adventures' mascot, Wally the Wrasse!) before embarking with GBR Helicopters to Green Island. Here our fantastic Great Adventures dive instructor Craig Hardes took a very excited Aiden on a personal snorkel tour to find the one and only Nemo!

We wish the best of luck to Aiden and his wonderful family and hope you enjoyed a magical stay at Green Island Resort on the Great Barrier Reef.

Out and about at ATE

It was a very busy and fun time with the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) held in Cairns for the very first time during May.

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We were delighted to host a number of functions aboard the recently refurbished Quicksilver V, Ocean Spirit and also Silverswift for a Green Island Dinner.

Rhett, Craig and the crew from TCMG (complete with matching pirate's pants!) hosted a memorable pirate's themed party aboard Ocean Spirit.

Quicksilver crew shine at Port Douglas Carnivale

While the annual Port Douglas Carnivale celebrated a wonderful 20th anniversary this year, it was a double celebration for our amazing Quicksilver crew on taking out the Best Float in the corporate category in this year's Carnivale Street Parade.

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With an awesome Rocky Horror theme, the guys and gals swapped their uniforms and sarongs for fishnets (of a different kind!) and had a whole lot of fun doin' the Time Warp!

Port Douglas Carnivale will be back again next year with an amazing calendar of events over 10 days celebrating our lifestyle in the tropics. See you next year from 22 - 31 May 2015!

Great Barrier Reef a Must Do!

A recent UK Discovery Channel poll voted a trip to the Great Barrier Reef as only second to a visit to the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights as one of the world's great must do travel experiences.

A panel including TV adventurer Bear Grylls drew up a "wonder list" which the public voted on. So here's their list of the World's Top 10 Must Do Travel Experiences. How may have you done?!

  • 1. Visit the North Cape in Norway to see the Aurora Borealis.
  • 2. Diving/snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  • 3. A road trip down Route 66 in the US.
  • 4. Climbing/hiking at the Grand Canyon
  • 5. Gondola ride along the Grand Canal in Venice
  • 6. The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
  • 7. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
  • 8. Sunrise at Ayers Rock, Australia
  • 9. A boat trip around the Galapagos Islands
  • 10. Walking The Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Peru.

Diving Morning, Noon and Night with Pro Dive Cairns!

If scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef is on your "Must Do" list, Pro Dive Cairns' 3 Day / 2 Night Liveaboard Trip is ideal for certified divers! Over three days you can experience the Reef diving throughout the day from early morning, late afternoon and exciting night dives discovering different ecosystems and casts of marine life during day and nocturnal conditions.

Staying on the Reef aboard a premium liveaboard vessel, this is also a great opportunity to complete your PADI Advance or Nitrox Course if not already held. A total of 11 dives, 9 day and 2 night dives (weather permitting) plus snorkelling throughout the trip is included. You'll visit a large selection of pristine outer reef sites chosen from 16 exclusive dive sites on 4 different outer reefs. Each site is selected for their coral quality and variety as well as their abundance of marine life and visibility.


Taste temptations on the Reef!

For some mouth watering delights, checkout the new dinner menu at Green Island Resort's signature restaurant, Emeralds, from the very talented Executive Chef Shuki Salem. 2014 Emeralds Dinner Menu

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While all of our guests are VIPs, we've had the privilege to host a few more famous and recognisable personalities aboard our cruises recently.

  • Paul De Gelder Dives the Great Barrier Reef

    Silversonic's crew had the pleasure of welcoming aboard the inspirational Paul De Gelder for a day of diving and snorkelling at the Agincourt ribbon reefs. Paul survived a shark attack in 2009 whilst a Navy diver diving off Garden Island in Sydney, resulting in the loss of his right hand and right leg above the knee.

    Paul is now a motivational speaker and experienced the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef's underwater world as a prelude to fronting a new television series for Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment Studios called Fearless.

    Fearless, aims to inspire people to improve their lives and Paul is guaranteed to impart his incredible ability to overcome and succeed in life through this new program.

  • Former Olympic gold medallist swimmer, Brooke Hanson and now TV Host for Discover Downunder, visited recently to film and showcase a day on Green Island.


Green Island Nationals Windsurfing Competition, 16-24 June 2014

Following the success of last year's inaugural event, the Green Island National's Windsurfing Comp is back as competitors put their freestyle skills and speed to the test. If you're keen to catch some of the action, Great Adventures 7 Day Green Island Beach Pass is just the ticket at $176 for 7 days worth of transfers to the island.

Visit www.fw-australia.com/greenisland for more info or contact Great Adventures for your Beach Pass on 4044 9944.

Great Adventures Green Island Family Day, Sunday 29 June 2014

Great Adventures annual Green Island Family Fun Day is on again in June. This wonderful community event features a day of activities designed specifically for local Cairns families and visitors alike to enjoy together, as well as being a great fundraising day for local charities with the Green Island Beach Volleyball Competition. The kids will love dressing up as pirates for the fun treasure hunt through the island and great beach games.

Contact Great Adventures for bookings and more information 4044 9944 or [email protected]

Great Adventures Green Island Reef Swim, Sunday 14 September 2014

Our annual Great Adventures Green Island Ocean Swim will once again see swimmers taking to the water to compete in 1.5km and 3km distances in this unique Great Barrier Reef swim. Competitors aged 12 years and over are eligible to enter.

For more info or bookings, contact Great Adventures on 4044 9944 or [email protected]

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BIO BITS - Dwarf Minke Whales

The dwarf minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata subspecies) occurs only in the southern hemisphere and the Great Barrier Reef provides habitat for their only known reliable aggregation in the world. Dwarf minke whales grow to a maximum of around 8m with adults weighing around 5-6 tonnes. They have a characteristic white blaze on their flippers and shoulders, contrasting with their dark grey top colour. They have two blowholes, like all baleen whales. The dwarf minke whale is the second smallest baleen whale.

Both Silversonic and Poseidon, our day dive and snorkel vessels operating out of Port Douglas to the Agincourt ribbon reefs, each have permits that allow our passengers to swim with the inquisitive minkes when encountered.


Meet Chris Morgan, Poseidon Sales Executive:

We're delighted to welcome Chris, continuing in his role of Poseidon's Sales Executive in Port Douglas, Northern Beaches and Cairns.
[email protected]

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Postcard.... to Wavedancer

Wavedancer a Perfect day out

Awesome experience, fabulous crew!

We had an amazing day out with Wavedancer. The trip to Low Isles was magical which we spent relaxing on the deck of the boat. The lunch was beautiful and catered for all dietary requirements, which was very important to us. The snorkelling at Low Isles was amazing and we got to follow a delightful green turtle. The Quicksilver staff really went out of their way to ensure we were looked after and had everything we needed for the perfect day out. We were exhausted by the end of the day - a sure sign that much fun was had! I could not recommend this trip enough.
Alesha, Aus


  • Parasailing on Green Island is Back! We're pleased to advise the team from Green Island Watersports is now operating Parasailing at Green Island. With a fast and comfortable power boat, you can now take to the sky and see Green Island and the reef from a whole new perspective with an exciting parasailing adventure. It's a safe fun and an exhilarating experience! Parasailing can be booked through Great Adventures reservations or see the crew at the Beach Hire Hut on Green Island to book your aerial adventure!
  • Ocean Spirit: Multi-lingual activity sheets designed to enhance visitor experiences and interpretive information are now available onboard Ocean Spirit as she sets sail to Michaelmas Cay daily.
  • Product Training Videos now online: Our Sales team are just a click away with some great new product training videos with quick tips and personal insight into our wonderful and diverse range of Great Barrier Reef experiences. Log into our Agent Resource Site or if you'd like access, just let us know at [email protected]
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