At the Great Barrier Reef with Reef Quest
Hello! My name is Amanda and I am a tourism student. I come all the way from Finland and I’m in Australia for 2 and half months doing my on-the-job learning period for school.
Now I am going to tell you about my day at the Great Barrier Reef where I went with Reef Quest.
In short, Reef Quest is a boat that takes people to snorkel and dive to the Great Barrier Reef. It is one of the Divers Den’s owned boats along with Sea Quest, Ocean Quest and Aqua Quest. Reef Quest departs daily from the Cairns Marina. Tropical lunch and morning and afternoon tea is included to this day trip.
Purpose built and award winning, their vessel ReefQuest boasts 3 large sun decks, 2 air-conditioned indoor saloons, a spacious dive deck, and a sunken platform for easy access in and out of the water. Whether you are a Snorkeller, first-time SCUBA Diver, or already Certified Diver, we invite you to join them for a once in a lifetime adventure aboard their luxury day trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
Their private reef locations are approximately 70km offshore, these unique sites offer superb coral formations and an abundance of coral and marine life including inquisitive Nemos, Turtles, Stingrays and Wally the friendly Maori Wrasse.
My awesome day started from the Cairns Marina 8.00am. We walked aboard and a friendly staff member gave us our safety number. Every customer had their own safety number and that was how they kept track that everyone is safe and on board. Then we went inside the boat. It looked super nice and everyone had enough space for their selves.
Morning tea had already been set to one of the tables and everyone could go get what they wanted. They had delicious mini muffins, carrot buns and coffee & tea. While we were eating, we were given a safety form that had all these questions about our state of health. It is really important when you are going to dive that the staff on board knows if you have any diseases.
Then it was time for the safety brief. They had this really funny music video where all the rules and important emergency information were included. This way when people listened and looked the video, it didn’t bore anyone. Sometimes the safety brief can be really boring and then people end up not listening to it. But this video was an attention catcher. After (and before) the video they welcomed us to the boat and told what the day includes. The photographer also introduced herself and told us what she does. You could ask her to take pictures of you underwater and then you can purchase them afterwards.
After all these information’s, we went to get our snorkeling and diving equipment. It was the basic set: a mask, pipe, fins and a stinger suit. Then we had a diving induction. It was really informative, and I learned a lot out of it. He told us for example; the hand signs underwater and how to get water out of your mask. The induction was 30-40 mins and after that I felt pretty confident going underwater. While we were listening to this info, we were heading to our first destination at the Great Barrier Reef.
At the first location it was time to go dive. I was so excited because I had never dived before. When we got underwater, we had to equalize our ears, so they don’t explode while we are going deeper to the sea. I couldn’t do that and my ear’s just kept hurting. I was disappointed to myself because I really wanted to go diving.
I used the sign language and told my instructor that I can’t equalize my ears. I went back to the boat and I was so sad. Then a friendly staff member asked if I wanted to try again with the next group and of course I went. I also tried to practice equalizing my ears on the boat and then when I got to the water again, I managed to do it! I was so happy then. It was so unique experience to just breath underwater and see all the corals.
After the diving (which was approx. 30 minutes) it was time to eat. They served chicken, cream potatoes, different salads, pasta, chicken soup and really good breads. When I finished eating, the sun was shining outside so I decided to go to the deck and just lay down and relax. They had sunscreen on the deck which was really nice because most people probably don’t remember to bring their own sunscreen.
While I was tanning at the deck, we had already arrived at our second destination. It was time to get the stinger suits on again! This time the equalizing went perfectly, and I didn’t have any troubles with it. It was as cool as the first time. I could have stayed there for hours and just look at the Great Barrier Reef. This time I had the water camera with me, and I got so cool pictures!
After the diving, we went to snorkel. Everyone who didn’t go to dive at all throughout the day, they had been snorkeling. I had so much fun when I snorkeled, and I saw many beautiful fish and a turtle!! We were snorkeling pretty far from the boat so a few of the dive instructors were with us and made sure that everyone is safe and not lost. I snorkeled so long, probably for 1,5 hours.
When I got back to the boat, I was really tired of all the swimming and excitement. They have showers on board, and it was really relaxing to just go take a hot shower and get the salt water out of my hair. After I had changed dry clothes on, I went to the deck and fell asleep. While I was sleeping, they had served the afternoon tea. I heard that there was fruit and coffee and tea. I recommend taking some snacks or sandwiches with you to this day because I got really hungry after the snorkeling.
When we had arrived back to the Cairns Marina, the Captain thanked us for coming. While we walked out from the boat, the staff was in a line outside the boat saying goodbye to us. This day was definitely one of the best adventures that I have gotten in Cairns. I thank Reef Quest for this amazing day and all the super nice staff members. I recommend this tour to everyone who likes water, swimming and having a good time because this day was full of all that!