Port Douglas Dive & Snorkel Tour - Swim With Whales
After a friendly, quick and easy check-in at the Quicksilver terminal in Marina Mirage at Port Douglas, we boarded the one and only SILVERSONIC. A beautiful and modern spacious 29-meter high speed catamaran, designed especially to please its passengers and get you the best out of your day. Smile for the camera, as the photographer will get a picture of you in front of the boat ready to board, which will be up for purchase a little later.
Silversonic has all the modern amenities such as flat screen LCD TV’ throughout the boat, a latté machine, all new dive and snorkel equipment, 4 washrooms, change rooms & hot water showers. The boat has computerised ride control systems which gives a very smooth ride out regardless of wind speeds and weather conditions, therefore allowing for a faster ride our to the reef at 32 knots. Less time travelling means more time at our three snorkel and dive locations of the day.
The three coral reef locations of the day will be chosen out of 45 possible spots among the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs depending on weather conditions, the winds, the tides and for their unique variety of marine life and corals. The Agincourt ribbon reef corals are considered to be one of the most pristine parts of the reef and preferred by certified divers for their uniqueness, their colourfulness and the beauty of the clear waters surrounding the outer barrier reefs.
For many people including myself, when going on day trips, I often forget/skip eating breakfast in the morning before leaving home. Silversonic is aware of how this is a usual occurrence with many tourists and guests that go on their boats, therefore throw in an extra smorgasbord of a variety of small sandwiches on focaccia bread, pastries, muffins, cakes all served with tea and coffee for the morning.
After a safety briefing, the TV’s show a DVD video of what you are in store for today. You can relax inside the air-conditioned lounge, sit outside at the front of the boat, sit upstairs in the air-conditioned upper indoor deck or sit in the upper outdoors back area. Wetsuits & Lycra suits are offered for hire for $5.00 for the day and can be picked up at this point on the back deck of the boat with the crew.
The ride out to the first site took 1 hour and the time flew. Seeing as I was going diving today, I sat in on an introductory diving video, which answered all into divers question and even had captions for other languages.
We filled out our paperwork ensuring that we were in the right medical bracket to go diving. Tash, Jason and Callum, the diving instructors on Silversonic, then did a brief overview of the video for the divers to ensure that they were ready to do this and split us into groups of 5 and told us which site(s) we would be diving at.
For the certified divers, they allowed drift diving. This is preferred, as the skipper will stop the boat, let them jump off of the boat, drive a little ways further and allow them to scuba dive towards the boat and not have to backtrack.
My first dive was at site #1, which was on that given day was “The Nursery Bombey”. This site was a favourite amongst many of the staff onboard so I knew that I was in for a great dive. I noticed that the groups that were made had first time divers in one and experienced in the other group. As we made our descent down the ropes, our instructor Jason made certain to keep watch of us consistently asking if we were okay which was very reassuring.
Jason pointed out and let us hold a massive sea cucumbers, touch unique corals that latch onto your hands, beautiful fish and even a reef shark that was lying down on the bottom of the ocean. The coral bombey was a huge cone of a variety of colours, shapes and thousands of small fish. The name “Nursery Bombey” came about of course from the mass amount of small fish.
The maximum depth that we went to during our 30-minute dive was 12 Meters, which was perfect and did not stop us from seeing everything. It was time to head back up for some snorkelling before heading to our next stop.
It took ten minutes to get to our next site, while the marine biologist made a presentation on the upper deck about marine life and answered questions. Shortly after arriving at the next site, which was called “Helms Deep” the lunch buffet was served. We did some snorkelling then took a break to indulge in cold meats, cheese, fresh salads, prawns, chicken, curry and exotic fruits. Soft drinks, beer, wine and snack food was available for purchase.
After another 10 minute cruise to our 3rd site of the day, which was “Turtle Bay”, I headed to the back of the boat as it was time for my second and final dive of the day. This site was filled with clown fish, turtles and even Moare Wrasse. While I was diving, the snorkelers above were having a complimentary guided snorkel tour. I was so impressed at how all three chosen sites of the day had corals that were so different from one another and happy that we got the chance to see the diversity the reef has to offer.
On the way back to Port Douglas, we even stopped the boat as the skipper spotted whales. Silversonic has 1 of the 11 licences in the world to swim with dwarf minke whales. It was a really nice touch for the skipper to stop the boat so everyone could get a good look. On the TV screens during the ride back, a slideshow of pictures from the day were playing and available for purchase. Biscuits, crackers, cheeses, cakes, coffee & tea were offered to guests on the main deck as the staff spoke with everyone and ensured total satisfaction from everyone.
I was so impressed by the staffs effort, as one of the girls on the boat was not feeling so well they rushed to her side, got her water, a cold towel, kept her calm and gave their full attention to ensure she was okay. As I sat out in the sun on the upper back deck for the ride home, I felt incredibly satisfied by my day out with Silversonic with nothing but great comments. It was also so nice after each dive and snorkel to be able to indulge in the hot freshwater showers to clean the saltwater away.
Although this boat is surveyed for being able to take many more, only 80 passengers are taken to ensure an exceptional quality of service and experience are achieved. Sign on with Silversonic and your day will be remembered forever.
For more information on this Port Douglas dive & snorkel tour and to make a booking click here
By: Blythe Rallo
The Tour Specialists