Deep Sea Divers Den owns and operates the SeaQuest – a day boat that visits the outer reef daily, and connects with the liveaboard OceanQuest, which remains out on the reef. This page specifically covers the SeaQuest Cairns day trip experience, for snorkelers, certified scuba divers and introductory diving for those who want to try scuba diving for the first time.
Deep Sea Divers Den Cairns offers the full range of PADI courses from Discover Scuba Diving to Rescue and other specialised courses. Their shop is well stocked with gear for purchase and hire, and everything you need to enjoy your day’s diving on the Great Barrier Reef is available on board the Sea Quest.
All the gear is modern, and all regs have easy to use dive computers. Dives are not guided, though you can pay for a guide if you want one. There are up to three dives, at two different locations during the day.
Camera hire is also available on the boat. More details available here.
The Sea Quest stops at two of seventeen possible moorings on the Norman, Saxon and Hastings Reefs. The particular moorings are usually selected on the day according to conditions.
Check in is at 8am for an 8:30am departure from ‘B’ Finger at the Cairns Marlin Marina. Once underway, there is the usual boat briefing covering safety, staff members, the order of the day, and general logistics.
Shortly after that, the certified divers are grouped together, the paperwork is completed and we head upstairs for a dive briefing around a large table in the skipper’s cabin. There is a general refresher covering the usual safety, dive protocol, signals, gear, etc, and then we move onto the dive itself.
The Sea Quest has large format detailed maps of all their dive sites, and it is very easy to plan a route to take in most of the highlights. Guides are offered at this point for those who want to ensure that they are shown all the highlights and don’t miss out on anything.
After the briefing, it is straight to the dive deck to kit up for the dive. The standard issue tanks are smaller than your average tank, but perfectly adequate considering the depth and time limits for each dive. Ask for a larger tank if you think you’ll need one. Entry is a few steps down the rear stairs into the ocean. Snorkelers are requested to allow the divers to go first, so we have the whole rear deck to ourselves.
There is a very friendly Humphead Maori wrasse who appears the instant the catamaran moors up. I’m sure he has some deal going with the on-board camera guy – as he sidles up to each guest in turn ensuring they all get at least the option to purchase a hero shot of them diving or snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef with the reef’s own mascot.
There is time for two dives on the first mooring, or a dive and a snorkel. Lunch is a tropical buffet of cold cuts and a variety of salads and coleslaw. Additionally, there’s a big mug of hot soup if you’re a little chilly from the double dive. After lunch the boat moves to a second mooring for the last dive or snorkel of the day.
All water activities at wrapped up by about 2.30pm when the Sea Quest moors against the Ocean Quest – the outer reef liveaboard for the daily transfer of guests who want a longer outer reef experience.
The trip back is about 90 minutes, for a 4:30pm arrival and provides the opportunity to get your dive details, identify any new critters you may have spotted and write up your dive. You can also purchase that hero shot of you and Wally to have something to remind you of the fun you’ve had.