The first Seastar, a timber vessel commenced operations in 1956, based in Cairns she worked for a few years mainly taking passengers on fishing expeditions but also visiting islands and to a lesser extent the reef. Snorkelling and diving was not so popular then and snorkel equipment almost non-existent. She was replaced with a steel vessel in the 1960’s, more modern and reliable this vessel was able to range further but essentially continued the same service as before. In the mid 1970’s this vessel was upgraded to the considerably larger, well renowned Seastar II.
In the late eighties Seastar II ceased overnight trips, in favour of the more popular day tours and began the now famous Michaelmas Cay and Hastings reef combination. She continued this run for nearly 30 years when in 2003 Peter and Bernadette Edwards bought her from the original family. An obvious problem was that she was an old design, slow compared to more recent vessels and dated in appearance.
By 2007 they had replaced her with the fast, modern Seastar 1. This made the Michaelmas Cay and Hastings reef tour much more enjoyable, with most of the tour, now over 50%, spent snorkelling or diving at the island or reef.
In 2015 they designed and built Skedaddle, specifically to cater to those unable to take a full day reef tour. Skedaddle began operating to Hastings Reef, which is actually the second half of the Seastar tour. Using all the Seastar amenities and trained crew she was an instant quality service. Giving the best travel time to snorkel activity time of over 60% – most of your time is at the outer reef.
Peter and Bernadette are locals having lived and worked in Cairns a over a combined time of 100 years. They have extensive experience within the tourism industry and a unique perspective on the history of Cairns. Both have worked nearly exclusively the local tourism industry.
Bernadette began her apprenticeship at a local restaurant and after qualifying as a Chef, worked at several local restaurants catering to local tourists. After which she moved into management and eventually into tour sales. Peter began his marine career as a boy on his father’s fishing boat. On moving to Cairns, after a brief period in the hotel and restaurant industry, then running his own hire car business, he moved back into the marine industry and at a young age he obtained his Masters certificate and commenced taking passengers to the reef.