Ross is what some may call the ultimate expert in adventure on the Great Barrier Reef and tropical North Coast of Australia. While he grew up exploring the mountainous coastline and marine life, his passion for the wind drove him as a teenager to be an early pioneer in kitesurfing along Cairns’ northern beaches. Needing to conquer bigger feats, he followed in his dad’s footsteps and took up hang gliding and has been taking to the skies for over 20 years when not on or under the water. An avid diver, spearfisherman, kitesurfer, hang glider, photographer and now skipper has made him the perfect guide for guests and scientists exploring the remote GBR coast and what Ross calls his “backyard”. He believes in expanding upon every opportunity to blend individual amazing experiences into one big ultimate adventure. Ross has run Aroona Luxury Boat Charters as manager and skipper since its inception in 2011 and has successfully made it the most sought-after tailored experience on the Great Barrier Reef. He is also devoted to advancing research through his access to these remote reef areas. Ross has long-running collaborations with scientists on minke whale migrations and behaviours, shark movements, nautilus populations, seagrass monitoring and coral assessments from Cairns up to the Torres Strait.
Adam has worked in a number of jobs associated with the marine environment encompassing scientific research, education on an eco-tourism dive vessel and as a member of production teams on >20 underwater documentaries. He holds research positions at Deakin University in Melbourne, the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart and is the Director of Oceans IQ, North Queensland www.oceansiq.com.au . Adam is currently involved in research projects in north and south Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, NSW and South Africa. Adam’s research is mostly related to the ecology of chondrichthyans (sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras), but he also works on food web dynamics and sources of energy supporting consumer communities in inland, coastal and offshore habitats. His main research interest includes studying the roles of predators in structuring ecosystems, with a special focus on predator-prey relationships, and spatial ecology (i.e. migration, movement behaviour and habitat use) of large mobile marine species, including evaluating the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas.
Richard Fitzpatrick is an Emmy awarded cinematographer specialising in5K, 4K and high definition as well as being a qualified marine biologist specialising in sharks. He has shot more than 50 films for clients such as the BBC, National Geographic and Discovery Channel and is renowned for filming complex behavioural sequences.
Extreme environments are no problem with Richard having filmed all over the world from the deserts of outback Australia, the jungles of the Amazon to snow covered Alaska. With over 8000 hours underwater he has filmed in the crystal clear coral gardens of the Great Barrier Reef to the murky waters of the Amazon. In the process he has won a numerous international awards. Richard’s background before filming was as a marine biologist in public aquariums he has worked at Oceanworld - Manly, Maui Ocean Centre- Hawaii and at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Reef HQ in Townsville.
Richard's current research activities include a long-term reef shark monitoring program at Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea and the satellite tagging of Tiger sharks in the Far Northern Section of the Great Barrier Reef. This research has most recently been featured in Discovery Channels 2008 Shark week in the 2 hour special ‘Mysteries of Shark Coast’ he has also been featured twice on Channel 9’s 60 minutes program and also in the Channel 9 documentary ‘Shark Tracker’. Richard is currently one of the presenters in the National Geographic WILD channels – ‘Venom Lab’ series and is the cinematographer and producer of the three part ‘Reef” series for BBC/Discovery Channel.
Dr Dean Miller specialises in travelling the world to research and film animals in the most remote, inhospitable and interesting corners of our planet to excite and inspire
After eight years at University studying Marine Science. His work has taken him from the tropics to the poles, reefs to rainforest, ocean depths to mountaintops and everything in-between. He has walked with polar bears, dived with tiger sharks, lived with seals, come eye to eye with whales, marched with penguins and flown with eagles. There is no adventure too great or small when you’re trying to save the species of our planet!
A professional Chef will be employed to provide you with the standard of culinary delights you require. See our Itineraries section for food and meal options.
Our Host/Deckie will be there to work with the Captain and Chef to ensure you have a memorable experience on board Aroona.
If required, extra specialist staff may need to be employed for example a dive instructor, fishing guide,etc