It was an unforgettable journey for three Riviera owners embarking on their first coastal passage to Lady Musgrave Island, a world-heritage listed marine park.
Together with more than 100 other Riviera owners they traveled more than 250 nautical miles as they cruised from the Gold Coast to Lady Musgrave Island.
Set in Australia’s idyllic Great Barrier Reef, just off the central Queensland coast; Lady Musgrave was the perfect spot to drop anchor, take in the breath-taking beauty of its crystal clear waters and myriad of tropical fish, coral and turtles.
It was the first experience for three Riviera owners; Peter and Roslyn McCormack on board a 38 Flybridge, Graham and Sharyn Cuthbert on board a Riviera 3850, and Peter Newman and Regan Trask on board a 4700 Sport Yacht.
For Peter and Roslyn McCormack the relaxed ambience provided a perfect escape from their busy motor vehicle repairs business.
“It was a highlight coming out of Mooloolaba boat harbour, we were heading north towards the Wide Bay Bar, the mist was over the water and there was a helicopter taking aerial photos,” said McCormack.
“The excitement of seeing Lady Musgrave in the distance and going into the channels of Lady Musgrave Lagoon, the beautiful water, bird and marine life up there was magical.
“I will definitely do it again, I enjoyed the camaraderie and meeting new people in the Riviera family.
“It’s a great stress relief to me and a thrill taking the family out and spending time with them.”
McCormack said he was also impressed with the 38’s performance.
“The handling of the 38 is fantastic for what it can do and the comforts of it,” he explained.
Another highlight for McCormack was meeting Ian Reynolds, owner of Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge Investigator IV, who completed a 9,000-mile journey around Australia late last year.
“We were lucky to have Ian Reynolds on that trip and it was fantastic to talk to him,” he said.
Sharyn and Graham Cuthbert said it was a huge relief to have the team from R Marine to guide them to Lady Musgrave.
“It was our first time out in the ocean outside the bay (Raby Bay) but R Marine made us feel very comfortable. It was a good way to travel (with a fleet of Rivieras) because we knew that if disaster hit there would be plenty of people around to help,” said Cuthbert.
“We learnt how good the boat was on that trip because it certainly handled the seas better than the crew did.
“We really enjoyed taking out the inflatable dinghy and socialising with other Riviera owners, the night at Kingfisher Bay was a beautiful still night and really quaint.
“The first day at Lady Musgrave was beautiful with clear, aqua water but the second day the weather changed. It got very windy and when the tide came in the waves came straight over the reef but the boat handled it well, we never had a problem.”
Cuthbert said his favourite past-time was sitting on board his Riv and reading the newspaper or a good novel while ‘watching the world go by’.
The experience met all expectations for Peter Newman and Regan Trask who described Lady Musgrave as ‘one of the most picturesque places we have seen’.
“Lady Musgrave is just awesome and the Riviera owners are a great bunch of people,” he said.
“The trip was very well organised and the support staff from Riviera taught us how to fix any minor problems and general getting to know your boat, which was fantastic.
“I learnt a lot about my boat and the systems on the boat as well as seamanship – it was a huge learning curve for many reasons.”
Newman said he got a great deal of satisfaction from driving his own boat in open sea.
“It makes me feel happy and stress free doing something I love and I feel safe in a Riviera because they are not hard boats to control, they are very good in offshore conditions.”
Despite the weather conditions, all three couples agreed it was a fantastic experience and they praised the staff at R Marine for ensuring it was an enjoyable and safe experience for all Riviera owners.