Gripping with suspense, a crew of 15 Riviera owners on board a fleet of five Rivieras ranging in size from 36 to 56 feet crept through the eerie waters and into the unknown as they entered their anchorage at Peel Island, where the first clue to their Mystery Weekend was uncovered.
The Riviera owners and their guests made the four nautical mile journey from Raby Bay in Brisbane to Peel Island, which is located in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay.
Upon arrival, the weather turned so the crew decided to up anchor and start their Mystery Trip, which was hosted by Riviera Brisbane.
Dealer principals Rod and Julie Crawley lead the way on board their Riviera 56 Double Trouble, with Riviera 51 Indulgence, Riviera M360Aboutime, Riviera 47 Schmick and Riviera 47 Living the Dream following closely behind.
They reached their final destination, the Royal Yacht Squadron on Canaipa Point at Russell Island, which is nine nautical miles from Peel Island by mid afternoon and by 3.30pm they were all enjoying champagne and sundowners on the beach.
“A beach barbecue followed as the sun was setting and we all gathered around the fire for a sing a long and a few old boating stories,” said Julie.
“In the morning we all had a great breakfast at the Squadron and after a lazy coffee we pulled up our anchors and ventured 10 nautical miles back towards Stradbroke Island to the Pontoon of the Little Ship Club. Once all the boats were safely moored, we put on our walking shoes and boarded the Little Ship Club bus to depart for our Mystery Bus Trip.
“It was a little packed on the bus, but Rod gave a running commentary of Stradbroke Island to entertain the crew. After visiting Point Lookout, we bought a sumptuous seafood lunch from the local fisherman.”
After lunch, the crew set off for a stroll around the picturesque Gorge walk, which is located at the north western end of Point Lookout, with of course Rod and Julie’s two Boston Terriers, Spud and Pebbles from Riviera 56Double Trouble.
The Gorge walk is a 1.2 kilometre trail on a boardwalk that winds its way through pandanus palms and sheoaks with spectacular views of the ocean and migrating humpback whales.
For Graham and Ann Belby on board their M360 About Time, it was a trip down memory lane as they reminisced about their first date some 40 years ago.
“Our first date was a cruise to Straddie and as we walked along the Boardwalk at Point Lookout, I said to Ann ‘who would have thought we would be returning here in our own Riviera’,” Graham said.
“We hadn’t been to Straddie for a while so it was good to go back there.
“I really enjoyed the walk around Point Lookout; the weather was absolutely perfect with blue skies, no wind and a good solid two to three metre swell, which makes it quite spectacular over there.”
The crew built up a thirst during their hike so scheduled a stop at the New Stradbroke Island Hotel for some refreshments.
This was followed by an afternoon of fresh prawns and chicken on the pontoon of the Little Ship Club while watching the sun set over Moreton Bay.
“We spent that evening at the Little Ship Club and were entertained by local Straddie band ‘Pippi Lips’, Afterward we all had a bit of a dance to Roy Orbison on the back of Indulgence,” Julie said.
“Sunday morning was a little slow, with a few fuzzy heads after the night before. The Schmick crew of Sharon and Mick O’Phee, and John and Janet Freestone departed for their voyage back down the Gold Coast to catch the morning high tide.
“The rest of the boats stayed on at Horseshoe Bay where everyone enjoyed a swim and a quiet Sunday lunch.
“It was great to see the entire group enjoying themselves and they really enjoyed Riviera Brisbane’s Mystery Weekend with highlights including the Gorge Walk and North Stradbroke Island bus tour, which a lot of the people had not experienced.
Peter and Gail Butler on board Riviera 51 Indulgence said it was a very pleasant weekend.
“We enjoyed the walk around the Gorge and stopping for drinks at the hotel, and we had a beautiful dinner at the Little Ship Club it is so good to be able to share such social times with other Riv owners. It’s just like one big boating family,” Peter said.
“We have got quite a few friends in the Riviera Family so it was nice to catch up with them again.”