Riviera’s Ocean Bird

It’s typically hot and humid in Papua New Guinea’s Kimbe Bay and as one of the world’s best diving locations, Ben O’Hanlon and his family enjoy the serenity, untouched beauty and remoteness of PNG

One of the family’s favourite destinations is Witu Island, a volcanic island some five hours traveling time.  A narrow passage leading into the crater forms the perfect bay to lay anchor.

“No matter how rough it is, when you’re in that crater,  the water is always like glass,” Ben said.

On board the family’s Riviera 47 Open Flybridge, Manu Tai, Ben and his wife, Timaima, relax and enjoy time out from running the family’s shipping and transport business.

“We were looking for a serious game fishing boat that was also a great family cruising boat – it’s comfortable and well appointed,” Ben said.  “The boat has enabled the whole family to enjoy the beauty of the outer islands and reefs of Kimbe Bay.  It is also great for entertaining visiting business clients.

The boat has been customised for extended days at sea with an extra fuel tank and desalinator.  Also added were a dive compressor and air-conditioning in the fly bridge for the hot climate in PNG.

Manu Tai, meaning Ocean Bird, is the first Riviera for the O’Hanlon family.  Ben said his mother who is from Tuvalu in Polynesia named the boat because she wanted a Tuvaluan name which was unique.

Ben and Timaima also look forward to welcoming their first child in December, whom Ben is keen on showing her the ropes.

“I am going to teach her everything; fishing, skippering and even maintenance, she’s going to know the whole lot,” he said.

They bought Manu Tai in 2009.

“R Marine Queensland made the whole process so easy.  We had the boat shipped up to PNG.  Steve McPherson from R Marine came up for a few days to run us through the systems. He did a great job with the handover, and is just a call away if I need any assistance,” he said.

“Keeping the hull clean is a challenge,  It doesn’t take long for the barnacles to set in up here in the tropics, and the nearest slipway being 180 miles away doesn’t help.

He said boating was a great way to bring the whole family together to relax and enjoy being on the water, especially in a tropical paradise.  “It’s nice to be able to do it in style and comfort with our Riviera 47.”