The annual Port Geographe Experience in Western Australia has been so successful; it is now a must-do event for many boating enthusiasts.
According to Brendon Grieve, Dealer Principal of WA Riviera Dealership R Marine Perth, the recent 2009 event “went like a dream”.
“The fleet size of 17 boats allowed all our owners and guests to really connect and make new friends on the trip.”
While much of the event involves voyaging at sea or partying, one of the highlights according to owners was the engine and system checks performed by manufacturer representatives during the first stopover in Mandurah on day one.
“It highlighted the need for everyone to make sure their boats are truly seaworthy before taking on a voyage,” said Brendon.
“The representatives deserve special mention for so willingly going out of their way and to work out of hours and in such a quick turn around,” said Steve Robertson aboard his Riviera 40 Flybridge, C’est Si Bon.
Representatives from Cummins, Caterpillar, Onan and Raymarine were on hand at Mandurah to spend time checking over the Rivieras before their four-hour sea voyage to Busselton on day two.
Club Marine sponsored a happy hour at the Mandurah Yacht Club on that first evening where everyone enjoyed drinks and freshly shucked oysters.
“On the trip to Busselton and Port Geographe we anchored briefly at Bunbury for a rest,” said Brendon, “and then it was a short hour and 20 minutes down to Port Goegraphe Marina where we were based for the next few days.”
To celebrate the end of the voyage south, the crew held an impromptu party with French champagne and finger food so everyone could meet each other.
Peter and Lin Court aboard their Riviera 41 Open Flybridge, Court Jester said: “We had not traveled that far south previously and the convoy provided a perfect way to explore new territory, but the chance to do it in such good company really made the trip.”
Once in Busselton, everyone had the opportunity to stock up on food and other necessities. Perth car dealership Auto Classic loaned the owners two BMWs and a Mini Cooper S to get in and out of the township.
And to add to the fun in Geographe Bay, Jet Torque Marine provided a 7.3m Gemini Rigid inflatable as a tender to help everyone get around on water.
Pam and Steve Robertson were particularly grateful for the sense of safety during the voyage.
“Particular mention should go to the Fremantle Sea Rescue team,” said Pam and Steve. “Words cannot express the level of comfort it was having them as part of the team for the whole journey. It takes away any anxiety from traveling those distances.”
On Sunday the fleet headed to Quindaulip for the annual MTU Beach Barbecue – fun and games.
“In the afternoon we screamed back to Busselton Jetty, Australia’s longest jetty, where we had our Gala Dinner at The Goose restaurant,” said Brendon. “We hired a Neil Diamond tribute singer from Perth who was a huge success. And the dinner was exquisite.”
The following day the fleet returned north a day early due to a change in weather.
“We steamed directly for Myalup and from there we cruised in convoy at less than 50 metres from the deserted beach for about 12 miles,” said Brendon.
“The trip back along the coast was absolutely magnificent,” commented Steve Robertson. “The R Marine team deserves formal congratulations on a very well organised event.”
The final word came from Peter Court: “It was an Experience we won’t forget and will be delighted to participate again in the future. Court Jester signing off for now.”