Riviera

On top of his game

Gold Coast, Australia:   Riviera owner Grant Carter and his crew were on top of their game in the deep blue waters off the Continental Shelf about 35 miles off the coast of Queensland’s Surfers Paradise.

There was not a boat or land in sight; just an expanse of flat, calm, turquoise ocean and maybe the odd whale off in the horizon, but it is this sense of freedom that captivates Grant.

An avid game fisher, Grant has competed in many tournaments in his home town, Tasmania, but this was the first time he has entered a game fishing tournament on the Gold Coast.

The annual Cabo Yachts and Bruce Lynton Land Rover Blue Marlin Classic hosted by the Gold Coast Game Fishing Club attracted about 18 boats ranging in size from 30 to 60 feet, including three Rivieras.

Grant’s Riviera 3850, Blacklabel, departed Runaway Bay Marina in the early hours of April 7 and as the sun rose over the horizon the crew prepared for three big days of fishing.

They caught many different species including seven wahoo, one shark, three mahi mahi (dolphin fish) and three Blue marlin hooked but not landed.

The team won the prize for the heaviest other species catch, a 21 kilogram mahi mahi (dolphin fish) and they were also awarded a prize for the best team outfit, which were Riviera T-shirts made specially for the competition.

Grant said game fishing was a team sport and he enjoyed the adrenalin rush and camaraderie.

“When you catch a fish, not one person catches it, it’s a team effort,” he said.

“It’s the adrenalin rush of the catch and the team work with your mates.

“For me, boating is that sense of freedom when we are heading out of the seaway with family or friends and I know we are leaving all the stress of life’s work behind.

“The tournament was very well organised, the Gold Coast Game Fishing Club did a fabulous job and I look forward to the next event.”

Grant bought his Riviera 3850 in Tasmania (which is an island and state of Australia located 240 kilometres south of the mainland) in 2004 and he has since clocked up 850 hours.

“It’s absolutely faultless.  The engines just run beautifully,” he said.

“We moved to the Gold Coast from Tasmania in 2009 but we brought the boat up here in 2008.

“We left St Helens (north-east coast of Tasmania) at about 1pm and cruised to Flinders Island which is about one third of the way across Bass Strait to Melbourne (and about 20 kilometres north of Tasmania).

“We left Flinders Island at four o’clock the next morning and set a course north east for Gabo Island where we refuelled at the lighthouse before continuing on to Eden where we anchored for the night.

“From Eden we went to Bermagui and spent eight days during the Bermagui tag and release competition.  I left the boat there for about one month before returning and continuing north on to Batemans Bay.”

From Batemans Bay, Grant and his crew continued north to Sydney, stopping at the coastal towns of Ulladulla and Jervis Bay along the way.

“We spent five days in Sydney Harbour and then went north to Broken Bay to a beautiful little bay and spent a night on the Haweksbury,” Grant said.

“Our next stop was Nelson Bay (in Port Stephens which is about 60 kilometres north-east of Newcastle) where I left the boat for one month while I flew back to Tasmania for work and then I came back with my family.”

Grant’s son, Tristan, was 13 at the time of the voyage, which was a fantastic experience for him.

They continued north to the Gold Coast stopping along the way in Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.

For Grant, highlights of this journey included stops at Jervis Bay, Sydney Harbour and Port Macquarie where he met author Alan Lucas who wrote ‘Cruising the NSW coast’ and ‘Cruising the Coral Coast’.

“Jervis Bay is memorable because there are lots of dolphins and it’s very pristine.

“Another place that stood out was Sydney Harbour, it was fantastic going right up into Darling Harbour and stopping at The Rocks where all the restaurants are.  And Nelson Bay was just lovely.”

Grant said this was the first time he had completed a journey of this magnitude (about 1000 nautical miles) and it wouldn’t have been possible without his Riviera 3850.

He also said it was important to be well-prepared.

“Make sure the weather is fine and give yourself enough time to make the journey in case you get held up in a port due to bad weather,” he said.

“Check everything and make sure the boat is serviced and everything is in operational order and do a check list.

“It is always important to travel with a crew.  I had four people on board at all times.”

Grant’s next ocean adventure is a trip to the Whitsunday Islands in the Great Barrier Reef, located in tropical north Queensland.

 

 

 

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Click to enlarge image: Grant and his team enjoyed game fishing off the Continental Shelf about 35 miles off the coast of Surfers Paradise

Grant and his team enjoyed game fishing off the Continental Shelf about 35 miles off the coast of Surfers Paradise


Grant and his team won the prize for heaviest other species catch, a 21 kilogram mahi mahi

Grant and his team won the prize for heaviest other species catch, a 21 kilogram mahi mahi


Grant Carter and his crew won the prize for best team outfit

Grant Carter and his crew won the prize for best team outfit


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