Riviera

Perfect weather and crystal clear water for Bellini’s maiden voyage

Hamilton Island, QLD: Three Riviera Syndication owners plus Master Class V skipper Jimmy Thorn embarked on what has been dubbed by Roger Drake as the ‘epic maiden voyage of Bellini’.

The latest addition to the Riviera Syndication fleet, a luxurious 5800 Sport Yacht, traveled approximately 600 nautical miles from Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast to Hamilton Island marina in the tropical Whitsundays. 

The three day voyage gave the new owners Roger Drake, Steve Penisi and Allan Lock the chance to learn more about their vessel and test her sea keeping abilities.

Long-time Syndication owner Roger Drake said that while this was his second blue water voyage, it was his first offshore journey to Hamilton Island on board his new 5800 Sport Yacht.

“It was a fantastic trip.  It was a little lumpy to begin with and crossing the Wide Bay Bar into the Great Sandy Straits was an exhilarating experience.  We were literally surfing the bar and going in with two metres of water beneath us, but Bellini handled it very easily and powered on,” he said.

“We cruised at a comfortable 22 knots for the rest of the journey and fished along the way.  My favourite anchorage was at Lady Musgrave Island.

“Lady Musgrave Island is very unique.  Located in the middle of the ocean is this magnificent coral cay where we anchored for the night.  The water temperature was a nice 22.5 degrees Celsius and we snorkeled among the multi-coloured coral and saw a myriad of different fish species including clown fish.

“Lady Musgrave Island is a very sheltered and protected anchorage.  It felt so surreal to be surrounded by a mass of turquoise ocean and to hear the water lapping at the sides of the boat gives a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

“We also saw a couple of turtles and whales along the way, the journey was one of life’s great and memorable experiences.”

Master Class V skipper Jimmy Thorn said the first leg of the journey they encountered 25 knot south easterly winds which forced them to go through the inside of Moreton Bay.

“We tucked into Noosa headlands for the first night and on the Wednesday morning we crossed the Wide Bay Bar on the in-coming tide with sets of up to one-and-a-half metres breaking on the outer banks on waypoint one,” he said.

“We refueled at Urangan at midday and then set a course for Stuart Shoal just outside Lady Musgrave Island where Steve landed a large Amberjack on the first drop.

“We anchored at Lady Musgrave where we had a perfect night’s sleep before setting the course for Roslyn Bay where we topped up with fuel and left for our final anchorage at Pearl Bay.

“On Friday we cruised to Middle Percy Island and swam ashore where we looked at the memorabilia left behind by passing boaters on the A-frame sign in Western Bay.  That afternoon we were blessed with dead calm, glassy conditions which stayed with us for our voyage into Hamilton Island Marina at about 5pm on the Friday afternoon.”

Roger said the great thing about Syndicated Boat ownership was that there was no preparation or maintenance involved, simply collect the keys, climb aboard and go.

“We each had our own cabin and ensuite, we couldn’t ask for any more privacy or comfort and we are all boating enthusiasts and were very excited about the voyage.  The trip went really well.  We each took our turn at cleaning and cooking,” he said.

“Each time I go out on the boat it is like a new adventure, venturing into the unknown and especially when you can’t see land.

“The Volvo IPS system on the 5800 Sport Yacht makes manoeuvrability easier; it just feels so comfortable, especially in tricky conditions.  I can reverse into the marina and grab a rope at the same time.”

Roger said it was a very enjoyable trip and he looks forward to the next one.

“Every time we travel with Jimmy, I am impressed by his total professionalism.  He lets us take control of Bellini but quietly stands in the background making sure everything is under total control.

“I learn more about boating and the capabilities of Bellini every time I go out with Jimmy.  This was a fantastic trip with great food, great company and great boating.”

 

 

 

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Click to enlarge image: Skipper Jimmy Thorn did a fantastic job navigating through the Wide Bay Bar at Great Sandy Straits

Skipper Jimmy Thorn did a fantastic job navigating through the Wide Bay Bar at Great Sandy Straits


Bellini arrives at Hamilton Island and berths next to her sister, Marbella

Bellini arrives at Hamilton Island and berths next to her sister, Marbella


Syndication owner Steve Pennisi enjoys a spot of fishing on board Bellini

Syndication owner Steve Pennisi enjoys a spot of fishing on board Bellini


Hamilton Island is one of Riviera Syndication's favourite anchorages

Hamilton Island is one of Riviera Syndication's favourite anchorages


The picturesque Whitsunday Islands is a boaters haven

The picturesque Whitsunday Islands is a boaters haven


The voyage to Hamilton Island was blessed with perfect weather and boating conditions

The voyage to Hamilton Island was blessed with perfect weather and boating conditions


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