MORETON BAY, QUEENSLAND – The “Gutter” at Kooringal on the southern tip of Moreton Island in south-east Queensland is a challenge for the most experienced motor yacht skippers. The reward is a wonderful, sheltered and scenic anchorage.
The Gutter is a narrow channel of deep water between Moreton Island and a small sand island to its west. The entry is very narrow and shallow, best navigated by motor yachts close to high tide.
Ros and Paul Phelan steered their new Riviera 5400 Sport Yacht, Feelingood Again into Kooringal as their introduction to the Riviera Family.
They were among 35 Riviera motor yachts and 85 adventurers who came together for the R Marine Jones Kooringal Experience recently.
“What a magical location and a great group of like-minded people,” said Ros. “We took delivery of our new Riviera in December, so it was a fabulous way to learn more about her.
“Randall and the R Marine Jones team had marked the entrance for us and guided us into the anchorage.
“There were many highlights for us. Perhaps one of the best was the tender adventure among the mangroves and shallows to view the stingrays and shovel-nose sharks. They were a wonderful sight in crystal clear water.”
Jeff and Christine Dart loved the anchorage.
Jeff explained that the voyage north was also a new adventure.
“As we entered, our 52 Enclosed Flybridge. Dreamtime, came a bit close to the bottom – less than a metre of water below the keel. However, we felt perfectly safe.”
” I have always travelled north to Moreton Bay through the Canaipa passage Randall took us through the main channel which was an eye-opener.
“I have not visited Kooringal for about 25 years. It was a wonderful reminiscence.
“We were among the first to enjoy the pop-up oyster bar on the beach. There is something very special about absolutely fresh oysters on the beach.”
Regan and Sandra Fleming have not previously joined a Riviera event although they have owned a 51 and 56 Enclosed Flybridge motor yacht before taking delivery of their 68 Sports Motor Yacht Living The Life in July last year.
“We reconnoitred the area with Steve from R Marine Jones in the Brig a couple of weeks earlier so we knew it would be a challenge as the 68 Sports Motor Yacht has the deepest draft in the fleet. It was great to have the expertise of the R Marine Jones team to guide us in as I would not attempt the entry alone,” said Regan. “The result was gorgeous. It is a wonderful location.”
“We thoroughly enjoyed meeting like-minded boat owners and exchanging experiences and relaxing in each other’s company.
“We all loved the tender adventure to watch the stingrays and sharks. The dinner together with the entire group was also very pleasant. The food and the camaraderie were exceptional.
“We planned the Kooringal trip as a shakedown for us, our son Joel and our two crew, Dan and Krissi. It worked perfectly. We all got on very well and knew exactly what needed to be done. We stayed in Moreton Bay for a few days after the flotilla left for home ports to relax and to focus on provisioning for our voyage to New Caledonia in April.”