PORT LINCOLN, SOUTH AUSTRALIA – “No matter how much we think we know, we can always learn something from the professionals!”
Brian Findlay was watching a demonstration of fish filleting aboard MFV Tacoma during the Riviera Port Lincoln Experience in South Australia recently.
Relive all the colour and excitement of R Marine South Australia’s Port Lincoln Experience … in less than a minute.
“The team filleted whiting in a totally different way than I have used,” he said. “It was dry filleting, using cloths to keep the fish dry. Then they demonstrated tuna filleting. Amazing.”
Brian and Leslee Findlay joined the Experience along with 27 other Riviera owners and their families and friends at Fisherman’s Point in the Lincoln National Park, just a short five-mile trip east across Boston Bay from the city of Port Lincoln in south-western South Australia.
“We took delivery of our Riviera 575 SUV just a week before the Experience, so it was a great way to learn all about the motor yacht,” said Brian. “We called her Anger Management. When I am on board, all the cares of a busy business life simply wash away.
“She is our third Riviera, and I could not be more happy. I pinch myself every time I step on board.”
The Riviera Port Lincoln Experience began with a welcome and drinks and finger food on the beach at Fisherman’s Point on the Friday evening.
“The R Marine SA team picked us all up in their tenders and took us across to the beach,” said Brian. “It was a relaxing and fantastic way to meet new people and reacquaint with old friends.”
Another Riviera owner, Gary, and his crew live near Port Lincoln and arrived at Fisherman’s Point early on the Friday aboard their 565 SUV Reality Cheque.
“We watched the R Marine South Australia team setting up,” said Gary. “It was very efficient. They brought everything for the evening by road, through the park and to the beach and set up, ready for the motor yachts and their crew to arrive in the late afternoon. They had marquees, tables, chairs, a barbecue and an incredible amount of food and drinks. There was even a white picket fence. I know something about event management and this was a brilliant team effort.”
Caitlin Harvey arrived aboard Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht The Silver Fox.
“The beach party was great fun,” she said. “We know many of the people and it was a good opportunity to reconnect with them. Having name tags certainly helps in meeting new people.”
On Saturday, the flotilla cruised to Reevesby Island, about 20 nautical miles north, for a Seafood Culinary Master Class aboard the Tacoma anchored in the lagoon on the western side of the island.
A 120-tonne 84-foot wooden tuna clipper, the MFV Tacoma was launched at Port Fairy in Victoria in 1951. She is Australia’s first purpose-built purse seine fishing vessel, targeting southern bluefin tuna. The purse seine method of fishing is highly selective as it usually targets only one species at a time by using a large net that encircles a shoal of fish. This means that there is very little impact on other marine species.
Gary and his crew left the overnight anchorage at dawn on Saturday to fish for tuna.
“The R Marine South Australia team asked us bring a couple of fish to the Tacoma,” said Gary. “We were not sure what to expect but it was great to watch the professionals fillet our tuna and then prepare it on tasting plates for everyone.
“The food they served during the afternoon was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed the stories by the fishermen.”
Caitlin Harvey agreed.
“The crew was fantastic, so interesting,” she said. “And they even had me laughing at some of their stories.”
Sunday was spent relaxing, fishing and exploring before the final event of the weekend.
“This area is like the Whitsundays – except for the weather,” said Gary. “There are so many islands around Reevesby. It is a great place to explore.”
Reevesby Island is the largest of a group of about 20 islands, islets and rocks that make up the Sir Joseph Banks Group Marine Park, an area of 2,627 square kilometres.
The flotilla moved to Haystack Bay on the eastern side of Reevesby Island for the evening’s entertainment.
“Five motor yachts rafted up with a Riviera 445 SUV standing off,” said Gary. “It would be used as the stage for the band.”
The party theme was Heroes and Villains with nearly 100 people gathered in the cockpits and swim platforms of the five Rivieras, dancing and enjoying the ’70s and ’80s music by local band the Ethnic Cowboys who also dressed in style.
“We all brought food and drinks and partied through the night,” said Gary. “I dressed as the marvel comic character Iron Man. Some people went to great lengths. One was a great version of Heath Ledger’s lurid The Joker from the Batman movie.”