The Riviera Family is grieving the loss of one our favourite owners.
Ian Reynolds – known throughout the Riviera Family as “Captain Seaweed” – passed away in mid-February, leaving a place as a true gentleman, an inspiring adventurer, a trusted mentor and a loyal friend that will be difficult to fill.
He is revered throughout the Riviera Family for the courageous adventures in 2008 aboard his Riviera 56 Enclosed Flybridge, Endeavour IV, first to Lord Howe Island and then on a mighty voyage to circumnavigate Australia and later north to the Louisiade Islands off Papua New Guinea. His motor yacht, and three before her, was named after Ian’s inspiration, Matthew Flinders, the first person to circumnavigate Australia, in 1802 and 1803.
Ian’s adventure in turn inspired many Riviera owners, notably Andrew Luxton, who completed a similar circumnavigation in 2015 aboard his Riviera 51 Enclosed Flybridge, Prime Mover.
Ian held dreams of blue-water voyaging from a young age. He owned a number of small boats, harbouring his first dream to circumnavigate Tasmania from his home in Melbourne.
He bought his first Riviera, a 35 Flybridge, in 1993 and crossed Bass Strait aboard that boat. He then purchased a Riviera 43 – his first motor yacht to be named Investigator – then a 48 and, in 2005, a 51 Enclosed Flybridge. In March 2006, Ian, with his grandson and two close friends as crew, circumnavigated Tasmania aboard that motor yacht, Investigator III.
However, the seeds of a much greater dream, to circumnavigate Australia, were planted with the naming of his Riviera 43.
At the mentally-young age of 79, Ian Reynolds set off in 2008 to fulfil that dream aboard his new Riviera 56.
During that voyage, Reynolds and his crew visited many sites first described by Matthew Flinders.
First, he and his crew undertook a shakedown cruise to Lord Howe Island to prove the on-board systems that would assist Ian on his circumnavigation of more than 20,000 nautical miles.
Lord Howe is around 350 nautical miles east of the mid-north coast of New South Wales, a challenge in itself.
Fortunately for us and for posterity, Ian invited a film crew to join him and he spoke eloquently on video about his vision and his passion for blue-water cruising.
Vale Ian Reynolds. Fair winds and safe harbours.