BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND – Moreton Bay is a wide expanse of water between Brisbane on the mainland of south-east Queensland and Moreton Island, one of a series of large sand islands along the coastline.
The bay offers myriad boating opportunities as a flotilla of 15 Riviera motor yachts and 42 enthusiastic boaters discovered during the recent R Marine Jones Winter Weekend Experience.
Paul and Adele Viles purchased their Riviera M370, Tital, 12 months ago and this was their first cruise in company.
“We are new to motor yachts,” explained Paul. “We were grateful to be able to follow Randall Jones and his crew aboard their Riv 1 as we motored north from the Gold Coast. The channels between the Gold Coast Broadwater and Moreton Bay can be challenging. We learned a great deal during the weekend.”
Safely into the Bay, the weekend revellers gathered on the Horseshoe Bay beach at Peel Island for the legendary R Marine Jones cheese platter and wine tasting competition.
“Each contestant gave a talk about their platter before the tastings,” explained Gary Lange. “Some of the ladies really dressed up their platters with chocolates and lollies. It was the same with the wine presentations as each contestant gave a presentation about a wine style, where it was purchased and why they chose it.”
Gary and Nerida live in Toowoomba, 125 kilometres west of Brisbane and spent much of their earlier boating time off the coast of Townsville in northern Queensland where Gary operates a charter business. They love their Riviera 48 Enclosed Flybridge, Reelistic, originally part of the charter fleet but now their personal motor yacht moored on the Gold Coast.
Alec and Glenda Parker joined in the fun with a cheese presentation from their Riviera 43 Open Flybridge, Ratha-b.
“Glenda made up a wonderful little platter, ” said Alec.
“We didn’t win, but simply joining in is more fun,” said Glenda. ” It is a fantastic ice breaker event to begin the weekend. It gave us a chance to meet new people and to catch up with friends.”
Randall Jones and his team had noted a forecast wind shift in the late afternoon and helped each family to move to the shelter of a bay on the larger Macleay Island.
“The wind picked up late in the day and Randall checked with every skipper to ensure they were safely anchored,” said Gary. “I was impressed with their efficiency and concern for our safety.”
Paul and Adele Viles felt totally safe even through the 30-knot winds in the middle of the night.
“Adele slept soundly,” said Paul.
A special highlight for everyone was the visit to the Little Ship Club restaurant on North Stradbroke Island on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
“Sunday was brilliant weather, sunny and calm,” said Gary Lange. “A lot of effort by Randall and his team went into preparing for our lunch at the Little Ship Club restaurant.
“We all anchored off the island and the R Marine Jones team ferried us ashore either aboard Riv 1 or on the large Brig tender they brought along.”
“We had not visited the Little Ship Club before,” said Paul Viles. “Having time to chat to everyone during the afternoon was both thoroughly enjoyable and informative. We learned a great deal about motor yachting in general and the local waterways in particular. It made us eager to continue our exploration.
“We will definitely join the flotilla again next year. All four days were the highlight for us.”