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Isolating on a Belize Daybridge surrounded by an idyllic boating paradise

Adventures, Edition 13 - 2020

Isolating on a Belize Daybridge surrounded by an idyllic boating paradise


Riviera motor yacht owners made the most of 2020 during the lockdown, and often enjoyed an entirely different boating experience. This is one of three stories in this month’s edition of Experience magazine that shows how some of us coped in the year of COVID-19.

There was no stopping Connie and Tony Borgia from taking the greatest pleasure in their dream luxury motor yacht, Aqua Bella. Not even isolation. Fortunately, these ‘crazy boaties’ can park their Belize Daybridge in front of their home in Calypso Bay. Situated in idyllic boating grounds between South Stradbroke Island and the southern Morton Bay islands in south-east Queensland, and moored since the start of April due to COVID-19 restrictions on boating, Connie spent the majority of her time on Aqua Bella at home.

Moored, but not bored. There was no end to Connie’s daily boating activity during isolation.

Connie’s crabpots return the goods for dinner aboard Aqua Bella

“I was still spending 70 per cent of my time on the boat; it was my coping mechanism and it helped me to stay positive and strong,” says Connie, speaking from the Belize. “I was still fishing, working out, watching the water and chatting to my neighbours when we bumped into each other in the tenders – at a distance!”

Connie’s enthusiasm and gratitude for Aqua Bella enabled her to adjust to a new way of life by making every day special.

“At first I couldn’t get my head around not being able to go out boating,” admits Connie. “I even called the water police to double-check the rules. But just being able to be on this beautiful boat – not even going anywhere – was wonderful.”

A beautiful sunset adds to the magic aboard the beautiful Belize 52 Daybridge Aqua Bella

Workouts on the cockpit

When gymnasiums closed their doors, this self-confessed ‘gym girl’ took to Aqua Bella’s cockpit for her daily workouts.

“There’s plenty of room to spread the yoga mat out and I have the weights on board ready to go. It’s important to keep up your fitness level now and for boating in general.”

Essential fishing was possible too since Tony registered Aqua Bella’s tender.

LEFT: Connie Borgia takes to the cockpit for her daily workouts. RIGHT: Connie loves to keep fit and healthy for boating, or paddle boarding with Grover.

“Just in my backyard I put out four crab pots and caught 13 mud crabs in five days. I also caught a big mangrove jack. And a catfish, which went back into the crab pots. People wonder how I catch so much, but it’s crazy easy; the rods are sitting in their holders for the day and they’re catching themselves!”

The Borgias enjoy simple Mediterranean-style dishes on Aqua Bella with plenty of fresh fish and salads.

“We love to cook on the boat and we’ve got everything we need to make great meals, but we like to keep it low maintenance. I’ve done all the Riviera courses on how to prepare for living on a motor yacht, which covers cooking.”


Before the tightening of restrictions at the end of March, the Borgias would spend the better part of every week cruising around their backyard waterways, mostly at their favourite destination, Jumpinpin. Tony works from home and he was also able to take care of business aboard, thanks to Aqua Bella’s satellite internet connection.

“We normally spend four days a week on the water, so we needed a boat that has everything on it. When we purchased the Belize it was a dream come true for Tony and me.”

The couple bought their first boat 11 years ago, a 4.75-metre Quintrex Cuddy Cabin. From there they moved on to a 20-foot Whittley, which at the time felt like a ‘ship with a shower on the duckboard that for me then was a luxury’.


Falling in love with living on the water

“We came into the Riviera family when we bought the beautiful 3600 Sport Yacht – oh my gosh, with two staterooms and a full bathroom – and we really fell in love with living on the water.”

The Belize 52 Daybridge is now their ‘forever boat’.

“We can retire in it, go anywhere and are living with all the luxuries to be 100 per cent comfortable.

“The comfort is just beyond and she’s beautiful. We’ve got a Miele washing machine and drier that’s better than what I have in the house, a full convection oven, microwave, induction hot plates, a dishwasher and a water-maker.”

Tony is known for his espresso martinis, so an icemaker also comes in handy.

With the couple both of European heritage, Connie says the elegance of the Old Continent is obvious in the lines and the interior of the Belize.

Tony Borgia kicks back on the foredeck with his first mate Grover

“When we first walked on, we felt it had a sense of European style to it.”

The master stateroom extends the full beam of the yacht and designer bathrooms ‘are just amazing’.

“You can be more than six feet tall and stand tall in the shower!” she says.

“We like to drive from upstairs in the flybridge, which has its own luxury lounge.”

Connie says the Belize 52 Daybridge is now the couple’s ‘forever boat’

Designed for al fresco dining

The Belize’s flybridge is certainly of note. It’s been designed for al fresco entertainment with a view and it features a traditional teak benchtop that runs the full length of the starboard side and which contains a drawer fridge, a sink with hot and cold water, drink holders and storage.

“I’d live on it full time, I’d sell the house, but Tony still likes the house,” laughs Connie. “Boats aren’t just for fishing anymore. These boats are luxury for us girls and families and friends. You can enjoy them like a floating apartment; it’s our holiday house!”


Discover the Belize 54 Daybridge