Melbourne, Victoria: It has been 12 months since Phil and Victoria Ridgeway took delivery of their new 43 Open Flybridge, JENISIPH, and embarked on their maiden voyage, some 903 nautical miles from Riviera’s Coomera facility on the Gold Coast to their home in Victoria.
As they celebrate JENISIPH’s first anniversary they reflect back on their first year of Riviera ownership, all the adventures and relaxing outings they have enjoyed. JENISIPH is the couple’s first large luxury boat, which they purchased from Riviera’s exclusive Victorian dealer R Marine Jacksons. They named it after their four children, using a combination of the first two letters of each child’s name, Jessica, Nicole, Simone and Phillip.
“We are very impressed with the quality of build and finish of our new boat and praise the team at R Marine Jacksons and Riviera for really looking after us,” Phil said.
“We selected a combination of the Riviera 445 SUV lower helm station layout with a flybridge helm as well. This combination gives us complete flexibility for cruising and entertaining and coping with the vagaries of Melbourne’s weather.”
The couple took delivery of JENISIPH in March 2013 and stayed on board at Riviera’s Coomera Marina to familiarise themselves with their new boat prior to their maiden voyage to Melbourne.
“After weeks of bad weather we finally got a break and were ready to scoot down the coast to Melbourne. We had to be back home by a certain date and fortunately the weather was very favourable for us to attempt a quick journey,” Phil said.
They left Riviera’s Coomera Marina on the afternoon of April 6 with Riviera’s professional skipper Jimmy Thorn onboard to guide and assist Phil during the journey. They motored down the Coomera River to Paradise Point where they stopped overnight for an early getaway the next day.
“We left Paradise Point early on April 7 with 16.5 engine hours already clocked up on the Volvo IPS engines. At lunch time we arrived at Coffs Harbour to refuel (1064 litres) and then continued on to the Hastings River in Port Macquarie for our first night on anchor after travelling 240 nautical miles down the coast and now registering 28.7 engine hours,” Phil said.
The next day and 208 nautical miles later, they arrived in Sydney Harbour with 38.8 engine hours logged.
“I had great pleasure skippering my new vessel past the Opera House and under the Coat Hanger (the Sydney Harbour Bridge) to refuel at Darling Harbour. We anchored for our overnight stay off Clontarf, in Sydney’s northern suburbs region.
“The next day we enjoyed a beautiful cruise down the coast, the scenery was magnificent and we even saw a couple of breaching whales. We refueled (1156 litres) and recorded 48.3 engine hours before selecting a safe anchorage at Eden for the night.”
The following day they covered 225 nautical miles and gusty winds through the Port Welshpool Channel where they tied up overnight before the final leg to Melbourne the next day, which included a stop off and morning tea at the picturesque Refuge Cove.
“After our quick stop at Refuge Cove we headed round the tip of Wilson’s Promontory and encountered the roughest seas of our trip. The seas were very lumpy with back pressure waves bouncing back off the coast. On several occasions as the boat punched through the waves it was completely engulfed with spray right over the top of the flybridge. My wife, who is not a boatie, really appreaciated the sea keeping qualities of our new Riv,” Phil said.
“The boat handled the conditions very well and Jimmy advised me to pick up speed to achieve a more comfortable ride.
“Jimmy was great, he didn’t touch the helm once and I learnt a hell of a lot from him. The biggest thing I learnt from Jimmy was to observe what is in front of me and how to watch out for crayfish pots and dinghies.
“Jimmy made us feel quite at ease and he only ever advised anchoring overnight in calm places.
“We made our passage through the famous rip at Port Phillip Heads with ease and headed up the Bay towards Melbourne. We chugged up the Yarra at 5 knots for 40 minutes in the dark to be greeted by welcoming friends waiting on the end of our new berth at Marina Yarra’s Edge.
“Our home berth on the Yarra is located right on the edge of the city of Melbourne, which is a great location for on board pre-dinner drinks with friends before heading into the city for a night out.
“Our Riv is virtually our floating penthouse in the city and we enjoy meeting friends on board. We celebrated New Year’s Eve on board and enjoyed a prime spot for the spectacular fireworks display.
“We continue to enjoy exploring, fishing and cruising both Port Phillip Bay and Western Port and will soon cruise back to the Victorian Coast to spend several weeks on the fantastic Gippsland Lakes. We are also planning a trip across Bass Strait to visit our son who is studying marine engineering at the Australian Maritime College in Launceston, Tasmania.”
Phil and Victoria Ridgeway have enjoyed many memorable occasions on JENISIPH including celebrating their first Melbourne Cup on board with their four adult children and the children’s grandmother. They also went out cruising for Remembrance Day and as they reminisce their first 12 months of Riviera ownership, they look forward to many more exciting and relaxing adventures living the Riviera dream.
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