The Myall Lakes, NSW, Australia: Tim and Christine Phimsipasom had just purchased their latest Riviera – a 43 Open Flybridge they’ve christened “Papaya” – when they set off on an amazing Experience trip to The Myall Lakes and Port Stephens on the NSW mid-north coast of Australia.
“It was an intense week of work to get the boat ready to make our maiden voyage with her,” said Tim. “But being part of an organised trip by R Marine Riley made the logistical preparation easy and travelling with a fleet of seven Riviera and Belize yachts allowed for safe and enjoyable coastal cruising.”
“We particularly enjoyed meeting new friends and sharing our love of boating. It was great to see the children develop instant friendships – our kids have been asking about the next R Marine Riley event since our return.”
Pittwater-based R Marine Riley’s Experience was blessed with stunning conditions and flat seas for departure, with the yachts chaperoned by some of the Pacific Ocean’s finest marine wildlife – from dolphins to the gentle giants of the sea, whales.
The Riviera and Belize yachts were full to the brim with gear and supplies, with the group a mixture of experienced boaties through to complete novices excited and confident about enjoying some bluewater cruising in fine company.
“Our first night was spent rafted up toasting a beautiful sunset in Port Stephens, with sea eagles soaring overhead. There was a real ‘Riviera Family’ atmosphere as we were joined by fellow Riviera owners from the local area, which really made for a great end to the first day,” said R Marine dealer Mark Riley.
“The trip up the beautiful Myall River was spectacular, with picturesque scenery around every bend. Upon entering the lakes we spotted black swans gliding on top of clear sparkling waters – it was a little tricky navigating the bends but our boats were up to the task.”
Mark says the days were spent water skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and swimming off a massive floating platform, or just relaxing in the sun with a good book.
“The afternoons allowed the ladies to float off on the huge inflatable lounges. Escaping their husbands and kids to enjoy a glass of champagne, and a good talk. The giggles and laughter defiantly grew louder as the afternoons went on.”
There were 16 children in the group, which meant plenty of ice cream was served during the afternoon on the R Marine Riley yacht and the adults enjoyed the morning café set up each day by Mark and his team as well as a pancake breakfast one morning as well.
“Each night the party lights turned on and the music began, with everyone joining in the karaoke and themed evenings, including an international night of creating beautiful meals from all over the world,” said Mark. “From Swiss fondue, Thai chili salads, Chinese favourites, French delicacies, mouth-watering Italian, German sausages and sauerkraut, English pies and American hotdogs – it’s safe to say no one went hungry!!
“Our last two days were spent enjoying the crystal clear waters of Port Stephens enjoying activities like beach treasure hunts, limbo competitions (with some very experienced competitors coming out) and beach cricket. The adults enjoyed a relaxing afternoon sampling the local seafood and crisp white wines, followed by a leisurely afternoon swim.”
Mark says the awards night was a highlight, where the marina was lit up with party lights to celebrate another amazing week of Riviera family cruising.
“On the final day we were greeted by a sensational sunrise and then we took a short cruise out to the spectacular Broughton Islands before heading home with pods of dolphins cruising with us in the calm seas,” said Mark.
Tim and Christine paid special tribute to R Marine Riley’s Mark Riley and Abbie Jones for organising such a memorable trip.
“We are proud Rivera boat owners but more proud to be part of the Riviera Family,” said Tim.
The next R Marine Riley Experience trip is to Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast from December 31 until January 10. Contact R Marine Riley for more details.
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