Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia: It’s fair to say Graham and Kath Swan are making the most of their beautiful Belize 54 Daybridge, BISON, having just spent five weeks exploring the islands, anchorages and wonderfully white beaches of the fabled Australian cruising grounds, the Whitsundays in North Queensland.
“Everything just works the way it is supposed to and, I have to say, in many ways it’s better than being at home. Everything is in its place – the toaster, the kettle, juicer, blender, knives and forks – everything has a reason for being where it is and that’s because the Belize has been designed and built by people who actually go boating.
“BISON is 54 feet long but we have about 120 feet of straight-line living space when you include the daybridge and accommodation deck.”
Swanny says the luxurious daybridge makes a massive difference to his cruising enjoyment.
“With polarised sunglasses, we cruise past fringing reefs and bommies with the sun behind our backs and we pick up anchorages where others do not dare to go – everyone has to sit outside the mighty Belize,” he says. “Now we’ve learned more about the chart-plotter and fuel management system, we are very confident of going just about anywhere we desire.”
Based in Perth, Western Australia, Swanny and Kath spent five months flying across to Sydney getting to know BISON better, participating in several Riviera Experience cruising events departing from Sydney in New South Wales, before heading to Queensland in May for the annual Riviera Festival of Boating.
It was here at our world-class facility on Queensland’s Gold Coast that they gained an intimate knowledge of the Belize and her onboard systems before beginning their passage north to the Great Barrier Reef.
“Since then we have been cruising around the islands and getting to know places like Montes Reef Resort at Gloucester Island, Blue Pearl Bay at Hayman Island, Stonehaven and Butterfly Bay at Hook Island and, of course, the iconic Whitehaven Beach.
“I must admit that scoping the islands from a helicopter helped us decide where we wanted to go – in fact it helped us immensely and we are really enjoying our time here.”
“We even shanghaied the general manager of the ‘qualia’ Resort on Hamilton Island to spend a day with his partner and us on the Belize … and they absolutely loved it too.”
Swanny says others look on amazed when he launches the tender by himself, and simply marvel with wonder when they step aboard to taste tempting cockpit cocktails or for a uniquely Belize dining experience in the sumptuous saloon.
“It’s pretty special that we get to serve crockery emblazoned with the distinctive Belize badge. People ask us where we got it and we simply say: ‘It came with the boat’.”
Initially, Swanny and Kath planned to travel to Turkey for five years of meandering around the magnificent Mediterranean Sea. Of course, world events have since forced a rethink, although the alternative adventure is certainly no less inspiring.
“We’ll leave BISON here in the Whitsundays for a few months and then travel up to Townsville, Cairns, Port Douglas and then perhaps up into the Torres Strait to Thursday Island, Port Moresby and east across to Milne Bay.
“Well need some fuel bladders for that one, even though at 10 knots we can achieve about 1000 nautical miles from BISON’s 2400-litre fuel tank.”
And as for “that” ironing board mentioned in the story we published on BISON earlier this year, Swanny says his shirt for Melbourne Cup day was ‘very crisp and very clean’. You can read that story here >>
If you would like to take a video tour of the Belize 54 Daybridge, please click here >>
- – There are three timelessly classic Belize 54 Daybridge models from Riviera available for immediate delivery – in Australia, the United States and in Europe. Please contact your nearest Riviera dealer for further information.