Ocean Magazine : 3 September October 2005
ocean | 77 We set off from Admiral Marina at Port Dickson in the Malacca Straits last October, and headed straight for Darwin," Gaudriault told OCEAN. "The vessel was cleared into Australia there, which enabled us to do an interesting reconnaissance of the top end of the reef, en route to Cairns. The waters east of Cape York are really beautiful, and you have them more or less to yourself. If we had sailed from Port Dickson or Singapore to Bali and Cairns, as many Australia-bound superyachts do, we could not have checked out these reefs and islands -- for future cruises with the owner's family and friends aboard -- because the vessel would not yet have an Australian clearance." Refueling in Darwin at the commercial wharves, Capt Gaudriault said this was an efficient operation with a 600-700 litres per minute supply. He did not really consider a stay at Darwin's marina because entrance through tidal locks was tight and berths heavily booked anyway. "I think most larger motor yachts would stand off when they are entering or leaving Australia via Darwin," he said. "After that, Torres Strait is very murky, but then this far northern part of the reef opens up, and I think it is one of the best bits, with very clear water, plenty of colourful fish and corals, and virtually nobody else around. We spent a week on a slow passage from Cape York to Cairns via Lizard Island, and have since returned there twice." A Khaliq -- the name of a young family member -- later continued to Hamilton Harbour in the Whitsundays, spending two weeks on a new pontoon at this gradually upgrading facility, with full shore power supplied, before sailing to Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast, where most bigger boats stay, for a further three months sojourn. "We were particularly impressed by waters around Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave islands, off Bundaberg at the southern end of the reef," said Capt Gaudriault, "and here we went right out to Swain Reef, which is over 200 nm " At a remote reef midway between Vanuatu and Cairns, they encountered some really amazing fish A Khaliq off her favourite far north base, the Marlin Marina in Cairns. Other superyachts in the photo include the 61 m White Rabbit built by North West Bay Ships in Tasmania, and the exploration vessel Sinbad built by Delta in the States.
4 November December 2005
2 July August 2005