Exploring Australia’s islands aboard N96 VivieRae II
Earlier this year, Nordhavn 96#18 VIVIERAE II, was left abandoned in the middle of the Arafura Sea, dead in the water after a rare set of circumstances resulted in both main engines seizing. The crew was rescued by an oil tanker but not before the massive vessel sideswiped VIVIERAE in an attempt to get close enough for all the folks to make it off safely. Weeks passed before owner Bob Giles was able to retain a vessel rescue service that was able to restore the props to working order and enable VIVIERAE to make her way to a shipyard in Sydney to undergo repairs.
Despite the vessel being more than 4x the size of VIVIERAE, the collision only produced surface damage. Giles said he was grateful that Nordhavn builds a “very strong vessel”.
Fast forward six months and VIVIERAE is back to her old self roaming the world, this time exploring Australia’s Torres Strait Islands, and specifically the remote Thursday Island. The crew, including Nordhavn’s videographer and frequent roving crew member, Doug Harlow, will be aboard to document the ensuing adventures. VIVIERAE will depart Cairns, Queensland, on September 8th.
September 17th, 2023
Arrived at Horn Island from where we will catch a flight for Cairns then back home. What a great adventure! This trip had it all: epic diving, beautiful vistas and amazing food. One of the greatest things about cruising are the friendships you make while being onboard. Some that last a lifetime.
A special thank you to owner Bob Giles and his crew. An unforgettable time was had by all!
September 16th, 2023
Arrived at Mount Adolphus Island which is on the northern tip of Australia. Beautiful anchorage! We attempted to do some diving but the current was way too strong so we head back to VivieRae. We spent the day sighting, riding the fly board and eating delicious food. What a day!
September 15th, 2023
Pulled into Sunday Islet early in the morning. It provided some shelter from the wind and swells however by the end of the day, both the wind and swells increased so we had to move to another location. We did manage to do some scuba diving and enjoyed a delicious “Surf and Turf” lunch.
September 14th, 2023
Arrived at Portland Roads early in morning and decided to take the day off from scuba diving and explore the island. What a beautiful place! Super friendly locals and beautiful beaches. We were also able to barter for some huge lobsters. What a great day!
September 13th, 2023
Arrived at Night Island around 9:00 am. Lots of wind and rain but we were able to get another Scuba session in. Nice shallow reef with beautiful diving.
September 12th, 2023
Another wonderful day of Scuba Diving off of Lizard Island followed by a delicious Mexican style lunch and drinks on the flybridge. Oh yeah!
September 11th, 2023
Two Scuba diving sessions at the Great Barrier reef off Lizard Island Australia. More than twenty miles out from land with super windy conditions but well worth the journey. The coral reefs are amazing.
Dive photography: Bob Giles
September 10th, 2023
Arrived at Lizard Island in the early morning and went for our first dive in the area around noon. It was about a 40 minute boat ride out to the reefs with super rough conditions.
Dive photography: Bob Giles
September 9th, 2023
First day of scuba diving off of Three Islands. Amazing clarity and wild life. We had the whole reef to ourselves and not a soul around for miles.
September 8th, 2023
Depart Cairns and headed for Three Islands. Windy conditions with 40 mile hour gusts. Excited to get to the barrior reef for some scuba diving!