The North coast of Corsica - 42°43'17.6"N, 9°27'57.9"E
Matt Porteous and Becky Lee were recently commissioned to capture the Wedding of Julia and Silvio Haart at the AmanZoe Hotel in Greece, after spending some time getting to know the couple and describing his passion for adventure and his personal project Ocean Culture Life, Matt was invited to join Silvio and his crew onboard Galileo G the following week.
Galileo G is a different kind of motor yacht: when constructed in 2011, the vessel represented a new design and purpose. Silvio had the boat built in order to navigate the Northwest Passage which links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, through the very north Canadian Arctic Archipelago. In order to complete this voyage, attention to design detail was mandatory: the hull is built of steel, to Ice Class criteria with extra thick plating and the rudders feature ice knives. The extra long waterline and narrow bow maximise hydrodynamic efficiency, with an added wave breaker on the foredeck, as well as all decks being heated to prevent them from freezing in the icy conditions.
There is also a nod to economic and environmental consideration, with the boat being able to run on one engine in ‘get-home mode’, or to reduce its’ fuel consumption - something that isn’t usually possible in motor yachts of this size. As a result of this, one tank of fuel will enable the vessel to travel 8000 nautical miles, which is equivalent to crossing the Atlantic three times.
A year after its construction, Galileo G completed its intended voyage from Greenland to Canada, taking a month to cruise the icy waters. The 11-man crew was joined by an ice pilot and a naturalist from EYOS expeditions, who were there to spot iceberg dangers and seek out the wildlife in the arctic, including whales, polar bears and caribou. After this initial adventure, the yacht continued around the world two-and-a-half times, from Alaska to Russia, to Japan, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.
Finally back in the Mediterranean sea in 2017, Galileo G has enjoyed more balmy climes in recent years, and Matt joined the crew as they cruised around the Corsican coast. It was unsure whether the yacht would be in Calvi or Bastia on the North coast of Corsica; flipping a coin, Matt chose to fly to Calvi, which turned out to be the wrong choice. Galileo G was moored only 10km from Bastia by the time he arrived, so after an expensive drive across the beautiful landscape, Matt was greeted at the port by Captain Tom Buddle, and tendered aboard the incredible super yacht.
Matt was welcomed by the beautiful crew, 11 always being his lucky number, and he felt like the luckiest guy alive to be invited to share this time on such an amazing adventure yacht. He was well-looked after and surrounded by a genuinely enthusiastic, caring crew, including Captain Tom who is a true gent, with a huge passion for the ocean, born from his days working as a dive instructor on adventure vessels on the Great Barrier Reef. Chef Pierre was also an all-time legend, creating incredible dishes with ease and finesse.
The crew and owner’s love for the ocean was so clear, as they appreciated their environment and the ocean at every moment. At one point, a pod of around 15 dolphins came to play around the bow, as the hydrodynamic design pushed the water aside with ease. The next day, whilst playing with the sea bobs, the guests were joined by a pod of whales and dolphins, who played together for around an hour. The creatures frolicked around the area, interacting with the movement and excitement of the underwater scooters.
A yacht and seemingly fateful experience like no other, Matt’s time aboard Galileo G will never be forgotten. The generosity of Silvio and the crew, to extend their hospitality and natural, pure energy and excitement for life, is the perfect example of the amazing opportunities that being a photographer can lead to, and the personalities you can be lucky enough to meet.