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Silentworld's tender floating over a coral reef

Yacht Interviews

Archeology, Heritage & History Aboard SILENTWORLD

Captain Michael Gooding talks about the pioneering wreck discovery expeditions that he has led on board motor yacht SILENTWORLD 

Captain of 40m motor yacht SILENTWORLD, Michael Gooding has a passion for the ocean, exploration, and particularly Australasian maritime archaeology. We spoke to him about some of the pioneering expeditions he has embarked upon whilst on board and how guests chartering SILENTWORLD can experience a yacht trip with a difference.

Tell us more about The SILENTWORLD Foundation

The SILENTWORLD operation consists of SILENTWORLD Charters and The SILENTWORLD Foundation. The latter is a non-profit organisation that has come about due to the Owner’s passion for Australian maritime history. Working in conjunction with marine archaeologists from the Australian Maritime Museum, volunteers, and The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the foundation focuses on supporting and raising awareness for Australian maritime archaeology, history, culture, and heritage through unearthing and charting previously undiscovered wreck sites. Our work largely centres on harder to reach locations and entails significant research and piecing together of historical accounts, consideration, and knowledge of weather patterns at the time the vessel was sunk and assessing suitable and safe times for these research voyages to take place.

“Supporting and raising awareness for Australasian maritime archaeology, history, culture and heritage”

Michael Gooding
Captain of SILENTWORLD

We are very proud to have recently received the inaugural Voyage of the Year Award from the Australian Marine Export Group for an expedition we undertook in Kenn Reef, and in 2009, we solved a 180-year-old mystery by locating the wreck site of the HMCS Mermaid, the survey vessel that was wrecked on an uncharted reef. This was an amazing discovery and marked an incredible milestone in local maritime history – these are the kind of moments that make our work so rewarding.

siletnworld yacht boot reef julia Sumerling making discoveries on the coral reef bed
silentworld yacht diving boot reef guests alongside silentworld captain

What sort of experiences does a yacht charter aboard SILENTWORLD offer?

Along with the usual 5-star service, luxury, comfort, facilities, and range of activities that one expects to find on a yacht charter of this kind, our SILENTWORLD guests can combine their time aboard with a wreck discovery voyage. Provided there is some evidence of wrecks and that weather conditions and trip timings line up, we can carry out an expedition of this nature in a variety of destinations. For a truly immersive and fascinating experience, guests will have the opportunity to learn from maritime archaeologists that will join us on board.

Our large selection of water toys each play their part in making our expeditions just that little bit different and more immersive; a reef explored by Seabob will cover more ground than snorkelling or diving alone and our tenders and Waverunner make shallow waters more accessible.

SILENTWORLD guests have the chance to experience true discovery and can play an important role in mapping maritime history. We will piece together the story of the wrecks we encounter and explore the last journey they took before meeting their unfortunate demise. We all have a passion for this history which we hope will come across in their experience with us.

What are SILENTWORLD’s cruising plans?

We are currently based predominantly in the Pacific around French Polynesia and we spend a lot of time in Tahiti. A culturally rich destination that also has an abundance of wrecks to explore. I typically try to employ some local crew when based in any destination for a significant amount of time, which I believe makes the SILENTWORLD experience more personal and genuine. Another advantage of this is logistics. More often than not, the local crew will have great local contacts and this can facilitate some unique activities that may not be otherwise accessible. This insider knowledge provides our guests with a more culturally immersive experience which I believe is hugely important in such a wonderful place.

“This insider knowledge provides our guests with a more culturally immersive experience”

Pelorus can tailor and curate a yacht expedition onboard SILENTWORLD, working closely with the Captain and crew to combine their expertise with ours to create a once-in-a-lifetime trip that encompasses education, history, and discovery alongside superyacht luxury and freedom.