Excitement as Offshore Guardian visits Coffs Harbour

Offshore Guardian “backing in” to the Marina.


Visitors to the Inner Harbour last Sunday witnessed an unusual sight.

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A large red 34 Meter 316 Tonne offshore supply Vessel “backing into the inner harbour” to tie up to the Co-Op wharf to refuel and allow one of the crew the time to say ‘hi’ to his parents.

Offshore Guardian called in to Coffs Harbour to take on half a load of Diesel fuel, some $30,000 for the remainder of its trip up the coast to Cairns from Port Stephens.

This job had required David Maunder fly to Darwin from home north of Cairns early November to crew Offshore Guardian to Port Stephens to carry out an oceanographic survey of the seabed between Birubi and Newcastle – work which has not been updated in over 50 years.

This work required a crew of 23 took almost 8 weeks and on completion the boat headed to Cairns to be slipped for routine maintenance.

Offshore Guardian is normally based in Darwin but has been in service all around the Australian continent carrying out varied supply and survey tasks after being built in Wellington, New Zealand in 2016 and initially delivered to Port Headland in Western Australia by David and three other crew.

Born in Coffs Harbour, Chef David Maunder did his apprenticeship in Coffs Harbour and has worked in a Michelin Star restaurant in London for Michel Roux, luxury charter boats in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Cairns.

He has also cooked for royalty on Seafaris, Princess Mary and Prince Frederick in the Hawkesbury as well as Giorgio Armani off Cairns.

He now works for Guardian Offshore who operate a fleet of boats in the gas, oil and survey fields.

David has circumnavigated the Australian mainland on Offshore Guardian and Offshore Solution, a larger 58-meter boat and crewed the delivery of Offshore Guardian from New Zealand to Port Headland.

David’s parents took the opportunity to catch up with him and explore the boat during the visit and give the chef a break by treating the crew to some of Coffs Harbour’s finest pies from K’Pane Bakery.

Offshore Guardian left Port Stephens mid-morning on 16 January and arrived in Cairns at 1pm on 22 January where it was immediately slipped.

David has a couple of weeks off then flies to Darwin once again to crew and chef Offshore Solution to north west Tasmania where it will undertake survey work lasting 3 to 4 months, cooking for a crew of approximately 30.




The IT area where the survey work is collated.




On the Slip in Cairns.

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