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Endless Love

Endless Love

After a 40-year romance, Heather and Garry Bolth’s shared love of boating and the ocean culminated in a beautiful waterside wedding on South Straddie.


Most people would be a bundle of stress on their wedding day. But Heather and Garry could not have been more relaxed and friendly. For the ceremony, the South Currigee beach had been setup for the intimate gathering. A flotilla of yachts owned by their closest friends circled the beach, with white ribbons flapping in the breeze like a parade of bridal cars. A small group of friends and family gathered on the beach to celebrate the union of two soul mates. Heather and Garry could not have looked happier.

Heather and Garry’s love for each other ignited 40 years ago in New Zealand. Both were passionate about the ’70s surfing scene. Their friendship grew each time Garry was able to visit New Zealand, where Heather lived.

“Surfing was our world,” Heather reminisces. “I knew Garry was the one I wanted to marry way back then. We bought an old clunker and had plans to live on an island together. But our wallets were too empty to make it happen. So Garry had to go back to Australia for work. I came over to find him in Darwin. Unfortunately, bad timing meant he had a new girlfriend. He was always the one for me, but I wasn’t yet brave enough to tell him how seriously I felt. Later, I heard he was getting married, so obviously I didn’t chase him, and decided it wasn’t meant to be.”

“We finally found each other properly in 2015,” Garry continues. “She spotted me on Facebook and we did video chats every night for two weeks. We really reconnected. It was clear we were both on the same page about everything. So I invited her over to Australia, and luckily she accepted.”

Both Heather and Garry suffered significant losses prior to reuniting. Yet, despite all this adversity, Heather and Garry remain very positive. “This is like a renewal for us. After much pain, comes much joy.” Garry adds, “We were both at the right point in our lives when we reconnected. I believe God bought us together. We found a really nice church to go to together, and the same pastor is marrying us.”


tenacious d garry heather bolth


Life on Tenacious D

Garry recalls that before his last wife passed away, she needed caring for, and they lost everything – two homes and a business. “I knew it wouldn’t be possible to afford a house, so I looked at buying a boat. I hooked up with Bernie, an old family friend. He had a boat and we’ve been thick as thieves through this. We planned this boating lifestyle together. Then Heather came along and changed everything.”

Tenacious D is a 37-foot mono hull racing cruiser, designed and built in California, then sailed out to Australia 30 years ago. “I got it three years ago,” Garry described. “I was looking for something with a good hull and a well-designed interior. The hull is a round build, so it’s a fat boat for its size, and roomier than a lot of others I’ve been on. I was in the navy, and surfed all my life, but I don’t have a big sailing background. I’ve always loved the idea of owning a yacht though.”

Living on Tenacious D ticks all the boxes for Heather and Garry. It offers them a wallet-friendly lifestyle they love, and one that also improves their health. “The lifestyle suits us both so well,” explains Garry. “For Heather, it’s a big help with her asthma. She has trouble breathing properly on land, but on the water it just goes away. And for me, it’s cheap. On the water we have no rent and no power bills because we have solar.”

Although living aboard is perfect for both of them, it is not all smooth-sailing. “The lifestyle is hard to beat, but when you get strong winds and a lot of rain it can get pretty tough too. So it is not for everyone,” he affirms. “We got blown onto the beach during a really rough storm, and the engine blew as we were struggling to get back out. Trying to fix a motor while you’re in the water is very tough. Thankfully, a friend was able to pull us up to Hope Island to get it fixed.”

Garry admits they live a very physical lifestyle that is good for fitness. “But we probably have only another 10 years left before we get too old for it,” he declares. “At this stage, though, it is perfect for us.”


Favourite GC Spots

Currigee on South Straddie, Wave Break Island and Jumpinpin are their favourites. “We spend the most time at Currigee though, because Wave Break can get too crowded, with other boats sitting too close and dragging their anchors. Our boat’s draft is two metres, so we’re pretty restricted about where we can go.”

They are going on their first real maiden voyage up to the Whitsundays with their friend Bernie and his boat, too. Then, in April, they will sail to the Keppel islands, possibly further. “Before all that though, we will head up to Moreton Bay with our flotilla of friends, after the wedding,” Garry enthused.

As much as they love the Gold Coast waterways, Heather hopes for some changes in speed limits. “(I would like) a six-knot limit at South Currigee because it is a family spot with a playground. When the big Rivieras go past, they create huge waves that are dangerous for kids. Plus, they really knock the boats around. Some boaties are great and slow down, but a lot do not.”

She also defends those who live in boats, and would also like the broader community to have a better appreciation of them. “I think there are some bad eggs who dump their boats, which understandably is annoying. It frustrates us, too, because they are often dumped in the best spots, and they cause big problems when they drag in storms. But we shouldn’t all be blamed for the bad actions of a few.”

In any case, their love for water surpasses all other concerns. “I just love the nature we get to enjoy on the water. We see so many birds, and lots of schools of fish jumping that glitter along the water. It is just magical to watch,” Heather states.

And as for getting old in a boat, Garry articulates, “I think a lot of people struggle with old age. What do you do to fill in the days? You can paint stones in the garden, or travel around in the country in a motor home, or you can get a yacht. Obviously, we chose a yacht.”

We wish the newlyweds all the best in their boating life together!


Interview by Narayan Pattison