Floating pleasure palace Secret nestles up to her anchorage near Muttonbird Island.
Floating pleasure palace Secret nestles up to her anchorage near Muttonbird Island. Gemima Harvey

Harbour city's wealth soars temporarily with Secret arrival

RUMOURS have run wild since a mysterious luxury boat appeared in the ocean precinct of Coffs Harbour overnight.

No - it's not an early arrival from the Club Marine Pittwater To Coffs Harbour Yacht Race.

Yes - the boat is the 61.2m Secret, owned by mega-wealthy American Nancy Walton Laurie, co-heiress to the Walmart fortune and listed on the world's Top 30 rich list.

Conservatively believed to be worth $US 4.1billion, Mrs Laurie bought the $200million super-yacht in 2007 and is on a world cruise with daughter, Paige, now enjoying her new life as a celebrity divorcee.

Mother and daughter were recently spotted partying on Sydney Harbour during New Year's Eve celebrations and having lots of "animated conversations" with employees.

When the largest runabout ever spied in our harbour since Her Majesty and the Duke showed up with Royal Yacht Britannia, it didn't take long for rumours of the arrival of the cashed-up tourists to filter through the community.

After all, a seagoing pleasure palace that size is a little too hard to hide against the backdrop of the coloured rocks at the end of the south wall.

Rubberneckers were astonished when a party of divers turned up to check the sea floor and underneath the boat.

They were even more amazed when blue-uniformed security descended upon Latitude 30 Restaurant to scour surroundings.

Sources reveal our city's salubrious centre of fine dining had been booked out for a private party and a sumptuous seafood feast was about to be attacked by tastefully-manicured fingers and wrists wearing bling valued in the millions.

Best rumour of all was that one of the tour party was a certain William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President Of the United States of America.

While sightings of Slick Willie or any heavily-blonde ladies were thin on the ground, some local female onlookers were observed giving admiring glances to the hunky army of red-shirted gofers crawling all over the visiting ship.

Future plans at the end of the visit are unknown.



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