Microsoft billionaire's superyacht spotted in South

Octopus, owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Photo supplied.
Octopus, owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Photo supplied.
The largest superyacht to visit the South is heading to Fiordland, but whether its billionaire owner - Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen - is on board remains a mystery.

The 127m-long Octopus, which boasts two helicopters, two submarines, a basketball court, cinema and pool, left for Fiordland on Monday after a three-day stopover in Timaru.

A Port Otago pilot is piloting the vessel from Timaru to Fiordland, before returning to Bluff after his four-day journey.

Port Otago commercial manager Peter Brown said every year the port company received one or two pilot requests from superyachts heading to the Fiordland area.

The vessel ''was probably the largest one that has been in this part of the world'', but details concerning the voyage would not be disclosed, he said.

It was not known whether Mr Allen (60), who co-founded software giant Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, was on board the vessel.

Forbes magazine estimated the university dropout's wealth to be $US15 billion ($NZ17.75 billion) in September last year.

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

Short stay in south

Must have been too many sandflies in Fiordland as MY Octopus is heading back up the coast northward off Dunedin as at 19.00 hours Thursday 7/2/13 tracking on Marinetraffic.com

More likely

I think that more likely the photo was taken from the identical Wikipedia picture entitled "at Antibes" and reworded  "powering past Dunedin", even though it has no wake and is pointing the wrong way.

Editor - You are correct. The original caption was incorrectly worded due to an error in the sub-editing process. There was no intention to mislead readers.

Or has the ODT reversed the photo?

Certainly not powering but if it left Timaru on Monday and only made it past Dunedin yesterday, then it doesn't sound as if they are actually powering - more just toddling along.  But interesting photo if that is actually Dunedin in the background then either the vessel was heading north, or the photo has been reversed for some reason best known to the ODT.

Flying visit

Mike maybe it is indeed powering up the harbour and the reason it has to have a helicopter at each end is so that as it gets to the wharf the helicopters lift it out of the water fly it directly out over South Dunedin and deposit it back in the water off St Kilda.

Maybe the Port Otago pilot is actually a pilot and it would give new meaning to the term flying visit.

Not lost

It's in the harbour, by the lack of St Clair Beach...so it has to head north to get out of there and head south.

Also there's no wake...so it's not powering anywhere at all.

Lost

If indeed it is "powering past Dunedin" in the photo it appears to be heading north, and if it is "on its way to Fiordland" it is lost.

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