In January, an avid sailor (Andy), sent an avid diver (Amanda) a text message:
Since then, it has been a whirlwind of research, weighing up options, working out possible timelines, listening to sailing podcasts and reading sailing forums…and for Amanda, learning to sail! The first decision was what type of boat to buy…so we had to delve into the good ol’ monohull vs multihull debate…but it quickly became apparent that for the impending Alpha Odyssey, a catamaran was the winner. The second decision was how big a boat we wanted…and noting that every extra foot means extra maintenance and expenses, but this boat was going to be our home… so we settled on 38-45 foot range. We immediately started checking out boats that fit our wish list.
More quickly than anticipated, that led to actually buying a boat, and on Monday 21st March 2016, after a great test sail and the usual survey and checks, we became boat owners of a 40ft Seawind 1200 catamaran!
And here we are: anchored at Tangalooma in Moreton Bay on our Easter shakedown trip, getting to know the boat and how she sails and operates. The wind didn’t really cooperate on our inaugural sail out of Mooloolaba and we had to motor most of the way down to Moreton Island, but the seas were calm and the full moon rose above the water in a spectacular fashion.
The fantastic weather has turned Tangalooma into a superhighway of watercraft, from stand-up paddle boards to super-yachts, but we found a good spot to drop the anchor. And our first taste of the cruising life has definitely been cruisy: dawn dive or snorkel, BBQ breakfast, more snorkelling, reading on the li-lo on the fore-deck (AKA “front balcony”), having sundowners…then repeating.
The Tangalooma wrecks are really good for snorkelling and diving. We spied plenty of the usual suspects (moray eels, wobbegongs, octopus, angel fish, crustaceans, lionfish, etc) and on a dawn dive we piqued the interest of a massive grouper, and tried to make friends with an octopus but he/she wasn’t keen.
There have been a few little hiccups, as you’d expect on a new boat. Getting towed back to our boat when the tender outboard motor died was probably the lowlight…but nothing a bit of tinkering didn’t fix. And note to selves: don’t use dodgy nylon rope to tie off fenders if you don’t want them to float away.
Overall the inaugural trip has been a cracker!