Five years of high performance multihull cruising started in September 2007 as we were offered the position of Captain and First Mate/Chef aboard the first hull of the Gunboat 66 ft series. These magnificent yachts were being built in Capetown South Africa at the time.
Kanaloa was her name. After a lengthy delay we departed Capetown for Kanaloa’s maiden voyage. Our first quick pit stop was St. Helena Island. Just enough time for me to say hello to my Nan and pick up a few fresh greens while Morgan and the rest of the crew fixed a few issues which comes with a new yacht. Next stop Ascension Island then the Cape Verde island, the Canaries, Madira, the Balearics and finally St Tropez in the South of France.
Looking back this was a challenging trip as we lost both auto pilots some 8 hours after leaving South Africa. Luckily for us we were 6 onboard which made hand steering easier than if we were a short crew therefore enabling us to carry on.
The yacht sailed like a dream, just like a hobbie cat Morgan would often say. Prior to leaving South Africa the owner had loaded Kanaloa with some of South Africa’s finest wine and Champagne and every thousand miles we would toast to the thousand with two bottles of champagne for the six man crew.
We spent the summers in the Med sailing between France, Italy and Spain and the Winter in the Caribbean exploring the Islands.
Two years later the yacht got sold and was renamed Coco de Mer, we were lucky enough to keep our position and continue working for the new owners. During this new ownership we participated in two races. The 2010 Heineken Regatta and the 2010 Round the Isle of Wight Race. This was an amazing experience being on the race course with 1700+ other yachts.
The Summer months we spent between the UK, South Brittany, along the Galician Coast and the Med and the Winter months was spent in the Caribbean.
After over three years on board the same boat with six Atlantic crossings, 40 000 nautical miles and a fair amount of exploration between the South Coast of the UK, northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean we decided we needed a change of scenery.
So we joined the owners of hull number two of the Gunboat 66 series the sister ship to Coco de Mer in Sydney Australia. Sugar Daddy was on a circumnavigation trip. We arrived in Sydney at the end of December 2010 just before the spectacular fire works display over the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
We spent the next six months cruising up the East Coast of Australia all the way to Darwin. Exploring the coast, Great Barrier Reef and Islands. Snorkeling and diving the Great Barrier Reef was pretty spectacular. I don’t think one realizes how big and vast this magnificent reef system is.
Our entry into our next port of call, Indonesia was to be a well calculated one due to the strict Immigration regulations that Indonesia has in place. It was strange to go from Australia to a third world country like Indonesia. Refreshing in a strange way which made us appreciated the smaller things in life.
We spent two months sailing these waters experiencing the culture, the different islands the great food and the snorkeling and diving which was out of this world. Then from there we sailed onto Singapore.
In Singapore Sugar Daddy’s owners took the decision that it was time to sell and therefore cut short the travels through South East Asia and decided to head back to the USA via the Cape of Good Hope straight away. So of we sailed across the Indian Ocean and thirty days later arrived in Cape Town South Africa. This was the completion of the circumnavigation for both Sugar Daddy and her owners, being the first ever Gunboat to circumnavigate the globe. A great accomplishment for her owners and for Gunboat.
Up the Atlantic we sailed once again stopping in St Helena, Ascension Island, Fernando de Noronha and Antigua before arriving at our final destination, Newport Rhode Island.
Sugar Daddy went on the market at the beginning of the summer 2012 in New England USA and in November she was sold. We stayed on board for a few more weeks after the sale before leaving. During our two years on board we covered over 22 000 nautical miles and completed one Indian Ocean and one Atlantic passage.
This is our five years in brief aboard these two magnificent yachts with which we have had the most amazing experiences, sailing in comfort and at adrenalin rushing speeds.