The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
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How it All Started

How did it all start?

Don’t remember, really. It seems that somewhere towards the end of 2008 I suddenly had the bright idea of sailing around the world. I have raced dinghies for years – Fireflies, OK’s, Lasers, and Formula 18 cats for years, but had never really seen the point of big boat sailing.

Until I had that crazy idea.

So in April 2009 I took Ceu to Antigua for two weeks big boat tuition with Colin from Straits Sailing. This was Ceu’s first experience with sailing, apart from 4 days dinghy sailing course on Okanagan Lake – all in a flat calm, the previous summer. So the goal was to see if we liked the idea.

Well, that turned out fine. We had a great time visiting a bunch of islands, and Ceu even learnt the difference between port and starboard. And that sheets were attached to sails as well as spread over beds. But that was all in a mono hull, and I kind of felt that I would prefer a cat. Just because they have more room, are more comfortable – and don’t sink!

So in July 2009 I took Ceu, her daughter Jessica, and my son, Joshua, for a week of catamaran sailing on a Lagoon 380 out of Vancouver, with Cooper Boating. Our skipper, Marla, was excellent – and Josh, Jessica and Ceu all passed their CYA Basic Cruising while I did the CYA Catamaran Intermediate Cruising. And we had fun!

Based on that, we decided to go for it.

Next stop was a trip down to Fort Lauderdale to have George Coggeshall show us as many cats as he could. We ended up seeing at least 50 – and went on board most of them. George was fantastic, if you are looking for a cat, definitely give him a call.

By then we had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for. The big issue was whether to pay extra to have the owner’s version (ie three cabins with a large shower) or the standard charter version (4 cabins with either 2 or 4 heads). Naturally Ceu wanted the big shower. I felt we could use the extra storage space.  We liked the Lagoon 410, but found the showers rather cramped (unless we went for the owner’s version). The Fontaine Pajot’s seemed to be not as sturdy in construction. The Privilege had less visibility and light in the salon, and a lower bridgedeck. And was more pricey.

The middle ground was found in the Leopard 42 which George found for us in Tortola. Well built, roomy, with larger heads than the Lagoons, and full size berths fore and aft. Felt good, surveyed ok, so we went with it.

Bought her in August 2009, and put her in charter with Conch Charters (which is actually where she was already located, so that was easy!). They too have been great. We have had lots of charters, and they have fixed all the little things that needed doing, so it should be all  ready for us to go  in May.

So, here we are. Target departure date is May 31st 2010!

Can’t wait!

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