Latest Update! Nov 2014
Well done and huge congratulations to Chris and Sara, who have arrived safely in Australia! They are now heading home to Fowey for the festive season before returning to the boat in the new year. For a full update, and to read all about their travels, simply click here
These are the voyages of TULU, a 42' catamaran built by Lagoon in France for Chris and Sara in 2009. The yacht featured at the Southampton Boat Show, then came back to Hamble for some custom modifications before setting off to Turkey the following spring.
Well, we did it.
We sold the big old farmhouse in Somerset in late 2009, and moved to our little house in the coastal town of Fowey, Cornwall. We bought this house 15 years ago before the town was ‘discovered’ and we are happy to call it home.
The boys are happy, independent and on track having graduated and started on their respective careers in the summer of 2012, and we continue the small steps on our own journey.
Simple really - short, sweet, unusual, and, most importantly, the nickname of the wizened old lady who was Chris’s nanny as a child growing up in Jamaica.
Why a catamaran?
Simple really - after a lifetime of cruising and racing monohulls in the UK and Asia (Fastnet/China Sea Race for example), the attraction of a dry, flat, spacious, living on the level, steady, easy, catamaran seemed like a plan. Somewhere to live, sail and comfortably accommodate two additional crew for passages, or two couples for holidays - ALL boxes ticked.
Why a Lagoon 421?
Simple really - solid, stable and comfortable for downwind ocean crossings, spacious, and at 42’ long, small enough for two to handle, but at 25’ wide, a massive space to live in. The compromise of cost versus the build inflexibility of a production boat accepted and managed. Upwind performance also compromised on for magic reaching and downwind sailing. Fitted with all the equipment from generator to watermaker to aircon for comfortable living, from Digital Radar to AIS to autopilot to cruising genneker for safe and secure ocean cruising, from SSB (long range), VHF (short range) and satellite (anywhere) communications for voice, email and weather for added safety and the crucial ability to stay in touch with the people that matter.
So, what's the plan?
Simple really - we took delivery of the boat at the end of June 2010, spent two months aboard in the UK ironing out commissioning snags, and getting as many friends and family out sailing when the weather was reasonable in Poole and Fowey.
We sailed out of the Fowey estuary on 26th August 2010 bound for Fethiye in Turkey. The passage took in Gibraltar non-stop, Palma (for repairs), Trapani Sicily, Croatia, Ionian Greece, Athens via the Corinth Canal, and a mad dash across the Aegean via Khea, Paros and Symmi to arrive Fethiye on the 20th October 2010. Phew!
We spent twenty months in Fethiye, cruising the incredible coasts of South West Turkey and the Dodecanese Islands of Greece. Beautiful bays and islands for cruising, excellent marinas and great facilities. Fethiye also has a great local year round community with exceptional markets, restaurants, walks and historical sites. Hard as it was to leave, it was time to say a sad farewell to our friends there at the end of July 2012, after a haul-out, new antifouling and a few minor underwater repairs/service jobs.
So with the boys careers and personal lives both on track (one a doctor and one in finance), we (very proud parents of course) headed off west across the Mediterranean, and out to the Canaries for a couple of months. At the end of November 2012, we crossed the Atlantic to Barbados (how simple those 2800 nautical miles sounds when written down) with Christmas in Carlisle Bay, and then on overnight to Grenada to spend the next year cruising in the Caribbean, starting with the Windward Islands and Southern Leewards. We hauled out at the end of July in Grenada for the 2013 hurricane season and after a three month break in the UK, we were back in the water at the end of October.
We headed west from Grenada at the end of November via Bonaire and Curacao, and on to Columbia for Christmas 2013. Then on to the San Blas Islands in mid January 2014 and from there to Panama. We transitted the canal on 10th/11th February 2014 and in to the Pacific Ocean. We will then cross to the Galapagos followed by the big one (3200nm) to arrive in the Marquesa Islands of French Polynesia in late March/April. We will be in the South Pacific Islands for most of the year ending up in Brisbane in November 2014 before the Cyclone season. Plans for 2015 as yet undecided...one step at a time!
See more on Chris and Sara’s own website: http://www.svtulu.com/