09 May 2014

After weeks of meticulous fine tuning by the Boating World team, the final checks were done and the magnificent Fairline Squadron 65 cruiser was cleared for her West Coast journey to her Luanda mooring in Angola.

Fueled up and stocked to the brim, she was ready to leave Cape Town with her excited crew which included Greg Alice, Mat Barrow and three other qualified skippers on board.

What a sight it was to see this stunning Fairline effortlessly carving a smooth path in the water in the moonlight as she headed out of Cape Town harbor towards Robben Island. The clear night sky and flat waters below the majestic Table Mountain made a lasting impression as they sailed away.

A well-planned 24-hour duty roster of two hourly shifts sorted the group’s duties in-between hours of relaxation and delicious microwave meals from Woolies!

Four days and three nights passed by with very little to disturb the peace apart from the fish jumping, sea gulls swooping overhead and seals frolicking alongside. The only consternation was Greg’s sighting of fish he could not catch, as no rods were allowed on this maiden voyage.  Mind you, the cockpit is big enough to accommodate the odd rod or two…!

The Squadron 65 easily cruised the calm waters between 30 – 80 nautical miles offshore, averaging around nine knots - a breeze for the massive Caterpillar engines. Electronic equipment and radar were kept on all the time to detect other vessels - leaving the crew confident of their safety.

Cleaning the boat, splicing ropes and watches became routine each day interspersed with music, movies and books and exciting games of poker. DSTV viewing in the saloon was a good alternative to the Flybridge but who could resist the great views and siestas on the huge sunbeds while cruising up the coast of Africa?

Morning showers were taken off the hydraulic ‘hi-lo’ bathing platform (for easy launching of the Williams jetlaunch), followed by scrumptious breakfast cook-ups. Dinnertime fare was an endless supply of lasagna and pizzas, to chicken and broccoli bakes.

Around halfway, the group decided on a much-needed swim and everyone enjoyed diving off the Flybridge into the warm sea water. Next stop was Walvis Bay in Namibia to refuel. Sadly for Greg and Mat this was their final destination before flying back to South Africa.

The fuel economy with Twin Caterpillar 1650HP purred at 800rpm with 12 liters per hour, 6 liters per engine. The team refueled in Walvis Bay in Namibia and Labito before arriving in Luanda.

Captain Beau Wrankmore, Charles moody and Ian were left to take this stunning Fairline Squadron 65 on the final leg of her journey to Angola. There she was welcomed by her delighted new owner and his family!