Dublin couple George and Mary Coombes have achieved the cruising dream writes W M Nixon. Having departed from an increasingly wet and windy Ireland in late July of last year, their Lagoon 450s catamaran Realta Bheag has now sailed more than 15,000 miles, and they are currently exploring the ultimate cruising paradise of French Polynesia – for the time being, the exotic islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora are at the centre of their world.
When we met them at the MGM Boat Show in Howth early last season their plans were initially aimed at less distant horizons, with an extensive exploration of the Caribbean’s many islands being central to the project.
But having crossed the Atlantic via last Autumn’s ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers), they found that they’d acquired such a taste for the voyaging life that soon Realta Bheag was headed for the Panama Canal and the much longer passages of the Pacific. So now they’re in Tahiti in the world of magical tropical sunsets, and Realta Bheag has lain to a mooring off the fabulous island of Bora Bora.
They bought their dreamship through Ross O’Leary of MGM Boats in Dun Laoghaire, and thanks to the worldwide contacts which he has built up through his top-of-the-range selection of marques, they’ve found that when matters of routine maintenance and servicing arise, the man from MGM has been able to direct them to qualified providers wherever they’re needed.
Thus the crew of Realta Bheag have been able to devote all their energies into putting purpose into their carefree existence, and the word is that although Tahiti and Bora Bora have them currently in their spell, with each passing day the western horizon calls with increasing resonance, for there are always other exotic islands beyond the seas.