MARGETT’S FAMILY CIRCUMNAVIGATE AUSTRALIA
After successfully running their Seawind 1160 in a charter fleet in the Whitsundays for several years, the Margett’s family had built up sufficient coastal cruising experience to try something much more ambitious. They set their sights on one of their life long bucket list adventures…circumnavigating Australia. However, the coastal hops they had done down to Brisbane during the off season had proved invaluable,
“ It was actually a lot less challenging than imagined. I thought it would have been harder, but it was surprisingly easy. The coastal day sailing is actually an extraordinarily good training ground for doing a longer sail. You just do it more often, and you just keep going.”
Craig is a Doctor and his wife Kerry is a Nurse and they had saved up some long service leave which helped provide the time needed to take a SEAbbatical. Their boys Lachlan and Steven were still young enough in primary school, so they decided to take them on the adventure of a lifetime and move onboard their Seawind 1160 “Scarlett” for a full year.
The Seawind 1160 was the perfect boat for the job…designed for Australia, the Seawind features a large indoor / outdoor living area, unbeatable natural ventilation with large opening forward windows (meaning most boats don’t need Air Conditioning) and a large galley that you could store provisions for the longer legs.
Craig explains, “We like galley down for a couple of reasons. If we had a 50 or 60-foot boat, we might be galley up, but the amount of galley that we get with galley down is much, much bigger.
Galleys up are always a big compromise, and certainly if you’re going through the Kimberlie the storage is important. The other one is the fact that there is a side window there and good ventilation. It’s better to be able to stand there and be able to brace yourself in bigger seas, whereas the galley up it’s not always possible.“
Beyond that, features such as good performance due to its efficient hull shape (keeping hulls narrow with beds on the bridgedeck) and a super strong monocoque construction making it very tough for the Southern Ocean made the Seawind 1160 the ideal to loop Australia on.
Craig meticulously planned their 12 month cruise that would follow the trade winds north from Brisbane, across the top of Australia past Darwin, through the ancient and extraordinary Kimberlie region, down to Perth, across the Great Australian Bite to Melbourne, past Sydney’s iconic Opera House and finally back to their waterfront property on Moreton Bay.
So what were the highlights of cruising the world’s largest island, Craig explains,
“ All of the Kimberleys is one great big highlight moment. Day-to-day, 40 days of highlight moments. It’s really quite incredible. It’s one of those things that lives up to everything that you hear about it. But by the same token, until you’ve been there, it’s not the same as reading about it in the sense that it’s better.
But the other highlight moment, which we were surprised about was all the time we had in the Southern Ocean, we were really blown away with how fantastic the coastline was, particularly on the southern coast of Western Australia, and the ease of doing, you know, day sailing, a little bit of time down there.
It was fascinating. People don’t talk about it much, and we’re really surprised and astonished by that. And we’d like to go and do that again.