Getting my sea legs

My name is Cynthia (Cyn) and along with my hubby Barry (Baz) we’re the two newest crew on ROAM. It’s great to have a little moment now, while we’re moored in Baie d’Opunohu, Moorea, French Polynesia, to sit and write up what has already been a freakin’ fantastic fortnight.

I still pinch myself for being a part of this crew. Mick and Liss are deadset legends and know this catamaran stern to bow and across the hulls, so I’m frothing to know it just as well, and get to know these Captains as great mates too.


I’m not pro, but I want to be!

I’m no professional sailor or surfer. I’m a designer, writer, eco movement co-founder and marine/air/land life lover. For the past few years, my days have usually been spent at this very computer, smashing out client requests until it’s late on Friday arvo. Then I head to the beach or the Blue Mountains on weekends. 


Some Wednesday nights, twilight yacht racing is on in Sydney Harbour so I’ve tacked and tidied and unfurled there. I love fishing and used to scuba dive like there was no tomorrow. I know how to scrub a deck, tie a clove hitch (…now, haha) and stow things away. But that’s it.


I’m calling it - this will change fast.


The stars aligned


It’s been pretty quick going, since hoisting my butt out of Sydney, to now hoisting mainsails on ROAM. I saw the crew callout video on the Women Who Sail Australia FB page in September, and excitedly sent in an application. By October, Mick and Liss sent us the email - ‘Come over!’ - and by 16th of November our incoming flight skidded on the tarmac in Tahiti.


Barry and me in Sydney (in winter, wow. Seems so far away right now)

Barry and me in Sydney (in winter, wow. Seems so far away right now)

In the 6 weeks from knowing we were to be ROAM crew, to packing up our Sydney lives, we had a lot to do. For one, we hadn’t yet finished a renovation in our bathroom! (Quick tip: Try getting a tiler in at short notice if you ever fancy a Level 11 stress attack.)

I am a freelancer so I had to get a dozen clients jobs tied up in a bow.

We prepared our apartment in case someone would like to stay there.

We lined up farewell parties every week. (Thank you friends who helped us organise these too!)

We got our vaccination shots, filled in piles of paperwork and packed, packed, packed!


I write all this because it highlighted to me just how important it is to be flexible and prepared for whatever adventure you desire. Have a think about your ultimate dream - if it was offered to you today, how quickly could you pack up and go? 


So far…


Two weeks in and we’ve set sail four times. While Mick was here, the four of us sailed from Tahiti (Taina Marina, Papeete) to the west coast of Moorea (a nearby island shaped like Tasmania… no wonder Mick and Liss have an affinty for it) then back again.


After only four days, Mick then headed overseas to work. With now Captain Liss, Barry and I, along with Liss’ good friend and local, Marie, we sailed back to Haapiti. Today, we sailed from Haapiti to the north coast of Moorea, into the Baie d’Opunohu (Opunohu Bay). As I write, the sun is setting on the Bay, and I can see the rugged, volcanic silhouette of Moorea from it’s other side. 

Bay d’Oponahu (and Kopiko!)

Bay d’Oponahu (and Kopiko!)


Moorea surf and dives


French Polynesia is definitely not short of surf spots. Left and right breaks feature on most coastlines; needless to say this boatful of surfers I’m sharing quarters with are having the time of their lives with morning and arvo surf sessions. Even though I’m not a surfer, I’m having a great time too, with my freedive gear in place of a surfboard. I cruise the coral reefs geeking out on all the underwater world while they carve up the waves above.


Free diving and snorkelling - soooo good.

Free diving and snorkelling - soooo good.

These little journeys are a great introduction to the boat, the weather, the seas, and the Captains. I’m learning fast and grateful to be ‘feeling‘ ROAM better with each sail.