INTERVIEW WITH CAPTAIN ANDREW BURRIDGE OF MONDANGO 3
Captain Andrew Burridge has been a captain for over 20 years, operating large yachts throughout the South Pacific, South-East Asia, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and the Eastern Seaboard of the US. “I have cruised over 250,000 miles and still love the challenge of being at sea and cruising with guests. It was an amazing first year with MONDANGO 3, constantly moving and exploring new territories that are off-the-beaten-track. We re-visited some amazing South Pacific destinations and discovered a whole set of new favourites.”
“In the spring of 2014, we left New Zealand and cruised French Polynesia for the earlier part of the season, stopping off at the Cook Islands, where the highlight was the famous fish shack on the beach. Has to be done!! We chartered around the Tuamotus and the Society Islands covering most island groups, which was highly successful.”
“One of the challenges was entering small harbours with extensive reefs and being able to create our own private paradise. It was truly magical, especially in the more isolated islands. Having such remote and idyllic settings all to ourselves was a thrill for our charter guests. At night there are no lights to interfere with the sky and the stars, which is a very special experience.” The Tuamotus are particular favourites: “They are flat atolls with picturesque lagoons, where you have truly fantastic snorkelling and diving opportunities. The pearl farms were a great experience; a highlight for guests was to take unopened oyster shells back to the yacht. Once opened, in every instance each guest discovered a pearl, some of which became stunning keepsakes of the trip.”
Captain Burridge will be in French Polynesia with MONDANGO 3 until September 2015 – before heading through the Panama Canal to Costa Rica and the San Blas Islands, chartering along the way, before spending winter 2015/16 in the Eastern Caribbean.
MONDANGO 3, a flybridge ketch, was delivered in February 2014 by Alloy Yachts. Designed for highly experienced and knowledgeable owners by Dubois Naval Architects, she has an eclectic interior by celebrated design duo Reymond Langton. “MONDANGO 3 has proven to be a fantastic sailing yacht,” says Captain Burridge. “She has exceeded my expectations in her performance and her capability to cruise without engine power. This is a real thrill for guests too because despite her size she offers an exhilarating sailing experience in light winds. The layout of the yacht is also perfect and provides multiple areas for guests to spread out and enjoy total privacy, whether on the flybridge, cocktails and dinner on the foredeck, or around the jacuzzi on the aft deck. We have sun awnings providing plenty of useable deck space along with a wide array of watersports equipment. MONDANGO 3 has a shallow draft so can access amazing lagoons and anchorages normally out of bounds for a 57m yacht, a huge advantage for visits ashore.”
MONDANGO 3 is available for charter right now in the South Pacific.