18,000 Miles Later, Beluga Keeps Cruisin’

To say that Beluga put “explorer” in “Moonen 114 Explorer” seems like an understatement. A huge one, in fact. Beluga has put about 18,000 miles under her hull in just the past year and a half.

The yacht, built in 2006 (as My Issue), calls the northern coast of Australia home these days. There, Beluga cruises and fishes frequently with her owner and with charter guests. She often does so in tandem two sportfishing boats. They measure 42’7” and 52’5” (13 and 16 meters). But, Beluga undertook several adventures solo between leaving the Dutch shipyard and arriving there. “We started by exploring Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, and Turkey,” says Capt. Bob Nabal, who runs her. “Next was the crossing to Southeast Asia via the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, stopping in the Maldives.”

While each of those countries provided special experiences, Indonesia was quite memorable for Nabal. “The incredible nature held us spellbound for a month,” he recalls. Big parts of that natural beauty were the “bright-green islands” and “pink beaches.” Finally, Beluga pointed her bow toward Australia, where she’s been ever since.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing along the way, though. Nabal says he and the Beluga crew encountered severe weather in the Gulf of Aden. Winds blew from 55 to 60 knots, kicking up swells to about 13 feet (4 meters). Thankfully, “Beluga came through without a scratch. Being in a storm in the open ocean is a true test of a boat’s mettle.”

Also thankfully, Beluga’s owner and guests are enjoying their time onboard, as is Nadal, who describes her as being “very comfortable.” “Beluga feels more voluminous than you’d expect from a 35-meter boat,” he adds. “We’ve had 12 guests onboard fishing, scuba diving, relaxing, and it never felt remotely crowded thanks to the ingenious layout.” That includes an on-deck master, uncommon for 2006 and her LOA, plus a full-beam VIP below. The 26’6” (8.1-meter) beam helps, too.

If you head to Australia, keep your eyes open in the Port Douglas area for Beluga. If she’s on her own, don’t worry. Her fishing boats are probably out in search of dinner.

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