First Impression: Dark Shadow
Date toured: May 2010
Don’t get your hopes up too high for regatta charters, though. Dark Shadow’s owner uses his yacht for those, primarily during the months from August through October. Your best bet for chartering this yacht is late spring and early summer in the Western Mediterranean, when the crew are more than happy to provide a serious sailing experience even without the regatta fanfare.
"Our best guests are keen on sailing,” Donnithorne said. “We’re about water sports. We have a very unique tender.”
Indeed, the three-year-old, 45-foot tender built by Wally is as sleek and sexy as the mothership, looking downright space age compared with the large center-console boats that some other charter yachts tow. The tender’s ambience is just as contemporary as Dark Shadow’s interior décor, which is almost exclusively black and white.
Donnithorne, a British native, knows Wally designs well since the past nine years of his career has been spent as a captain aboard them. His previous command was the 88-foot Wally sailing yacht Tiketitoo.
Also part of the Dark Shadow crew is Chef Annina Zaini, who made my taste buds happy with her luncheon of tuna carpaccio, pasta with shrimp, and a delightful panna cotta for dessert. Zaini is Italian and takes pride in cooking specialties from her homeland. Ask for the seafood and pasta, and you won’t be disappointed.
Dark Shadow is part of the Camper and Nicholsons International charter fleet. She takes six guests and is based year-round in the Western Mediterranean. Any reputable charter broker can tell you more or help you book a week onboard.—Kim Kavin