Mrs. Grouch and I took our first ride on our new Rans Screamer yesterday. It was our first tandem ride since I broke my elbows 9 months ago so we probably would have struggled a bit on a conventional tandem too.
Our starts were seriously ugly and I was a little wobbly trying to ride a straight line. We had been advised to move our shoe cleats back on our shoes so it took me waaaay too long to clip in my push off foot. I need to work a little on the handlebar ergonomics. Also, the people who say that you use different muscles on a recumbent - they're right. That's the only bad stuff so there's nothing there that a little more experience won't fix.
The good news is we're back riding together again. Frankly, I think that most of our struggles can be traced to anxiety about having been away from tandeming for too long. The best news is that we were able to fit the bike inside of our Honda Element by simply removing both (quick release) seats and the rear wheel. I'll probably also remove the front pedals for road trips.