We moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2002. Home prices were thru the roof and climbing. At the time we had moved from ARIZONA and traded our 80 MPH go fast for a Grand Banks 42. It was kept at Ventura Ca and we cruised the Channel Islands, Catalina and Ensenada. After viewing homes in the Bay Area decided to move the GB to Alameda in the SF Bay. Plan was we would stay there for 2 weeks and then stay in our home in central CA. (you will See Mary did not like Bakersfield) After 6 weeks she had not been back to the house. I was traveling in the area frequently and was dispatched to get the,,red shoes and the green dress from time to time. Boldly we decided to put the house up for sale and got a full price offer in 3 days. Major yard sale and we were live aboards! Every week when I returned from a business trip I expected to see the home brochures and real estate appointments laid out but to my delight Mary asked the fateful question-since we sold the house cant we get a bigger boat?
As retirement approached started thinking about longer range cruising. After many boat shows etc purchased N5017 in Oceanside CA and continued up and down the coast until retirement. On my last week at work walked out of the office on Wed and headed to Ensenada on Thursday 2013 to join in the FUBAR. Our first big journey south of the border other than Ensenada. Had a great trip to La Paz and continued to Puerto Vallarta and back to the Sea of Cortez. Returned to San Diego for hurricane season. Next big journey was to Pacific Northwest and SE Alaska. Glacier Bay, Sitka and the San Juan Islands were outstanding. We then journeyed back to Ensenada for the 2015 renamed CUBAR. Made it as far south as Bara de Navidad and north to Topolobompo and back to Ensenada.
We returned to Puerto Vallarta and were happily enjoying the beach when a good friend of mine, Dennis Fox emailed me about selling his recently acquired N57. It was time to either act or unsubscribe to Yachtworld!. We had delivered his N50 from Baltimore to Florida and his N57 was at Old Port Cove. The scramble was on and we managed to move our N50 to San Diego for sale, move onto the N57 in Florida and start refitting and making it our own. In the meantime Dennis acquired N76 and we crewed with him to Florida. Later we followed in our N57 and joined Milt Bakers Maritimes cruise to Nova Scotia along with Dennis N76 and several other Nordhavns. After delivering N76 from New York to North Carolina and WORKNOT back to Florida for winter, Im writing to you from a Cay in Exuma.
The Nordhavn marketing program is captivating. Between the NAR and the Atlantic Rally they put the entire company at risk to demonstrate they were up to the market claims and committed. Seeing Nordhavn engine installs, equipment selection, ratings choice all add to the confidence of a well-designed boat the puts seamanship ahead glitz. After 2 Grand Banks, both good quality coastal boats, the Nordhavn is at an even higher level of robustness.
Trip from Ensenada to Glacier Bay Alaska has been our most memorable. Watching the glaciers cave from 200 yards away was awe inspiring. The beauty of the PNW beyond description.
Yes! For past five years we have been in service of KEELA. 4.5 # of Yorkie. She came to the boat as a pup and has traveled over 10,000 miles. She has led the way to meeting many new people and is ever present.
My career was the diesel engine business with a fair amount of marine application experience and worked with a boat builder in high school and college. Most of my career spent working for Cat dealers.
Mary is a nurse who lately has been doing volunteer work with Red Cross
Too often remarks on how lucky we are, we are lucky but dont need to reminded hourly!
And Gale, if there was one thing Mary does that irritates you what would that be?
I never seem to put the anchor in just the right spot first time. After deploying it usually looks a little better over there.
Onto irritating things, have you ever run out of something while at sea that has caused problems? .
Instant coffee for the night watch! On a long trip down the Baja coast a fellow Nordhavn owner traveling with us liked the instant coffee better than the pot coffee. He was drinking the Captains stash of Starbucks instant even when we brewed a pot. Ran out of instant coffee between Mag Bay and Cabo disaster!
Would you describe yourselves as more hunters or more gathers? gathers.
We fish when its easy and enjoy the catch but buying it from local fishermen works pretty well.
Years before we lived aboard the boat was a weekend escape from travel, phone calls and WORK. The goal aboard was to put the phone down and Not Work from Friday afternoon until Monday morning.
None really ..there have been many WORKNOTS from 24 Seaway, to 85 Mph go-fast to Trawlers.
What is the one lesson every boater should learn?
Weather dictates the vast majority of decision making. Weather needs to always trump the schedule. The times we have had our butts handed to us by the sea we were putting schedule ahead of weather.
What is your favourite anchorage and why?
So far Tenicatttia in Mexico is on top of the list. Its very protected, long sandy beach, clear water with room to swim, snorkel, dive and relax. No airplanes, no jet skis and no bugs.
Im writing from a Cay in Exuma and this area may be moving into top spot. Its really fabulous.
Costa Baja in La Paz is a great stay, the ocean club there has an outstanding infinity pool. Restaurant next door and view of the bay, that simply cant be beat. Well protected marina with daily shuttles to downtown, great staff.
What is your favourite quote and why? .
Honor is purchased by the deeds we do. Its a pretty good mantra for living.
Specific to Nordhavn someone said, if youve seen one Nordhavn, youve seen one Nordhavn. Every boat we have been aboard has been unique in some way.
Whats the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while at sea? .
Early in our trawler life we were headed south at 6 kts, a blimp appeared along the shore and half an hour later we saw it again, well south of us. I swore it was a different blimp and when convinced it was the same told Mary it must be a special high speed blimp. What gets out run by a BLIMP? It has been mentioned to me many times over the years as we travel at trawler speed.
Lots of errors but the Boat has covered up most of them. So far the big errors have been pushing a weather window for some external reason. Same with currents along the coast. Running these displacement boats with low hp/weight ratios into a marina with lots of wind/current has caused some very tense moments. A miserable trip from Puerto Vallarta to Cabo comes to mind. Last 6 hours were 30 kts on the nose.
What is your most hated boat job?
Gale head hose replacement and holding tank opportunities.
Mary -washing windows after being at sea a few days.
Tell us a little something about Worknot? .
She is our second Nordhavn, unlike our N50 this one has a flybridge and hydraulic bow and stern thrusters. Two stateroom layout makes for a very comfortable master cabin and the N57 engine room is a dream for this size boat. We keep looking around saying only 7 more feet?
Gale we travel mostly with just the two of us. Any fall or other injury could be serious trouble on a passage. Not only suffering until getting help, but putting the other spouse at risk as well.
Mary -something happens to either Gale or myself that would make living aboard WORKNOT impossible.
Whats your favourite photo ever taken while at sea and why? .
Great picture of our N50 going to weather in Mexico. For this Boat a night shot in Nova Scotia.
Sat Phone goes where we go. Great comfort to know help can be contacted anytime.
Mary tell us something about yourselves that nobody knows?
We spend most of the day catering to our dog Keela. We have great debates about where were going next. Sometimes its a coin flip.
And finally, where to next? .
We are in the Bahamas planning to go back North this summer to the Maritimes. Next big decision is when and if to go thru the canal and back to the west coast. Mexico or the Bahamas-such wonderful choices.
Thank you very much for your time, will be watching this years progress closely.
Good luck with your travels!
For more information on Worknot, Gale and Mary please visit their blogsite, which they say is a little out of date and a work in progress. Please click HERE.
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