Time Now, For Something Completely Different.
I recently received a phone call from prominent Australian Surgeon re his interest in buying a Nordhavn and importing it into Australia. The one call turned into many and before long I had explained in detail the ins and outs of making it all happen. Soon, I was to receive another call from the Messiah of Nordhavn’s, Mr James Knight from Yacthtech in Florida (http://www.yachttechsales. com/) who had explained that the Australian surgeon had in fact bought a N55 (Last Mango) sight unseen and that it would arrive in Australia early February. James also went on to ask if I was free to help him with moving Last Mango from the Dockwise vessel to Rivergate Marina as the good Surgeon was busy an unable to attend.
So, did I do it?…. I sure did. Having gone through the process a year earlier I was confident that I could provide James with the necessary local knowledge so that the trip up the Brisbane River, or is that down the river, was without incident and as this would be my first chance to step aboard a N55 I was keen to help out and catch up with James whom had sold Pendana N6220 to me and my wife a year and a bit earlier. With time on my hands, I was only too happy to make sure another successful arrival of what is a truly remarkable vessel, take place.
James Knight aboard Dockwise’s Super Servant 4 holding up Last Mango!
James Knight arrived in Brisbane, as did I, and the first thing that we both wanted to do was gain access to Super Servant 4 to ensure everything was ok with Last Mango. The day before we were due to off load Last Mango, James and I were granted access and while James was given a hard time by security for being English (poor James) I flew past all the check points without a problem in the world. Within twenty minutes we were both aboard Last Mango and checking for any damage and making sure everything would work, as in less than 24hrs we were to move Last Mango under her own steam to her new home at Rivergate Marina.
One thing that was pretty funny was when we arrived there were a group of workers around Last Mango trying to figure out what the Wing Engine was. After a brief conversation I explained its purpose and they seemed happy with that as apparently it meant that the Captain of Super Servant 4 had lost the bet!
Great interest in Last Mango’s wing engine.
For those planning to visit Australia, Brisbane’s Rivergate Marina is the major customs clearance port for Queensland and while accessible it does have a few problems. One is the paper pulp mill a few hundred metres away which smells just like a massive grey water tank which is not a positive and secondly the current in the Brisbane river is not to be underestimated. Thankfully on our arrival it was slack tide but that was more luck than good planning as Dockwise sets the departure time.
View from Last Mango’s Flybridge looking forward.
The next day came and James and I were excited to see that Last Mango was floating freely and after collecting our papers from the folks from Aurora Logistics (Dockwise clearing agents) we were all set to go. As James ran around (as James does) checking this and that, I spoke my very best Croatian to the ship’s crew to ensure we were all on the same page re the lines. If you have heard me speak Croatian then you would realise there was a lot of finger pointing going on. Before long we were granted permission to start our engines and I am happy to say that Last Mango sprang to life without any problems at all. Luckily for the new owner it even came with global charts for the MaxSea systems which was a help although I did have Australian charts on my iPAD as a just in case.
Last Mango backing away for Super Servant 4.
As we made our way up the Brisbane River we both spotted a vessel approaching us and in unison we both said, that’s a Nordhavn! Sure enough another Nordhavn was going to pass us. It was N64 Mystery Ship who via radio explained that they were boarding Dockwise for Costa Rica. Wow, what a small world indeed.
Mystery Ship Passing Last Mango on the Brisbane River.
As is customary, I made sure the US flag was flying as a sign of respect to the product and its former home also as is custom Dave and his crew from the Gold Coast came up to meet Last Mango to start the clean down and to do all the stainless work, which I can tell you needed doing.
US Flag proudly flying.
Dave and his team busy washing, waxing and doing the stainless.
You will notice in picture above the pile of wood on the floating dock. This is not some crazy Australian custom but rather due to the heavy storms Brisbane experienced the week earlier. These trees, logs and debris would be something that we would have to contend with during our four day stay at Rivergate.
With Last Mango looking beautiful James and I waited for the arrival of the new owner and it wasn’t long before the owner arrived. Was he pleased with Last Mango (soon to be renamed The Mango, I think) he sure was.
With four days of training scheduled there was no time to waste and James and Brain (new owner) started at once while I handled the lines more times than I thought humanly possible. It wasn’t long before I had fenders on both sides and lines as well so regardless of the configuration of approach my work was done.
Last Mango and a few fenders at the ready with the roving fender on the bow.
On the third day of training another US Nordhavn owner who happened to be in town on business decided to drop in to say hello. Henry, owner of N6229 True Blue Too, came over to say hello with a Richard and Don who were all from the same company. So not only did we all have a good chat but importantly the Nordhavn community continued to grow with new connections being made. Owning a Nordhavn is much more than the product itself.
With our time coming to an end and the days of training fast running out Brian wanted Last Mango repositioned to Scarborough Marina in Morton Bay. With weather checked, lines let go we were underway to a new destination a few short hours to the north.
Brian (new owner) and James Knight taking Last Mango to new home.
On arrival at Scarborough Marina, Brian did a great job in backing Last Mango in to what was a relatively tight berth and certainly proved he had what it took to handle the boat. Once we had tied up and drew breath we noticed that we had in fact, berthed directly in front of the Nordhavn Australian office so it was good to catch up with the folks there and no doubt great for them to see a N55 up close and personal.
In closing, it’s great to have another Nordhavn here in Australia and I am sure it will bring the new owner many hours of pleasure. Yet again Dockwise performed to exacting standards, the product itself (Nordhavn) didn’t miss a beat when started after six weeks at sea aboard a carrier, Rivergate Marina provided the perfect spot to berth up once off Super Servant 4 and finally the paper factory provided every reason in the world to leave!
While it was fantastic to catch up with James Knight, whom I now consider a friend, and to meet the new owner it is equally good to be back at home after what was seven days away.