Steve and Carol Argosy – Seabird N62
So, Steve, tell us a little something about your cruising to date and where you have been so far?
Well, I sold my business in 2004, but had to stay for on for 1 painful year during the transition. In November of 2005 we left Florida on Seabird and headed for Puerto Rico, where we docked next to Milt Baker for a month. After that we cruised to the British Virgin Islands and down to Trinidad, where we spent the Hurricane Season. After that, we cruised to Venezuela, Cartegena, the San Blas Islands and ended up in Panama for the summer. We transited the canal in the fall of 2007 and cruised up the coast of Central America to Mexico. From there we cruised to San Diego and on to Seattle, and then spent the summer in Southeast Alaska before returning to Seattle for an extensive refit of Seabird. It was then that Ken and Roberta from Sans Souci convinced us to scrap our plans to go back to Mexico and to join them on what became The Great Siberian Sushi Run, taking us along with Braun and Tina on Grey Pearl to Alaska, Russia and Japan. Since then we cruised to Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Borneo, Singapore, Thailand and then the Med.
Wow, that’s incredible, so how many nautical miles have you done aboard Seabird?
I really didn’t keep track, but a while back I plotted a single course to all of the places we have cruised and I think it came out to 45,000 miles over 9 years.
Why did you choose a Nordhavn?
At the time, there did not seem to be a lot of choices. I had heard too many nightmare stories about people who built one-offs and they either didn’t perform or realized later that there was no market for it. I considered a steel boat, with a fancy brochure, but after docking next to one for a season, it was a no go. I wanted a production boat with a proven track record. Both Carol and I fell in love with the N62 the first time we saw one in a magazine. We have not been disappointed.
What has been your cruising highlight so far?
It has to be the GSSR and what a pleasant surprise Japan was for all of us. In spite of the bureaucracy, we loved the people, the food and the cruising. Shortly after Japan, we visited the Ta Shing factory in Taiwan. We were the first Nordhavns to ever visit there after leaving. The whole team there went out of their way to welcome and entertain us. It was very moving.
Arriving in Taiwan.
Steve cracks open the bubbly!
Let the celebrations begin!
What lesson do you believe every boater should learn through reading rather than experience?
How about “How to perform an emergency Appendectomy at Sea”?
Do you travel with an animal/s on board?
Well, one time at a dock in Mexico I heard an unusual metallic clicking sound at 2am. I got up to investigate, only to come face to face with a large rat who was trying to push in the screen in the salon! I scared it away and didn’t tell Carol. I mentioned it in my blog and sent it out so I had to fess up quickly after I realized that 600 people now knew and she didn’t. We are supposed to have this “full disclosure policy” on board. I’m not sure that qualifies as having an animal on board, but it was as close as we have come.
In your past life what did you and Carol do?
I owned a manufacturing company in Connecticut that produced military aircraft components for 25 years and Carol was a VP at a company that produced and distributed raw materials to pharmaceutical companies.
Carol, if there is one thing Steve does that irritates you while underway what would that be?
The way he tends to hover around me at the helm at mealtime.
And it’s only fair I ask Steve the same question, so Steve, if there was one thing Carol does that irritates you what would that be?
When my lunch or dinner is late!
Onto irritating things, have you ever run out of something while at sea that has caused problems?
I wish I had a patching kit for my dry exhaust system that blew a 1 inch hole in the wrinkle belly section in the engine room while still 3 days out of Puerto Rico. That made a real mess in the engine room.
Seabird passing through Codville Cove.
I understand that you are cruising buddies with the William’s (Ken and Roberta) aboard San Souci, why do you believe that friendship has lasted so well?
I think it is because, while we cruise a lot together, we give each other space. Plus, our knowledge of things and our different strengths in cruising tend to complement one another. For example, Ken and Roberta research EVERYTHING and I hate reading. Also, I am a bit more mechanically inclined than Ken, but he is great with computers.
Steve, what the best thing about being friends with Ken?
I get first dibs on all of his old electronic gizmos!
…and the worst?
He tends to drag me along with him to a McDonalds at every port. Roberta won’t go. I find it difficult to resist.
Steve, it’s also true that you are also cruising buddies with Tina and Braun Jones on Ocean Pearl and while they have been missing in action recently how would you describe things when you are all together.
Oh, it’s like old home week! At the Miami Boat show last year we got together with Braun, Tina, Ken and Roberta and I don’t think we stopped laughing for three days. B&T definitely bring the party atmosphere with them. If you ever interview him, ask him about the dog biting incident in Siberia.
So Carol, help us out here, if Steve, Ken and Braun were all cars, which car would each of them be?
Ok, here goes!
Braun would be a Bugatti Veyron (one of the older models).
Ken would be Porsche Cayenne (big but agile) Steven……..an old Pontiac GTO! (Once a gear head, always a gear head)
That doesn’t work for me let’s try this, if Steve, Ken and Braun were all animals, what animals would each of them be?
Let’s stick with the cars! All of the animal visions I have are bad!
(L-R) Steve, Tina, Braun, Roberta, Ken and Carol at Miami Boat Show 2013.
Now there is a rumour that you purchased Seabird from money gained via illicit means and that “your boys”, to quote you, were now in State Prison. Is there any truth to that?
Ok, you must be referring to that video that Ken took of us after he drugged us at dinner. I remember nothing of it except that Carol and I woke up in an alley with horrible headaches and a slew of hate emails from people who thought we did not belong on such a prestigious adventure.
Actually, what really happened is that Mr. Straight Laced (Ken) had asked us along with Braun and Tina to make separate videos about our boats preparation for the GSSR. Ken gave us all his camera to use and B&T did theirs seriously. We looked at Ken’s long list of questions and said ” no way are we doing it like this”. We came up with our theme in about 30 seconds with no rehearsal along with a quick trip to the on-board wardrobe dept. Ken got it and then posted it on YouTube without telling us. We have never forgiven him.
Worse than that, B&T had guests coming for the trip, Wayne and Pat Davis. They had never met us and acted kind of standoffish at first. It turns out that they were not all that sure that we were not like that in real life!
So how is your relationship these days with Canadian Customs?
We just told them that those two on the video were squatters that we threw overboard before we crossed the border and they bought it.
For those who have yet to see the interview I am referring to and want a good laugh, it can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3VcdLYAJ4I.
And while I am at it Steve, I understand that you, in fact had for a time, a ‘NO KEY Strategy’ – would you care to explain what this was?
After so many years in business and finally being able to set out and cruise, we wanted no other responsibilities of the material sort, to worry about. We had cars, a home, storage units and a commercial building that we really didn’t need and were just one more distraction from what we really wanted to concentrate on, and that was cruising the world. To us, even though we were away cruising, each one of the keys to those things represented a small amount of worry and constraint. Buildings and homes had to be maintained, taxes paid, repairs done. The cars would be sitting there rotting away with no one driving them. Our goal was to get rid of those objects and the keys that represented them. The home was easy as were the cars. My commercial building took longer, nearly 5 years. When we reached Yokohama, Japan, I got the call. The building was sold! It was my last key. To celebrate, we had cocktails on the back of Sans Souci with a ceremony, tossing my last key into Yokohama Bay. We felt that we were finally free!
Unfortunately, or fortunately, three years later, here we are with a condominium and two cars! It was fun while it lasted and I recommend people who are starting to cruise do the same thing.
So let’s get back to the serious questions now. Would you describe yourselves as more hunters or more gathers?
Both Hunters. We would never be content to stay in one area when there is a whole world to see and adventures to be found. It’s why we are doing this.
Why did you name your vessel MV Seabird?
When I was a kid, the most beautiful boat in our Marina in Mystic, Connecticut was a Rybovitch sport fishing boat named Seabird. I named my first boat, a 24 foot SeaRay Seabird along with the next 7 boats we owned.
What other names did you consider?
Not a one!
Seabird (N62), Sans Souci (N68) and L’Adagio (N76) at anchor.
What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while at sea?
Carol will not let me tell you the funniest, so here is the second place winner……
While anchored in the Las Perlas Islands off of Panama, we were pulling in the anchor and it got stuck on something large at the waterline. Unable to see what it was or free ourselves, Carol jumped into the water with a mask and fins to investigate. We had hauled up a 25 foot center console with a 150 hp outboard! It turned out to belong to our friend who lived there and had thought it was stolen 5 years before!
What’s the biggest mistake you have ever made on the water?
When we first got the boat, I did not have a clear understanding of the 24 separate fuel transfer valves and how they worked. We ended up 15 miles out to sea in12 foot swells, running out of fuel (with 2000 gallons on board!) and no knowledge of how to prime the engine. We ended up calling Dan Streech, begging for help while bobbing around with no power to the generator, main or wing engines.
Tell us a little something about MV Seabird?
She is a 1997 N62. I would like to think she is somewhat special. First of all, she holds 1000 gallons of water and has a 220v 60hz 20kw AC hydraulic generator that runs off of the main engine. She is also one of the few with a chilled water air conditioning system. All systems ((air conditioning, main engine, wing engine and generator) are keel cooled requiring no salt water intakes. It has an engine unique to 62’s. It is a 220 hp MAN that is naturally aspirated and non-electronic, which makes it easy to keep loaded. It should go 40,000 hours. While in Thailand, we had her completely stripped of all hardware and repainted with Awl grip, making her look like new.
Are you scared of spiders?
Yep, I hate them!
What’s your favourite photo ever taken while at sea and why?
When we first got the boat, we endured five straight days and nights like this without a single problem on the boat. It shows how they are built. Lesser proven boats would have all kinds of casualties aboard.
Seabird ….this photo shows why they bought a Nordhavn!
What would you never leave behind (besides each other) when heading out to sea?
Good coffee and chocolate covered almonds.
Carol, tell us something about yourself that nobody knows?
I get seasick!
And finally, where to next?
Good question. Our plans tend to be, fluid, at best. We will probably spend one more season in the Med and then, hopefully, reunite the GSSR group for an Atlantic crossing.
Thank you very much for your time, will be watching this year’s progress closely.
Good luck with your travels!
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