Guest Interview Bill and Emmy Baker N62 Roxia

Emmy and Bill Baker
So, Bill, while I appreciate Roxia is only new to you, please tell us a little something about your cruising to date and where you have been so far?

We purchased Roxia (Ex Lone Wolf) in September 2017.  We have been aboard 1 month.  We are from Seattle Washington and have looked at a number of N62s.  We purchased Roxia in Mackay Australia.  After getting to know the systems we headed up to the Whitsunday Islands.  Now we are headed south to Bundaberg to renew antifoul and have Roxia on the hard for the Typhoon season. Prior to Roxia we owned a 60 Defever trawler for thirteen years (and 4,000 hours) named Shibumi. After bringing Shibumi up the west coast from southern California to Seattle Washington we cruised in the Pacific Northwest, mostly the Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound up to the Broughtons. Emmy started boating when we were married 33 years ago and we have enjoyed it together. I grew up boating in California and made several hundred trips to Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island 26 nm off the coast. One time with a friend in high school we drove his 13 Boston Whaler with a 20hp Johnson and wooden seats. We had a hard time sitting down after that rough ride.

Our next trip beginning in April 2018 will be to travel from Australia back to the Pacific Northwest via New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tahitibut as Andy N sayswritten in sand at low tide.

Roxia N62
While I appreciate you are an experienced mariner, what were some of the challenges you initially faced running Roxia and her systems

Roxia is all hydraulic so we are learning all things hydro.  The systems on Roxia are certainly more robust than our previous boat. The electrical system is more complex so I spent a few days with my label maker and coloured tape making it easier to understand. It has been fun getting used to all the systems. We feel very spoiled and luxurious.

Why did you choose Nordhavn? 

I have made 12 trips up or down the west coast of the US.  Some of the trips were not on boats that were as well built as ROXIA.  On previous passages Ive had a rogue wave take out all the forward windows of a 60 plastic boat and put three feet of water inside the boat.  I have had portholes blow out running in 10 foot head seas.  I have driven bad boatsI wanted to own the best boat.  I grew up in Southern California near Dana Point and have been a fan of the N62 since 1993. I feel very fortunate that we were able to purchase Roxia and be part of the Nordhavn family. I hope I eventually feel more deserving

What has been your cruising highlight so far? 

We have had some fun times exploring the Whitsundays. The Hamilton Island restoration is remarkable after the storm. We have had some private anchorages with sand beaches and no other people.  Our last stop before Bundaberg was Lady Musgrave about 30nm off the coast. Lady Musgrave is a large reef with a channel going into the middle. You can anchor inside and snorkel and explore the small island (the above water land mass at the south end of the reef.

The Admiral Emmy at the controls
Do you travel with an animal/s on board? 

We usually do travel with two dogs. A 75 pound Australian Labradoodle, Captain MacIntyre, and an 8 pound YorkyPoo, Bozley.  We were not able to bring our dogs to Australia and we miss having our companions with us. Emmy ranks the dogs above the captain

Bozley ready for a walk
Captain MacIntyre
If you cruise with pets, do you have any fun stories about them (how you potty-trained them for the boat, or what they do while cruising?)

Emmy takes many pictures of our dogs in very strange places as Bozley is great at posing.

Boz getting weighed in
Bozley posing yet again
What training or skillset would you consider a must have prior to buying a boat? 

I think an attitude for adventure and problem solving.  Everything else can be learned. I have trained people boating with a wide variety of skills and backgrounds. There are different ways to learn and remember. Use the best one for yourself.

Bill performing watch duties
What upgrade do you most wish you could make to your boat? 

Roxia is such an upgrade already but I have a few ideas to personalize her.  We will add water toys. We bought an inflatable kayak to use when we want to go ashore and carry the boat up the beach, and snorkel gear.  A dive compressor may be in the future and a small stand alone anchor watch chart/depth/gps unit.

Roxias engine room
In your past life what did you and Emmy do? 

Emmy is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and loves kids. I own a water sports marine business, online store and Marine Consulting. (Bakes Marine)

Bill, so tell us a little more about Bakes Marine? 

I started Bakes Marine Center in 1989 selling Malibu waterski boats. Soon after that wake boarding and now wake surfing is what most people do.  In the down turn we stopped selling boats and concentrated on our online store, water sports boat service and accessory sales.  We are back with Axis, Supra and Moomba boats and the online store ships all over the world.  We are a big player in a very small niche.  Bakes Marine Consulting is for yacht management, training and deliveries.  I do less of that now that we are spending more time on the water. Now I work on boats I like, or for people I like. Its an easy way to decide.

Pygmy kyak that I built
Bill, if there is one thing Emmy does that irritates you while underway what would that be? 

Emmy is a very knowledgeable and competent boater and yet she often (very often) says she doesnt know anything.

And Emmy, if there was one thing Bill does that irritates you what would that be? 

Talking to me in a quiet voice about important things when I have my head in the galley with fan blaring and I cant hear a word.

Onto irritating things, have you ever run out of something while at sea that has caused problems? 

We ran out of coffee on a month long cruise and I got crabby.  When we finally made it to port and bought more coffee, Emmy also bought a large sturdy pottery mug with a crab engraved on the front. We fondly named it, The Crabby Cup.  This cup must be filled early every morning for the skipper.

Emmy enjoying some down time
Roxia at rest near Digby Island, Australia
What is the shortest trip you have made?

Island hopping we have travelled less than 2 miles.

What is the longest passage you have made?

The longest non-stop is 7 days. Longest trip to date, 1 month from Seattle to the Broughtons and back.

We made this trip in our old Defever
What have been the tallest seas and strongest winds you have encountered? 

I dont like strong winds or tall seas.  Tallest seas were 12-15 foot on 8 seconds. Winds 45 gusting to 60 knots. I am uncomfortable long before the boat is unsafe.

If you didnt own your current boat, what boat would you like?

We loved our 60 Defever. I might like a N63 but the N62 just has a strong look.  Im not a big fan of the flybridge. I would like to see an N68 without a fly Probably too big (and expensive) for us.

When you purchased your Nordhavn, what were the key features you were looking for?

Reverse windows, no flybridge, aft pilothouse, Nordhavn, four staterooms, (Emmy added, with a cozy, warm nautical appearance).

Roxia in the Whitsundays
She is just so pretty
Would you describe yourselves as more hunters or more gathers? 

Maybe gatherers. We are both homebodies who want to explore. Now we get to take our home with us.

Why did you name your vessel Roxia? 

Roxia was my Great, Great, Great Grandmother.  A book named Roxia is dedicated to my Grandmother who we called G-Muz.  The book was written by her father about his Grandmother named Roxia. She decided to leave the small town of Chepstow, England to seek adventure around the world.  We keep a copy of the book on board.  My childhood boat growing up in Newport Beach California happened to be named Roxia!

What other names did you consider?  

We thought about our old boats name Shibumi (another book), which means  a way of life or understated elegance.

What is the one lesson every boater should learn? 

Boring is good. Dont hope for difficult weather just because your boat can handle it.

What is your favourite anchorage and why? 

Teakerne Arm on West Redonda Island, BC.  You anchor, then stern tie to the shore. There is a large waterfall Cassel Falls and a dinghy dock.  You can take a kayak or dink to the dock and take a short up hill hike past the top of the falls to Cassel Lake.  It is a great spot for jumping off big boulders into a refreshing fresh water lake.  There are ropes hanging down the rocks so you can get out of the water.

Biggest surprises with your cost of ownership?

On a well-maintained boat, twelve years old, there are so many systems that have not been used.  After using them for a month we are discovering many necessary fixes, repairs and parts to replace.  We also look forward to personalizing ROXIA, a bit of an expense to look forward to over the years

Then again, this makes up for it in spades
What is your favorite activity while aboard?

Bill—Water sports of all kinds; kayak, snorkel, swim, dive off the top, scuba hopefully soon.

Em—Photographing remarkable scenery and journaling, so we can share our adventures with others.

Simply stunning, Digby Island, Australia
What is your favorite Marina and why? 

Bill–Gorge Harbour on Cortez Island British Columbia. It is far enough away from people to feel remote, the grounds are immaculately kept and there is a pool.

EmmyRoche Harbor, San Juan Island Washington.  What could be more picturesque and cozy?

What is your favourite quote and why? 

Bill-  The cure for anything is saltwater. Sweat, tears or the sea.  Isak Dinesen—-the sweat, from hard work; tears—-from loss or frustration; and the sea— for always being able to go out into the ocean on a boat, on a board or just for a swim.

Emmy- The Best Way to Find Yourself is to Lose Yourself in the Service of Others. Ghandi

Whats the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while at sea? 

It is only funny in retrospect. When I was in college my dad had sold the family boat (Previous Roxia) and we borrowed a 42 Hatteras from a friend so we could go to Catalina Island.  After we were all secure I decided to strap on a tank and check the bottom of the boat. I jumped into the lazarette to grab my gear but there was an electrical fire at a sub-panel.  I poked my head up and asked my dad if he could grab me a fire extinguisher. He asked why and I told him there was an electrical fire.  I have never seen my dad move so fast. I put out the fire by crawling back to the panel holding my breath.  As I poked my head out to take a deep breath there was still fire retardant coming out the hatch.  I took my breath and there was no oxygen! I had to crawl on the deck like a lizard until I found air. Everyone was looking at me like I was possessed.

Bobby, our son in law with our beautiful daughter Addie
Whats the biggest mistake you have ever made on the water? 

On our old boat I was transferring fuel one time and let it go a little long. Fuel started to come out the vent line. We were just entering the locks in Seattle when a guy who was on board asked why there was red fluid leaking down the side. I might have run faster than my dad on the previous question.

Time for some R&R
What is your most hated boat job? 

BILL Fixing the heads.

EMMY Anything having to do with holding tanks

Tell us a little something about Roxia and what makes her special? 

I think like many Nordhavn owners our boat is like a big security blanket. I never choose to be in bad conditions but I know that if I am caught out Roxia will take care of us.  We are not the original owners so we appreciate some of the things the other caretakers have done.  Like many of the N62s we have a wing engine but we also have a Wesmar APU that runs off the generator. The generator hydraulic system is not tied to the wing or main hydraulics. It is only for the APU. We have a backup for the backup.

Roxias main electrical panal
What is the one thing you are most afraid of? 

BILL Letting people down who are depending on me.

EMMY Not having any peeps surrounding me.

Whats your favourite photo ever taken while at sea and why? 

We were traveling north in Desolation Sound with the kids and their friends. All week wed been watching for whales, but no luck.  Bill and I took a dingy ride into the small store at Squirrel Cove and I found a beautiful postcard of a breeching whale.  I placed it in perfect lighting, and took a picture of it with my camera.  When we got back to the boat and showed the picture to the kids on my camera screen; their jaws dropped to their knees. 

I like this one as well, taken in Lund BC
What would you never leave behind (besides each other) when heading out to sea? 

Bill: Coffee to make my morning Latte.

Emmy:  Camera, chocolate, sunscreen, a good book, fresh water.

Roxia is well taken care of in the communications department
Emmy & Bill tell us something about yourselves that nobody knows? 

Emmy: When Im in a safe swimming pool, I practice calmly floating on my back and encouraging myself with this mantra, If I am in rough cold water at sea, I CAN float.  Dont panic, just breath.  (I am not a great swimmer). 

Bill: I have done competitive triathlons since 1981 (including Ironman Hawaii) and I told Emmy I would retire to get this boat. My last one was July 2017

If you were to give one piece of advice to someone thinking of cruising the world, what would it be? 

As James Tiberius Kirk would say I dont believe in the no-win scenario. There is always a way to fix something.

If you were advising someone as to the best area of the world to go cruising, where would it be, and why? 

The Pacific Northwest. I have been boating in many parts of the world and the cruising in the Pacific NW is some of the best cruising anywhere.  There are snow capped peaks, there is warm water. (Summers in Desolation Sound can be in the high 70s to low 80s). There is fishing and crabbing and hundreds of anchorages that are sheltered and small marinas arent far away.

Whitsundays, perfect one day, better the next
And finally, where to next? 

That is a great question.  As we sit in Keppel Bay Marina, Yeppoon Australia, we are pondering just that.  We are torn between starting a very adventuresome cruise home through New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and North, versus shipping ROXIA home to the PNW for some needed refit and then cruising to Alaska. As I quoted once before, All plans are written in sand at low tide, Andy N.  Time will tell.

Addie and Boz take time out to have a cuddle
Will, our son taking us towards an anchorage
Burgers off the barbecue with Addie, Will and Bill
Thank you very much for your time, will be watching this years progress closely. 

Good luck with your travels!

To read more about their travels please visit:  HERE

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