On July 7, more than 30 Nordhavns are set to begin moving in to the Petersburg, Alaska marina, kicking off what will be the largest group of Nordhavns ever assembled at one time. Nordhavns To Alaska or N2AK is the brand’s biggest rendezvous ever with owners of 32 Nordhavns coming by boat, and several more coming without boats. We’ll capture the festivities of the next several days with updates and photos.
Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
A group of 100 yachters recently visited Petersburg and other towns in Southeast. They were traveling in a fleet of Nordhavn yachts. They gathered in Petersburg to exchange notes on living life aboard. read more
Saturday, July 16th, 2016
Dan, Marcia, and et al at PAE,
Thanks for journeying to Alaska representing PAE and participating in the Nord2AK rendezvous. We received comments wishing the time allotted Dan could have been longer, that Mike’s presentation was very informative and well organized, and that Doug seemed to be everywhere photographing everything even in the rain on Monday morning. And of course Marcia was Dan’s reliable supporter, and so welcoming to us all.
This was a first for Nordhavn owners taking the lead and organizing a Nordhavn Rendezvous of this size. We were pleased with the results. Thanks Dan and PAE for underpinning Nord2AK financially as Nord2AK grew requiring the historic Son’s of Norway Hall three day rental and the additional financial assistance as Nord2AK grew and grew.
Lynda and I received many nice complements as did Gerry and Douglas. I received no less than a dozen suggestions that we all meet again in Alaska. Can you believe that Pete and Susan, Nordhavn 46 owners, actually cruised from their home at higher latitudes to attend? For them it was not North to Alaska but South to Little Norway transiting the Gulf of Alaska. Pete Murphy was an early volunteer manager leading the facilities team while Susan LaGrande led the Prince William Sound Forum. They are typical of the many supporters and volunteers. Kristin and Wayne Tries, N40 owners, flew in from the east coast and executed their extensive management volunteer work, and Peter and Laurie Hayden boated in and deserve a special note too.
Nordhavn owners with intent of making the journey and contributed early on but cancelled due to conflicts, we thank you all too for your financial support.
We regret having not strongly encouraged Dan and Marcia to also attend the day cruise to Portage Bay with the many Nordhavns that did. Even the Nordhavn kids aboard N55 Long Time Dead caught halibut. There was so much halibut on Monday and Tuesday in Portage Bay that even those that did not fish had halibut. Some of us will be eating halibut for breakfast, lunch and dinner for days and the freezer still full for the summer. Ever had Halibut fritters with maple syrup for breakfast? Surprises come in spades when cruising on our Nordhavns.
Pictured is a 260 pound halibut which supplied many of the Portage Bay crew. To land it took team work and encouragement from two other Nordhavn skippers coming to ALBEDOS’s rescue. I recall Ian calmly commenting, “Say what – harpoon?, I’ve never been involved in catching one this big,” as Lynda gladly handed over the harpoon with no idea of how to use it.
The weather was perfect and many stayed over for a second day. Douglas Cochrane caught a halibut estimated also to be over 200 pounds on Tuesday but by this time everyone had more than enough already bagged. At Jerry’s instructions, Douglas released it to the ocean worn out but in good shape for another day. Douglas will have some sore muscles and a bruised groin this week from his thirty minute battle.
Kayakers searched for the river mouth at the head of the bay, skippers and crew got together on various boats for happy hour, and it was a great time to relax after a busy Nord2AK weekend in Little Norway.
The final count either attending the dinner or the forums is a little difficult to compute since a few could not do all three days. But my count was 28 Nordhavns that attended it all both forums and catered meals, plus two more Nordhavns that stopped by for a total of 30. The attendance at the catered dinner filled to capacity at 98 but who had time to count.
And to top off the event, Nordhavn Owners contributed generously (+6K) to the Petersburg Rotary Club to memorialize two young girls that died with scholarships in their names, and to assist the survivors of that terrible auto accident that impacted this small town on the 4th of July the week before.
Jim, Lynda, Gerry, Douglas and the rest of the Nord2AK managers, volunteers and attendees
Monday, July 11th, 2016
N2AK participants departed Petersburg, AK on a raining Monday morning. It was quite the sight with all the Nordhavns first circling the marina then departing in a single line. More photos coming soon.
Sunday, July 10th, 2016
To say that the recent Nord2AK rendezvous isin Petersburg, Alaska, was a success would be a massive understatement. The event, which was entirely organized and managed by passionate Nordhavn owners, set a new bar for participation, enjoyment, and information. More than 30 Nordhavns, and more than 100 enthusiastic owners family and crew, converged on Alaska’s “Little Norway” for an inspiring weekend of exchanging stories, tips, and shared passion.
More than anything, there was a tremendous display of the deep-reaching resourcefulness Nordhavn owners possess, and an equally deep desire to share knowledge and energy with others in their extended boating family. Two days of jam-packed seminars covered fishing, provisioning, weather, radar usage, docking, and other topics that were known to be of particular interest to the group. The organizers’ efforts to find out exactly what kind of information people were interested in really paid off with a series of lectures aimed directly at Nordhavn owners looking to maximize their enjoyment while cruising Alaska and other areas.
Also on display was plenty of evidence that this kind of boating is a true partnership between the men and women, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, and others who come together to enjoy the amazing experiences adventure cruising has to offer. It’s fun for everybody, but it’s also work for everybody, and it’s nice to see a group that really understands how important the contribution is from the women, men, and even kids who stand watches, help with maintenance, manage provisioning, and all the other critical tasks that make all the fun possible.
Speaking of kids, the high point of the party had to be when a local troupe of 10-12 year-old boys and girls put on an incredible show of traditional Norwegian dancing after Saturday night’s amazing dinner. Dressed in traditional garb, they entertained the hall full of happy boaters for more than an hour – the last half of which the dancers managed to get nearly everyone in attendance out of their chairs for a number of festive group dances. It was a romp of epic proportions.
Nord2AK has made its mark on this little Alaska fishing town founded by Norwegian fisherman more than 100 years ago as well as on the trawler-gathering scene as a whole. Nord2AK has a more focused and relevant agenda than TrawlerFest, it has a more cohesive sense of community than a typical Nordhavn-rendezvous, and it has a true appreciation for all the people who make cruising around the world in a Nordhavn a possibility. Time and again we are reminded that Nordhavn owners are capable of amazing things – and Nord2AK is a sterling example of what these inspiring boaters can do when they come together as a group.
Saturday, July 9th, 2016
Today the heavy lifting (and more fun!) began as the seminars and various activities got underway. The day started back at the Sons of Norway Hall (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sons_of_Norway_Hall) with a catered Norwegian style breakfast. At 9:00, Doug Cochrane made announcements and more introductions to the group and introduced me as the first speaker. I thanked Doug and Gerry and Jim and Lynda and then moved to a topic which is always on my mind when I am with Nordhavn owners and even more so when with a large group of Nordhavn owners…. And that is to THANK them the owners for their contribution to the Nordhavn story. The Nordhavn “thing” is the envy of the commercial side of the boating business. The “thing” is difficult to describe, but it is the foundation of the Nordhavn identity in the boating world. It is a very powerful passion that Nordhavn owners have for the cruising lifestyle, their Nordhavns and each other. I have known and observed this for years and have been reminded of it again this weekend as I observed the strong social network and the friendships that exist among the owners. With 534 Nordhavns now having been built, the Nordhavn “thing without a name” has grown into a global force field that is fed by the owners with a wonderful deference to PAE and a respect and appreciation for what they have. It should have its own zip code or name, but for now, I just call it “the thing” and offered my deep and sincere thank you the Nordhavn owners for their role in this phenomenon.
Since there are so many experts in the Nordhavn world both inside and outside of PAE, I decided that I should not choose any of the typical educational topics. The many many questions that Nordhavn owners have can be and are answered on the NOG and Dreamers sites and by the PAE sales, engineering or project management departments or by the many other experts who offer support to the Nordhavn world. What I decided to talk about was the history of Nordhavn and my personal history.. which of course are intertwined from my early 20s onward. I made notes and gathered up about 100 old photos for a power point presentation. I won’t get any awards for oration excellence, but it went pretty well.. until I ran out of time. Note to self…. Don’t try to fit your life story and the 42 year history of PAE into 45 minutes…
With schedule coordinator Peter Heyden cracking his whip to keep things on schedule, the day progressed on perfectly with talks and seminars on:
Marine weather- Denis Umstot
Tuning Nordhavns: Galley to Stabilization- Jim Frantz
Fishing in Alaska- Cal and Nancy Massey, Larry Crass
Dock current leakage- Mike Telleria
Social Networking for women- Gerry Cohrane
Thru out the day, there were engine room tours by Bob Senter and boat tours for those who were not attending the seminars.
The day ended with (what else?) a cocktail party in the Sons of Norway Hall. That was followed by a delicious Norwegian Smorgasbord Dinner and entertainment by a VERY fun Norwegian dance group. Think Norwegians are and taciturn and quiet? Think again. It wasn’t long before the fun dancers had the entire Nordhavn group out on the dance floor performing the Norwegian version of a conga line. Amazing! The festivities ended at about 9:30pm and we walked out into the bright sunlight.. Circadian rhythm? Forget it when you are in Alaska in July
Friday, July 8th, 2016
Petersburg is VERY Norwegian and VERY much a town that exists for and because of commercial fishing. The more you get to know this lovely town, the more you like it. The people are SO friendly. The next time that you are sitting thru the interminable wait for the left turn signal in a busy intersection, think about Petersburg.. NO traffic lights. The day was spent TRYING to walk around town, but the process was very slow as various Nordhavn owners appeared and long conversations ensued. Some were old friends (such as Wayne and Laurel Hill owners of the N57 LONE RANGER; still gleaming and ready for a boat show after 17 years of cruising) and some were people whose names I have only seen on a spread sheet. Of course, with the common thread being “Nordhavn” and the natural friendliness of Nordhavn people, new friendships were quickly formed and the smiles and fun spread like an infection. The day ended with a pot luck dinner and BYOB cocktail party at the Sons of Norway Hall. Doug Cochrane opened the proceedings with a welcome speech and a brief description of the upcoming agenda and offered a warm thank you to the people of Petersburg for having us. We were honored when the mayor of the town Mark Jensen and the town’s harbormaster Glo Wollen (and the opinion around town; with a smile, is that SHE is more powerful than the mayor) made an appearance and thanked US for choosing Petersburg for the rendezvous site. They are both 4th generation locals of Norwegian heritage and both grew up on fishing boats…. and, they were both lovely to the core. And then it hit me… wow..dah.. we are in a fishing village with a heavy Norwegian heritage… with our Nordhavns. Remember, “Nordhavn” is a slightly altered Norwegian word meaning “North Harbor”.
Thursday, July 7th, 2016
After a wonderful low altitude flight from Juneau, the Alaska airlines 737 banked hard and the skilled pilot (surely a bush pilot in his spare time) touched down in Petersburg.. our home for the next 3 days as we attend the N2AK rendezvous. Even before touching down, the fun was already starting as 6 PAE people (Don Kohlman, Mark and Nancy Gilbert and Dan and Marcia Streech) were on the flight along with 3 Nordhavn owners (Penny Talbot and David and Amy Adams). Petersburg is a fishing village of 3,000 people and home to a very active fishing fleet. It is perfect, wonderful and authentic in every way and is straight out of central casting. After checking into the Scandia hotel, we decided to walk down to the docks to check in with the organizers (Jim and Lynda Frantz on the N52 ALBEDOS and Doug and Gerry Cochrane on the N57 ORION)..OMG!! as the song lyrics go “There was a party goin on”. Organizers and volunteers along with at least two dogs were packed into ORION working on name tags, hand outs and most importantly, wine tasting. Another group led by Jim and Lynda along with Frank and Deb Adams found the only bar in town and that was our next stop. They say.. “One Nordhavn is fun and two is a party” Can you imagine what 30 Nordhavns and about 80 people are going to be? A super party for sure and we got a preview of it on Thursday afternoon… 24 hours before the event has actually begun. Today begins arrival of more guests, registration and a cocktail party (wait.. we already had a cocktail party?)
On a sad note, our Nordhavn festivities are taking place in the shadow of a tragedy which happened in Petersburg over the 4th of July weekend. In a traffic accident, two teen age girls were killed and two were injured. The accident has rocked this small community where “everybody knows everybody”. The N2AK organizers will ask the attendees to contribute to a fund which will be used to honor and remember the girls.