Written by the owners
Jeff and I first discovered Nordhavn boats about 6 years ago in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. My family has had a vacation home there for over 20 years and, one day, Jeff and I noticed a very interesting boat in the marina. It was at a slip that made it difficult to see the name or other details so we just admired it from afar every time we went to Cabo’s marina, which was regularly, for lunch whenever we were there on vacation. Our attraction to the boat was its intrepid, expedition appearance combined with its comfortable elegance – traits we would put at the top of our list whenever we jokingly talked about our fantasy boat. We continued to admire the yacht from afar for over a year before we even learned what type of boat it was.
One day, as we were heading to our favorite marina haunt for lunch, Captain Tony’s, it started raining and so we sat on the opposite side of the bar than we normally would, to stay out of the rain which was drenching our favorite seats. Jeff looked up at what used to be the bar area’s thatched ceiling to look over the many t-shirts from yachts kept in the marina and – there it was! – a shirt from the very boat we had been more-than-fascinated-by for over a year. Tortuga, the t-shirt said. I Googled it immediately. A Nordhavn 76. Nordhavn. And so began our induction into the “Dreamers” club.
Over the following few years Jeff and I would browse through listings and videos to learn more about the different Nordhavn boats and stories. I don’t know that we started out believing we would ever make the fantasy a reality but the process has to start somewhere and so it did. The pandemic lockdown certainly moved things along because Jeff and I would treat ourselves to curling up in front of the TV to watch a new Nordhavn walk-through or a new YouTube video of others who were living the dream. And we talked about how Nordhavns were exactly the type of boat for us. In fact, in looking at other possible boats to consider, we did not see one other brand that even made us want to dream.
Our dreaming started to get better organized. We knew we wanted an aft Pilothouse because Jeff wanted the dinghies on the bow and sea spray to have farther to fly before hitting the Pilothouse windows. We knew we wanted a Captain’s cabin behind the Pilothouse so Jeff could stay there during crossings and be close at hand for whomever was on watch, or just rough nights at anchor. We wanted a Flybridge with a hardtop for enjoying the nice weather in places like the Sea of Cortez. And we wanted multiple cabins so we could have family and friends join us for adventures, comfortably. We knew we did not intend to have any crew so the 68 made more sense for us than a 76, but we also knew that – since we didn’t want to purchase and customize a brand new yacht, – to get all that we wanted might be tough to find because of the limited number of 68s out there.
I had started to check the Nordhavn listings every day and we began to realize that Nordhavns had become a precious commodity. We decided that perhaps our best course of action would be to contact Nordhavn and give them our wish list so they could let us know if one might be coming on the market. I wrote that wish list last January 2022 on my iPad Notes App but we never submitted it to Nordhavn as my father’s health declined and life intervened. I forgot it was in my iPad Notes.
At the end of June 2022, in my habitual checking of the Nordhavn website listings, I saw that a 2017 Nordhavn 68 was coming to market. I found photos from the boat’s previous sale in 2019. It was a bit of a crazy time because my father had just died 6 days previously, but I called the broker, Ted Robie at Nordhavn Yachts Southeast, to ask a few questions about this listing. It seemed to be everything we were looking for. Jeff was on a redeye the next evening from California to North Palm Beach to take a look at the boat. He arrived in the morning and we were under contract by the end of that day.
About a month later, when I was looking for a tortilla soup recipe in my iPad notes, I came across the wish list I had composed back in January. At the bottom of it I had written, “68 layout like Great Adventure 2017, hull #32”. After perusing the current and previous listings of so many boats, there must have been something about that particular boat that really resonated with me because it incorporated so many of the features that Jeff and I were looking for. It wasn’t for sale at the time I made the list, which makes this story so incredible. It did eventually come back to market – in fact, Great Adventure is the actual boat we wound up buying. Talk about things that are meant to be!
Other things that were meant to be…
Jeff and I first met on a boat in the Sea of Cortez 17 years ago. Before we had purchased Great Adventure, I knew next to nothing about boats but thankfully Jeff has many years of varied experience as engineer, Captain, crew. He has been all over the world and then some. When we met, I was a guest on my childhood best friend’s parents’ 150-foot sailboat that was spending some time in the Sea of Cortez. My friend knew I was often in the area because of my family’s vacation home so she invited me to join her and her husband and two young children since we had sort of lost touch and not seen each other in years. That beautiful sailboat had a full time crew of 6 and Jeff was the chief engineer. Nothing happened on that trip but the sailboat went up to Alaska after Baja and then back south on its way to San Diego for a haul-out. I had kept in touch with the crew, all of whom were communicative except for Jeff, and they stopped in the San Francisco area where I live, on their way south. I confessed to Penny the Chef at one point during their visit that I had a crush on Jeff, and after a long pause she said that was very interesting because she was rather sick of hearing about me from Jeff all summer! The rest is history, or a start to more history. The sailboat went back down to Baja for another couple of months and Jeff and I became engaged on its foredeck where it was docked in Marina Costa Baja in La Paz.
Now, 17 years later, here we are on our own boat, our Nordhavn, a matter of feet from where we first met and got engaged in La Paz. We do not know all the places we will go yet, but this is a nice start.
Even though we are owners now, we are still dreamers and now we dream about the great adventures ahead of us!
Photos: Bahia Conception – Sea of Cortez
Tracy and Jeff are currently splitting their time between Great Adventure in La Paz and their home base in northern California.