4 years ago during the Nordhavn Rendezvous in Mystic, I met with Bob Valleau who was a Nordhavn prospect along with others at the event. I immediately liked Bob and enjoyed his kindness and determination to set out on a life of cruising and adventure. I answered questions and then launched into one of my pet themes… the “age thing and running out of time”. It is a theme that we hear over and over and one that I wrestle with myself. I explained that age 60-70 was the last viable decade in a man’s life for the extreme side of Nordhavn cruising.. meaning ocean crossing and long passages.
Bob listened politely and let me spew out my very flawed soliloquy. After a polite pause, the young looking Bob said with a wry smile. “I should let you know that I am 69 now and will be 70 I a few months… how long does it take you to build a new Nordhavn 68?” Dang!!!!! There goes that chance to sell a boat! Fortunately, that blunder was not fatal and a Nordhavn WAS purchased by the Valleaus.
Fast forward 4 years and the still young Bob and his equally “young” and beautiful wife Kathy are having the cruising adventure of a life time. We get e-mails and photos from them from time to time and there is ALWAYS a smile with the new story of adventure and positive “can do” attitude embedded in their message. Why? Because they ARE doing it and they are having the time of their lives! What prompted me to write this was the posting on Nordhavn live yesterday showing photos of the Valleaus and their lovely N68 Vesper in Iceland.
Oh.. and my sales pitch? It has been scrapped. Apparently 70 is the new 60 when it comes to passage making.
ADDENDUM: I reached out to Bob and Kathy to get their approval of the above narrative and got this e-mail response from Bob:
“Cruising is a lot of work. I was afraid we would gain weight cruising without daily hikes or gym or sports. We have actually both lost weight because one is so active on board. We’re hoping it keeps us young.
We are proudly flying our Nordhavn 10,000 mile burgee. We always fly it, as we know we will get another one soon given we are now at 13,000 miles.
We are also learning. Every day is a school day on board. The Nordhavn blog is great for learning and we have met so many great Nordhavn owners along the way. We have Alan and Monica DeRosa of Alamo on board now and learning a lot from their cruising experience. Not to mention my frequent help from (project manager) Justin Zumwalt.
Very best to you and all the gang in Dana Point.