When the pandemic was in full swing in 2020, Greg Sparks and wife Jacqui’s adventurous souls were fortunately protected from the chaos and predictable tediousness associated with lockdown. International travel was most definitely out, but their country of Australia was there for the taking. As experienced overlanders – enthusiasts of extreme vehicle-based, self-reliant exploration – Jacqui and Greg endured COVID’s reign by jumping in their customized off-road vehicle and went off the grid to the remote western limits of their homeland. Discovering untapped parts of the Outback is one of their favorite ways to spend time.
This past March marked a full two years of life in a coronavirus world, the better part of which Jacqui and Greg spent in the wild. They explored and experienced remote areas, embracing every part of the exciting journey with exuberance. But eventually they wondered, what next? What could equal the excitement of discovery journeys of their country’s uncharted land? The answer was simple: discovery journeys of other countries’ uncharted land, some of it perhaps accessible only by water. To do it they would need the equivalent of a floating off-road RV.
With little patience to wait for the next excursion, Greg took to the internet to research exploration by sea. He landed on the next best thing to an amphibious 4 x 4 – a Nordhavn – and came across a listing for a 52-foot Nordhavn. With the understanding that a yacht on the brokerage market today usually equates to a sold yacht on the brokerage market next week, Jacqui and Greg – for once – weren’t taking chances. The boat, Beautiful Day was located in Dana Point, CA. There was no time to waste with going over to inspect it. “Greg knew the reputation of the brand,” said his salesman, James Leishman. “I knew the condition of the boat and vouched for it. Greg trusted me and he trusted Nordhavn, and he bought the boat sight unseen.”
The move was a bold one. Leishman had sold a handful of boats to buyers sight unseen when travel was not an option during lockdown. But this was something different. “Greg had to have this boat and judging by the interest in it, it’s a good thing he didn’t fly here to see it in person first. It wouldn’t have been available.
“Three years ago, you’d never have a buyer commit to a boat they hadn’t seen or walked on, but we’re getting to a point now where it’s more and more the case,” Leishman said. “Thankfully our clients recognize and have faith in the Nordhavn sales team’s knowledge and experience. It’s also nice that the brand’s track record offers invaluable peace of mind.”
Beautiful Day had a successful survey and seatrial and last week Greg and Jacqui flew out to personally inspect the boat. “They loved it,” James said. “They know it’s the key to the start of their next adventure.”
The couple flew back to Australia over the weekend, devising a long-term plan. They want to continue to see the world by sea and land, so they will kick off the next phase of their adventure in Europe and spend the entire summer there exploring less-beaten paths while Nordhavn manages the boat in their absence. In September, they’ll return to Dana Point to train with James Leishman, provision, and then set sail for Mexico bound for points east. Consequently to this, they plan to ship their customized off-road transporter to the States so they can explore inland North America in their vehicle and switch off to the Nordhavn to explore the continent’s vast coastline when the mood dictates.
It seems that Jacqui and Greg won’t be wondering, ‘what next’ for quite some time.