By Valerie Weingrad
If you don’t have a dream, it will never come true. For more than a decade, Angie Burke and Dave Johnston had a plan to retire at the age of 50, buy a boat and explore the world. Last year that dream became a reality when they closed on their Nordhavn N68.
I had met Angie and Dave during a Nordhavn open house we held back in 2020. We went aboard the N63, N60, N75 and maybe a couple more boats. In the end they decided the N64 Forward Pilot House (FPH) or N68 FPH would be the right boat for their needs. There have been very few FPH N68s built, so finding one was going to take some time. One option became available in the UK and we were planning on flying there, but the pandemic put a damper on our travel plans. On January 31, 2022 Angie and Dave’s future home came up for sale. Things can happen quickly in the Nordhavn world. Four days later we were all on a flight to Mexico to see the boat. Two weeks after that we flew back for the survey and sea trial. By April 1st they were the new proud owners of N6829!
With the pace of their boat search setting the tempo, Dave and Angie jumped into cruising their Nordhavn feet first and accomplished so much in the last year. From learning the complex systems of the N68, navigating literally and figuratively through new waters, boat ownership and living aboard.
In Angie’s words: “On Friday, April 1st, we were both officially retired from corporate life. That same day, we closed on our Nordhavn 68. On Monday, April 4th, we sold our truck and our fully furnished home. On Tuesday, April 5th, with two suitcases each and our dog, we boarded a one-way flight from Florida to Mexico.
“We always said our journey would start wherever the boat was… for us, that was San Jose del Cabo. Walking down the dock for the first-time was surreal—we had transitioned from Nordhavn dreamers to owners.
“Every day since has been a learning experience. New boat, new systems, new live-aboard habits (i.e., convincing the dog to use a grass pad; doing laundry at anchor; changing oil and zincs and filters in a seemingly endless rotation). The Pacific Ocean was also new to us—currents, wind and wave patterns are very different from the Atlantic and Caribbean waters we knew so well. On top of it all, we were in Mexico. Google Translate helped decipher Port Captain requests and grocery store packaging; and the addition of Starlink connected us to the rest of the world and – importantly – to weather reports, which gave us even more confidence to venture offshore.”
“We spent the Summer cruising a loop around the Sea of Cortez. We weathered a hurricane at anchor. We crossed over to mainland Mexico – and back – before making our way up the Pacific coast. We were joined by family and friends along the way. We explored fishing villages and remote anchorages, hiked volcanos, fished and ate like locals, developed our palette for tequila and mezcal, enjoyed the company of other cruisers, and made life-long friends over shared meals, engine room tours and dinghy adventures.”
Here’s an impressive snapshot of their first-year stats:
Main Engine Hours: 904 hrs
Miles Cruised: 5,275 nm
Fuel Consumed: 5,148 gallons
Countries visited: Mexico, US
Nights on the Boat: 340
Nights in Marinas: 180
Nights at Anchor: 172
Overnight passages: 13
Friends and Family Visitors: 20
Breweries Visited: 13
Vacations (25 nights away):
• Cheyenne, WY (Frontier Days)
• San Diego, CA (Nordhavn Film Festival)
• Phoenix, AZ + Glamis Sand Dunes, CA (Thanksgiving)
You can join their journey on IG @mvgoodhook
Valerie Weingrad is a sales representative at Nordhavn Yachts Southeast. She can be reached at email@example.com.