THE PATH TO AWANUI NZ
Follow N5101 Follow N5101 AWANUI NZ’s Mark & Fiona as their path takes them from dreamers to buyers, owners and embracers of the Nordhavn life
Hi! We’re Mark and Fiona! We are the proud owners of the future Nordhavn 51#1 Awanui NZ and we couldn’t be more excited to take delivery of her, which will happen sometime around July or August. We plan on the handover happening right at the factory in Turkey so we can get some expert training from the folks at Telgeren & Partners and then begin our cruising in the Med.
A lot has happened to get us to this point in time, T-minus three-ish months and counting until we officially become owners of the first ever Nordhavn 51. And honestly, there’s still quite a bit that needs to happen between now and the time we’re out confidently cruising the world’s oceans, which actually is the whole reason this new section of nordhavn.com has been created. We plan on giving you a point blank, no-holds-barred view of what the searching, buying, learning, waiting, outfitting, planning, waiting, training, (did we mention waiting?) and actual cruising process is like. Thanks for joining us!
First, a little background…
We are lifelong Kiwis who have been together for 34 years (32 of them as a married couple) and we have 4 children: Ben (30), Christopher (28), Samuel (24) and Renee (22). Ben is with Anna and have gifted us with a granddaughter Lila (2) and a grandson Eddie (8 months).
Mark was an airline pilot for Air New Zealand for 34 years and took early retirement last October, following a couple of final special flights including bringing home Kiwis who were evacuating from Wuhan and repatriating German nationals to Frankfurt at the start of Covid. Fiona was a Maths lecturer (plus is a trained Lay Pastoral Leader) but gave it up to work full-time overseeing our bucolic event center, Aston Norwood.
Aston Norwood is 14 acres of gardens and a venue for weddings, accommodations, and dining within an onsite café. This kept us very well occupied and now we are wanting to shed the weight of the business onto our very capable children while we take off on our adventure of sailing the high seas.
We are both extroverts, hard-working and have drive. We started the gardens 25 years ago on an old dairy farm and put all our energy into running it. Well, Fiona has primarily run it, in addition to raising four kids while Mark was away flying long-haul. It was only when Mark started working at Aston Norwood full time last year that it became clear how much work is involved in the upkeep and how much effort Fiona put in.
Our lives together can be described as ‘chaos and work’. We’ve never really sat still, because as well as building up the business, we also built five houses, including our own on the property. We’ve always had projects on the go. Even when we relax, we’re active relaxers.
If we’re home we can’t stop working, so that is why we’re going to pick up a boat in Turkey and spend three years sailing it home. It’ll be interesting to see how we get on relaxing and not working.
May 15, 2023
Ok…….Mark here…..so Fiona did not update you on my radio licence….passed 100%, how cool was that. Now all I have to do is learn to use it? Spent my whole working career using a radio while flying but with a boat it’s all about getting used to the terminology and learning what needs to be said and what doesn’t. A wee story – we had a share in a 60’ Salthouse displacement boat in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the North Island NZ – you will see her in our video which is in production as we blog – her name was Aparima but on the radio call sign placard some plonked put MY Aparima which I took to mean MY Aparima was her name not Motor Vessel Aparima! I failed to notice the nameplate on the side of her had Aparima in letters about 2ft tall. So….for 6 months Mark is telling everyone who cared to listen to his radio calls that they were coming from “My Aparima” – finally one of the local Coastguard people came down to the boat and put me out of my misery – not the last mistake I will make but that’s boating!
May 8, 2023
Hi all Fiona here. So a big day for Mark today……..he is going in to sit his MRROC (Marine Restricted Radio Operator Certificate) exam which includes a practical. What this space as…..hopefully…..he gets one step closer to being a legal radio operator for when we pick up Awanui NZ in Istanbul….maybe in July.
May 6, 2023
Had an amazing Facetime walk through of Awanui NZ as she comes very close to having engines, generator and cabinetry fitted prior to the top deck being fitted to the hull. Telegeren is still confident of a July launch…..amazing, it’s happening!
|October 2023||Take formal possession early October
Head across the Mediterranean to Gibraltar and up the West European coastlines of Portugal, Spain, France and Belgium
|October - Nov 2023||Enter canals at Antwerp for Amsterdam Holland|
|December 2023 - March 2024||Over winter in Holland|
|April - October 2024||Rhine and Danube if possible to Black Sea and warranty work back in Istanbul. Mediterranean cruising ending in Barcelona for Americas Cup October 12, 2024.|
|October 2024 - April 2025||Cruise SE England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland
|May - late August 2025||Scotland, Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland|
|August 2025 - April 2026||Novas Scotia, Maine, East Coast Coastal Waterway, Cuba, Panama Canal, West Coast USA
Got a question for the crew on board Mark and Fiona? Submit it here and we’ll do our best to respond to you.
May 27, 2023
Hi Mark and Fiona,
I have read your “journey” with great interest. Thank you for sharing it. From what I can gather, you still have not seen your boat in person yet. Do you plan on going to the factory to check it out before you take delivery of it? I know you said you are not nervous about purchasing a hull #1 and never having seen the model you are about to buy. I suppose it being a Nordhavn has something to do with that! Best of luck, Matthew
Response from Mark:
Great question. We have been putting off travelling to the other side of the world until we have to but we just cannot help it now. We plan to be in Istanbul around 28 June for as yet we do not know how long. Our daughter is travelling through Europe and we have not seen her in 8 months. She will be there for a couple of nights at that time so really excited about that as well. We plan to go through LA and travel down to Dana Point to meet the team. I have been there before but not Fiona. Not sure if you have seen our first video but we must be back in New Zealand for September each year…there will be a video about the reason behind this – soon! The plan at this stage is to HOPEFULLY get some seatrials done before we come back which will inevitably see some “tweaking” needing to be done being it’s hull No. 1. We will be back in October to take delivery and begin our adventure. There will be plenty of video and blogs coming out as we travel to Istanbul and see what looks like is going to be an amazing boat for the first time. Take care and thanks for getting in touch.
Mark and Fiona
May 25, 2023
Hi Mark and Fiona, Congratulations! You so close to dream)
FYI: There is a fairly large fleet of sailors on Nordhavn 41 in the Mediterranean at the moment. We are all in touch. Türkiye, Greece, I am now in Tunisia, then Sardinia and Corsica. In summer and autumn I will be in the western Mediterranean. In winter I am also considering a plan to go to Amsterdam, I live here. It would be cool to meet somewhere).
mv Gitan de la Mer (#4124)
Response from Mark and Fiona:
Thanks so much for reaching out. We would love to catch up with you and any other Nordhavn’s in the Med. maybe we could journey back to Holland together? We are looking at using the canal from Antwerp through to Amsterdam and then finding somewhere to over winter. So exciting to see you are in Tunisia, we would love to visit there as well. Let’s keep in touch. Safe travels…
Mark and Fiona
May 16, 2023
Dear Mark and Fiona,
Great to see you move from Dreamer to Nordhavn community member. I’m still in the dreamer phase and have my eyes on the N41. I know your itinerary is coming soon but do you have any idea of how long you want to cruise the Mediterranean and is that part of the plan more tied to getting used to the vessel? Looking foward to seeing how far Awanui NZ takes you.
Response from Mark and Fiona:
Thanks for reaching out. Everything depends upon the final delivery date. Looks like May be ready late July but would not have had much of a shakedown given it is the first of the new model. We must be back in NZ for the month of September so it is looking more like a formal launch and acceptance in early October. My wife is from Dutch parents and she speaks fluent Dutch. She has always had a dream of spending sometime in Holland other than simply for a holiday. The “current” plan is to pretty much take delivery, head for Gibraltar, up the Western European coastline and enter the canals between Antwerp and Amsterdam overwintering in Holland. Hopefully taking Awanui NZ to the Düsseldorf boat show in January for Nordhavn to show off!
Would love to head up to Norway over our time in Holland. In the spring down the Rhine and Danube if possible to Istanbul where any warranted work can be done then time in the Mediterranean ending up in Barcelona October 2024 for the Americas Cup.
That’s kind of the plan but watch this space!
Mark and Fiona