May 16, 2017
Fleet departs Wednesday
Update: A seventh boat has been added to the group of Atlantic-crossing Nordhavns
The somewhat random Nordhavn Atlantic Passage (NAP) group is gearing for departure Wednesday and their first Captains meeting was met with word that a seventh Nordhavn will be joining the fleet in Bermuda to cross with the Europe-bound faction.
Nordhavn 57 Jura is the latest boat to sign on for the venture and she highlights the somewhat irregular nature of this year’s convoy in crossing. At its heart, the NAP is your typical rally: a highly organized event with excited participants who have their tracking systems in place, weather forecasts coming across daily, routes determined, dockage arranged, emergency procedures sorted, fuel burn and speed estimates calculated, and all the other requirements for a big-time trip checked off.
Nordhavns taking part in the first group
Atlantic crossing, the NAR
Yet a glance of the itinerary reveals boats departing from three different places, and others with completely different final destinations. Jura, like N60 Relish won’t be departing with the fleet from Palm Beach. Both boats will meet up with the group at – or perhaps en route to – Bermuda. While Relish takes off from the Bahamas, Jura, will leave from the BVIs.
It’s perhaps an evolution of these kind of en masse cruises and a testament to the cruisers themselves that they feel confident enough to not force the issue of completing the entire journey with the group if it doesn’t mesh with their schedule/logistics. Once in Bermuda, two of the boats, N50 Tivoli and N47 Roam will break off and head for Nova Scotia. The remaining boats will travel to The Azores. From there, the Europe-bound group will go to Gibraltar – except Jura, which will detour to Scotland.
“On the morning we departed on Leg 1 of the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally (NAR), there was excitement, but there were questions,“ recalls Pacific Asian Enterprises president Dan Streech, almost 13 years later to the day. “Could the fleet stay together? Was it safe? Could we – would we – be able to communicate? Was the basic concept of a group of boats traveling together sound? We all know now that the answers were yes, yes, yes and yes.
“Fast forward to 2017 and the NAP group is doing it again, but this time it is a little different. Many things have changed and evolved in the Nordhavn world in the thirteen intervening years. Hundreds of new Nordhavns have since been produced, the Nordhavn social world has exploded with the use of e-mail, social media and the Nordhavn Owners chat group, millions of sea miles have been logged by Nordhavns and countless solo ocean crossings have been completed. “
And says Streech, all of this Nordhavn and technological advancement seems to have prompted a progression in the ways of the Nordhavn Rally. “Unlike the NAR, the participants in the NAP are traveling in a loose group setting and are essentially operating independently. These confident and well-prepared Nordhavn owners are together as much for the camaraderie that comes from sharing a great adventure as they are for the safety in numbers aspect of passagemaking in a group.”
NAP leader, Bernie Francis, adds: “Long distance passagemaking is always more enjoyable and overall less stressful with other (Nordhavn) yachts of similar size. The option of joining and leaving a group of boats on a multi-stop long range passage opens more horizons and possibilities to more owners when planning a long distance passage across large open water, no matter the end destination.”
Things got started Tuesday with a morning Captains meeting that included a briefing about the latest weather updates and news about the last-minute addition to the fleet, followed by an early evening bon voyage cocktail party, perhaps easing participants into the mindset of spending the next several days at sea; their first leg a 5-day, 910-nm passage.
With participating boats ranging in size from 47 to 60 feet, the NAP marks the third time a group of Nordhavns is making the trans-Atlantic passage – though not all boats will be making the trip across. They’ll all meet up in Bermuda, with two diverting later to Nova Scotia and then Newfoundland. The remaining four will mimic the route of the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally (NAR) and Medbound journeys with a stop in Horta (the Azores) before reaching their final destination of Gibraltar.
“Mostly, folks are supportive and enthusiastic about our journey, a few however are mystified,” said Peter Arneil, a Nordhavn owner who is crewing aboard fellow owner Bob Warshawer’s Nordhavn 55 Moxie, and is serving as one of the group’s official bloggers. “Their response tends to be along the lines of, ‘Tell me, again, why are you doing this?’” Peter’s tongue in cheek reply: “You’re not a boater are you?”
Certainly not a Nordhavn owner, who possesses a passion for travel and adventure that far surpasses that of the average person. Happily, whether or not you’re an average person or just someone who is presently unable to act on their sense of adventure, you can armchair cruise along with the NAP group at our special NAP section: http://www.nordhavn.com/medbound/index.php It will feature twice-daily tracking, photos, blogs, daily log reports, daily weather forecasts, and other trip statistics and information. We hope you will follow along with these intrepid cruisers as they embark separately – yet together – on their personal adventures.
Read NAP Press Release here.