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KOONOONA was officially handed over last night and is now tethered to the dock with her shore cord. The owners and guests have departed. For the first time in weeks, there is no generator running. There will be no cocktail hour tonight.. and no grand dinner. The ship is quiet and there is a peaceful yet melancholy feeing in the air. Doug, Trever and I will go into downtown Singapore tonight for dinner and a look around. I want to see where the F1 race is held. Frankly, I feel pretty sad right now. This will be my last post. The cruise is over.

I think that I will just let Jimmy Buffett do my talking for me. Here are the lyrics from LOVELY CRUISE; one of my favorite songs:
Drink it up, this one's for you
It's been a lovely cruise
I'm sorry it's ending, oh it's sad, but it's true
Honey, it's been a lovely cruise

These moments we're left with
May you always remember
These moments are shared by few
There's wind in our hair and there's water in our shoes
Honey, it's been a lovely cruise

Ohhh, these moments we're left with
May you always remember
These moments are shared by few
And those harbor lights, lord, they're coming into view
We'll bid our farewells much too soon
So drink it up, this one's for you
Honey, it's been a lovely cruise
Yeah baby, it's been a lovely cruise
Oh darlin', it's been a lovely cruise


Came into Raffles Marina in Singapore yesterday afternoon which marked the completion of the delivery. What a great trip! Saw some of the most beautiful islands in my life. A high-point for me was visiting Tiomen Island. I went there in 1992 so it was a great place to see again.

Also, Singapore Straits was amazing (unless your the Captain). Hundred of tankers/cargo ships all moving in the same direction was a sight I'll never forget.

Made a lot of good friends that I hope to stay in touch with. Thats always the best part.

PS: There will be more photos and videos added in the next few days so stay tuned.


I am writing this on Sunday morning the 25th as we pass thru the Singapore Straight on our way to the Raffles Marina. This is a poignant and nostalgic moment for me as I recall that 21 years ago, I passed thru this same body of water aboard Nordhavn 62 #1, SAUMLAKI with my son Trevor (a different Trevor than PAE project manager Trever Smith.. although they are childhood friends), Jim Leishman and Colin Richman. Amazingly, SAUMLAKI and KOONOONA were purchased by the same wonderful Indonesian family.. over 20 years apart.

This body of water is INSANE and is one of the busiest in the world. It is so busy that ships are controlled and kept at a safe separation by land based controllers.. similar to aircraft approaching a busy airport.

But let’s talk about yesterday the 24th. I will run out of superlatives to describe it and the nuances will be missing, but simply said, it was a PERFECT day. And what is a perfect day aboard a Nordhavn in the tropics? We had arrived at the island of Pulau Tioman at 1:30am. Because of the late hour, I didn’t make it for the 5:30am coffee experience of the previous day. My day started at about 8:00am after we had raised anchor and moved a short distance to Palua Tulai. I arose to find KOONOONA busy with activity- house cleaning in progress, breakfast set out, shore boat and kayaks in the water and the crew wiping down all surfaces.

After breakfast, I decided to swim to the white sandy beach. As I jumped into the 29C water, I barely felt it as the air temp and water tem are exactly the same here. Well folks.. I learned another thing that fails when you reach Social Security age.. depth perception! That beach that looked so close that I could touch it was over a ¼ mile away! But I made it! Later Shelley, Doug, Steve and Myrna arrived on the beach by theshore boat and Trever andSjakon arrived by Kayak. Doug was snapping photos with a quest to capture a winner for the 2015 calendar. As Doug came back to join us sitting in the shade, he said.. “gentlemen, you might want to move out of his territory..” Behind us was a 4foot (or maybe 20 feet?) water monitor lizard ambling along- tongue flicking. They are harmless, but they are for sure a scary scene out of Jurassic Park- especially for California boys.

Trever mercifully gave me his kayak so I paddled back to the boat.. transfixed along the way by the crystal clear water and the variety of coral and fish that I passed over.

After snorkeling, exploring, picture taking and Sjakon’s (successful) maiden flight of his new drone helicopter, we lifted anchor and traveled to the island of Pulaua Pemanggil which was even more beautiful! There was the obligatory two hour afternoon nap and then back in the water and a trip to the beach for more exploration. Happily, there were no bugs! I remember that when we were in the Marquesas Islands years ago on N6215 KARMA, we were tortured by sand fleas and mosquitoes.. not here.

Back to the boat.. another shower and it was approaching early evening. Without a grand plan, we all assembled on the upper aft deck (the 3rd deck.. flybridge deck) and enjoyed happy hour as the sun set. The conditions were perfect.. no.. better than that, they were PERFECT!. The smells of the tropical jungle, the warm balmy air (still of course 88 degrees), the glassy smooth water, the silent lightening in the distant clouds, the brilliant underwater lights but most importantly the assemblage of a group of like minded people who appreciated and cherished that magic moment and our time together.

Sjakon gave a heartfelt impromptu speech describing the dream that he and Shelley had with the building of KOONOONA and thanked PAE for helping make it come true. I made one of my bumbling speeches and turned the thank you back to Sjakon and his brother George who have supported PAE for over 20 years.

I also took the moment to recognize and thank superstar PAE project manager Trever Smith and the superb Captain of KOONOONA, Duncan Warner who has been part of the build project from day 1. “Good” captains (competent, sensible, skilled, diplomatic, safe, stable, hardworking and brave) are a joy and are to be cherished and appreciated. “Bad” captains can cast a spell on a boat that is very very difficult to overcome. Duncan is clearly on the “good” list.

We all knew that when this day was over, the cruise was essentially over and that regret hung in the air as the happy hour came to an end. With dinner almost on the table, Sjakon suddenly announced that we should fly the helicopter.. in the dark.. over the water. As my sister Becky (and PAE office manager) often says at moments like this.. ”what could possibly go wrong?”.

Well, the machine was magnificently handled by Sjakon and the landing was safe.. if a bit stressful. Some striking night photos and video were taken and I am sure that they will be posted by Doug before the day is out.

Aloha’s finest dinner yet was set out with a table presentation that would put Martha Stewart to shame. With clean-up still in process, the engines were started, the anchor lifted and we were off to Singapore..


Hello from Palau Benggeul!

The owners of KOONOONA arrived in Kuala Terrengganu yesterday afternoon for the first look at their Nordhavn 86 in a finished state. There were smiles everywhere as they toured KOONOONA and saw their hopes, dreams and visions realized after two years of effort and waiting. There were virtual high fives thick in the air as we all realized that thru a group effort involving hundreds of people and tens of thousands of man hours (and of course millions of dollars) a masterpiece had been created.

The tour was followed by a lovely and poignant Christening ceremony with words that will be framed for remembrance in the years to come. Thru a mix-up on my part, I failed to bring the “scored” (so that it will break easier) bottle of Champagne that we normally use for Christening. “Plan B” was to pick up a bottle in Hong Kong during my layover which I did. Shelley was warned that standard champagne bottles are difficult to break and to give it a good whack. More than once the crescendo of a Christening ceremony has had a chapter of laughter and awkwardness as the bottle simply “bounced” off the stainless steel rub rail. Well.. let me tell you… Shelley (lovely, elegant, slim and beautiful) to our amazement swung that bottle like she was going for a grand slam home run and it EXPLODED to approving cheers from the observers on the dock. All was well.

With that done and passports stamped and returned, KOONOONA came alive and we departed KT for the 5 hour passage to the small island of Palau Benggeul. As afternoon turned to dusk, Sjakon and I sat at the flybridge level to catch up on the news. Fortified by some of Sjakon’s prized “single malt”, we discussed things.. both light and heavy.. as men of our age do from time to time and when comfortable. The balmy breeze only added to the magic moment which came to an end when dinner was called.

Seven of us sat around the dining table and were served a delicious dinner prepared by chef Aloha. We were underway at cruising speed in open ocean, but in the big stabilized Nordhavn we barely noticed it. With desert finished, we had less than an hour to go to reach PB. In darkness, Captain Duncan brought us in under “instruments” and dropped the hook in 50 meters of water. The approach and anchoring reminded me of a similar experience in the San Blas Islands on the ATW boat in 2002. When morning comes, it is like opening a present.. you get to see the beautiful green and lush island come alive.

Remembering that experience, I was up at 5:30am with coffee in hand to watch the dawn arrive.. first just a faint silhouette and then more shape and then color and a view of the trees and shoreline and the sparkling clear water. That took two more cups…

The crew was also up early scrubbing and polishing and breakfast was set out in a buffet style.

After breakfast, Trever, Doug and I went for a ride in the dingy to look around and for Doug to get some shots of the boat in this beautiful setting. After that, I went snorkeling in the little cove. It was GORGEOUS with fish of many colors and at least 20 different kinds of coral. As I was enthusing about it, Sjakon said that this place- as nice as it is, represents about a 4 on the 10 scale. He said.. “you need to come to Komodo with us.. there I will show you a 10..”

Hmmmmmmm.. I wonder if I am going to miss my flight home.. I mean.. you know.. it does happen sometimes. I mean; sometimes flights are over booked.. sometimes you have to wait for days or even weeks for the next flight….


Trever’s story is true.. but the moment of pleasure was somewhat cut short when David Jen was heard to say “amazing.. the old man can still do something useful”. Then of course, I had to go take a nap. Wow, I could get into this cruising life!


A lot going on today on board, Captain Duncan and Chef Aloha went out on a provisioning run for the galley, they came back with their little car chock full of groceries, fresh, veggies, supplies, etc....... David, Dan and I are going through the work list and crossing small items off the list. We had a small water leak appear in the galley overhead today and it was a real mystery to figure out a where it was coming from, after a couple hours of David and I trying to figure it out, Dan jumped in with a great idea to find the source, his idea worked and he ended up under the dash cleaning up and putting all the wire chases back together, nice to have some old school troubleshooting on board. Anyway, back to getting Koonoona ready for the owners arrival tomorrow.


There is nothing better in the boating world than a happy ship and KOONONNA - fits that description more than any ship I have been aboard in a long time. After three flights and 30 hours of travel, I arrived in the Kuala Terrengganu airport yesterday afternoon to be greeted with big smiles and a honking horn by Trever Smith, David Jen and KOONONNA’s Captain Duncan Warner, in the rattiest rental car I have ever seen. Somehow, that car (aka “General Lee”) added to the charm of this beautiful country and the lovely gentle Malaysian people that I have met so far.
Trever Smith and I have worked together for many years, so when his first words were “she’s a good boat," I knew that all was well. I had heard good things about Duncan, but when I saw his big smile and outreached hand and heard the words “how are ya mate.. welcome..” I knew again that all was well.
It only got better upon arriving at the boat. KOONONNA was gleaming, trimmed and magnificent. The crew of four was busy at work, laughter and fun filled the air. The ever smiling chef Aloha is master of the galley; constantly laughing and singing and attending to people’s needs.
Stewardess Debbie was busy with laundry and changing the beds. She is hilarious and has assigned nick names to everyone. Doug Harlow is “Sir” Doug, Trever is “Uncle” Trever and David Jen is “Jen Diesel." Mine is “The Sultan”. Engineer Joel was changing oil in all of the engines (two mains and two generators) while deck hand Wes whipped and polished every square inch of the exterior of the boat.
As the sun set, we were on the fly bridge deck with some beers and snacks and much laughter as sea stories were told, I delivered news from California and we talked about the passage from Hong Kong. The sky was brilliant with a gorgeous sunset and it was made all the more exotic when evening prayers were heard wafting across the water. I barely made it thru Aloha’s tasty lamb chop dinner before stumbling off to my luxurious stateroom for a shower and right hours of delicious sleep.. no, it wasn’t sleep, it could be better described as a coma.
This morning (Tuesday here in KT) Duncan, Trever and David are busy at work on a punch list as KOONONNA is transformed from a boat being built to a finished boat, as they adjust settings, fix small problems and work thru the issues that were discovered on the passage. Also, as is often the case, I was a “mule” and carried some needed parts with me on the flight over, which are now being installed.
KOONONNA’s owners will arrive on Thursday.  Prior to that time, KOONONNA will reach perfection as the lists are worked thru, the last covers are removed, the flowers set out, the menus prepared, and we all anticipate enjoying their first impression of their lovely new Nordhavn.


We arrived safetly last night at the Ri Yaz Marina around 6:00pm. Super easy entry into the marina which was pretty uneventful. We cleared cutoms and had a nice dinner the yacht club resturant. Everyone was super tired so we called it an early evening.

Today Captain Duncan and I drove into town for some provisioning and just to have a look around.

Dan Streech will be flying in from Kula Lumpar around 3:30 to join us on the rest of the trip. We are all looking forward to seeing Dan.


After two nights of dodging rafts of Vietnamese fishing boats we awoke this morning to glassy calm sea's and the smell of pancakes coming from the galley. We should be arriving in Terrenganu this evening at around 17.00hrs local time and everyone is looking forward to a full uninterupted nights slee in Ri Yaz Marina and experiencing some Malaysian culture and hospitality.


Finally we got some good weather. After a bumpy night, its been super smooth all day today. The guys on the night watch had a busy night dodging all the small fishing boats in the area. Tonight we should be far enough out that there won't be too many of them.

We put out the fishing lines today but didn't have any luck. Still fun though. Wouldn't mind trying again tomorrow.

In another 24hrs we will be in Kuala Terrengganu, Malaysia. Its been a great trip so far. Great crew!

Todays playlist: Colin Hay


As forecast, the weather is looking up as we come around the South of Vietnam and start to make our turn across the Gulf of Thailand. After five days of six to eight foot head sea's, the crew and guests are looking better for the change in conditions. The chef has had fresh muffins coming out the galley all morning, fuel is being transferred and water is being made. Our current speed has us arriving in Terrenganu on Sunday evening (GMT +8), but with a bit more luck from the weather, we could be alongside in time for a sundowner or two.


It is another day at sea on board Koonoona, she has performed perfectly over the last 72 hours since departing from Hong Kong. Everyone on board is starting to get into a groove. It has been a little rough since departing Hong Kong with mostly 2-3 meter seas on the nose combined with 25kts of wind the boat is getting a thorough rinse of salt water. Within the next 24hrs the weather starts to mellow out a bit and I am sure once that happens most will be hanging out on deck enjoying the sun when not on watch, cooking, cleaning or doing engine room checks. We are all very excited about our arrival into Kuala Terengganu, no one on board has been there before so it will be nice to walk around and explore once we get Koonoona washed.


Kind of a bumpy ride last night and this morning. Seas have been around 8-10ft with 30kts of wind. Hopefully things will calm down later in the afternoon. Been eating well thats for sure. Aloha has been serving up delicious meals non-stop. Best smoothies around!

Todays playlist: Beck


After a few issues with heavy plastic rope wrapped around the props this afternoon, we are pushing on into some building sea's fine off the port bow. Conditions are forecast to continue to be 6-8 foot from the S/W with 20-25kts until Thursday morning (local time) after which it should start to ease for us on the final run into Terrenganu Malaysia. The water temp has risen to over 25*C so I think it will be time to get the lines out tomorrow and see if we cant catch a fish. :)


Finally at sea! I have been looking forward to this trip for some time. After having spent the last twelve years on a 25kt aluminium wave piercing cat', the heavy Nordhavn is an altogether different and more comfortable experience. So far the boat is performing to expectations, and with some head sea's of six to eight foot predicted she should have the opportunity to show her pedigree. Noise and vibration levels are well within the comfort zone, again a huge leap away from my last vessel. I was happy to sign my name as master, and put the ships stamp, on the outward port clearance from Hong Kong.


We are ready to depart Hong Kong for Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. The weather forecast looks fair for the first few days of the trip with 1-3 meter seas and 15-25 knot winds, after that it mellows out to 1 meter seas and 8-15kts of wind for the last 3 days. The crossing to KT should take us about 6 days, it is roughly 1280 nautical miles per the course we have plotted. We have been having great meals on board, Chef Aloha has been taking great care of us along with Stewardess Debbie, Engine Joel, Deckhand Wes and of Course Captain Duncan. Doug Harlow, David Jen and Myself (Trever Smith) are on board for this first leg, we are very happy to be underway and looking forward to warmer weather each day as we head south.



Arrived yesterday in Hong Kong and went directly out on a two hour sea trial. Koonoona is beautiful. The flybridge and deck are huge!

Its been raining a lot today but I managed to take a few photos.

We're doing some final provisioning but it looks like we are all set for departure first thing tomorrow morning.




Nordhavn Fleet