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April 23, 2012

The Maiden Voyage

By Paul Hutton

After my daughter and I had enjoyed a rather chilly Christmas in England, I was looking forward to traveling down to the warm climes of Mexico to deliver the new Nordhavn 68 “Rest Assured” to its owners Jim and Jane Slattery.

After a very touching christening ceremony it was time to finish provisioning and secure everything in readiness for our departure.

Saturday, January 7th was a pleasant Southern California winter day as we departed Dana Point and headed for Ensenada, Mexico to pick up one more crew member. We enjoyed our first night at sea with a hearty homemade shepherd’s pie. The following morning we arrived in Ensenada and picked up our 5th crew member. It was interesting to see just how many Nordhavns were docked there.

As we left for La Paz the weather was typical for this time of year, light breezes and moderate seas with a little chill in the air. I have made this trip many times and enjoy it a lot. There are some really good fishing spots along the way and I marked one that has never let me down. We saw some amazing sights on our passage south, including whales, dolphins and some beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

After turning the corner at Cedros Island we headed towards the tip of Baja and our fishing spot.

We armed our rods with brightly colored irons and cast on the high spot, and 10 minutes later two 25-pound class yellowtail had been landed and a fantastic dinner was enjoyed by all.

The rest of the trip was very pleasant and the weather improved as time went on.

The Maiden VoyageAfter arriving in La Paz “Rest Assured” spent a few weeks cruising the Sea of Cortez. Owners and guests had some amazing experiences such as swimming with whale sharks, jet skiing, fishing and two even acquired their scuba certification.

Leg two, which sadly I couldn’t be on, took the boat and crew from La Paz to Haultulco which is at the Northern tip of the infamous Tehuantepec. The weather was warm and calm and it was a pleasant trip overall.

It was now time for the final push to Panama. Once again there were 5 of us: Jim the owner, Dustin the captain, Ali the stewardess, Jim’s long time friend Joe and yours truly. This can be a pretty rough trip so it was important to make sure everything was secure and “ship shape”. Leaving Hautulco the weather was nice as we headed out into the gulf of the Tehuantepec, but we could see white caps on the horizon checking conditions on both the inside and outside passages, so we decided to go straight across. After all, we were in a boat made for these conditions. The crossing was pretty good, winds to 30 knots, seas to 12’ off of our port bow. Finally off of the The Maiden Voyagecoast of Guatemala the water changed from green to a deep blue, the wind laid down, the sun was out shining….time to fish! Joe was on watch as the rest of the crew slept and I informed him of my intention to catch dinner. I had seen a number of marlin and decided to troll small feathers hoping bigger fish wouldn’t get too excited. Joe had communicated by radio as we got our “hook up”, and it was a Big Bull Dorado. Dustin awoke and took the helm and we put the belt on Joe so that he could fight his first game fish. We ate very well that night!

The rest of the trip was interesting, winds to 56 knots, seas 15’-20’ and a boat that took it all in its stride. After arriving in Panama I said my goodbyes and returned to California. Jim’s family joined him for the canal transit and then the boat left for the Bahamas.

Paul Hutton is a Nordhavn sales representative based in California. You can reach Paul at 949.496.4933 or by emailing him at paul.hutton@nordhavn.com.

Rest Assured’s Maiden Voyage