February 4, 2010
Catching up with the first Yachtfisher
Catching up withe the owners of the first Nordhavn 75, Audrey's Dream
Family-style cruising on the EYF sparks non-flybridge model
Ed note: In 2007, Andrew and Audrey Nowaczek bought the very first Expedition Yachtfisher. Amidst much buzz and speculation about the design, they waited two years to see their brand new yacht which arrived from the factory exactly one year ago. Since Spring 2009, the Nowaczeks, along with their two young children Aleksander, 5, and Amber, 3, have spent more than six months on board, covering 7,500 nm. We caught up with the Nowaczeks to find out what led them to the EYF, how life has been on board Audrey’s Dream and how they like their chances at taking home a prize in the Mad Fish Hunt.
Andrew and Audrey Nowaczek loved boating. During their years together, they owned many different boats and with each one, thoroughly enjoyed wandering about out on the water. Then something happened: they had kids. With children, boating took a back seat. But after the birth of their second baby, they decided they needed to get back to sea; and they needed to do it on a boat they could trust to carry their precious young family safely.
As it happens, they met a couple who owned a Nordhavn 46. The couple hooked Andrew in with talk of their adventures along the Mexican coast; they hooked Audrey in with talk of the Nordhavn’s quality and seaworthiness.
The long-range cruising lifestyle was still an unfamiliar concept to the Nowaczeks and they remained hesitant...until they met with the late Nordhavn salesman Steve Miller, a larger-than-life guy who had many stories about his five decades spent mostly on the water. “The very colorful and family bonding stories told by Steve convinced us to go and experience the cruising lifestyle,” said Andrew. “We decided that to be together, safe and secure in a cozy setting, was best for our young family.”
They purchased a Nordhavn 57 and had the time of their lives, traveling, exploring and spending time with each other. “The boat never let us down and took us through a lot of rough weather,” said Andrew. “And it forgave my lack of experience.”
As the children grew, the Nowaczeks determined more space was in order. Their needs were changing also. Andrew was teaching Alek to fish and both kids loved being in the water. The couple approached Steve Miller again, announcing that they wanted a boat that would meet all their desires: cruising, fishing, diving, and potentially, crossing an ocean. Also, one that had more spacious and luxurious accommodations. Andrew recalls Steve’s response, “There is only one boat on planet Earth for you!” On Steve’s word and a leap of faith, the couple signed the contract to build the very first 75 EYF.
The purchase of Audrey’s Dream began as a means to cultivate the adventuresome spirit of the young family – evidenced by their photos. Travels to Alaska, Mexico up and down the west coast, through rough weather and in calm anchorages have given them amazing experiences. Wherever they go, they draw attention. People wonder about the boat and about the fishermen who must be onboard. Indeed, says Andrew, “the boat can fish.” And he lists off 140 lb. Yellowfin tuna, a 56 lb. Wahoo, several salmon, halibut, and dozens of Dorados among his catches.
Playing host to journeys and water sports notwithstanding, the boat has fallen into an even greater role, that of family therapist. Guests can frequently be found on board Audrey’s Dream (on most days the boat is filled with 8 to 10 people) and they usually disembark a tighter, happier bunch; but occasionally it’s just Andrew, his wife and kids enjoying themselves in different places, learning new things, spending time and growing as a family while also growing individually.
<“There have been moments on board – the kind that you live for,” says Andrew. “Drinking margaritas made with 10,000-year-old ice from a Glacier Bay iceberg, holding your wife in your arms as you watch the sunset in Zihuantenejo, or seeing the excitement on your son’s face as he catches his first King Salmon in Ketchikan...You can’t experience these moments sitting in the living room on the couch watching tv.”
In fact, it is the changes in Alek that has derived among the most pleasure for Andrew.
Growing up with a Polish-born father, Alek has had a greater appreciation for foreign languages than most Kindergartners, but the exposure to a variety of cultures, geographies and climates has only fueled his desire to learn. “We believe that for a young man to spend time in different countries, being exposed to different cultures, is as important (as classroom time), and will help him in his adult life,” says Andrew. “It’s almost funny that a 5-year-old boy is translating what the taxi driver wants from me, and a week later is ordering food by himself from a Chinese-only speaking waitress. That is a credit to...his desire to communicate to people where he travels.”
The fact that the boat has become an Expedition Yachtcruiser first and Yachtfisher second is not at all lost on Andrew, nor should it be on anyone else who looks at the boat. “When I ask someone, ‘how many boats can you name that can be considered a sport fisher, diving boat, luxury cruiser, and cross any ocean in the world at the same time’ usually there is no response.”
Adds EYF project manager Dave Harlow: “Boaters who have shied away from this boat because of the label ‘yachtfisher’ should reconsider. This is a Nordhavn and a fishing boat. This boat allows you to carry jetskis, all your toys. It’s the perfect boat for big entertainers – just like Andrew and Audrey.”
Further illustrating this point is an alternate design the engineering team has come up with for the Yachtfisher: one without the tower. “It offers a sleeker, more youthful appearance with less attention played on the ‘big game’ aspect of the boat,” says PAE vice president Jim Leishman.
The family has thoroughly explored the west coast of the U.S. visiting the Alaskan glaciers, the exotic waters of Mexico and everywhere in between. “I think what we have proved so far is that this boat can cruise,” said Andrew. And it won’t stop there. The Nowaczeks plan to explore the Sea of Cortez this summer then move south for the winter to Costa Rica. Plans for summer 2011 call for time in the south Caribbean, perhaps Venezuela, “and then the small jump to Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea,” says Andrew.
For now, the foursome is enjoying their time in Puerto Vallarta while working on the perfect entry for Nordhavn’s Mad Fish Hunt contest, where Alek has a beat on his old man with two impressive entries, one a 41-inch, 57-lb. halibut.
You can see the Nordhavn Expedition Yachtfisher, hull #2, at the Miami Yacht and Brokerage Show on Collins Ave., South Beach, February 11-15 at the Nordhavn display, Ramp 16, Slip 412. For more information on the Flybridge and Non-Flybridge designs, visit the Nordhavn 75 EYF section.