By Peter Devers
Auckland, NZ – (January 26, 2009) – More than 70 guests gathered at the New Zealand Maritime Museum to greet world travelers – and Nordhavn explorers – Scott and Mary Flanders last Saturday, January 17. The party was not only an opportunity to congratulate the Flanders on completing the final leg of their two-year journey on board their Nordhavn 46, Egret, that started out September ’06 in Gibraltar, it was the chance for Kiwis to extend a warm welcome to the couple whose adventures they have been tracking each week, and actually pick their brains in person about cruising and Nordhavns.
Hosted by Nordhavn’s Australian affiliate office, the day brought together cruising enthusiasts and boating media alike – all who wanted to get an up-close and personal viewpoint of what it is like to pick up everything and just go. Until now, fans have had to rely on blogs and web forums via the Voyage of Egret to glean their information and updates about the traveling couple.
With the picturesque Auckland Harbour as a backdrop, the day began with a slide show of the Flanders’ various stops which guests took in while nibbling on hors-d’oeuvres. Afterward, the guests of honor were introduced and talked plain and simply about what it is they’ve done, how they went about doing it, and how anyone in the crowd gathered there that day could embark on the same path. As an added bonus, Nordhavn 55 owners Roger and Joan Allard – along with daughter, Kimberly – were also on hand to field the group’s questions. The Allards, also global cruisers, tag teamed with Egret to New Zealand since both landed in Tahiti last June. The Allards spoke about communication with the real world, maintaining and enhancing relationships, and in Kimberly’s case, how to manage education.
As questions shifted toward boat operation and performance, the party migrated down to the docks, where a visual could really be had. Here guests were treated to a virtual history lesson of Nordhavn by climbing aboard the 46, the first model of the line, then stepping on to New Paige, light years ahead in design, systems and space utilization and flow. A third Nordhavn, the 47-foot Southern Star owned by Peter and Angela Mott based in Auckland, provided the gathering with still another comparison. Many commented on the generous size of the N47, as she lay alongside Scott and Mary’s earlier model N46. The boats were swarming with interested and wide eyed folk, some of who this was their first opportunity to see personally the quality build, superb finish and high end engineering of the Nordhavn range. As the afternoon drew to a close, many attendees exchanged contact details, and offered Scott and Mary and Roger and Joan true New Zealand hospitality as they continue to cruise the pristine waters of their beautiful country.
Despite having exhibited at the Auckland International Boat Show last year, Nordhavn remains a relatively unfamiliar brand in the area, said Nordhavn Australasia sales manager Peter Devers, who along with colleague David Flynn, organized the get-together. “But the successful turnout shows Kiwis are quickly catching on to the name.”
As the Nordhavn owners headed back to their boats, Scott Flanders remarked, “even if this event inspires just one couple to embrace the cruising life, then it will have been well worthwhile”. And judging by the remarks heard as the day wound down, it was a rousing success!"
Peter Devers is the sales manager in our Nordhavn Australasia office. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.