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June 16, 2016

Comings and goings: Nordhavn travel updates
Nothing sparks a cruising Nordhavn like the summer season

Finally, it’s June, which means it’s cruising season for the entire country – and much of the world. With so many waterways being easily traveled and accessible right now, it’s also a great time to check in and find out what new cruising milestones Nordhavns have achieved.

Just last week, the Ellingford family, who are in the midst of a five-year circumnavigation on board their Nordhavn 62 Pendana, made landfall in Kodiak, AK after a 12-day leg that began in Hawaii. The family left Waikiki on May 28 and made a straight shot for Alaska, covering 2,230 nm along the way. The arrival culminates a full crossing of the entire Pacific Ocean that started in Sydney, Australia in April 2015; in total they covered 7,700 nm of Pacific Ocean. “We have had great days at sea and some pretty dreadful days overall during our Pacific crossing, but one thing is for sure that the sense of pride, satisfaction and accomplishing a goal by ALL on Pendana is on par with nothing any of us have experienced before,” wrote James Ellingford on his blog Friday morning.

Ellingford, along with wife Claire and their two daughters can be tracked as they make their way through Alaska and the Pacific Northwest this summer via their blog pendanablog.com.

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While the Ellingfords are on the opposite side of the globe from their home, Jennifer and Mark Ullman just made it back to their home port of Jacksonville, FL, after having spent 4 years exploring Europe, North Africa and the Red Sea aboard their Nordhavn 46 Starlet.

They departed Jacksonville in May 2012 and hopped across the Atlantic with stops in Bermuda and the Azores. From there they focused their time mainly in the Med and the Red Sea. Favorite places were the Greek islands which they visited on four separate occasions, as well as Santorini. They also spent 6 months in the Red Sea where Jennifer says, “the diving was spectacular and the Egyptian people extremely hospitable.”

They covered around 20,000 nm during their 4 years which includes two Atlantic crossings and many memorable moments, two of which occurred during those crossings. Barely weeks into their adventure, they endured 25-foot seas courtesy of Tropical Storm Chris, pushing them from Bermuda to the Azores and shaving a day off their ETA! On their return trip across the pond, they buddied-up with Nordhavn 47 Southern Star, as well as a couple of whales who spent an entire afternoon accompanying them on their journey west.

They arrived home just two weeks ago, but their layover won’t be a long one. “Yes, we will continue our adventure!” says Jennifer, as they set their sights on the South Pacific going as far as Australia, and perhaps even Japan. To prepare, they’ll spend the next couple months giving Starlet a freshening-up with plans to upgrade or replace the convection oven, washer/dryer, upholstery and blinds and battery bank, plus they will install solar panels which will allow them to remain at anchor while exploring onshore.

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Already busily cruising the South Pacific are Dick and Gail Barnes on board their Nordhavn 57 Ice Dancer II having arrived in Papeete, Tahiti from the Marqueses Islands earlier this month. But the real accomplishment comes in their mileage total. During their Nordhavn ownership tenure which began in 2002, the couple have logged more than 100,000 cruising miles. Their odometer began keeping count back with their first boat Ice Dancer, a brand new Nordhavn 50, which they owned for four years and cruised from Dana Point, CA, to Tahiti and back. They purchased a brokerage N57 and continued their adventurous ways the following year, completing a circumnavigation which included a doubling of Cape Horn. The breakdown in total mileage, engine hours and average speed between their two models is as follows:





Ice Dancer (N50)




Ice Dancer II (N50II)








Only Heidi and Wolfgang Haas, owners of N46 Kanaloa, have reached 100,000 miles on their Nordhavn(s). “We are incredibly proud of Dick and Gail as they have quietly gone about their business of long distance cruising and passing the nearly unattainable milestone of 100,000 miles,” said PAE president Dan Streech. “One hundred thousand miles represents over 13,000 hours of running time. If Ice Dancer was a car or motor home, it would represent over 700,000 miles of travel. Of course, a car or motor home would be on its third or fourth engine at that point! Not so with Ice Dancer or any Nordhavn with that many hours on the clock.”

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There are many other monumental trips about to happen later this summer. Thierry Verstraete, on board Nordhavn Motorsailer 56#9, is gearing for a solo transit of the Atlantic with a scheduled departure of June 23. It has been a lifelong dream of Verstraete to set sail across the Atlantic on his own. His hunt for the ultimate cruising boat in which to do this ended last fall when he purchased the MS56. Never before has a Nordhavn owner attempted a solo ocean crossing. We will keep a close eye on Vertstraete and his progress over the coming weeks.

In early July, Nordhavn 68 Migration is expected to begin it’s trek toward the northernmost point on the globe ever achieved by a Nordhavn when the crew sets sail for Svalbard, Norway. The adventuresome owners previously explored Greenland in 2014, but they are expecting conditions to be a bit more challenging this time around, primarily with ice dams. Svalbard is a group of islands, half of which are uninhabited nature reserves, which require special permits to visit. Currently in Europe, Migration is making its way up the Scandinavian coast. Crew members will keep a blog during the journey. (Worthy of noting: visitors to Svalbard are required to carry a rifle with them at all times while on the mainland. Should prove for some interesting journal writing!) 

Stay tuned for more on these two fascinating trips.

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