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July 25, 2013
The August 2013 NORDHAVN Calendar Girl
Nordhavn 43 “MV Opal Lady”
FOR SALE AU$860,000 Australian Taxes Paid
What will be her next adventure?
Nordhavns have become more frequently seen in Australia over the past handful of years, but a brokerage Nordhavn is still rare in these parts. It’s one of the things that makes Nordhavn 43 Opal Lady such a special listing. She presents herself as the ideal vessel for the couple – based in the Gold Coast – who is anxious to cruise and explore the area Down Under. After all, if you’ve read the thoroughly entertaining blog at www.opallady.com that follows the adventures of Opal Lady’s current owners, you know that she’s been to practically every nook and cranny Australia cruising grounds have to offer. You also know what a great passport to adventure she’s been for Alan and Karen Davidson. Alan and Karen’s blog is peppered throughout with stories and pictures of the wonderful times shared with friends, new and old. In fact, one of those spectacular photographs is featured in the Nordhavn calendar. That’s right, the beautiful Opal Lady will soon grace the homes of thousands of Nordhavn fans the world over, as the August 2013 cover girl.
Imagine owning the boat that has become one of the fixtures of Gold Coast cruising, a yacht that has provided so much pleasure for her owners and has ignited dreams of adventure and relaxation for countless others. You don’t have to imagine it. The opportunity to purchase and set off in this gorgeous vessel is here.
If you’re unfamiliar with Opal Lady, you should take the time to acclimate yourself by visiting the blog. She recently hit the milestone of 100,000 visits attesting to the interest generated by the stories and images of the travels of one of Nordhavn’s most adventurous Australian based couples. Alan and Karen Davidson were keen sailors, having owned and delivered yachts throughout Australia and beyond. On land, Alan and Karen enjoyed seeking out and exploring the stunning and remote inland regions of Australia, prior to building MV Opal Lady. When they took delivery of their shiny new N43 in Brisbane in January 2009, their real high seas adventures began. ….
Alan and Karen’s blog is peppered throughout with stories and pictures of the wonderful times shared with friends, new and old. Having travelled much of Australia overland, they set out to see the wild and spectacular coastline and fringing reefs from a different perspective. Their intent was to share this journey with friends and family, some of whom flew into various ports along the way for a taste of life on the water. And for a taste also of Karen’s culinary delights! When building MV Opal Lady, a high priority was given to the galley and its layout and equipment. The stove was to be the centre of Karen’s world on board. MV Opal Lady’s galley stove would not be out of place in the finest home… Karen’s natural ability to turn out everything from a grand multi course dinner, to home baked cakes and biscuits, and everything in between, quickly became known to all who were invited aboard…And let’s not overlook Alan’s masterly skill in turning freshly caught seafood into a stunning BBQ meal……
Speaking of freshly caught seafood…. Alan and Karen have set up MV Opal Lady and her tender for serious fishing, all designed to make catching meals more convenient. Fishing of all types has always been a passion for Alan and Karen. The MV Opal Lady blog abounds with pictures of ‘the fish of the day’, whether it be pelagic and deep sea fish caught from the deck, or flathead and bream, crayfish, crabs and oysters picked up in the myriad estuaries, bays and creeks along their path. Their cruising plans were often planned around making the most of the fishing in each location or region. Fish were targeted, meals planned around the day's catch, and the big freezer on board always kept well stocked for guests and for local bartering.
An overview of Alan and Karen’s travels on MV Opal Lady highlights their successful journey, from decisions on the best vessel to take them safely on their adventure, through commissioning, the shakedown cruise from Brisbane to Tasmania, getting to know their boat, and on to the business –well, fun of planning their journey around Australia.
With careful planning, and the advice and support of other Nordhavn owners, they embarked on a most memorable journey. Their blog traces their personal highlights from the beginning of their adventure, to the proud moment when they achieved their goal and dream of a Circumnavigation of Australia. It’s their personal journey, on which they invited their readers to share their dream. The story is illustrated with skill, no doubt because of the photography course Karen undertook prior to the journey to enhance her picture taking and presentation skills. Most Nordhavn followers would recognise MV Opal Lady as the Nordhavn August 2013 Calendar pin-up girl. This is an astonishing image of MV Opal Lady set against the raw beauty of the King George Falls, on the King George River in the remote Kimberley Region of Western Australia. This is just one of many fine images taken by Karen on their travels, an image which really does reveal the grandeur of this region.
A decision to enter their vessel in the 2010 Louisiades Yacht Rally http://www.opallady.com/aspx/m/815786 gave Alan and Karen the opportunity to break away from the Queensland Coast, and gauge their boat’s performance with the many yachts in this traditionally ‘sailboat’ rally. Having done many cruises on sailboats, they were eager to join the ‘sailboat’ scene. The MV Opal Lady was well received on this journey, as it turned out to be a windless affair for the sailboats. The steady cruising pace and air conditioned comfort of MV Opal Lady were jealously admired by the fleet of yachts becalmed in the tropical heat ! She proved to be the meeting place and social centre of the rally. MV Opal Lady’s generous accommodations, and level of on-board conveniences and luxury attracted this same admiration and appreciation throughout all of her travels, whenever she was in the company of sailing yachts. Although I suspect that Alan’s hunter-gathering skills and Karen’s consummate cooking skills were also a strong drawcard….
During a stopover in Sydney, Alan and Karen were gracious and popular hosts on MV Opal Lady at the 2012 Nordhavn Downunder 2012 Rendezvous at Newport on Sydney’s Pittwater Harbour. Keen Nordhavn aficionados were treated to an Open House, on MV Opal Lady, and several other local Nordhavns. Some lucky attendees were able to join Alan and Karen on MV Opal lady for a lunchtime cruise during which Karen demonstrated her refined boat handling skills at close quarters in a crowded Marina, while Alan handled the docking lines, all of which illustrated the maneuverability of the MV Opal Lady. Later in the cruise, Karen revealed the Ship’s Log, which is religiously updated with every ship’s movement and maintenance item. All entered and securely stored on her Ipad. For the ladies who attended the Rendezvous who may feel a little overawed…this short cruise demonstrated the success of operating the vessel as a team - each person honing their skills, and carrying out their own specific shipboard duties/chores.
Where are they now ??? Ever the adventurers, Alan and Karen are planning their next journey, yet to be revealed, but this time on land. The good ship “MV Opal Lady” will not be part of this next adventure. She will however continue to be maintained to the high standard expected of a trouble free long range trawler, and as part of her scheduled maintenance program she will be hauled out for underwater service at her local Marina at the end of this month.