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July 14, 2013

Nordhavn 43 Three @ Sea celebrates 25,000 miles

By Jeff Merrill

June 21st not only brought in the first day of summer and all of the promise of this special family season, but also marked the arrival of the Besemers (David, Kathryn and Ayla) aboard their Nordhavn 43 Three@Sea. Somehow sunshine, smiles, and the Besemers all combine to brighten any day, and so the gang at PAE decided that special Friday afternoon to throw a “dock-tail” party to welcome one of our favorite adventure families and to celebrate their special cruising milestone. A great turn out of PAE/Nordhavn employees gathered at our sales docks in Dana Point, CA as the Besemers and their trusty work horse enjoyed being in the “mecca” of long range trawlers. Beer, wine and cocktails along with crackers, cheese, dip and shrimp made for a great first summer kickoff party.

Three@Sea is a very famous Nordhavn - hull number 19 - which now boasts 25,000 miles under her keel from her current (second) owners. Five years ago in August the Besemers purchased her in Florida, then a two-year-old boat very nicely outfitted and perfect for their family of three to move aboard. During the last five years daughter Ayla has grown from a little girl to a young lady and experienced an incredible lifestyle at sea to shape her view of the world. A book could be written about Ayla alone, one of the most incredibly natural and engaging teens I have ever met, and so poised…you can get a sense of what I’m referring to by going to the Three@Sea blog (http://threeatsea.com), to read their stories and see their photos and/or, hopefully, you may get an opportunity to meet all of the Besemers in person as they continue their travels.

Their journey was actually underway over ten years ago when Kathryn met with me in Dana Point to look at Nordhavns. The dream was already outlined, it was just a matter, as it usually is, of timing…and the concerns of whether David and Kathryn should really take Ayla out of the “normal” growing up regime familiar to all of us or break away and home school her aboard a Nordhavn. This was a well researched life change with so many factors to weigh, but after some looking around, the selection to buy a Nordhavn was one of the first and easiest decisions. This was quite a step up to see the world on your first boat, but clearly the right call. My good friend and former Nordhavn FL sales manager, Ray Danet, found them a great Nordhavn 43 to purchase and they were soon on their way (along with their boat c@, Piccadilly, after whom their dingy is named "Dilly Too").

As one who has followed their adventures from the beginning, I have been extremely proud to see all they have accomplished. A quick “fact” summary from their blog on that day in June showed 1,782 days aboard, over 4,200 hours on the main and visits to 19 states and 7 countries. On this particular morning they departed San Diego early and somewhere off of San Clemente they officially clocked 25,000 miles.

It’s a funny paradox how quickly time flies and how far slow boats travel…it was only last November at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show that we handed the Besemers their 20,000 mile Distance Pennant which is still proudly flying, but looking a little worn (link: http://www.nordhavn.com/news/headlines/flibs/ They transited the Panama Canal on January 2nd and arrived in CA a couple of weeks ago. I met with them briefly in San Diego and while talking we realized that their next pennant was about due and hatched the idea of making this a great excuse to have a party as they headed north.

As David piloted into Dana Point it was great fun to see the well rehearsed, perfectly choreographed arrival routine – fenders and dock lines ready, a smooth back-in to the slip and within 5 minutes they were snuggly tied up and had the shore power connected – nothing like practice and experience to make a sometimes trying event a simple procedure. By 4:30 pm the boat had had been rinsed, snacks were out and the bar was ready for guests. Another swiftly executed and probably often repeated maneuver from this most gracious and hospitable family.

The Nordhavn staff on hand to celebrate with the Besemers included V.P. Jim Leishman and designer Jeff Leishman as well as team members from sales, accounting, production, and parts. We were also joined by the Tombacks who own a Nordhavn 46 and last saw the Besemers in Puerto Vallarta. It’s a simple reminder of the beauty of travel by sea; to meet in one part of the world and then reconnect in another.

About 5:00 pm PAE president, Dan Streech, took command in the cockpit with the Besemers at his side to say a few words of thanks and appreciation for this spirited family and to present them with their 25,000 mile Distance Pennant (this is a great ongoing promotion that acknowledges the miles traveled by Nordhavn owners, and we are now over 4,500,000 recorded miles, with hundreds more added every day: Nordhavn Distance Pennant

Dan was succinct with his praise: “We are so proud of you! We watch you on the internet and you make us look good. Sweet Ayla is the star of the show. Thank you for all you have done for us, by setting an example and showing people how to live a wonderful life aboard a Nordhavn. We are looking forward to watching you travel in the months and years ahead.”

Dan also observed, “A Nordhavn is just a machine until people use it for its intended purpose and then it comes alive”. And this is exactly what has happened with the Besemers.

Photos were taken of the 25,000 mile pennant presentation and then Kathryn had a few words to say, “On behalf of the Besemer family we have applause for all of you. The boats you are building are truly amazing little ships. We picked a Nordhavn specifically because we knew there is a team and a family behind us.”

Kathryn continued, “What Nordhavns do is cause families to come together…where we can go as a family and the things that we see… and then at night we gather together around the table and the conversations we have had and the places we have traveled have been magical.”

The entire event was taped and is now available to view on YouTube by clicking this link:

This type of lifestyle is not something you can take lightly and the whole crew needs to be on board as a team to make it successful. What a great way for Ayla to grow up - seeing the world from her waterfront home - but at a certain point she’ll need to come back to land and go off to college.

Until then, every year on August 2nd, the Besemer family has a vote and it has to be unanimous to continue cruising. I will be thinking of the Besemers when that date rolls around later this summer, but I have a pretty good feeling what the answer will be.

Jeff Merrill, CPYB, started at Nordhavn in 1999 and has been involved in multiple new build and brokerage Nordhavn 43 sales over the years.   Jeff is licensed in CA and FL and a lifelong boater with over 20 years selling cruising sailboats and trawlers.  Jeff is located at our California sales office and travels all over the world on Nordhavn business. You can email Jeff directly if you would like to know more about Three@Sea or any other Nordhavns of interest.  jeff.merrill@nordhavn.com  You can also follow Jeff on Twitter – merrilljeff.



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