Tag Archives | Nordhavn

St. Kilda

Historic St. Kilda is on the edge of the edge. Lying 40nm west of the Outer Hebrides, the archipelago has no all-weather anchorage and is exposed to the full force of Atlantic storms. The islands are the first Scottish UNESCO World-Heritage Site and Scotland’s only Natural World Heritage site. The dramatic scenery there is enough…


As is often the case, once we’d arrived in Stornoway we liked our berth and the town so much that we immediately extended our stay from four days to a week. We toured the Isle of Lewis, walked all over town, reprovisioned, visited the excellent Museum nan Eilean and, of course, checked out the local…

Isle of Lewis

In reaching the Butt of Lewis at the north end of Lewis Island, we’d been to both the most northern light in the Outer Hebrides and the most southern, on Berneray Island. Our day trip around Lewis Island also included stops at scenic Mangestra, the Standing Stones of Callanish, an historic roundhouse and several traditional…


Envoy is now in Lefkas marina for the Greek winter. It’s now Friday and next Wednesday we fly home to NZ.
Back to our cruising adventures with Amy.

Amy loves to have dinner by candlelight and we have various candle holders aboard, mostly bought in Turkey.

Early September we’re anchored in Sivota with several yachts anchored around us. 
As we return to Envoy from dinner ashore we all comment on how perfectly still the air is and how calm the sea is. Talk about the calm before the storm! 
At 1230 we’re all rudely awoken by huge gusts of wind buffeting Envoy, then thunder, lightning and heavy rain. We all immediately get up and reaching the pilothouse see a Belgian aluminium yacht, Grand Chalem, dragging sideways down onto our bow. There is no time to take any evasive action before her starboard side squarely slams into our stretched-out anchor chain, bounces off, then slides bow first down our starboard side before disappearing into the night. 
Other yachts are also dragging their anchors so we put on our deck lights to make ourselves more visible while they maneuver themselves out of trouble. We see gusts over 40 knots, but Envoy doesn’t drag and only moves around to the wind shifts – the GPS drift alarm, set for 0.003 miles or about 54 metres doesn’t go off. Within about half an hour the storm passes, the boats settle to their anchors and we go back to bed wondering if there is any damage to Envoy’s newly painted hull. 
I’m up the next morning at first light checking Envoy’s hull from our RHIB, delighted to find no damage except the faintest of minor small paint scratches that’s not worth worrying about. 
Grand Chalem’s skipper comes over in his RHIB to check and is also relieved there is to damage to either boat, probably because he had fenders on his hull. However he says is wife is somewhat traumatised by the experience and they will spend a few days secured to a pontoon in the harbour until they’re ready to venture forth again.
We’d hoped that at least the heavy rain would have given Envoy a good fresh water wash but that wasn’t to be either as the rain was laden with red dust, which turns quickly to mud and stains everything unless removed quickly.
Sudden thunder storms are reasonably common here at this time of year and they usually bring squalls and wind shifts so from now on we’ll put out fenders at night when anchored close to other boats.
At Meganisi Is this yacht got into trouble trying to reverse to a the quay and ended up broadside to the other moored yachts

Amy and Laurie enjoying late afternoon drinks at Meganisi

After a stopping at Meganisi Island we head back to Lefkas so that Amy can catch a flight back to London.
We had a fantastic time with Amy aboard for 6 weeks, cruising 419 miles, re-visiting some of our favourite places and finding new ones.
We start heading north towards Corfu where we will clear out of Greece, spend a few days in nearby Albania and then come back to Greece. This is partly because we need to take Envoy out of the EU periodically to avoid the need to pay VAT and partly because we need a new Greek Transit Log since our present 18 month one is about to expire.

We spotted this huge open RHIB at Gouvia Marina – about 13m and even has a small RHIB on its stern

On the way we anchor at Preveza, Parga and Mourtos – all of which are now a lot quieter as the season comes to an end.

Envoy anchored at Mourtos

Same anchorage shot from the idyllic beach

An interesting flower bed at Mourtos

A day tripper boat enters a sea cave near Mourtos

When the tour boat leaves we enter the cave

From Corfu we cruise across to Albania. Having already visited Sarande in Albania we only stay a couple of days and on returning to Corfu we refuel for the first (and will be only) time this year taking on 1,300 litres of diesel at Euro 1.41 (approx NZ$ 2.17) per litre. The fuel quay attendant tells me our purchase is relatively small and a motor boat recently took on 200,000 litres, requiring ten tankers each holding 20,000 litres. At the price we paid this would have been Euros 282,000 or about NZ$434,000.
While at Corfu the water maker technician, Angelos, tells us our water maker high pressure pump is ready for installation. It’s been checked by the main dealer in Athens who found nothing wrong with it, which doesn’t help solve the issue of why the system isn’t working properly. After it’s installed we test the system and it still doesn’t work properly – the output is too low and the salinity too high. Angelos believes there is some restriction in the seawater supply so gets a diver to check the under-hull seawater inlet but that’s all clear. The next step is to get a technician from Athens to come and take a look.

Stornoway Arrival

Stornoway Harbour was only the second marina we’ve stopped at since arriving in Scotland two months ago, and again we weren’t the only Nordhavn there. At James Watt Dock Marina near Glasgow, Nordhavn 55 Odyssey was moored behind us. At Stornoway, Nordhavn 68 Vesper was one pontoon away from us. We spent the afternoon of…

Shiant Islands and Loch Mariveg

A sailboat was visible through the Garbh Eilean arch as we arrived in the striking Shiant Islands. We gave serious considration to anchoring there for the night, but high winds were expected so we elected to take a more sheltered anchorage in beautiful Loch Mariveg instead. Trip highlights from September 6 and 7th in the…

Loch Maddy

The CalMac ferry Hebrides runs from the Isle of Skye to Loch Maddy in the Outer Hebrides. We spent several nights anchored at Loch Maddy beneath dramatic North Lee, and enjoyed watching the Hebrides arrive and dock, particularly during a storm where we saw winds to 60 knots. We got the opposite perspective, with a…

Plans Change

Waking early and going up top to put together a cup of coffee, I take a look out the window and see the winds have indeed stopped blowing. The cool weather and the warm waters are working together to fashion this nice image of a foggy morning inside Solomons Island Harbor.

Our last couple of days at Solomons, we put together a plan to run down to Deltaville then on to York River to hang for a couple of weeks. Eventually, we’d motor down to Atlantic Yacht Basin where we’d officially put an end to the Bay and have a bit of work done before starting our return to S Florida.

Following that plan, we left and made way out to the Bay. It was another nice soft day and the forecasts predicted the weather to hold for a week.

After quietly running for a few hours the radio crackled and a nice Kiwi accent was heard; it was Southern Star. We asked about their time at Trawlerfest and they asked about our plans then told us they were about to turn and head up the Potomac to spend a few a days in Washington, D.C.; I could see on AIS they were just a few miles in front us.
I told them our intentions and said hopefully we’d all meet up somewhere soon, wished them safe travels, and signed off.

I guess it was somewhere around Point No Point Light when Mel and I went back to being quiet… then at about the same time we both said, WTF. We’d actually thought about DC a few weeks ago, but scrapped the idea due to business in N Carolina. However, the Hilton Head project had been rescheduled, so.
Quickly looking at charts of The Potomac, we did some calculations, discussed things a bit, then decided to forego the current plan, (typical for us), and like Southern Star,  head to DC.

A right turn at The Potomac was made.

For the sake of the pups, we found a little marina that wasn’t too far up the Potomac and made arrangements to stay for a night.

White Point Marina

This little marina reminds us of some of “off the beaten path” marinas we loved to visit while running the Tennessee River. I’d forgotten the sound of quiet.
As the sun set and the moon rose, not much was resonating other than geese honking in the distance, an occasional fish breaking the surface, and the ringing in my ears.

The next day we caught up to Southern Star and it was decided we’d both stop and anchor just up river from Quantico, VA. We set the anchor at a little state park where we dropped the dink and took the boys to shore for their biz. Leesylvania State Park.

Another nice night and another fat moon.

Rising early, we both left and made way toward DC.

Mel and I have been cruising rivers for many years and, while we do find The Potomac to be a pretty river, we’re just not too excited about it until we get closer to Washington. Then, we start to see things along the shore like the above pic. George Washington’s digs, Mount Vernon.

As we get closer, the Capitol building and the Washington Monument appear on the horizon. Now, we’re interested.

So we finally pull into Washington Channel, tie up at Gang Plank Marina, and wait for Southern Star to arrive. After much confusion we end up moving slips where we tied up next to Jenny and Ted.

Here’s another story: Istaboa and brand new Bellingham docks don’t seem to get along. After tying up and attaching our power cord to the pedestal at Gangplank, we kill the electrical for whole dock. Needless to say we weren’t very popular with the other boaters. A bit of a discussion ensues with the dockmaster and eventually we’re moved to the older section of the marina and just next to Southern Star; no problem there with power. This has happened to us before with these new Bellingham Docks and their new RDC breakers. I find it interesting that we don’t have the same issue with new Technomarine docks we tie up to. I also find it interesting the Harbormasters at the marinas with these new Bellingham docks are highly sensitive and overly defensive when discussing them.

RDC explanation here> http://www.electricshockdrowningmn.com/Documents/Marina%20GFP%20Concerns%2001-03-2017.pdf

But I digress … We’ve had a nice time in DC but, Damn! It’s hard work being a tourist here. Averaging about 6 miles a day of walking amongst the swarms of sightseers has taken a toll on this old guy.
All in all, Washington is an amazing city and we’ve seen things that we always wanted to see. Maybe next time we’ll stay a month. DC’s worth a long stay.

 So we’re on the move again. The weather’s being weird so plans are in flux  — as they always are.


Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

Preparing Dirona for the North Atlantic Crossing

Below is a 24-minute narrated video preparing Dirona for the 2,801 nautical-mile North Atlantic transit from Newport, Rhode Island to Kinsale Ireland. We first show storm plate (clear window protection covers) installation at the dock using the tender as a working platform on the port side. Then we move the SCUBA tanks below and secure…

Isle of Skye

The spectacular Isle of Skye scenery makes it one of Scotland’s top three tourist destinations, along with Edinburgh and Loch Ness. We had considered visiting Skye in Dirona, but instead opted to make a day trip by ferry from Loch Maddy. This gave us the added bonus riding one of the big CalMac ferries, something…