Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kiwis greet Egret's intrepid crew

Egret and New Paige, shown at left, were joined by Southern Star at the gathering of Nordhavn faithful in Auckland.

More than 70 guests gathered at the New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland to greet world travelers and Circumnavigator contributors Scott and Mary Flanders recently.

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 September ’06 in Gibraltar, it was the chance for Kiwis to extend a warm welcome to the couple whose adventures they have been tracking on the Web, and actually pick their brains in person about voyaging the world aboard a Nordhavn.

Hosted by Nordhavn’s Australian affiliate office, the day brought together cruising enthusiasts and boating media alike—all who wanted to find out what it's like to pick up everything and just go. Until now, fans have had to rely on the Voyage of Egret blog to glean their information 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 Nordhavn 46.

As the afternoon drew to a close, many attendees exchanged contact details, and offered Scott and Mary and the Allards true New Zealand hospitality as they continue to cruise the pristine waters of a beautiful country.

From the left, Scott and Mary Flanders; Roger, Kimberly and Joan Allard; Peter and Angela Mott.

In the next edition of Circumnavigator, Scott and Mary will report on island-hopping across the Pacific from Chile to Tahiti on a route seldom followed by powerboats. In the last edition, Kimberly Allard was featured in a story on families who have owned more than one Nordhavn.