The End of Chapter One

Another great dayon the water
I have been meaning to close out the first chapter of our trip.  I sit down and start to type.  And nothing comes.  There’s so much to tell.  But nothing comes to me.  We have tons of photos of the final leg of our trip so a LOT of them are going to be dumped into this post... One thing is for’s the end of a chapter, not the end of the story.   Our trip south was planned somewhat abruptly.  Over the summer, we fell in love with the Nordhavn 47 and a plan was hatched.  We thought the ...
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Anan Bay, AK - Bear Country

Fishermen in training
Anan Bay Wildlife Observatory was one of the most memorable stops on our trip.  Sixty permits are available per day during the peak bear season (July and August) and we were lucky enough to secure a spot.  It takes a bit of planning to get there, given it’s remote location and unsafe anchorage.  And our visit was not with incident. We arrived the day before our permits and found an anchorage with secure holding just 6 miles across the channel at Fool’s Inlet.  The name likely warned off other b...
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Ell Cove, AK - And along came dinner

First fish caught in AK!
When we were in Sitka, I broke down and finally bought some fish.  Dougal was exacerbated.  “You are really going to buy fish?”  “Trust me,” I told him, “as soon as I do, you will catch one.”  I’ll get back to this.  First, let’s talk about our experience in Ell Cove.   We made our way from Sitka to Ell Cove over three days.  The trip could be done in a day, but we took our time waiting out the rapids at Sergius Narrows and ducking for shelter from the 40 knot winds in Chatham Strait.  After al...
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Tenakee Springs, AK - Independence Day in Alaska

Seastar found on the beach!
I don’t know if it was the perfect 75 degree weather....or the upcoming 4th of July holiday....or the wonderful welcome by Cassidy’s friend Ila and her family (who we had met in Juneau a few weeks ago)....but Tenakee is the type of town that you want to bottle up and take with you.  I fantasized about staying for the entire summer.  It is difficult to capture the charm of this little spot with words. We arrived on July 3rd, just in time to watch another boat take the last spot on the transient ...
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Juneau - summer camps and side trips

The trip from San Francisco to Juneau was a whirlwind.  In many ways, it felt like we were moving in slow motion.  But it was somehow exhausting at the same time.  When the SlowBoat Flotilla ended in Juneau, I was more than happy to stay put for awhile.  For 2 weeks as it turned out!  The Juneau harbor allowed us to pay the low monthly rate of $175, rather than the daily rate, so there was no rush to leave.   When we arrived, I searched for a camp or class for Cassidy.  She longed for some kid ...
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Petersburg, AK - Dodging Bergie Bits

This blog is short...because really there are no words that adequately describe the beauty and scale of Fords Terror, the highlight of our week.  Check out the video that we just posted:  Video 4 - Icebergs & Glaciers in Southeast Alaska We left Meyers Chuck, headed for the glaciers.  We made stops at Wrangell and Petersburg along the way.  Both are quaint fishing towns, with all the necessary services for cruisers (fuel, groceries, restaurants - all conveniently located near the marinas).   F...
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Current Blog Article: The End of Chapter One


I just came across you YouTube channel and have been loving your videos!

Do you have an Instagram account where we can see regular update of your adventure?

Hope you safe travel always! Enjoy!

 Victoria  12/4/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 12/4/2018

Victoria - thank you!  We don’t have an Instagram account for this adventure but it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing.  It would be pretty easy to post photos there more regularly.   If you sign up for updates to this blog we will make a post about it if/when we set one up.  

I have loved following MV Cassidy on her amazing adventures.  What a wonderful experience for you all. While riding bikes this afternoon in Dana Point Harbor we noticed MV Cassidy moored. We couldn’t help but stop and admire your beautiful boat. Since it was in front of the Nordhavn Office, can we assume a 47’ is in the plans. 

 Bonnie McAfee  11/25/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 11/26/2018

Bonnie McAfee - we spent the Thanksgiving week on Catalina Island and then in to Dana Point.  So festive with all the holiday lights in the harbor!

You may be on to something as to why our boat is in the harbor....   more updates soon....

Just want to compliment you on the real good quality of your videos, the video angles and clear audio is superb, us considering leaving land life deeeply appreciate your thoughtful time and energy to produce these videos.

Quick question; In deciding to launch your boat life, did you actually decide to sell your family home and totally detach from land life, use those funds to purchase your beautiful boat, or did you decide to just add the boat like a second home? Thank you for sharing, if it’s too personal, I would understand.

I noticed you fish a lot like myself here in Florida, tight lines to you and please keep making these videos, you inspire all of us.

Keith Johnson

 Keith Johnson  11/24/2018


Just discovered your blog/videos!  Wonderful adventures and wonderful boat.  

We're  previous sailors, current RVers, and future boaters.

What is your asking price?

Also, what boots would you recommend for kids?

 Lillian  11/24/2018


Eric, it appears you have a leaning post mounted at your steering station. Can you describe how it is mounted and the clearance between table and helm? There doesn’t appear to be enough fore/aft space to mount a pedestal seat, even with fold up bolster and table mods. I was thinking of using a foldable directors chair and maybe tying it off to the table and fold up chart table. 

 Matt Boliver  11/17/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 11/17/2018


We do indeed have a leaning post in the pilot house.  I bought it from another N40 owner out of Florida who purchased it and decided they didn’t want to use it. It’s made by Crown LTD and a beautiful piece of stainless steel workmanship. 

You will get mixed opinions on the lack of a helm chair in the N40.  Most people I talk to don’t seem to mind.  For us, and the way we’ve been using the boat it’s a big downside and thus we started looking for a way to fit a proper helm chair.  There’s really no way it could be done without major modifications to the table and settee and it would ruin that seating, which is pretty nice. 

The leaning post is a good compromise.  It allows someone to lean against it in heavy weather and it can be used like a stool when piloting otherwise.  The boat can be steered by the autopilot from the bench seat with both a hard wired remote and wireless iPad app. But without fly-by-wire engine controls the throttle can’t be operated without being at the helm. 

The downside to even the relatively low volume leaning post is that it does make access through the pilot house a little more difficult.  None of us are huge and we get by but larger people may have an issue with space to maneuver.  I spent a lot of time figuring out the best place to put the post.  I was thinking a sliding track would be the best option but couldn’t come up with an elegant solution that was robust to take the loads.   I ended up removing the wheel since we always steer with a follow up lever anyway and that added a little more space. The wheel is railway accessible in the engine room and can be installed in less than a minute in the event of a failure of the autopilot steering pump. 

Your idea of a directors chair would work but I’d be worried about safety in any kind of seaway   I remember reading or watching in the video of the N40 “around the world” trip that PAE did that they used a smal folding bar stool at times .  And I think that the experience on that trip led to the development of the 43 with the slightly larger pilot house that has room for a seat.  

Long answer to your questions.  It works for us, but I’d still prefer a proper helm chair for maneuvering and long passage. Our next boat (if there is one) will definitely have a Stidd chair!

Loved the photos and just wished I had been with you. Thanks for sharing the trip.

 Chris  11/16/2018


Well written, thanks for the update and the wonderful photos.   We will be back in Alameda in December.

 Dave Steffens  11/16/2018


I'm so glad you finished your post for this voyage and so bummed we didn't really get to catch up when I saw you last. It sounds like it was a great trip for you and thank you for sharing your adventures!! We were in Alaska soon after you and it was fun to see the places you'd visited :-) 

 Katie  11/15/2018


Thank you for sharing such a great summer adventure. We are looking forward to your next chapter. Best wishes. K&K Green

 KJ Green  11/15/2018


Seriously going through withdrawals over here....having to actually work at the office.....any update coming?

 Eric Meslow  11/5/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 11/7/2018

Eric - we are working on a big blog post and digging through footage to make some new videos to post.  Have definitely been lagging on updating this blog often enough but will be back at it very soon!

I'm landlocked,but living vicariously through your family's adventures.  Got any new videos coming up?

 Bill M.  8/30/2018


Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to produce these wonderful videos!  They are beautifully done and highly informative. Quick question: What is the LOA of your boat from tip of bow anchor to end of swim platform? I've seen conflicting numbers online and am curious as to whether the N40 can squeeze into the average 40' slip.

 Brian Crawford  8/24/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 8/24/2018

Brian - this is an easy question to answer.  The specified length is 39'8" and I though I have never put a tape to our boat, I have no reason to believe it is any different.  The anchor sticks out slightly past the roller but even with the anchor its likely close to exactly 40' LOA.  Waterline length is roughly 35' (which is one of the reasons these boats are so slow!!).

Someone told me that it was one of the design considerations to keep the 40 under 40 feet, making it easier to fit into a lot of marinas and berths.  For that reason we definitely like the size.  The swim step is pretty small however, and with a stern thruster makes it hard to get in and out of the water from the back of the boat.  A lot of owners have put on custom extended swim steps with stainless steel "staples" for rails.  Really increases the useable area in the back of the boat, tradeoff is now you've got a boat that is something larger than 40'.  

Hello there!  We have been avidly following your blog and were to delighted to see you all anchored in Quartermaster Harbor, our home port.  We live on Vashon Island and recently purchased our own Nordhavn - Indiscretion (N4339).   I’m not sure what your plans on for Vashon, but would be happy to show you around, get you into town for any supplies you need, etc.  Would love to meet you and hear first hand more about your adventures so far. 

Bob and Lisa Breen 

 Bob & Lisa Breen  8/16/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 8/21/2018

Bob & Lisa - it was a pleasure meeting up with you on Vashon and touring your new boat.  Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future!

just curious - what’s your plan after Alaska ? Going around the world ? 

 Frank OHara  7/12/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 7/12/2018
That is the loose plan. After Alaska we don’t have super firm plans but leaning toward heading into Mexico and then across to the Marquesas and on from there.

really enjoy your videos. Great job! Quick question: IN some of the videos when you are at anchor, there are two additional lines coming off the bow on either side, going down into the water. Or maybe it is one line going down one side and up the other? What are those for?  Thanks!

 Russ  6/29/2018


---Reply posted by Dougal Gardyne on 6/30/2018
The two additional lines are an anchor bridle. It’s basically two lengths of 3 strand nylon line attached to a stainless hook that grabs our anchor chain and then run through the forward hawse holes to strong cleats on the deck. It removes the load of the anchor from the windless and also makes it a little quieter when we are swinging on the anchor. The one we use comes from Mantus:

Video 4 was super.  It was National Geographic material.  Very well done, great narration, video clips, aerial photography and the last song was spot on!  Said it all!

Great job Dougal.  I see a new career blossoming. 

 Karin Weishaup  6/10/2018