NEWS FEATURE - Planet Nordhavn
<I>Egret</I> becomes seventh Nordhavn to circumnavigate the world and the first small powerboat to pass below the five Great Southern Ocean Capes, writes JENNY STERN
In February, a 2001-model Nordhavn 46 called Egret became the seventh of the specialist trawler-yacht brand to circumnavigate the globe, and the first small production powerboat to pass below the five Great Capes of the Southern Ocean.
Owned and operated by Scott and Mary Flanders, Egret arrived at the Canary Islands late in the evening on Thursday, February 10, 2011 — four years and five months after departing Gran Canaria bound for great adventure. And what an adventure it has been.
The Flanders did and saw things that one only dreams of — or is hardly even capable of dreaming of — is an understatement.
During their time away, the couple doubled around Cape Horn, wintered in the canals of Chile, explored Easter Island, took part in a rescue mission while staying in the remote island of Tonga, experienced our outback, visited South Africa and now they’re back in the Med’ and already thinking about their next few years of cruising.
Of course, Europe isn’t where their great voyage started. The couple, who hail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, took delivery of their N46 a decade ago as newbies to the whole long-range cruising lifestyle.
They went north along the US East Coast to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, then back south before taking part in the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally in 2004. The Rally route from Fort Lauderdale to the Med’ by way of Bermuda and the Azores was the perfect course for the eager adventurers. Cruising in company with PAE (Nordhavn builder Pacific Asian Enterprises) staffers and other Nordhavns gave them the confidence to conquer the world.
Though few people have ever circumnavigated the planet — let alone in a production powerboat — to our knowledge, Egret marks the 10th production powerboat to accomplish the task; seven of the 10 being Nordhavns.
The significance of a circumnavigation is not what excites Scott Flanders most. "Years from now, when we look back at our boating years, Egret's circumnavigation will be a small part. No doubt a special part, but just a part," says Scott. "Our proudest achievement was passing below the five Great Southern Ocean Capes, the first for a small powerboat."
The five Great Capes consist of the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn, the South East Cape of Tasmania and NZ’s South West Cape at the southern tip of Stewart Island/Rakiura. A circumnavigation via the Great Capes is considered to be a noteworthy achievement.
In fact, the circumnavigation actually was originally unplanned. After leaving South Africa, Egret was on a course west for South America, the Panama Canal and Fort Lauderdale. But a change of heart toward enduring several long passages that was required in the previously plotted-out course to South Florida, and eventually Scandinavia, prompted the couple to alter course and head north for the Med’.
The Flanders world-odyssey took 1596 days between departing and returning to Gran Canaria. In fact, since taking delivery of the boat 10 years ago, they have amassed nearly 10,000 hours on the engine.
When Egret pulled into the harbour at the Reception Dock in Las Palmas, Scott reported: "There was no wind and no motion for the first time since Richards Bay, South Africa. The reception dock stretches away from the fuel dock so we took the liberty to tie in exactly the same place as we did before leaving in September, 2006."
A photo hereabouts shows Egret some four-and-a-half years ago, nearly identical to how she appears today.
Thousands have followed the Flanders on their adventures these past four-plus years via their very popular blog The Voyage of Egret hosted on the Nordhavn website (see www.nordhavn.com). At the heart of the blog is a usual bi-weekly log report, but it also features photos of the couple’s travels and a forum section, where readers can ask questions of the Flanders. It averages about 4500 hits per week.
Recently, Scott and Mary were celebrated at a Nordhavn owners’ gathering at the boatbuilder’s display at last month’s the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show, Florida.
Photos: Stopping off at American Samoa; Egret anchored in Tahiti.
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