Traveling the coast of California has been awesome. The cruise to Marina Del Rey was a “short” day cruise from Channel Island where we stayed close to shore. We were traveling with Red Rover N55, Alison and Kevin Jeffries and their two pups, Zoe and Max. Marina Del Rey is huge with traffic lanes to enter and exit, separating the power boats from the sailing and human-powered vessels, (i.e. stand-up paddle boards (SUPs), rowers and kayaks). The marina is brand-new and beautiful. Oddly, we were requested to send photos of the boats prior to approval for a slip assignment.
A few days earlier I had texted my nephew Al who lives in Los Angeles to see if we could get together, letting Al know our schedule. I said we would be in Marina Del Rey on Wednesday. Well, when I contacted Al to say we’re here, Al said, Aunt Abby, you are a day early! It was Tuesday! We were a day early! I’m thinking Early dementia? Retirement? Boating? Perhaps the new normal of not really needing to know what day of the week it is….hum. That evening we Ubered to Venice Beach, known for its “laidback lifestyle in a beach-chic neighborhood”. My nephew was able to track us down in Venice Beach, first by car, then by electric scooter! What a hoot to see Al sailing down the sidewalk on a scooter towards us!! We had an awesome visit! We ate at a great rooftop bar and restaurant, then returned to Epoch to share memories and beers!
The following day we cruised to Dana Point on limited sleep (at least on Epoch) and when we arrived, we washed the salt and dirt off the boat. The washing of the boats was Alison and Kevin’s banner idea and I had to be talked into the endeavor. Heck, here we are in Nordhavn Headquarters and our boats are an embarrassment! Epoch was “horrible” (Scott’s word) and our quick wash and rinse took most of the grime off the boat!
Friday evening, PAE hosted a taco party to celebrate the 2019 Nordhavn Taco Run and their mileage pennant program. PAE created the pennant program to celebrate usage of the boats. Nordhavns are known for circumnavigations, around the world voyages and ocean crossings and PAE believes owners should be celebrated. Nordhavn owners log their miles on the Nordhavn website and earn pennants for milestones. We/Epoch received our first burgee for 5000 miles!
Becky Peters was the margarita maker and emcee for the pennant awards. It was a super fun party and we reunited with friends and met new Nordhavn “friends we hadn’t yet met”!
Later that evening, I was invited on to Vincent and Linda Cummings (also Taco Runners) brand new N60 Last Arrow. What a beautiful, stunning new boat. We had spent time with Vince and Linda during the summer of 2018 traveling the west coast of Vancouver Island with Slowboats.com. They were skippering a Coastal Cruiser named Doll Face at that time but we knew they were having the Nordhavn built!
Saturday was the Nordhavn Film Festival. This was a new idea for PAE and about a year ago, they announced the event. With a grand prize promised for the winner, 18 Nordhavn videos were submitted. 10 videos were shown during the festival. Generational liveaboards, love stories, cruising lifestyles, and boating passions were celebrated in the videos. We laughed, ooh-ahhed, and wiped a tear or two. A film made by the crew of the Nordhavn 120, Aurora, won the contest with a sensitive film about the rescue of a dolphin and two sea turtles entangled offshore in fishing lines or nets.
Clearly communicated to the film festival invitees was the appropriate dress for the event. The event was deemed “Black-Tie.” Ask Scott what he plans to wear to any family event; weddings, birthday celebrations, dinners, funerals, etc. and he will say, “shorts”. And shorts are what he wore!
Other Nordhavn owners joined in on the “liveaboard black-tie” style! The evening was awesome! Red Carpet, cocktail hour, dinner, emcee Chuck Hawley, and the wonderful, entertaining, thoughtful and funny films made the evening truly awesome and magical! Hats off to PAE, Jim Leishman, Dan Streech, Amy Zahra, Becky Peters and judges! You can see a taping of the livestream and the top 10 videos at this link: https://nordhavn.com/community/nordhavn-film-festival/
The day following the Film Festival, Sunday was a slow day and the day I decided to try my new stand-up paddle board (SUP) we purchased the day before on Balboa Island. California requires every vessel carry one wearable US Coast Guard-Approved PFD for every person on board if the vessel is 11 feet or longer. Well, my Mirac SUP is 11’6”. Required, so, I grabbed my Crewsaver Crewfit 35 sport PFD which was easily retrievable from the hook in the cockpit. The PFD fits like a low-profile vest; has 3-bladders, one at the back of the neck and one on each side with a clasp in the middle.
I wasn’t planning on falling in. I am a rule follower and wearing it was easier than trying to tether it to the SUP. Ready! Scott was in the kayak and as we leisurely paddled in the marina (me on my knees) we talked about PFDs, would they really work when we needed them, do they really deploy automatically, how difficult was it to re-arm, did it deploy slowly with your head gradually emerging out of the water…..blah, blah. Just general conversation as we paddled. I finally felt brave and with Scott’s encouragement, I STOOD UP! Yep, all was well, standing on my new SUP. Standing and paddling. My kids can do it. My grandkids can do it. I can do it. Then I slipped off the SUP and POOM, I was solidly knocked to the left. POOM, I was knocked to the right and POOM, I was bumped forward!!! And then Scott started laughing, belly laughing and pointing – THAT WOULD HAVE MADE A GREAT VIDEO!!! When I finally got my bearings and a grip on my SUP, I laughed too! Getting up on the SUP with the PFD deployed was a challenge but I finally hoisted myself up and paddled back to the boat. So, our conversation had answers. The PFD worked; it deploys automatically. Not gently, but with GUSTO (the website said the capsule fires within 5 seconds!). And Scott was able to re-arm my PFD which will remain on the hook in the cockpit to be used (if I accidentally fall over) when I am outside on the boat deck where I know it will automatically deploy and save me! But for my next SUP adventure, I will trade it out for my NON-inflatable Mustang Survival PFD.