They say the two happiest days in a boaters life are:
1) The day they take delivery of a new boat
2) The day they sell the boat
I can confirm the first of these sayings, but am struggling with the second.
Sans Souci, our beautiful Nordhavn 68, now has a new owner. We are proud that Sans Souci's reputation, extensive upgrades and amazing condition allowed her to sell so quickly, but sorry to see her go. The closest analogue to this mixture of sadness and joy would be when we sent our 18 year old sons off to college.
Sans Souci was purchased by another Nordhavn owner who is moving up to a larger boat. I have heard that Sans Souci will get a new name and am thrilled that she is going to an experienced owner. I have no clue what lies ahead for Sans Souci but am confident that she will transport the new owners anywhere they want to go, comfortably and safely.
The three GSSR boats
When I informed Steven Argosy (owner/captain of Seabird, one of the three boats on our GSSR rally) that Sans Souci had been sold, he said something that caught me by surprise
"Isn't it strange that all three of our GSSR boats sold in the same year?" -Steven Argosy
It is indeed quite strange, and probably not a coincidence.
There was something magical that can never be repeated about our GSSR trip from Seattle to Japan and the journeys that followed. I can't speak for the owners of the other two boats, but suspect they agree. When we left Seattle in May of 2009 we were literally heading into the unknown. None of us knew what we might find or how the journey would end. We knew we were heading to Japan via the Bering Sea, but weren't sure what we'd find along the way. And, we didn't know what we'd do after we arrived. It was a one-way plunge into the unknown.
The GSSR group in Mallorca in 2015, six years and many thousands of miles after we left Seattle. L to R: Roberta Williams, Braun Jones, Steven Argosy, Ken Williams, Tina Jones, Carol Argosy
Six years after we left Seattle our group reunited in Mallorca Spain. Along the way we had unforgettable experiences. In 2016 all three boats returned home; Seabird and Ocean Pearl to the east coast of the United States (Note: Grey Pearl burned in Thailand and was replaced by Ocean Pearl), and Sans Souci to Seattle.
We discussed where to cruise next and floated ideas like South America, but life interceded. Braun Jones (Ocean Pearl) hit some health issues. Roberta and I found ourselves busy assisting Roberta's mom in a major relocation, selling our home in Mexico, and building a home in California. We found some time to cruise but not nearly as much as we've wanted. Steven and Carol (Seabird) did some regional cruising in the northeast.
Ultimately, I think each of us asked ourselves, "Are we likely to do another major trip?" And, the answer was "No", or at least, "Not in the immediate future".
Our boats, Nordhavns, are rugged beasts meant to be lived on for months at a time and to travel great distances in all kinds of conditions. If that's what you are doing, there is no finer production powerboat sold.
In Roberta's and my case, we decided that near-term we want to focus on places that weren't practical with our Nordhavn. They say that cruising plans are best written in the sand at low tide, and that is true. As I sit here typing this, I have only a vague idea where we'll cruise next (up the ICW from Florida to the Northeast, and then the Great Loop), but would it surprise me if that plan changes between now and next spring when we take delivery of our new boat? Not at all.
When I get some free time I'll send another blog entry talking about how we're equipping the new boat. Suffice it to say that we are trying to prepare for a wide variety of possible cruising plans. As we've spec'd the boat we've assumed that ocean crossing is NOT part of the plan, but that trips to the Caribbean, Europe and an eventual return to the Pacific NW are highly likely. The boat will accept 50hz (European) or 60hz (US) electricity. We'll have a Seakeeper at-rest stabilization system to provide comfort in rough anchorages. We'll have a tiltable mast, so that we can get under low bridges. We're beefing up the ground tackle (anchor and chain) to prepare for insane winds at anchor. We are adding a crash plate at the bow to provide for the logs we'll inevitably hit. And, yes we're even adding a hot tub.
Grand Banks 60, Cygnus. This picture shows the domes and radar mounted to the roof, but that's not what we will be doing. We will have a tilting mast which is still being designed
FYI: The new boat has a name! I came up with the name Sans Souci, so it was Roberta's turn, and she came up with: Cygnus
. I had never heard the word before but apparently is an ancient Greek word for "swan." Roberta explained that Cygnus is a constellation
which used to include the North Star, which was used by ancient mariners for navigation. In essence, Cygnus is the constellation of the swan in the night sky.
That's it for this edition of the blog. And, as always, thank you for traveling along with us.
Ken and Roberta Williams (And, Keely and Toundra)
Cygnus, Grand Banks 60www.kensblog.com