For those of you who read my column with regularity, you know that I am an unapologetic patriot. I support our troops, believe in capitalism, feel freedom is one of God’s greatest gifts, and despite the challenges that the United States of America is facing, that we are the greatest nation on earth.
No matter what your politics or origin, your religion or philosophical stance, few can argue that United States greatness is what so many have braved life and limb to protect, or become a part of.
I was reminded of this greatness last Friday night when my husband and I were guests aboard the mega-yacht “Invictus” (of Latin origin meaning “unconquerable”).
We were hosted by the Invictus’ elegant and welcoming owner, Rick Caruso, and to say our visit was something out of a dream is an understatement – his hospitality and amazing crew made for a truly remarkable experience.
From the minute we were greeted, to the last moment we finally pulled ourselves away to board a waiting tender, we were made to feel at home. Caruso was kind, generous and elegantly approachable throughout our visit and it was an honor to have the opportunity to sit in the comfort of his immaculately built and decorated super-yacht and talk casually with him about everything from his family to his thoughts on our lovely city. It was an evening I shall not soon forget.
But I digress.
“Buy American” is a slogan that may not carry the same weight it once did, but as we toured with Mr. Caruso from bow to stern, up and down all five stories and 216-feet of his mighty and magnificent vessel, it was obvious that “Made in America” means something important to him.
Despite having the capacity to build his mega yacht anywhere in the world, Caruso specifically wanted it built in the states, and as he pointed out the many examples of fine craftsmanship and design, it was easy to see why he chose to do so.
While the vessel boasts superlative Italian marble, custom Lalique crystal appointments and a dazzling assortment of fine art, Invictus’ American heritage was clearly something of which he is rightfully proud.
Delta Design Group in Seattle, known for their advanced engineering, designed Invictus’ naval architecture and exterior which includes unique and specially crafted high ceilings, grand foyers and expansive windows.
Delta Marine then built its ice-strengthened steel hull and composite superstructure, and the Caruso’s worked with Newport Beach’s own interior designer extraordinaire Diane Johnson of Johnson, Wen, Mulder & Associates to bring their personal touches and lifestyle to breathtaking reality.
Thanks to the entire team’s attention to every world-class detail, the Caruso family and guests will travel even long transoceanic journeys in style, safety and comfort.
As we made our way to the massive engine room, Caruso explained the finer points of the yacht’s twin Caterpillar engines and Quantum Zero Speed stabilizers which help ensure maneuverability and a gentle ride. In fact, he says it’s so smooth and quiet that most of the time they can’t even feel when the vessel is getting underway.
Among the too-numerous-to-mention, extraordinary details that make up Invictus, there was one that stuck with me thanks in part to its ability to embody in a few words the American spirit. Fittingly emblazoned on a charming, yet inconspicuously hung piece of artwork, was the last stanza of the famed poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”
Columnist Lynn Selich resides in Newport Beach with her husband Ed and dog Charlie. Reach her at [email protected].