Around November of last year I started to notice the annual migration of yachts anchored in the Newport Harbor Turning Basin from all ports north including Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, and Northern California.
These (mostly sailboats) visit our harbor on their way to the warm waters of Mexico and Central America for the winter months, as do many from Newport Harbor, then return to their home ports for the warmer summer season.
Others will continue south and pass through the Panama Canal to exotic ports of the Caribbean, a very few to Europe, the Mediterranean, and some are undertaking an around the world cruise which could last many years.
I met a member of the Beek family a few years ago whose family started and still owns the Newport Harbor ferry service. He cruised around the world in his sailboat, and if I remember correctly, it took him 11 years. A few other locals have the same accomplishment, but not many.
I cruised by the Turning Basin last week and observed one of the larger Nordhavn trawlers anchored with what appeared to be the Union Jack in full salute. When I passed the stern, the home port was noted as Poole, UK. Another clue! A few Caribbean countries’ flags are similar so I wasn’t positive.
A little back story: Nordhavn trawlers are world renowned as super sturdy yachts designed to travel large distances safely. Many have an auxiliary propeller and shaft which is powered by the yachts generator which, if an accident occurs to the main engine, shaft or propeller, can slowly power the yacht to a port for repairs.
The yachts are built in the Orient, but the company operates its world headquarters in Dana Point for their local owners. These sturdy mini-ships have a superior world class reputation. The owners of the company and crew cruised around the world in a 38-foot Nordhavn, which is almost half the size of the above mentioned vessel (which I have also included in my photo.)
Upon my return trip an 18-foot tender was tied to the stern and a gentleman was washing the top deck. I couldn’t resist and hailed him. He said he was the owner and their home is Great Britain. He cruised after her launch, across the Pacific. He was headed south (in no hurry) to cruise Mexico, and then pass through the Panama Canal.
I then asked for clarification—did I hear him correctly, that he would run the “Great Loop”? Yes, he would cruise up the East Coast, through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi River to then cruise the Caribbean.
When ready, he would cross the Atlantic and return to his home port of Poole.
What a life!