Andy and Julie Nemier - Infinity N62

GUEST INTERVIEW

Andy and Julie Nemier N62 MV INFINITY
Andy and Julie Nemier N62 MV INFINITY


Andy and Julie Nemier   MV INFINITY

 

So, Andy, tell us a little something about your cruising to date and where you have been so far?

We started cruising 14 years ago, with the purchase of our first sailboat in 2000.  We're currently on our 5th boat now, and have cruised up & down & around the Pacific Northwest, (God's Country).  With our N62, INFINITY, we departed Vancouver in October 2013, and made our way down south to Mexico, where we have spent some time in Puerto Vallarta.  We'll be exploring the Sea-of-Cortez in August 2014.

 

June, 2014: Our route so far

 

Why did you choose a Nordhavn?

To circumnavigate God's blue earth!  The choice was so much more involved than that.  Julie wanted to explore in a powerboat, and I was just thankful she was onboard with cruising more-or-less full time.  I began researching vessels, and reading everything I could get my hands on.  It appeared that there were about a half-dozen boats out there that were up to the job.  But one company stood out, having the most rounded package (hull numbers, experience, support, etc.), and that was Nordhavn.

I remember seeing my first Nordhavn in 2001 (a N62 in fact), in Von Donop Inlet, British Columbia.  We were sailing in our 27' Newport and I spotted this vessel at anchor, which struck me as almost obscene.  I didn't know how to react,,, was it perfect in every way, or an opulent display of excess?  I couldn't decide, but the image has stayed with me ever since.  I realize now that the emotion was love.

 

How bad do you still feel for missing out on Pendana! J

You B*****d  (lol!)  We have to thank Pendana I guess, for giving us the kick in the pants we needed to make the life changes necessary to make our dream of a circumnavigation possible.  Once we had stepped onboard a Nordhavn 62 for the first time we knew that this was the boat for us!  At that time we were still several years away from being in a position to purchase one, but the fire was lit and we were avidly looking at every N62 that came on the market.  Pendana was our favourite for sure, she has a great layout and a wet exhaust, which we had decided on.  When Pendana sold for a second time during those years, and we were still not able to seriously consider her ($$), we knew what we had to do!  We immediately put both our family home, and the boat we presently owned on the market.  It was a scary, but exciting time.

It seems the Universe was listening though,,,  While enjoying a family cruise onboard our boat in Pender Harbour, BC, Sundowners in hand, enjoying a beautiful sunset and talking about our future plans,  a Nordhavn 62 bearing a Canadian flag, sails over the horizon and directly towards us.  82 days later we owned her!  So we always say that our beautiful boat “INFINITY” found us. (The full story is on our website).

 

Photo of INFINITY, the day we first saw her

 

What has been your cruising highlight so far?

We are fortunate to live in one of the world's best cruising grounds, beautiful British Columbia and have spent many years exploring most of it.  Princess Louisa Inlet with it’s sheer walls and thundering glacier waterfall was a memorable experience.

 

Princess Louisa Inlet

Another cruising highlight for us was getting to swim with the Whale sharks while we were visiting La Paz, Mexico in November 2013. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean and return every winter to the waters of the Bay of La Paz.  From early winter until late spring the whale sharks can be found feeding in the waters of the Sea of Cortez.  Swimming with these gentle giants was simply, incredible! 

These gentle giants of the sea are the largest fish in the world and these amazing creatures are fish, not air breathing mammals.  These are giant filter feeding fish that eat plankton and occasionally small fish and large Australians!  Moving slowly through the water these magnificent fish filter thousands of water gallons per day extracting their primary food source. They are the largest known species of fish growing to 12.5 meters and can weigh as much as 79,000lbs / 36,000kgs.  The whale sharks in La Paz are often between 7-10 meters in length and can live as long as seventy years.  These now endangered species are protected under both international and Mexican law so we felt very privileged to have observed them in their natural environment.

 

We also shared this amazing experience with a few other fellow Nordie owners, Kay & Bill O’Meara who own N62 "Anna Mae" and Neil Williamson who have N55 “Insignia”. 

 

Do you travel with an animal/s on board?

Our dog of 12 years, her name is “Harley” and the family joke is, Andy has always wanted a Harley (Davidson) and so we obliged and got him one! J  He confesses that she is the best damn Harley he ever could of wished for (she is a Daddy’s girl!)  Harley is one of the crew and is a great little sea dog! She gets most upset if you leave in the dinghy without taking her, and more recently has taken to paddle boarding also.

 

Harley one of the crew!

 

Q. If there were one piece of advice you would give someone new to boating, what would that be?

Great question James, thank you for asking.

 

1. The cost is more, but you get it back.

2. You learn along the way.

 

The financial & sweat equity invested in our Nordhavn was more than we anticipated. (marina's / repairs / maintenance) all add up $$. However, and this is a huge 'however', this has become our lifestyle, and the more we invest and put into it, the more rewards we get back. We are constantly rewarded by the wonderful people we meet, and by the amazing experiences we have encountered so far. It has been, and continues to be, awesome. No regrets, whatsoever :).  The cost can somewhat be mitigated by doing the maintenance & repairs yourself, if cost is an issue. It's kind of a win-win, where you reduce the financial burden of hiring professionals, and you learn about your vessel at the same time. How can anyone go wrong with the support one gets from PAE and from the Nordhavn Owners Group!  It's just great. Anyway, over the last couple years, we have learned how to maintain & repair our boat ourselves, and anyone could do the same. The fact is that you never stop learning, everyday something new and that in it-self is rewarding and keeps you young. How cool is that!

 

The new remodelled galley 

 

Our remodelled “comfier” salon

 

Another of our projects on-board was to recover the upholstery on the upper aft cockpit - Our favourite place to enjoy the view, Harley thinks so too!

 

Andy I understand that you are still working how do you manage the requirements of that with INFINITY?

With difficulty!  (ha!, only joking).  Well, our plans have changed somewhat since we started cruising in INFINITY.  The original plan was to devoid ourselves of every asset & material possession, and with the proceeds go cruising virtually full time.  (There was always the notion that I would pop back-into work to keep my hand in the industry)  Anyway, the plan was actually working but in March 2014, we bought a Condo in North Vancouver.  Yes, after 2 years of actively pursuing purging ourselves of any attachment to shore life, we go & set a firm anchor.  The irony has not escaped me, and in the near future, I'm going to write about that decision on our website.

To answer your question though, I work in the Offshore Oil Industry as an Offshore Client Rep for Subsea Installations, specialising in Saturation Diving & Pipe laying Operations.  I work for a time, offshore, then I have time off to go cruising.  The schedules are not set in stone, but we can more-or-less choose when to work & when to cruise.  I believe we are very fortunate for this opportunity.

 

Global 1201:  the current boat I'm working on, this time in the Arabian Gulf

 

Andy, Andy, you have to give us more than that!  A condo? A firm anchor?  Please share a little more?

To answer your question fully, we have to rewind a bit.  When we lost the opportunity to buy GIRAFFE & then PENDANA, we understood we needed to act.   We decided then-&-there to sell-up, & put a deposit down on a new-build apartment, which was 3-4 years away from possession.  Now insert the bit where INFINITY comes to us.  We purchase our dreamboat, move aboard, and began our Journey.  Then I'm in Indonesia, February 2014, and I get this email saying your apartment is ready, can you please pay us now.  (??)  Splitting the atom would have been easier, but after a month of negotiations, Julie and I flew to Vancouver and closed the deal.  So, this changes nothing, and it changes everything.  Changes nothing in that our goal to circumnavigate around God's blue earth remains intact, but it has changed the way we originally planned to do it.  Our pace will slow down a bit as I continue to work to finance everything, but that is all.  In hindsight, I feel blessed that we have this opportunity, and we're walking on cloud-nine the way things have worked out.  Julie now has a place to call home (other than the boat) and it will stand us in good stead when we eventually hand INFINITY over to new care takers.  I shudder at the thought.

View of Vancouver / Burrard Inlet, from our Condo balcony

 

So, Julie, in your past life what did you do for work?

I worked as a make up Artist in the movie industry before setting up an aesthetics business from home.  This gave me a lot of flexibility to spend as much time as possible with Andy when he is home as he can work away for up to six months of the year, so our time together is precious.

 

Hang on, what is an aesthetics business?

In Canada James anything connected to the beauty industry comes under the term, ”Esthetics”.  In England the description would be "beauty therapist”  So to answer your question, my business was beauty & body treatments!


Julie, if there is one thing Andy does that irritates you while underway or on shore what would that be? 
 

I have to say that Andy is a very easy going, upbeat, glass half full kind of guy and he has a great zest for life which makes him a lot of fun to have around, however....when we are transiting, he tends to have his work head on gets very absorbed into the running of the boat, even when he’s not on shift.  So during a long transit, If I want someone to play cards with or watch a movie etc., I would have to do so with my daughter or a guest passenger.  More recently we have started fishing, which is fun and even the captain joins in with the excitement when we get a bite!

 

And it’s only fair I ask Andy the same question, so Andy, if there was one thing Julie does that irritates you what would that be? 

Nice try James  ;  )  ,,,  Julie is just perfect!!   Irritation free zone.     :  )

 

Onto irritating things, have you ever run out of something while at sea that has caused problems?

Nothing comes to mind, I (Julie) like you James, usually have candy stashed in a drawer by the helm chairs for the transits and wouldn’t like that to run out, sugar withdrawal is dreadful!

(Andy)  -  I harbour some stress about running out of supplies to make the boat 'go', but in reality that has not happened.  The theory is that we can provision our boats with supplies for a year and as you know, I'm a list writer, and so-far-so-good, as far as provisions are concerned.

 

Would you describe yourselves as more hunters or more gathers?

I'm guessing this question is an Aussie thing? I'd say we are both Hunters.  We go after what we want, & make it happen.  I believe we are at our happiest when we are both working together towards a common goal.  It's fun sharing the same energy, and mutually rewarding when we achieve things together.

 

Passing under the Golden Gate Bridge for the very first time!  Wow, what an achievement!

 

Why did you name your vessel MV INFINITY?

Well bloody PENDANA was already taken, wasn't it!?     ;  )  We have renamed all but one of the boats we have owned, being superstitious - as sailors tend to be in anything related to their safety at sea, we went to great lengths to research the proper procedure for de-naming and then re-naming each one.  After some fun weeks of musing, we chose 'INFINITY', which for us, means:  "Infinite dreams, endless possibilities, without limits or boundaries"

 

What other names did you consider? 

We considered “At Last” and "Safari"

 

There is a rumour you were going to call her, Pendana2.  Is there any truth to that?

Ha  ha! NO though we do admit to having PENDANA Pantry envy! J

 

What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while at sea?

In our early cruising days, when we bought our first 27ft sailboat, we did not have a dinghy.  We were at anchor between two other boats and had a stern-tie to shore.  It was a time of year when there was a nip in the air.  We were all cosy inside our boat, just turning in for the night, and the wind picks up dramatically.  I decide to go out on deck for one last look.  We are so close to the boat beside us, I can see the Brandy in the Captains glass.  We have to re-set our stern line ashore, now!  But no dinghy!  Pitch black dark outside. Nothing else I can do so I dive in the water with a new rope between my teeth and swim for shore like Tarzan.  After 20 mins, all reset, all drama over with.  The guy beside us says "I haven't seen anything like that since 1956" His Brandy was empty, I had provided the entertainment for the evening.  It was kind of funny.  (when you look back on it 15 years later)

 

Our first sailboat - ALEWA - 2000

Here's another one, so Chloe has just finished reading a book entitled 'From Family to Crew' (have you heard of that one James?) and browsing the PENDANA Blog.  She's recounting this story of how the Family get's in the dinghy, and pushes off with no keys.  Coincidently, I'm readying our own dinghy at the time, and I mutter 'Only an idiot would do that' and kind of chuckle to myself.  I push off from our swim step, and guess what?  Yup, no keys, no paddles, now, no credibility and I'm drifting away fast - "Chloe throws me the keys!!"  Julie & Chloe thought I was joking. Nope.  Now that was funny!    :  )

James & Claire Ellingford in Morocco, Atlas Mountains
James & Claire Ellingford in Morocco, Atlas Mountains

What’s the biggest mistake you have ever made on the water?

Father's day 2005.  We were anchored in a tiny cove "Annette Inlet" in the Canadian Gulf Islands.  We were on-board our Catalina 36 sailboat, which I absolutely adored, the sun was shining, winds were fair, I was with my whole family, and life was just perfect!  However, tide & time stop for no man.   And the tide - she was a ‘fallen, we had to get out of there with our deep draft sailboat.  "just a few more minutes" I thought "I want to savour this moment for just a few more minutes"  In time we left, and were headed out of the channel, when BANG!! the boat shuddered violently and is shoved over to Starboard by a foot or two.  We carried on motoring out of the channel, with a divot taken out of our lead keel.  Such a high and low moment sharing the same 1/2 hour of time.  We pulled the boat out of the water a week a later and took care of her.  She looked better than new and no-one will ever know.  : )

 

Julie overseeing the repair to JACK which stands for Julie, Andy, Chloe, Kal   {Chloe's idea}

 

Tell us a little something about MV Infinity?

We are the fourth owners. The first owners had her commissioned to complete a circumnavigation, and now we plan to do the same.  Our plan is to take 5 to 10 years, or for however long we are enjoying the adventure / or circumstances allow.  Since owning INFINITY, we have worked hard to make her our own by completing various refurbishments and updates, which have added to her comfort level.  This for us was an important part of owning a pre-owned vessel, in that we got to put our own stamp on it.  Also, as we were hands on and actively involved in the whole process so we got to learn a lot about our boat by default.  One of the first major undertakings we embarked on was to install a completely new sanitary line from all four heads. This involved gaining access beneath every inch of the main deck and there wasn’t a cupboard or hatch that we didn’t crawl into, or bunk that wasn’t upheaved during the process.  (not for the feint hearted!)  Add to that, the entire family of 4 (plus our dog) living onboard at the time and not having one functioning head during the install (it was winter in BC at the time and we were as far away from the Marina washrooms as you could possibly be! So it was a very long walk, often in the cold & rain.   This wasn’t the most fun part of being new owners of our dream boat!  We can definitely say we know her more intimately now and hopefully that learning experience will serve us well down the line.  We like to think that all the hard work is paying off and INFINITY is better today than ever!

 

Are you scared of spiders?

(Julie)  Yes!  Though my fear of having them infest the boat overrides it and I have recently found myself picking them up in my hand and throwing them overboard, thankfully we don’t live in a poisonous spider region or I would rethink that move.

(Andy) ,,,Uhmm,,sounds like Julie's got a handle on this one, so let's move on. Nothin' more to discuss here! 

 

What’s your favourite photo ever taken while at sea and why?

Julie chose this picture and I believe I know why.  I think it captures the jubilation of our purchase of INFINITY, and represents the satisfaction of achieving our goals.  It was such a Happy Day. I will remember it for the rest of my life.  Thanks Jay - I love you!

 

What would you never leave behind (besides each other) when heading out to sea?

Being a Brit (from England (Julie)) I usually travel with the brand of tea I prefer which is “Tetley” and I also wouldn’t go on a long transit without some form of sea sickness medication, preferably Transderm-V patches seem to work for me in rough seas.

 

Julie, tell us something about Andy that nobody knows?

Andy is a pretty open book really so its difficult to think of anything that nobody knows, however he's quite a spiritual guy and studies theology while working offshore.

 

And finally, where to next? Actually let’s be more specific, when will you make landfall in Australia?

We have been fortunate enough to have seen parts of Australia already and would love to explore more.  Originally though, we were thinking this would have to wait as Harley travels with us and we did not want to place her in quarantine for several weeks.   But having read James & Jennifer Hamilton’s interview recently, they mentioned that only a, ten day quarantine for their cat was required, so we may be able to rethink our plans and come sooner.

Our immediate plans are to explore the Sea-of-Cortez this summer, and then head to Hawaii in November.  I (Andy) turn 50, November 19th, 2014, and I would like to celebrate that in Hawaii if possible.  :  )  From there, we will transit down the Line Islands, passing Palmyra, Washington Is, Fanning Is, Kiribati, and head to Marquesas Islands.  From there, we'll head west to French Polynesia to Fiji then over to your neck of the woods James.  Cruising the South Pacific Islands in our own boat is the whole purpose of INFINITY .  New Zealand and Australia are most likely 2016 destinations.

 

May, 2014:  Andy & Julie Nemier, Punta de Mita, Bandaras Bay, Mexico

 

Thank you very much for your time, will be watching this year’s progress closely. 

Good luck with your travels!

 

Andy and Julie’s Facebook page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/n62infinity

and their blog site can be found at: http://n62infinity.com/

 

Proudly bought to you by: http://www.pendanablog.com

 


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