Stella Luna finds her new home

A 5,800nm adventure that began decades ago

Photo credit: John Slater – Great Circle Films

Our relationship with James begun around 2002. While on a five day course out of Powell River, I reached out to his original instructor. As all great students do, James left a strong impression with his instructor. I’ll do my best to share the highlights here – vivid memories 20 years after the exact trip (truncated for space):

“He was a very good student and sailor. Mid-week, we had late afternoon winds and practiced crew overboard drills later that day. He nailed it! I told him he would be busy that night removing all the bugs stuck between his teeth… (he had an ear to ear grin )😁”

Thanks to legendary instructor Chris in Powell River who shared these old memories just last week.  

After many trips in BC and beyond, we skip to James purchasing a Nordic Tug for the Cooper Boating fleet around 2009, and then building up to an Alaskan adventure about 6 years into Nordic Tug ownership. 

Pocketknives and fridges

Just a couple years ago he was picking away at some ice buildup in his fridge with a pocketknife. Sadly, picking at a fridge with a pocketknife can cause an accidental ‘murdering’ of key fridge components. James managed to avoid jail time and the silver lining was a new relationship with NW Yacht Works in Canoe Cove, who put the boat back on track and demonstrated capabilities not ‘in house’ for the Cooper camp. That event led to others, and Cooper Boating is now part of the NW Yacht Group. While James is not completely responsible for the bigger relationship, meetings, even by accident can help.

Once the round of updates was complete, we moved his Nordic Tug to a new owner and that event led to a search for more. James and I were in Bellingham, WA to reposition a boat coming onto the market when truly unfortunate weather (the same November 2021 systems that washed out the Coquihalla and other highways) kept us dockside all day. When in Rome, do like the Romans do. When stuck at a dock, look at boats.  

A close second

We had been on the hunt for a particular boat, and while a sampling was right there at our Bellingham dock, there were none to be bought on the open market. We climbed all over each boat and found a one where James commented “this is a close second.” “How close?” I asked. “Is there one available on the market?” The thumbs went to work and lo-and-behold, there was a newer sistership to the boat we were aboard. We looked through the specifications and photos, comparing to the boat we were currently sitting on.

That night, at dinner, we decided that due to the current speed of the market, we should make an offer so as not to head all the way to Florida and find it already gone. We took her off the market with a BC based contract and a simple deposit to our trust account. A couple guys from Winnipeg (me originally) took our fearless mechanic and headed south to Florida that same month.  

Love at first sight? Seems the Kadey-Krogen website talks about owners taking years to make an educated decision to buy one of these. James’ initial decision took hours – perhaps setting a new record.

The best part of leaving Winnipeg

We got a quote to ship her home, but the best part of Winnipeg in the winter is leaving Winnipeg in the winter. James asked what my commitment would be to getting her around (from Florida to BC) and I said I couldn’t do it all, but I could do the parts that we couldn’t find other people for. We had one small delay in launching as James was waiting on the arrival of his daughter’s new addition to the crew. Odd to plan around that event, but family is first, boats are a close second.

James was aboard for over 2/3 of the miles around from Cancun to Panama, through the canal and to Costa Rica and to Puerto Vallarta as well as San Diego to Bellingham. Our trusty sidekick and attempting to be retired mechanic came in a close second, with only one less leg than James. A band of people all made it happen and we’re happy to have her back at her home in Sidney. I’m happy to be breathing more normally again – it’s worse than your kid being off on a date as this goes on for weeks and months!

People ask me about a big boat deal that took almost no time to come together, and I have three thoughts. The first, it was 20 years in the warmup period.  Second, James didn’t buy a boat, he bought and adventure. I forgot the third thought, but it was good. Trust me.

Article by: Colin Jackson

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