Who are we? Boat nuts. Nordhavn raving fans. Water lovers. Adventure seekers. Kirsten and Mike’s parents. Zoe and Max’s humans.
While that pretty much sums us up, for those readers who aren’t quite satisfied with that series of statements, here’s a bit more.
Boats and the water have captured our hearts and minds for years. Early in our relationship we lived on Vashon Island where we felt that we of course needed to own a boat! What we could afford and what we wanted were a bit different however, so we ended up with a hunter green Old Town Canoe. Our farthest cruise? Across Quartermaster Harbor. In 2004 we rented a houseboat on Lake Shasta in northern California. About an hour into the experience I (Alison) turned to Kevin and said, “let’s buy a boat!” Being a man who loves anything with an engine, Kevin needed no further encouragement. One week after our return to Seattle we had a brand new 22 foot Bayliner ski boat. We reveled in our newfound mobility and speed, flying around Lake Washington with kids on skis, tubes, the infamous “taco” and a wakeboard. After a few seasons on the lake we yearned for more. Hmmm… Puget Sound? Why not? Off we went!
At the end of each summer day and the end of each boating season we found ourselves feeling great sadness. We had to go home for the night or worse, put the boat away for the year. So… after Kevin sold his company in 2007, we bought our first cruising boat – Island Dog, a 4788 Bayliner pilothouse cruiser. In the next 9 years we put 10,000 nm on that boat, all in the Puget Sound. Island Dog lived at Skyline Marina in Anacortes, WA for many years and the San Juan Islands were our weekend playground – all year round. Our boat was a gathering place for friends, family and lots and lots of kids. And dogs. Of course. It was glorious fun and we loved every minute of it.
Somewhere along the line we went to the Seattle Boat Show and walked on board a Nordhavn. The sales person (who may have been Don Kohlman – not sure!) handed us a DVD (yes a DVD) of the 2004 Nordhavn Atlantic Rally, otherwise known as the NAR. We came home, watched the video and about 30 minutes into it turned to each other and said “I want to do that.” We’ve watched that video maybe 60 times since. And with the realization that we wanted to experience the world by boat, we became Nordhavn Dreamers. For a long, long time. We raised our kids, worked hard at building our respective companies and suddenly the dream seemed achievable.
In 2016 we sold our house and bought our beloved Nordhavn 55, Red Rover. And this blog began!
We’re Kevin and Alison Jeffries. We live on our Nordhavn 55, Red Rover with our Mexican rescue dog, Max (as you read through you’ll see lots of photos of the most beautiful black dog, Zoe. She was with us from the beginning but crossed the Rainbow Bridge in Huatulco, Mexico in January 2022.) In June, 2019 Alison “retired” from her Seattle-based company, Red Propeller. At the same time, Kevin handed the reins of his architectural signage company, Waypoint Sign Co., to his amazing leadership team. Wala! In an instant, our long-time dream of cruising full-time came true! We headed north to British Columbia to relax a bit and in September, 2019 we left the PNW, with the bow pointed south. Cruising life had begun!
But what about family, you might ask? Our kids are pretty much grown up. Kirsten is a boater too. Well, she drives a boat for work every day anyways, and has a long history of rowing inches off of the water in carbon fiber. Kirsten is a women’s rowing coach at University of California, Berkeley (go Golden Bears!) and her childhood as a boat kid seems to have stayed with her. Our son Mike solves the problems of the mysterious computing cloud during the day and runs around the mountains on nights and weekends with his awesome wife Jenny and their rescue dog Andy. The other Jeffries live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While they are pretty far from the ocean they love their own adventures hiking in the mountains and traveling. Jenny is busy creating a new tiny boater to add to our family. So stay tuned for that!
14 thoughts on “About us”
We are so very much enjoying reading your blog. We also have a nordhavn 55 . we call her Ramblin Rose, but she was commission as N5516 and named Starfish then was Large Flightless Birds. She is in Floirida and we live in Portland.
Quick question any tips on how to get your dogs to use the boat for potty. We started out trip with an older Labrador who has since passed and we could not despite all we read and tried including going to trainers get him to use the boat as a potty. we are looking forward to a new pup and wondered if you had any advice. Hope to meet up with you sometime.
Carol Otis and Roger Goldingay
PS did you ever meet Barbara Drinkwater animal rescue while you lived on Vashon? She is a dear friend of mine.
Hi Carol! So glad to “meet” another 55 owner! We know the boat (but never went on her). Congrats! Our black lab waited 35 hours to use the potty patch on the way back from Alaska (outside of Vancouver Island). Desperation finally won out. She doesn’t want to use it. But we’re hoping with the addition of Max the puppy it will feel more acceptable to her. Max is extremely food motivated so we would take him to the patch, say, “go potty” over and over and reward him with lots of pats and treats when he did. About a week later he had it down. He is a pro now. Hope that helps! We didn’t know Barbara but we know about the animal rescue – a great organization! Hope to meet you all someday soon!! – Alison
Thanks so very much!! We enjoy your blog so much! We are on the hard in Stuart Florida but hope to be headed to Bahamas in Dec
Kev James e here mate shoot me your mobile when I get a chance – pendana – email@example.com
It is Joe and Lynn from Ocean Suite and we haven’t seen a blog lately. Just checking in to make sure all is well.
Hi Lynn! SO GREAT to hear from you! I was just telling someone the other day about this awesome woman who is a total BOSS in docking her boat. 🙂 And then we looked at summer photos and yearned to go north. All is well. We were way out without wifi/cell service. Back in the US now and I just posted a new post. Hope you guys are well and doing something fun this summer! – Alison
Hi Kevin and Alison! Oh we love your posts! My husband and I are on the hunt for a boat to retire on. We’ve spent the last year searching and researching! We had the pleasure to meet Mike/Nicole of Pendana last summer and they mentioned the two of you. Wondering if, when you have time, we could pick your brain a bit? Let us know 🙂
Miles & Celeste Smart
Hi Miles + Celeste! Aww thanks! So glad you are enjoying it. 🙂 Of course! We would be happy to chat. I will shoot you an email. Happy day!
Hi Alison and Kevin; My wife, Jodi, and I recently came across your blog and have enjoyed reading about your adventures. We are in the hunt for a quality trawler yacht, and Nordhavn is obviously in the mix. We were wondering if we could ask you a few questions about the practical aspects of operating a 55 Nordhavn?
Oh gosh! I just realized that both of us talked about writing you and saying OF COURSE!! And then neither of us did it, thinking the other had. I am so sorry! Please. We are always happy to chat about the boat. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and Kevin@waypointsignco.com and we can answer questions that way or happy to set up a call. Sorry again! In the meantime, enjoy the search – so fun!
Hi Alison and Kevin, thanks for devoting so much energy to your blog. Lots of great information. Question for you about your dogs. How does having a dog aboard impact or limit your route planning? We are based in Seattle and planning to head north to the Broughtons for a couple months this summer. And on to Alaska next year. We have an older dog that is part of our crew and we don’t want to leave behind. It’s hard, though, to find resources that specifically call out whether there is suitable onshore access for dogs in anchorages. I’m starting on route planning for the Broughtons this spring and summer and would love any tips you have.
Hi Martin! I am so sorry that we didn’t get right back to you! We have had a very sad few weeks. Our black lab Zoe passed away when we were in Huatulco, and we’ve struggled to connect with the blog. I just updated it a bit – more to come, but we’re starting to feel a little better, although the sadness lingers. To answer your question, I totally understand the desire to take your older pup. And Zoe loved the Broughtons. So did Max, but he was pretty young. We really didn’t find a lot of restrictions in the Broughtons, and getting the dogs to shore was pretty easy. We just kept a sharp lookout for bears. The other challenge is that in some places, the forest really comes straight down to the water… but we were always able to find a spot to take the dogs. Zoe was an Alaska veteran as well, and the only place it was a challenge was in Glacier Bay National Park where dogs are not allowed on shore outside of the area around the ranger station. So ensuring your furry family member is familiar with the potty patch is a good thing. We had bear bells for Zoe, and never went to shore without our bear spray and an air horn. But we never encountered a bear on a dog walk. We did see them from the boat and the dinghy though! Take your pup for sure. You’ll have some unforgettable memories together. We have so many pictures of Zoe smiling her doggy smile up north and I love to look at them. Sorry again for the delay! And have a wonderful trip! Happy to answer any other questions! – Alison
Hi Alison, I just came across your story, while I was searching for a Marina in Banderas Bay. With great interest I was reading your story, and have a few little questions about your experience at La Cruz Marina. Is there a way to contact you directly?
Hi Urs, absolutely! My email is email@example.com – we are underway in Costa Rica (I am behind on the blog) and may have off and on cell service for the next couple of days but send a note and I will reply! 🙂 Alison