*Miles Traveled: 11,175nm
Days Living Aboard: 658
Longest Passage: 111 hours
Locks Transited: 70
States Visited: 14
Countries Visited: 3
*Includes coastal trips before and after the loop cruise.
Culebra on December 27, just in time to celebrate a
They took up residence in the SunBay Marina in
Fajardo, located on the northeast coast, not far from
San Juan and the airport. The location gave them good
shore access to visit Puerto Rico, a number of good
short-distance cruising destinations, as well as a perfect
spot from which to explore both the U.S. and British
In May, 2011, they departed on their most
adventurous voyage yet: a 2,026nm, 12-day passage to
Rhode Island. They had light winds and calm seas all
the way back to the Florida coast, where they turned to
starboard following the Gulf Stream north at increased
speed over the ground.
While transiting the Georgia coastline, they saw
a mysterious image on their radar. They kept an eye
out for whatever it was and soon were surprised by
a submarine surfacing about a half-mile off of their
BACK IN NEW ENGLAND
Right on schedule, 12 days after their departure,
Three@Sea made landfall at East Greenwich, Rhode
Island. As David’s blog records: “It was definitely a
voyage for our record books and one that we will
never forget. Our boat and its systems performed
flawlessly for the entire journey. This kind of voyage is
a testament to the vision and workmanship of the folks
at Nordhavn (not to mention Northern Lights, TRAC,
Furuno, and other systems providers). These boats are
rock-solid platforms for extended bluewater cruising,
and we are so happy to call one our home.”
They spent the summer of 2011 in New England
while David continued to fly in and out on business.
They kicked off the season with a trip to Nantucket,
Massachusetts—another lesson in cruising in heavy fog.
One of the summer highlights for Ayla was
publishing her first article in the August 2011 issue
of Astronomy magazine titled, “Why Teens Should
Care About Astronomy.” Quite an achievement for a
14-year-old. Ayla is now enrolled in EPGY OHS, a
virtual high school program produced in association
with Stanford University.
I spoke with the Besemer family on Three@Sea last
August via a Skype connection. They were located at
a marina in Warwick, Rhode Island, preparing the boat
for Hurricane Irene, due to pass through late in the
week. They were planning to put her on storm anchors
in a well-protected bay nearby. I have since heard from
them and all went well.
The family’s diligence obtaining media attention
has paid off. Last October, they spent 11 days with
Atherton Pictures filming a pilot/special episode about
their journey. Who knows? This story may end up in
a wholesome reality show. After filming, the family
planned to return to Puerto Rico. They enjoyed the
territory so much last year that they wanted to go back
for the winter.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
This spring, the Besemers plan to head west for the
Panama Canal and then spend the summer cruising the
west coast of California. If they secure a media partner
and/or David’s full retirement, they will follow the
setting sun for the South Pacific.
As we discussed the segments of the voyage, David
said, “The first year we were actively cruising. The last
two years we have been living aboard in a holding
pattern, cruising the East Coast of the United States,
hoping to continue our around-the-world voyage again.”
As a family, they wondered if they would grow tired
of living aboard. Many of their family and friends have
encouraged them to sell the boat and return to life
ashore. “We had no intention of becoming liveaboards,”
Kathryn said. “We did it to cruise. But we did the
hard part—selling the house and the cars, getting
moved aboard—and achieved a steep learning curve
that first year.”
They have a pact that is based on a unanimous
decision by all three family members: As long as there
is a chance that they can continue, they will stay out.
To move back ashore and then subsequently try to
make all the arrangements to head to sea again would
be very difficult. Others have suggested that they fulfill
their dream when they are older and in full retirement,
but Kathryn says they are missing the point. “We want
to do this trip as a family and as a unique educational
experience for Ayla,” she said.
After following the Besemers and their voyage
aboard Three@Sea for three years, I believe they will
accomplish all they set out to achieve. It already has the
makings of a significant and successful cruise, one that
is as unique as the family itself.
Visit this issue’s Web Extras at www.passagemaker.com
to read about Three@Sea’s specifications.