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Nordhavn convoy to the Sea of Cortez

by Nordhavn 4 Dec 2023 11:59 PST
Nordhavn convoy to the Sea of Cortez © Nordhavn

A convoy of Nordhavns, led by a Nordhavn 57 and comprising of crews manned with members of the brand's design, project and sales teams departed Dana Point, CA Wednesday for an extended cruise through international waters.

No, this isn't the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally part 2 - though there's no denying the common threads that run between the two trips. It's the Nordhavn Convoy to the Sea of Cortez, a two-week cruise throughout Mexico's Baja California peninsula, where five Nordhavns are kicking off a post-Thanksgiving sojourn that is certain to initiate a relaxed countdown to the end of 2023. "It's been a couple of very busy years for us," said Jim Leishman, vice president of Nordhavn/Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE) who will be piloting the company Nordhavn 57. "I want this trip to be all about fun."

In addition to the N57 are two Nordhavn 80s, an N63 and N68. The group will wind its way around Mexico's secluded cruising grounds known for their vibrant sea life, making several stops along the route. The crews will provide updates on their trip with photos, video and log posts.

With just five boats participating, the fleet is considerably smaller than that of the NAR. Still, it's easy to see how this Sea of Cortez convoy harkens back to the Atlantic Rally, where a Nordhavn 57, also helmed by Jim Leishman and other PAE staff, led a group of boats that included 15 Nordhavns across the Atlantic Ocean in a stunning two-month, trans-oceanic cruise. The similarities between this Convoy and the record-breaking event in 2004, which is coming upon its 20-year anniversary in June, is not lost on Leishman and he is happy to give a nod to it. But just a nod.

Whereas the NAR was comprised of a far more rigorous and complicated route and itinerary with endless stresses about the welfare of so many boats in the middle of the ocean, the Sea of Cortez Convoy will have a much more relaxed air about it. Additionally, the NAR was almost entirely about business. This trip is strictly (mostly strictly) about pleasure.

"We're no different from any other buyer out there who just wants to jump on their Nordhavn and go," said Jim's son, James Leishman, a broker who this year has led the way in bringing about the company's most productive sales activity in over a decade. James will join his dad, his uncle, Chief of Design, Jeff Leishman, Jeff's son Drew, project manager of the Nordhavn 41 and 51, as well as longtime project manager Justin Zumwalt. James, Jim and Justin were also all aboard the N57 Atlantic Escort during the NAR nearly two decades ago.

The N57 leading the charge this time around is Grande, the boat that Jim and Jeff Leishman purchased with partner Dan Streech this past spring. Grande will be a safety net per se for two brand new Nordhavn 80s - hull #3 was delivered only a couple of weeks ago - who are eager to start their major cruising in Mexico. They'll also be alongside N63 True Blue and N68 Dragon, both with considerable miles under their keels but who jumped at the chance to join in the revelry.

Other PAE staffers will be participating on the trip; Jim's son Eric Leishman a Nordhavn broker, N80 Project Manager Dave Harlow, PAE media arts specialist Doug Harlow, and Dan Streech's son Trever Streech, whose company Prime Fabrications designs stainless components on Nordhavns will crew aboard the Nordhavn 8003. They'll be joined by west coast Commissioning Manager Brian Leishman and boat technician Bret Leishman elsewhere in the fleet.

Instead of stops in Bermuda, the Azores and Gibraltar, this group will visit Ensenada, Turtle Bay, Magdalena Bay, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz and Laredo. James Leishman calls this part of the Pacific a still mainly undiscovered gem for cruising. It's not quite crossing an ocean, but, he says, "you've got to have a boat like a Nordhavn to get there."

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