January Trip to Seattle

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In late January, we left a cold and snowy Amsterdam to make another return trip to Seattle. While there we spent time at the Seattle Boat Show and attended our first Nordhavn Owner’s gathering since leaving Seattle in 2012. During the evening, PAE president Dan Streech presented us with two special pennants: one for having covered 70,000 miles in Dirona and an Extreme Latitudes pennant for crossing the Arctic Circle and beyond last summer.

We ended up departing in the snow from Seattle as well, and were lucky to make it home on time. After our pre-ordered Uber didn’t show up the next morning when an unsual winter snowstorm hit, we made it to the aiport by train within a minute of the baggage checkin shut-off for our flight. 92 flights were cancelled and ours was one of 124 delayed by the time we took off an hour late. But take off we did, and the rest of the trip went smoothly.

Below are highlights from January 22nd through February 4th, 2018. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps

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The temperature is just below freezing and snow is falling in Amsterdam. This is our second snowfall since arriving.
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A layer of snow on Haarlemmerplein, where we walked out to pickup some groceries at the Albert Heijn there.
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Buiten Brouwersstraat
Beautiful snowy scene along Buiten Brouwersstraat as we walked back to the marina from grocery shopping.
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A snow-covered Dirona at City Marina in downtown Amsterdam.
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Betty’s Kattenhotel
Spitfire checking out his room at Betty’s Kattenhotel where he’ll be staying for a week or so while we return to Seattle.
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Common Area
Spitfire has a private room at Betty’s Kattenhotel, but another option is their common area. It’s beautifully built, with walkways at ceiling level and lots of places for the cat’s to tuck into.
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Central Station
At Amsterdam Central Station on a chilly morning to take the train to Schiphol Airport for our flight to Seattle. The large bag on the right contains only another bag, both of which we’ll fill with parts and supplies when we pickup our mail in Seattle. The train to the airport was super-convenient: we left Dirona about 6:20am, were on a direct train to the airport by 6:40am, and arrived right underneath the airport terminal before 7am.
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KLM International Lounge
At KLM’s striking multi-level international lounge in Schiphol airport prior to our flight to Seattle. This is our first direct flight out of Amsterdam with KLM, so our first time in their Schiphol lounge.
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This is Maretron N2kView running on our navigation computer on Dirona in Amsterdam, viewed via the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) remote desktop package from the air just east of Iceland. We actually have access to this data directly on our smart phones running the Maretron N2kView mobile app.

What makes this picture above interesting is that it’s full windows desktop access to our onboard navigation computer and all applications are available via this channel. Through this connection we have full access to internal boat control systems through a secure encrypted channel. We don’t expect to ever need this direct access to the boat computing systems but it’s a good safety backup for when we are off the boat. Should we experience a non-recoverable system problem, this allows us to log in and recover it.

For day-to-day access to boat telemetry data, we use Maretron N2kview running on my laptop and on all of our phones. If the navigation computer has an application fault, software watch dogs will detect and restart the application. If the system experiences an unrecoverable application problem or an operating system fault, the control system external to the computer will cycle its power forcing a reboot and recovery. But, if all that fails, we now have the ability to log in remotely.

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At the UPS store in Seattle to pickup our packages. We were just back in Seattle in December so don’t have quite as many packages as usual, but we will fill two large suitcases.
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Seattle Boat Show
At the opening day of the Seattle Boat Show. We’ve not been in town in January since we left Seattle in 2012 and ran into a surprising number of people we knew or who were blog readers.
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Cruising the Secret Coast
Jennifer with a copy of our book, Cruising the Secret Coast, at one of the Seattle Boat Show booths.
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At the Seattle Boat Show booth of our one of our favourite companies, KVH, the supplier of our V7hts mini-VSAT satellite system.
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Lake Union
A beautiful sunny morning at Lake Union for the floating portion of the Seattle Boat Show.
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Seven Marine
If you want a high-output outboard motor, Seven Marine takes it to a completely different level with 627 hp per engine. These engines start their life in a General Motors engine plant where the Chevrolet LSA is built for the Camaro ZL1 and the Cadillac CTS-V. These are all-aluminum GM small block engines where “small” is a bit of a relative word. These engines are actually 6.2 liters, so far from small, and when GM boxes them up at the end of the engine production line in Silao Mexico, they can deliver 556 hp.

Seven Marine does further performance work to extract 627 hp and then deliver this HP through a ZF transmission to the dual prop down below. We’ve seen up to 4 Seven Marine outboard motors on the back of a center console in Florida. That’s 4 Chevrolet V8s on a center console! Here’s a Seven Marine engine at the Seattle Boat Show with the cowling open to see the high-performance V8 that powers this engine.

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Owners Gathering
At our first Nordhavn owners gathering since leaving Seattle in 2012. We had a fabulous evening seeing old friends and making new ones, many of whom we’d corresponded with over the years but had never met in person.

During the evening, PAE president Dan Streech presented us with two special pennants: one for having covered 70,000 miles in Dirona and an Extreme Latitudes pennant for crossing the Arctic Circle and beyond last summer. A write-up of the event is at Opening Weekend in Seattle.

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Amazon Spheres
Inside one of the three glass domes making up the Amazon Spheres on the company headquarters campus in downtown Seattle. The spheres contain 40,000 plants from 50 different countries, including a 55-ft fig tree. The humidity is so high inside it’s almost raining.
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Canvas Supply
Picking up a few parts at Canvas Supply Company in Seattle, who did all the canvas on our boat including the flybridge bimini and the eyebrow bimini off the boat deck. They do quality work. In New Zealand we passed through a sudden, brief squall with the flybridge bimini open. The boat sounded like it was exploding as winds spiked from 15kts to 110kts. We didn’t expect to find anything left of the bimini, but it survived with only a slightly bent pole.
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Sushi Kappo Tamura
Beautifully-presented plate at Sushi Kappo Tamura in Seattle. It tasted as delicious at it looked.
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With Sushi Kappo Tamura Executive Chef and owner Taichi Kitamura (center) and our friends Kimanh Moreau and Peter DeSantis. We had an exceptional evening.
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Tunnel Walk
Over 100,000 people walked along the old Seattle viaduct and through the new tunnel today as part of the grand opening of the SR 99 redevelopment. Hundreds were lined up in either direction to access the viaduct at 1st and Seneca.
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Occidental Avenue
Trees lit up along Occidental Avenue as we return from another day at the Seattle Boat Show.
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On the Train
We’d scheduled an Uber for this morning’s trip to the airport, but the car didn’t show up due to a snowfall this morning and no taxis were available. So we eventually dragged our three heavy bags through the snow to the LRT station and got a train instead. This delayed us by a bit more than an hour and we were lucky to arrive at the airport counter within a minute of their shutting off bag check-in for our flight.
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The snowy scene outside our train en route to the airport. Snow is pretty rare in Seattle.
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This may look like a scene from the Chicago airport, but it’s actually our plane being de-iced in Seattle. We took off an hour late, but at least we got in the air. So far 62 flights have been cancelled and 124 delayed.
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Snow-covered mountains en route from Seattle to Chicago.
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We made it into Chicago an hour late for our connecting flight to Amsterdam. But we had a three-hour layover, so had plenty of time. This is the view from the KLM lounge to our plane being readied for departure. We weren’t thrilled about connecting through Chicago in the winter, but it was the best option we could find. And who would have guessed that Seattle would be the one with the winter storm issue?
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KLM Travel Clinic
At the KLM Travel Clinic to get the first of two vaccination shots for tick-borne encephalitis, prevalent in Sweden, Finland and eastern Europe. We’d initially planned to get the vaccination while back in the US, but it isn’t available there. We’ll still have to take precautions against ticks because Lyme disease also is a risk and no vaccination is available for that.
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Back home with our roughly 175 pounds of luggage in three bags. Everything made it through no problem this time, and nothing was missing or damaged. The TSA had opened several of our packages for inspection, but they always repack well. We wouldn’t have even noticed were it not for tag they leave to indicate they’d inspected the luggage and the special tape they use to reseal a package.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.


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2 comments on “January Trip to Seattle
  1. BART CRUZ says:

    excellent blog again (as always)… Amsterdam-Seattle-Amsterdam… and coincidentally, my wife and i are spending a weekend in Amsterdam this coming May… a few more days to enjoy the tulips in neighbouring Keukenhof gardens.

    plus on my wish list is to visit and go inside the sphere of Amazon HQ in Seattle to check out the humidity you mentioned.

    and so welcome back to Europe then…

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