Amsterdam Friends and Visitors

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Once again, our winter in Amsterdam provided a great opportunity to meet new friends, catch up with old ones and meet in person some we’d only corresponded with. Several we saw at METS, the Marine Equipment Trade Show held annually in Amsterdam, and others we met in town or on Dirona.

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Rob & Janet
Rob Westermann and Janet Sijperda of Artnautica 58 Britt are moored behind us in City Marina for a couple of weeks. Tonight we all went out to Wolf Atelier for an excellent meal and great conversation.
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Peter Hayden
A great meal at Adam & Siam in Amsterdam’s Rokin district with Peter Hayden, who owned Nordhavn 60 Tanglewood and currently is building Nordhavn 6837. We last saw Peter here in Amsterdam a year ago and had a great time catching up on his build progress and talking boats and travels.
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Naval Yachts
At METS, Rob Westermann of Artnautica 58 Britt introduced us to, from left, Baris Dinc, Dincer Dinc, and Michael Schrodt. Brothers Baris and Dincer own and run Naval Yachts of Turkey that specializes in aluminum boats. They currently are building XPM78 Mobius, designed by Artnautica architect Dennis Harjamaa. Michael will also be building an XPM78 at Naval Yachts, with plans to charter in Greenland.
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Jordan Shishmanov of Across Ocean Systems was at METS to demonstrate his Vitals line of NMEA 2000 sensors, actuators, and displays aimed at making NMEA2000 more affordable. The Vitals product line are all interconnected by NMEA 2000 and includes an easy-to-read graphical display system with a flexible alarm system that can be configured to your exact needs. For sensors, Vitals has digital input (detect whether a devices is off or on), digital output (turn a device off or on), and analog input (for example sensing voltage levels).

It was particularly interesting to meet Jordan since he is both the inventor and designer of the Vitals system and he was happy to show every aspect of the hardware systems and talk about how the system works in detail. Over the past year we have corresponded with Jordan by email since we’re both interested in NMEA 2000 systems so it was good to have a chance to meet him at METS.

The Vitals product line is distributed by Kobelt: Vitals Vessel System Monitoring and Smart Alarm Device.

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Jamie Broadbent
We dropped by the KVH Industries booth at METS to catch up on their latest innovations. We have been very dependent upon the KVH VSAT systems to stay connected since before we left Seattle back in 2012. We’re currently using the V7hts (high throughput satellite) system and we are quite happy with its performance and reliability. Here’s us with Jamie Broadbent, the KVH Value Added Services Manager, who has helped us with KVH decisions and issues for many years.
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Chris Watson
James talking to, from left, Chris Watson (KVH Senior Director Marketing) and Jamie Broadbent (KVH Value Added Services Manager) in the KVH Industries booth at METS.
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Steve D’Antonio
Lunch with marine consultant Steve D’Antonio. We last saw Steve here in Amsterdam a year ago and had a great time catching up. Steve is a wealth if information on all things boating and is particularly interested in high-latitude travels.
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Northern Lights
A great conversation with Donald Williams, New Product Development Manager at Northern Lights. The Northern Lights team always has interesting and innovative new designs underway, so its fun to catch up on what’s coming to market.
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Nordhavn Eastern Mediterranean
Riza Cagdas Cakir leads the Nordhavn Eastern Mediterranean office in Gocek, Turkey. Riza was involved in the decision to add a Nordhavn world-wide production facility in Turkey. The Nordhavn sales and support network continues to expand world-wide.
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Ben Ellison (right), former owner and publisher of the highly-respected Panbo marine electronics site, introduced us to the new owner and publisher, Ben Stein. If you haven’t spent time on the Panbo site and you care about marine electronics, you really should. Panbo covers most gear available, takes the time to dig deeply and get into the details, and presents it all in a comfortable, easy-to-read form.

We first met Ben Ellison back in 2016 while in Belfast, Maine where he interviewed us for a typically-detailed Panbo post: MV Dirona: deep cruising, deeply shared. Our paths often cross at boat shows. We haven’t met up with Ben since last year at METS and enjoyed seeing him again and meeting Ben Stein. Both have a deep knowledge of boating, particularly marine electronics and communication systems—we could spend hours talking with them.

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At the Carling Technologies booth with Kip Wasilewski, Director of Sales for Maretron, and Peter Hayden, who is building Nordhavn 6837. Readers of our blog know we’re heavy Maretron users and big fans. We’re always are eager to learn about any new products or services from Maretron and were particularly excited to learn that they’re moving away from the proprietary Adobe Air product to standard HTML5 for their N2KView user interfaces.
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Mark Mohler
Lunch at Harlem Soul Food on Haarlemmerdijk with Mark Mohler of Nordhavn 62 Gray Matter. We last saw Mark two years ago in San Francisco and it was great to see him again and catch up.
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Mark, Caren & Alan
At City Marina in Amsterdam with, from left, Mark Mohler of Nordhavn 62 Gray Matter and Alan Hannebauer and Caren Holtby of Nordhavn 57 ‘r Tidewalker, based in Sydney, British Columbia. Alan and Caren were passing through on their way to Berlin and stopped by to meet on Dirona. We enjoyed meeting them and had a great time talking boats, travels, and Canadian trivia.
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Christine and Mark
An excellent meal in great company at Mojo Japanese Kitchen overlooking the Amsterdam canals. With us are Christine Guo and Mark Mohler of Nordhavn 62 Gray Matter who are visiting from Paris. We were first moored next to Gray Matter in the San Juan Islands in 2011 and last moored adjacent in Brisbane in 2014. We’ve visited with Mark since then, but haven’t seen Christine since 2015.

Since we left Seattle, Mark and Christine have taken Gray Matter from San Francisco across the Pacific to live in Brisbane for several years. Last year they moved back to the US and are based in Boston with Gray Matter moored at Charlestown Marina in Boston where Dirona was in the summer of 2016.

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Duane & Michelle
An excellent meal in great company at Wolf Atelier with Duane Rodgers and Michelle Walker. Duane and Michelle have long been interested in Nordhavns, and are in Europe partly to attend the Dusseldorf Boat Show. We first met them in Melbourne in 2015, and they visited us a couple of years later in Florida. We’ve not seen them since then and it was great to catch up and spend time together.
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David Saunders
UK resident David Saunders is interested in Nordhavns and stopped by for a visit and a tour of Dirona while he was on a business trip to Amsterdam. David’s company is an Amazon Web Services customer, so we had a great conversation ranging from cloud computing to boating.
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Dinner at Marius with Eric Davis, Jody Marx, Debra Billet, and Mark Dick. Eric (opposite James) and Jody (opposite Jennifer) moved from Seattle and currently live in in Groningen, the Netherlands aboard the Dutch barge Ria, and their friends Debra and Mark of Australia live aboard the Dutch barge Melba in Amsterdam. Eric has been following our blog for a while and contacted us for a visit. We enjoyed meeting them and had a fun evening, first on Dirona and later over a great meal at nearby Marius.
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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


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