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Nordhavn 57 – San Diego to Ensenada


Offshore Underway

This video includes a general tour of the Nordhavn 57 Storm Haven and a trip overview from this 8 hour – 72 mile run between San Diego and Ensenada. Jeff Merrill has tried to capture some of what happens underway and explain some of the equipment used in the pilothouse and the engine room.

You will recognize the Nordhavn 57 Storm Haven if you have seen our video series “The Physics of Docking”. We filmed the Physics series at Pier 32 Marina in National City, CA and that is where this short delivery trip originated. This is a wonderful marina to visit and a great place to call home.

Don and Paulie Grover, the owners of Storm Haven, invited Jeff to crew with them on this short hop offshore between San Diego and Mexico. We arrived the afternoon before departure, had a nice dinner and early to bed for a pre-dawn departure.

The Grover’s purchased Storm Haven through JMYS several years ago and have enjoyed many miles of cruising. This was the first time Jeff had been back since the video series, but he felt right at home and always has a great time with Don and Paulie who are so generous and hospitable.

The wake-up alarms sounded around 4am. This veteran cruising couple had done much of the pre-departure preparation the night before. There is still a lot to make ready and test before disconnecting shore power and freeing the lines.

Much of this footage was filmed in night mode, which gives you a feel for the instrument displays and relative ease of moving about this well-organized trawler. The use of head sets between skipper and crew makes communication friendly.

With the crew ready (coffee achievers) and the engine warmed up, Don eased back out of the slip in darkness then slowly guides us through the channel out into deeper water. We drove past the new car arrival yard and huge Navy warships, then crossed under the Coronado bridge and marveled at the beautiful San Diego skyline. We also witnessed a huge inbound car carrier headed to the same area we had just left.

Our initial visibility was reduced with the darkness and fog. Jeff was very impressed with the new navigation and communication electronics that have been added to Storm Haven since the last time he was aboard.

Exiting the San Diego Bay by Point Loma we witnessed several fishing vessels returning. It seems like it is always busy at a major intersection like this.

The sun rose as we headed south. Once we were in the Pacific, we had our own little area of the ocean all to ourselves, fortunately interrupted on a few occasions by porpoise playfully swimming in front of the bow.

The wind was minimal, and the sea was glassy – ideal conditions contributing to a smooth run. A boring delivery trip is what you hope for, unexciting, with everything working as designed and no surprises. We had a little bit of food to eat, some fun conversations about past boating experiences, continual VHF interruptions and the time flew by.

It is wonderful to be a “fly on the wall” and observe some veteran cruisers operate their trawler with their typical calm demeanor and practiced skills. Don and Paulie have become great friends of Jeff. They are very low-profile cruisers, preferring to do what they enjoy and keep their accomplishments at sea level. Unassuming, with a hard-working farm family background they are at ease with diesel engines and familiar with keeping the machinery in great working order for reliability. Storm Haven is beautiful inside and out!

By early afternoon we attached our dock lines and fenders in anticipation of our safe arrival to our slip in Ensenada. The Hotel Coral and Marina is a wonderful resort, very popular with cruisers and the helpful crew met us at the dock to catch our lines. Once we had Storm Haven secured and settled, we walked up to the Marina Office to clean in and then, after a wonderful Sunday brunch at the marina restaurant, we retired back to the boat to enjoy the rest of the day.

At the end of this video, we have a short debrief with Jeff, Don and Paulie reviewing trip details. If you would like a copy of the day log used aboard Storm Haven, please send an email to and in the subject line type “Daily Log” and we will email you a copy.

There is always something to learn every time you leave the dock. Hopefully you will pick up a few tips and ideas you can use. Thanks for watching.

A big THANK YOU to Don and Paulie Grover (and Bootsie the cat) for inviting Jeff to crew (and allowing him to film //:0).

Jeff Merrill | mobile +1 949.355.4950 (call or text) | email:

Jeff Merrill Yacht Sales, Inc.