First years with Sweet Hope

This is our story about how we ended up with Nordhavn N6420 Sweet Hope, the last N64 made so far.

In 2015 we were on a way to Göta Kanal Sweden when we spotted Migration N6821 just outside Åland islands. We called them on VHF, took some pictures and sent them to Nordhavn Europe. They knew the owner of Migration so pictures ended up on George’s email. Mika and George started to email each other and we ended up having a great evening on board Migration at Mem Sweden.

Mem is the eastern starting point for Göta Kanal. During the evening George told us that he knew the captain of Sweet Hope N64 and that Sweet Hope would be on the silent market soon. Mika was a little bit skeptic about it, because the time was too soon for our plans.  Even though we had watched all the videos there were about Nordhavn, Bering, Flemming and Kadey Krogan yachts and we always ended up thinking one day we would like to be proud owners of Nordhavn yacht. But at the same time, the time was not yet suitable for us. Little did we know, a year later Mika was the proud new owner of Sweet Hope Nordhavn 64. All the endless evenings watching the videos comparing different yachts, what would be best for us, it was now over.

We first saw Sweet Hope in Southampton in August 2016, man she was a beautiful. She was all we have ever dreamt of and then some. We spent hours going through her with Neil and Phillip, we even took her for little spin outside Hamble Point. Next time we saw her was in September, when we were at the Southampton Boat Show and on the same trip Sweet Hope had her survey done. Mika asked one of his old friends, who had done his career as inspector in Finnish Navy, to come and do the survey for Sweet Hope. After he said that, she is sea worthy and ok, Mika went ahead and said he would buy Sweet Hope.    

On November 23rd 2016 we started our journey from Finland to Southampton. We knew that Sweet Hope is not going to have anything onboard her, so we needed to take all the things we thought we would need on our first journey with her. We were going to take her to Malta where she would be for one year and we would visit her as many times as possible. This meant that we would only have max two days in Southampton to get her ready for this first journey. We would have to go grocery shopping, shopping for linen, duvet, pillow, chopping board, you name it. After shopping there was putting everything in right place, make food preparations and then some. Top of all that we wanted have lunch party for all the Nordhavn Europe staff, just to say thank you for getting Sweet Hope ready for our adventure.

26th of November 2016 at 3 o´clock in the morning we cast the lines in Hamble Point and started head for the Guernsey where we would refuel and after that strait to Gibraltar. That would mean crossing the Bay of Biscay in November, everybody who knows something about boating knows that it could be a bumpy ride over Bay of Biscay during winter months. Right when we were leaving, the local coast guard called us on VHF and wanted to know where we were heading. After we told them that we are heading towards Gibraltar they said they would monitor us as long as we in their territory and after that they would give us to the French coast guards who would later on pass us to Spanish and Spanish to Portuguese coast guard.

That meant, on our journey to Gibraltar we would have coast guard looking over our shoulders all the way to Gibraltar. On the evening of 2nd of December, we arrived to Gibraltar. It took us seven days from Hamble Point to Gibraltar via Guernsey. We only stayed in Gibraltar just to get our crew changed and refueling. After that, back on the way to Malta. 

From Gibraltar to Malta, we had an incident with refugees from Moroccan coast. The refugees wanted to come on board Sweet Hope, but no we did not want that. We called the Spanish Coast Guards who told us that we had to follow the refugee dinghy. They could see us but they could not see the refugee dinghy. It took us two hours before the Spanish Coast Guards came to pick up the refugee dinghy and the 10-15 young men on board the dinghy. It was thank you´ s all the round from the Spanish Coast Guard boat and from the Spanish command center via VHF radio. The rest of the journey to Malta was without any more disturbs. We arrived to Kalkara Marina Malta on the 10th of December 2016 after being on board Sweet Hope for two weeks.

Sweet Hope had a berth for one year in Kalkara Marina Malta. During that time, we visit her multiple times. It was almost that we spent half the year in Malta and half in Finland, that often we were there. On the summer 2017 we spent seven-week holiday exploring Sicily and Malta. Me and Sippo (Mika’s younger son) we learn how to scuba divi that summer. Very handy so now we can clean the bottom of Sweet Hope by ourselves, we don’t have to order someone to come and do it for us.

On Christmas week 2017 we cast the lines in Kalkara Marina and started our journey towards Finland. We had four weeks to take Sweet Hope to Netherlands via Gibraltar, Lisbon, A Coruna, Roscoff and Southampton, where she would stay for the winter months. It was not an easy journey during the winter time, but we had help from Islandic weather router who is very good. He kept in touch with us all the way to Southampton, he told us when to move and what kind of weather to expect on the different legs of the journey. We know that we will use him again if ever needed.

After winter months in Netherlands and Denmark, we arrived to Finland. Yes, we did have an extra stop for one month in Tuborg Havn Denmark because the winter in Finland in 2018 was very long.  Early in the morning on the 9th of May we finally arrived to Finland. The long journey from Kalkara Marina Malta to Finland was over after 3500NM. We were so happy finally have Sweet Hope here closer to home. This was the start for the second chapter in on our journey with her.

In the beginning she really got a lot attention where ever we took her. Because she was the first Nordhavn in Finland. People would come to us and wanted to come on board her. It did not matter where we went, people just wanted to come and talk with us and take pictures of Sweet Hope. We knew that she would be object of desire, but on that scale, maybe not. One person even told us that we have done cultural act by buying a Nordhavn yacht and bringing her to Finland. Still where ever we take her she always gets people around her. 

In retrospect the first summer was exploring places with Sweet Hope and get to know what is it like to have this size of the vessel in these waters. Some people say that on Baltic Sea we have about 95 percent of all the sea markers in the world. So, it requires a lot of precision and attentions in these waters. In addition to the fact that we have a lot of sea markers, our waters are also shallow and have a lot of shoals.

On summer 2019 we started our charter business and we had a pretty good summer. We also had bookings for the summer 2020 but then the whole world was hit by Covid-19. Finland closed it borders and the borders were closed until May 2022. Now we are slowly getting back to business but it is not easy after the years we have had. Doing this business, one always has to be positive and believe one day everything will be better.

When the world was closed down 2020, we made the decision to sell our house and move on to Sweet Hope. So 27th of September 2020 we closed the door last time to our “dust home” and ever since that we have been liveaboards. We have not regretted this decision at all. It has been the best decision by far. Our home is different, it is movable and has very spectacular views all the time. We can go where ever we want or we can stay put if we like to. The sky is the limit or being on the waters, the sea/ocean is the limit for us.

So far with Sweet Hope we have visit so UK, Malta, Sicily Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia. In a near future, we would like to go Norway. We both like fishing, that is the main reason we would like to go there. Maybe in two years’ time we can make that journey. One never knows, making plans in boating is like drawing a line in ocean or in the beach sand. Plans change like tide water.

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