For wilderness wonders by day and gourmet thrills by night, the Doggersbank Endurance and her owners’ Canadian lodge are a terrific combination.
By Kim Kavin - January 2004
Nature guide Charlie Everard shuts down the Yamaha outboard and lets our wake settle. He pulls a six-inch-long rock cod from his cooler, stretches his arm over the water, and dangles the bait from his fingertips. He waits for the breeze to quiet, squints toward the tips of the trees about a half-mile from our aluminum skiff, and whistles a few sharp notes before tossing the fish off our starboard bow.
I hear the bald eagle before I see her, the sound of her powerful wings flapping like a thick, loose jib. Princess, Everard calls her. She knows the routine: Wait for the tourists to focus their zoom lenses on the fish, then swoop down and retrieve it just a few feet from the skiff.
“Oh—do that again!” I cry, closing my agape jaw and knowing full well my amazement has caused me to miss the photo op.
Everard smiles with pride, then grabs another cod from the cooler. He is as thrilled with my reaction as I am with Princess: a beautiful creature with a stunning gracefulness of purpose. She offers a unique glimpse into the raw, natural world she inhabits in the Pacific Northwest.
Actually, she’s a lot like the yacht and lodge that make meeting her possible. Everard works for Eagle Nook Resort, an elegant lodge that combines with the 85-foot Endurance to create a rare charter package, a soft-adventure take on the more typical Caribbean boat-villa vacation. Endurance—the first Doggersbank Offshore series hull to be built by Kuipers Woudsend, in 1985—spent four years in refit before landing last summer in her new home port, San Juan Island’s Roche Harbor. Her slip is about a day’s cruise (or a quick float plane flight) from her owners’ resort, which sits up north on 70 acres of road-free countryside on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
I joined the owners in August during Endurance’s shakedown cruise in the San Juans, then accompanied them for a few days at Eagle Nook. From what I saw during my week, this brand-new land-sea package has the potential to offer limitless exploration by day and pampering by night.
Guests likely will want to begin aboard Endurance, flying from Seattle or Vancouver to the boat’s Roche Harbor base. Weeklong itineraries can vary from city shopping and garden tours in Victoria to gunkholing and hiking through state parks on Sucia and Stuart Islands. Then guests can make the run up to Eagle Nook, never having to backtrack before beginning their second week of vacation. “The best scenario is to not return from where you arrive,” Capt. Dave Borden says. “The best for your buck, to see the most, is apt to be a one-way.”
Next page > Part 2: Eagle Nook is a precious enclave with a first-class staff and an ambience of rugged elegance. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4
This article originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.