Wednesday, March 29

Nordhavn 76 Crosses Atlantic, Lands in Barbados

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The Spirit of Ulysses, a Nordhavn 76, just completed a 2,000-nm transatlantic voyage, arriving in Barbados on Sunday, Dec. 19, just 17 days after it left Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

But then the five members of the crew had to wait six hours on the boat for a doctor to arrive and give them a Covid clearance. Once that happened, they tied up in Port St. Charles and took off for a celebratory dinner in a beachside restaurant.

There was much to celebrate. Ulysses, a 2007 model, was the first boat that Mike Ridgway ever owned. A retired computer software executive in New Zealand, he bought it in Spain last spring, and decided to tackle the transatlantic as the start of a global exploration.

For the trip, he hired Jordi, who previously ran a Nordhavn 86, as captain. The rest of the crew consisted of Ridgway’s friend, Lisa Bryan, and James Leishman and Doug Harlow from Nordhavn.

The weather was unruly at the start of the trip, with gusts up to 53 knots and sea swells up to 15 feet. Things calmed down after a two-day stop in Cape Verde, where they refueled the boat; it holds 4,520 gallons.

They cruised at an average speed of 8.5 knots, and arrived in Barbados with just 500 gallons to spare. Ulysses has twin 400-hp Detroit engines.

Once they were in Barbados, Leishman said, “We had a fantastic group of people on this trip.” The previous night, with Barbados almost in sight and wind gusts blowing to 30 knots, he wrote on their blog that “the boat is unbelievably seaworthy and we are very comfortable at the moment; excited to arrive after the crossing.”

Lisa Bryan wrote then that she was chilling the Cristal for an arrival celebration the next morning. “It’s been an absolute blast with these guys and I’m so sad it’s nearly over…What a ride,” she wrote.

For his part, Ridgway had such a great time that he’s thinking about buying a bigger boat, perhaps a Nordhavn 80 or 86.

Read more at and see a video of the last night on board below:


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