I can’t think of a better name for our boat than the Double X. It’s a fitting tribute to the flagship product in the Nutrilite brand, a product that has helped millions of health-conscious people around the world get the nutrients they need to enjoy an active lifestyle with energy and vigor. I’ve been eating Double X for eight decades now, and you can be sure there will be a supply on board for this trip.
A sailing vessel with a storied past
The original owner of this 78-foot Kelly Archer Cutter was the grandson of the Entemann’s cake empire, who named the vessel Martha M in honor of his mother, Martha Entemann. The next owner renamed the boat Moonraker to honor his birthplace, Wiltshire County, England. According to folklore, some villagers once hid contraband barrels of brandy in a village pond. One night when they went to retrieve the barrels, they were confronted by customs and excise officials and quickly explained away their actions as raking in round cheese from the pond under the light of the full moon. The tall tale, as legend goes, was enough to satisfy the officers’ curiosity who then dismissed the villagers as simple country folk.
The captain discovers a hidden gem
After several years of research and searching, Captain Bob discovered the Moonraker moored at Mallorca Island in the Mediterranean. Weighing in at 70 tons and with a fuel range of about 3,000 miles, the vessel would be fully capable of crossing the ocean and sailing among the trade winds of the South Pacific. This diamond in the rough caught Bob’s eye, and he knew just how to refurbish it to make it the perfect vessel for our journey. When Francesca and I visited the boat in Mallorca, we were in total agreement, it was a gem. It was exactly what we were looking for.
When negotiations were finally complete, we were able to acquire the Moonraker in March 2014 and arranged to have her brought back to the United States. Francesca and I were lucky enough to visit the boat for a few days while en route, fell in love with her and renamed her Double X.
A new lease on life
Now that the Double X is refurbished, she’s a powerful vessel ready to take on just about any challenge. She’s a beauty too, with a gleaming white exterior and teak deck that wraps around the pilothouse with its round tinted windows. The cockpit sits inside the pilothouse, sheltered from the environment, serving as the main navigation station, while a secondary station is down below where it is also possible to steer and navigate.
Captain Bob’s refurbishing efforts not only included adding modern navigational equipment and satellite communications, but also solar panels, special generators, and other adaptations that allow us to sail as sustainably as possible. In fact, a key goal as we travel is to conserve fuel and water as much as we can.
Now that the Double X is refurbished, she’s a powerful vessel ready to take on just about any challenge.
Inside, the large salon or living area provides a spacious area to share the adventures of the day. The galley or kitchen is well equipped and ready to be stocked with supplies. The boat has a main cabin aft that fits a double bed. Forward of the mast, three remaining cabins, all with their own heads and showers, are ready for crew and guests.
The best laid plans
Our initial goal was to leave Newport Harbor by the end of 2015, but the final test of the hydraulic system was well, let me just say, less than impressive. Our journey was delayed, much to our frustration, but in retrospect, we are grateful. I think these things work out for the best. After all, if your boat’s hydraulics break down, it’s better to be close to shore rather than the middle of the Pacific Ocean. No doubt, this is just one of the many challenges that we will face during our upcoming journey, but we are up for it. New departure date: July 16, 2016 from San Francisco.
From cake to brandy to filling the nutrient gap
I chuckle when I think of the boat’s origins born out of bakery goods and alcohol, and how it has been reborn as the Double X, a moniker that embodies health and wellness. But when I think of how the Double X will be taking us in search of people trying to protect the environment and practicing sustainable living practices that we can share, well then I’m all smiles and eager to get started.
P.S. Don’t forget you can subscribe to our RSS feed to have blog posts delivered right to your inbox.