Capt. John and Janaea Cordier Barnard already have been involved in high-end excursions owning Blue Whale Sail on Bainbridge Island for five years.
But now they are part of an adventure that will offer even higher-end experiences with a 46-foot catamaran.
“Everyone wants to be on a catamaran,” Janaea said. “They’re more stable and smooth.”
It was quite an adventure getting the Lagoon 46 Auguste Marie the 2,000 miles from the Virgin Islands to the Pacific Northwest.
“Right when we left COVID-19 was unfolding, and none of us understood everything” that was going to happen, she said. “They were shutting down right behind us. They kicked us out of St. Thomas.”
Janaea said they couldn’t leave the boat there because of insurance due to hurricanes. And they couldn’t get a flight out because of COVID-19.
“We couldn’t stop anywhere” as all the islands were closed down, she said. “The Coast Guard hunted us down; it was pretty horrific” when they tried to stop in the Bahamas.
After 18 days, four lightning storms and 50 mile per hour gusts of wind, the couple and their two dogs, along with the boat’s captain, finally reached Miami.
“It was a drag,” Janaea said.
From there they put the catamaran on a container ship, it went through the Panama Canal and then to Victoria, Canada, and finally home.
Last week they took it on a trial run in Puget Sound waters. Chefs from the Altura Restaurant in Seattle were able to cook onboard thanks to the huge galley. There’s also a “gorgeous walk-in shower,” Janaea said of the boat named “Salt.”
Other features include air conditioning, generators, water makers and swim platforms.
“It’s for people who really want to step up and do something amazing,” Janaea said.
Just like with Blue Whale Sail, bookings through saltsail.com offer day sails around Bainbridge Island and Seattle and trips to the San Juans. But people can also customize trips.
“When we book clients we go to great lengths to find out what food and wine they want and make a menu based on that,” said Janaea, an event planner. “By the time they step onthe boat we have their music playing the track they want and her favorite flower. It’s incredible. We put together trips with great care.”
Janaea moved to the island in 1999 and started a wine distribution company. That business got hacked by a vendor in India, and she hired Barnard to help fix the problem.
“It took our site out,” she said of the hack. “The FBI got involved. It took so long I decided to sell everything.”
But she and Barnard ended up getting together and got married in 2003. With her background and his 25 years in boating they also decided to mesh those skills together.
“We kind of fell into the whole thing,” she said.
They wanted to launch a boat business somewhere, and they decided on Bainbridge.
“It’s so perfect. You can walk downtown (from the marina) and not worry about your car being broken into. And you don’t have to pay one-hundred dollars to park,” she said.
Their sailboat is a Jeanneau 419 Sun Odyssey called the “Three Jaze.” It has a full enclosure and is heated so sails occur year-round.
Janaea said they like to feature local wines and organic food “straight from the farm to the boat.”
They hire many chefs but one of their favorites is JJ Johnson, formerly of Hitchcock, from Wanderlust NW Catering.