Tom Burkhardt and Mary Hazel landed on Jekyll Island aboard their Swiss-built Nomade, named Nomade Parisette, in August 2007. In the late 1980s, Tom had taken a year off and cruised south from his home in Ohio with his son and his first wife. They made it as far as Highbourn Cay, in the Exumas, before returning home. When Tom sold his business last summer, Mary sold her house, and they bought Nomade in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sixty-something Mary was new to sailing but eager to start on a new adventure before she turned 70.
By the time they were two hours out of the New River, Mary had mastered the chart and was telling Tom where to steer. "She's still using left and right," Tom says, "but that's OK."