MEET THE CREW:
Captain: Nick Nelson
Chef/First Mate: Maddy Brown
Nick has been closely connected to water his entire life, growing up on a small island on Lake Superior. He started driving boats at age 11 and has been in love with cruising waves ever since. He went on to get his captain’s license and began guiding tours in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on power boat and kayak trips, eventually moving on to sailing charters.
In the off-season Nick would often escape on his sailboat seeking warmer waters; completing the Great Loop and twice sailing to Cuba and the Bahamas and eventually running term charter in the Virgin Islands.
Living and working on the water provides the trifecta of endless novelty, challenges and rewards. For Nick there’s no better way to keep life simple yet interesting at every turn, to slow life down and fill it up. Captaining has allowed Nick to meet and share life with people all over the world and he looks forward to continuing to bring his excitement for life to every charter in the Virgin Islands.
Madeline (Maddy) brings an adventurous spirit to everything she does. She’s studied abroad, worked and lived in Mexico, Puerto Rico, France & Cuba. While living in Puerto Rico she had the opportunity to sail around the USVI’s and BVI’s. She fell in love immediately with all of the wonders that the Caribbean has to offer.
She has an affinity for Caribbean culture and history and has a passion for cooking and hosting culinary experiences. Besides sailing, Madeline earned her Master of Fine Art in Photography while collaborating with artists in San Francisco and Cuba. She is eager to continue to explore the Caribbean, run term charters and share in all it has to offer.
Nick and Madeline have traveled widely together, traversing the U.S. on road trips, sailing to Cuba and living in Havana several winters collaborating on artistic endeavors and running term charters. They both have worked widely in the hospitality industry and love to host friends new and old. As a team they couldn’t be more excited to make Mali Havanna their new “home away from home” for all to explore the countless wonders of a Virgin Islands odyssey.
When I die, I hope to wake up in heaven - which will be, by my design, a sailboat. Nick and Maddy will be the captain and crew.
I've been thinking of this as a trip of a lifetime and it has certainly met that expectation - and more. It has been amazing to be with my soul-mate and two good friends - the laughter and conversations and 5 star food, all served up so beautifully and with enthusiasm. The turtles and sea life are things I will never forget. Thank you, so much for all of it.
Thanks again for the trip of a lifetime - maybe just one of many.
New Friends We Meet!
Totally, totally enjoyed the week with you guys. We felt comfotable in every experience and the food was awesome.
I leave this poem for you:
Adventures in the sun have always been fun
but when new friends we meet
it becomes more sweet.
We hope to do this again
until then we hope you spend
good days on the sea
and never forget Lisa and Me!
Fed Our Souls!
Borrowing a sentiment from a previous review, this week has fed our souls. We have enjoyed reconnecting with each other and with nature. We couldn't have asked for a better family vacation.
Nick you have been such a gracious host our our rowdy crew - thank you for showing us the Virgin Islands and your attention to keeping everyone safe.
Maddy, you knocked it out of the park with delicious meal after delicious meal. I'm pretty sure my family wants to trade me in for you and your cooking :)
We have been referring to this vacation as a "once in a lifetime trip" but now that we have experienced it, there's no way we could only do this once.
Thank you for everything
A Pure Dream For US
We had the best time with Maddy and Nick. THANK YOU for all of the amazing experiences! The paddling, the sailing, the snorkeling, the swimming, the floatin and the FOOD!!! Oh Maddy, I'm going to miss your cooking!
This was a pure dream for us. A time we will never forget and can only hope that we can repeat in the future!
"Rehydrate, Dehydrate, Repeat"
Amazing Time, Awesome Crew!
Words would only cheapen our experience! At 60 years of age and our honeymoon, it was amazing.
Our first time traveling with my 4 years of sailing and husbands 50 years of sailing....bar none AMAZING time, awesome crew. If we ever do again we want Nick and Maddy without a doubt THEY make the experience incredible.
You always have a place to stay in Dallas on the lake with us.
Amazing Vacation! Thank you to an incredible captain and crew!
We saw and swam with turtles for the first time; saw plantation ruins from colonial days. Every meal on board was delicious! Thank you Maddie for every fabulous meal. Your hard work and concern for our comfort were greatly appreciated.
Overall an unbelievable time! Great charter with a fantastic chemistry onboard.
Gratitude to Maddy and Nick!
My parents had this vision of creating a vacation where our families could get together, reconnect, share laughs and experience God's beautiful handy work.
This gave us all the chance to feed the soul and just suspend time for a bit. Words cannot capture our gratitude to Nick and Maddy for bringing this vision to life, not only to our motley crew, but to everyone that comes aboard.
this week wa beautiful and perfectly timed. The food, laughs and new friendships had here will never be forgotten.
Inimitable Charm and Grace
The peace, the beauty, the food, the friendship - the sun, the stars, the sparkling water, the friendship - the delicious bounces, the rescues, the kindness, the friendship - we loved every minute and while the boat and the sea and the mountains and the fish and the turtles were unforgettable, YOU TWO made it all truly wonderful!!!
We loved the conversations, the food and the drinks, and the total relaxation you provided. It was a special experience.
Loved how you made my birthday special and took care of us all week.
We wish you two free spirits have much energy in your future adventures and go on learning and growing and meeting life's challenges with your inimitable grace and charm.