Written by Matthew Grosinger | Photography courtesy of Peter Lynn
A yacht should function like a world-class hotel, offering a comfortable escape that still manages, in all of its inimitable luxury, to feel just like home. It should integrate you with a community of people likeminded in their desire to relax and explore in equal measure; and finally—and most importantly—it should host you in a world-class location. The best resorts are always on the periphery, yet right in the middle of it all. Peter Lynn and his family have found their ideal luxury hotel aboard a Meridian 441 Sedan, which serves as a tasteful retreat in prime locations—the Pacific Northwest and the picturesque San Juan Islands.
As a general manager with Hilton Worldwide, Peter is particular about his creature comforts to say the least. A hospitality professional knows that the perfect yacht, much like an acclaimed resort, requires the ideal mixture of luxury and functionality. Yes, stylish, aerodynamic lines, large storage compartments and powerful 380 QSB Cummins® inboard engines lend his Meridian all the necessary practical applications, but Peter and his family are most enthused about the livability of his 441 Sedan, appropriately titled Never Enough.
“This yacht is a moving hotel,” Peter confirms. “Having two separate state-rooms and heads is great, especially with kids. You really have three distinct living areas—the salon, where the galley is up; the aft seating area that is covered by the hardtop, which is perfect in the Pacific Northwest where it can be rainy and wet; and the flybridge, complete with a sink, refrigerator and television.”
Whether they are stationed at their home port in Gig Harbor or voyaging north to any of the numerous destinations they frequent, each member of the Lynn clan enjoy all the diverse features of the fully equipped Meridian.
While Peter’s wife, Lauren Vitale, is a fan of the galley’s natural hardwood, full-height refrigerator and open layout—with enough kitchen space for snacking, cooking and dining—his sons Morgan, 16, and Spencer, 14, are more interested in the mechanics of the boat. Morgan earned his boater safety certificate and jumps at any chance to man the helm, while Spencer is attracted to the technology on the yacht, like the Raymarine® digital displays.
Aware that luxury is the confluence of form, function and a little whimsy, Peter says the beckoning destinations throughout Puget Sound more than deliver that final ingredient for blissful yacht outings with the whole family.
“You could spend a lifetime cruising around the Pacific Northwest, not even bringing Canada and other areas into the mix,” Peter says. “Frankly, you could probably spend a lifetime just exploring the San Juan Islands, which are absolutely beautiful.”
A topographically diverse constellation of islands in the northern stretch of the Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands range from the tourism-driven Friday Harbor on the eastern shores of San Juan Island proper, to the nature reserves of Orcas Island, just south of the Canadian border. From mid-April to September, this offshore destination becomes a premier whale watching paradise. Pods of whales surfacing for air on their trans-oceanic journey become a common sight, and visitors across the world frequent the Seattle area for a glimpse of these awe-inspiring creatures in action.
If ever inclined to head toward the San Juans for whale watching, sightseeing or relaxing, Peter heads to his favorite port, Roche Harbor. The four-to-five hour jaunt from Seattle is a breeze with the 441’s twin 380s, which cut effortlessly through any tide cycle the seas manage to brew.
“With the Meridian’s engine power, cutting through chop or current is a pleasure.” Peter says. “It allows you the freedom of not having to time your trips around the tide cycles, because you can cruise comfortably at 24 knots.”
Once Peter and his family pull into Roche Harbor, he either docks at the Seattle Yacht Club outstation or the Roche Harbor Marina, which has plenty of attendants ready to help with electric and water connections. After a full day of negotiating unpredictable currents, Peter generally heads to the Afterglow Spa, just a scant distance from either marina, for some R&R. The family soaks in the serenity and beauty of the environs. “Frankly, its just a really pretty island,” Peter says.
This coastal region also hosts first-rate dining for those pursuing a culinary expedition. Closer to home than the enchanting San Juan Islands, Poulsbo boasts a number of quaint eateries. In this modest town, Peter’s perfect gastronomic itinerary starts in the late afternoon at Mor Mor—which will soon change its name to the Green Light Café—for a dinner of gourmet seafood and wine pairings. That’s followed by the decadent desert from Sluy’s bakery dubbed the Viking Cup, a massive brown sugar cinnamon roll with a dollop of cream cheese icing. After a full night’s sleep to digest, Peter recommends Leslie’s for a hearty breakfast before heading back to Seattle.
In many ways, the outdoorsy sensibility that characterizes Seattle residents also applies to the city’s boating community, a skilled crowd who appreciate a good nautical challenge.
Such sizable feasting requires some athletic boating back across the bight to burn off extra vacation-calories. With Seattle’s unpredictable currents and seemingly perpetual precipitation, an offshore workout is always closer than you think. In many ways, the outdoorsy sensibility that characterizes many Seattle residents also applies to the city’s boating community, a skilled crowd who appreciate a good nautical challenge. So by virtue of its inscrutable weather patterns, Seattle requires boaters to obtain boater safety certification before they venture into the volatile tides off the mainland. Peter believes this has produced a community of boaters who are both adventurous and close-knit.
“You’ve got to like the elements,” Peter says. “You are going to get it all: fog and rain and big tide swings—so it is definitely an experienced and passionate group that is very caring about each other. If someone is in trouble, you are never far away from another boater helping you. It’s a close group with great camaraderie.”
Given Peter’s amicable personality and enthusiasm for boating in the Seattle area, you get the sense that he is never far from extending an invitation for friends and fellow boaters to join him for an afternoon trip around Puget Sound. And with all of the Meridian’s luxurious appointments, as well as Peter’s steadfast dedication to making all guests feel welcome, an invitation aboard Hotel Never Enough would be impossible to refuse.