David Nash and Ea Lassen: From Copenhagen to the hamlet of Franklin, Tasmania
The fascinating story of their epic voyage on the YUKON and their thriving charter vessel enterprise
When Denmark-based Ea Lassen and her Australian husband David Nash, set off from Europe for Tasmania with their two young sons in tow, it took them 16 months to get here. It’s a tall story but they came on their own traditional Danish sailing ketch, the Yukon.
Their story began when David discovered a sunken ship just south of Copenhagen. The tale goes that they paid locals a carton of beer for the vessel. Some believe the couple paid too much considering the boat was well below the surface.
Restoring the Yukon was a labour of love that took David seven years. Ea worked different jobs on the side and had the children under her wings. When it was complete it became a charter vessel in Scandinavia. For five years they sailed in Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
When it was finally time for their big overseas voyage, the family collected paying passengers along the way and had a Danish crew to help navigate the high seas. At one point in the journey they saw nothing but water for nearly a month.
“The pacific was amazing. The Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia and the fantastic Tuamotus Atolls” says Ea. “The people who live on the islands and the culture of those pacific islanders – incredible”
Their first anchorage in Tasmania was Wineglass Bay on the East Coast, a world away from Denmark where Ea grew up. It was a stunning coastline for Ea to first lay eyes on and far removed from the airport arrival lounge that greets most people.
David already had ties with the Wooden Boat Centre in Franklin, on the banks of the Huon River, and although the family always knew that they would come to Tasmania for a break, they had no idea they’d stay permanently.
Upon arriving in 2011, the family lived on their boat for the first two years. They soon settled into the small southern Tasmanian community of Franklin where they continued to run their charter business. Today, Ea and David offer a range of year round itineraries from calm water cruises through to adventurous multi-day voyages. From the Huon River day sail and Bruny Island cruise to their Port Davey seven day mission to south west Tasmania, the Nash-Lassen’s are happiest out on the water.
“It’s like camping, but you’re on the water and you have your house wherever you go. I absolutely love the motion of this huge heavy thing in the water and you get carried by the wind and the sails, says Ea”
Today, their business is doing better than when the family first arrived and their resilience has paid off. And with the boom in the Tasmanian tourism industry, it can only get better. The pair have collaborated with others businesses such as Fat Pig Farm to create on-board feasts where food and boating blend in what is best described as a floating picnic.
“We love it here,” says Ea. “It’s pristine and ideal for sailing and there are also a lot less people. It’s not like Copenhagen or the Danish islands where there are so many more boats in the summer.”
“The community have also been so welcoming and everything just fell into place,” adds David. “Ea got work straight away and the children went to the primary school across the road.”
“The locals were wonderful from the moment we arrived. The marina welcomed us with open arms, as did the boat centre and the boat trust. It was clear that we must stay!”
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