Frank and Leslie were born circa 1959 in Salisbury, Rhodesia, now called Harare, Zimbabwe.  Frank lived in the town of Kariba. Leslie on a farm near the farming community of Karoi. Introduced by a mutual friend, we met on the shores of Lake Kariba at a resort called Venture Cruises. For a time, we were high school sweethearts, but distance between schools and life meant it wasn’t our time then.

Leslie’s thoughts

Fast forward some 35 years, 3 children and a career as a computer programmer, technology (FaceBook) brought us together again in 2010.  

Frank had a busy business career and so, in order to spend time together, until I took early retirement at the end of 2014 (after my youngest finished school), the childhood sweethearts began a whirlwind of flying between South Africa and USA/London/Singapore to name a few.  

We moved to Grand Cayman for 9 months, Antibes for 6 months, and the USA, where we got married. We also spent some time in St Petersburg, Russia, Portsmouth, UK, and eventually spending over 2 years in Hong Kong. During the two HK years, I had “green card obligations” which meant I was flying to Hong Kong every 6 weeks to spend 6 weeks with Frank. 

As with everything and everybody in 2020, COVID made this travel quite difficult so Frank also decided to “retire” and return to USA. Decision time… Boat/RV? Boat/RV? Boat/RV?

Here we are 9 months later, living on board MV Kariwa, a Nordhavn 62.  She is a very different kettle of fish from the Lagoon 46 sailing catamaran we had in Hong Kong. Life at sea on the East coast of USA is not anything like life at sea in the South China Sea around Hong Kong.


With over 40 years in the maritime industry, I am no stranger to the sea, ships, boats and navigation. I spent 12 years at sea and qualified as a Master Mariner, Unlimited tonnage. I worked on numerous types of ships, tankers, LNG ships, containers, bulk carriers, reefers and nuclear fuel ships.

When I came ashore, I went back to school and qualified as a lawyer. Qualifying to practice law in London and Hong Kong. I then moved on to shipping operations in Hong Kong, before moving to the USA in 1998.  

I have been CEO of several maritime technology companies in the satellite communications, operational software and, navigation technology spaces. My last gig was as CEO of a ship management company in Hong Kong operating over 250 ships.

As someone who has visited over 110 countries and lived on 4 continents I maintain a healthy desire to travel and explore.

I continue to provide consultancy services to several private equity companies and start ups. I am also a passionate advocate for seafarers rights.

Frank and Leslie Coles
On the boat