WHO’S NEW: John & Nancy Hopwood

Oct 30, 2023 | Get to Know Your Neighbor, Neighbor Spotlight

by Kevin Jones 

When I interview newcomers for their BOLO, I try to find a theme in their story. In John and Nancy’s case I felt there were a few to choose from but wasn’t sure picking only one would be satisfactory. 

One consideration was Two if by Sea and write about their two visits to AP having only arrived by boat and never even seeing the main gate. On their second visit they decided to stay at the AP Marina, live on their boat for an extended period while adjusting to NC weather, new friends and looking at every home on the market. They ultimately bought a home and settled. Then there was Have Boat, Will Travel. I could write about their extensive travels in their 62’ Offshore boat Vagari, and how even after visiting so many waterfront locations, Albemarle Plantation is where they chose to call home. Likewise, The Yellow Room sounded like the title to a good mystery novel…more on that later. 

The first time John and Nancy visited Albemarle Plantation was quite by accident. In April of 2022 they were northbound on the inter-coastal waterway heading to Norfolk aboard Vagari when they met a fellow boating couple that mentioned they were going to make a stop at AP. Since John and Nancy were ahead of schedule by a few days, and being curious about AP, they ventured along and the two boats arrived safely at the Albemarle Plantation Marina. A two-day layover turned into nine days, and quick friends were made. 

After cruising north to Norfolk and around the Chesapeake Bay, John and Nancy headed back south, bound for Florida. Along the way, they stopped by the AP Marina to say goodbye to their new friends. They arrived July 2022…and stayed. They lived on the boat through summer, autumn, and winter. They credit the Marina Dockmaster, JE Darnell, for being extremely welcoming and accommodating which really added to their overall experience. 

When March 2023 rolled around, after looking at the available homes on the market and not finding just the right one, a note went on NABR asking if anyone was interested in selling a home. Their search was over when one of the replies came back for a house located on a street where many of their new friends lived…and it had water views! When I asked “what has been the best surprise you didn’t expect since arriving at AP?” Their reply was their “new home.” They hadn’t expected to find a perfect home in such a great area, close to the water…and with a yellow room. While I’d like to tell you the room was another color and mysteriously turned yellow or some other such tale, I can’t. What I can reveal is that Nancy had a desire for a yellow room because of her daughter, and this yellow room had the perfect glow from the sun beaming through the window that she knew this home was the one. 

John and Nancy come to us from the Miami/Coconut Grove, FL area. John had a construction and development company, owned a tile and marble company for 20 years and also managed six marinas before retiring. Nancy is also retired after a career as a paralegal and national claims risk manager for a larger healthcare system. In 1997 Nancy established a group called Singles for a Better Tomorrow. The purpose of the group was to volunteer for worthy causes and give singles a common purpose. This group is what brought John and Nancy together. They have three children, two daughters and a son. I asked John and Nancy, “What did your kids think of you settling in NC, somewhat suddenly?” I was told “They were a bit confused at first, but when they came to visit, they understood.” 

Since settling down, they have sold their large boat in favor of a triton boat called Hoppy Hour, joined the Osprey Yacht Club, the golf club, and the Sound Sports Club. Residing with them is their trained support dog, Mickey and two canaries named Tequila and Sunrise. 

Whether at the Marina or the Dog Park, when you see John and Nancy, be sure to wave and say hello. And now that they are mostly land dwellers and driving a car, should they need it, be sure to provide them the proper directions to the main gate. 

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