Sailing a Serious Ocean | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Sailing a Serious Ocean

Are you getting ready to do some serious ocean sailing? I highly recommend that you read over my friend John Kretchmer's latest book "Sailing a Serious Ocean". There can be very few sailors with such a broad knowledge of ocean sailing. John has sailed more than 300,000 miles, but those miles have been on such a wide variety of different sailboats that he is uniquely qualified to compare boats in offshore situations. Luckily for all of us he is also an accomplished author and a wonderful storyteller, as I am sure anyone will agree who has sat in and listened to him recount one of his adventures at a seminar or boatshow. At Chicago Strictly Sale last month John missed the first 2 days as he was crossing the Atlantic, but thankfully arrived for the Saturday and Sunday and we were happy to listen to him tell tales. When John speaks in a darkened room the crowd hangs on every word as he paints a picture so vividly it comes to life.

Sailing a Serious Ocean is the same. John describes some of the most harrowing and exciting ocean conditions he has encountered, and with humility and clarity describes what he did right and wrong. As with all of John's books, his writing is evocative and he paints a picture of offshore passages. Winds blowing, waves crashing aboard, sails strained past the breaking point. But his stories are rich with technical details and perfect for those with less experience hoping to learn more. Each chapter also has additional sidebars that expands on details, such as "thoughts on waves" "weather information sources" "features of a bluewater yacht" and more. The combination of well-told stories and clear technical details makes a very readable format. The book that has got enough hard information presented alongside that you have gained real usable knowledge by the time you get to the end. And you have an excellent insight into the mindset of a fantastically experienced sailor. You might even find yourself signing up for a passage with John to learn offshore sailing yourself. Did I mention he offers offshore training? (

Chapter Seven "Storm Strategies" - for this chapter alone the book is worth the price! But the whole book is a gem. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of "Sailing a Serious Ocean". After you have perused it and appreciated John's experience and storytelling, you can refer back to it as you plan your own passages on the Serious Ocean. I am tying in a third reef and going out to practice "Heaving-to" and "Forereaching".
You can pick up a copy from John’s website or from the Nautical Mind in Canada.
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