SAILING A SERIOUS OCEAN — SAILBOATS, STORMS, STORIES, AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM 30 YEARS AT SEA
|Publisher||International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press|
|D O W N L O A D|
Over the years, along with Joshua Slocum and Moitessier, John Kretschmer has secured an iconic place in my pantheon of inspirational sailors. Even though we didn’t meet until about ten years ago, as speakers invited to the same seminar weekend, our story goes way back. I was seventeen years old, during my first Atlantic crossing from the Canaries to the Caribbean, when we were first introduced on paper.
The satellite navigation broke, and just as the conversational instruction of John’s mail order celestial navigation course guided my father through all the sight reduction, plotting, and running fixes, his words taught me the simpler mechanics of just the noon sight. When this trip ended and my own circumnavigation was about to begin, the outstanding qualifications of the Contessa 26 that I was planning to sail were substantiated by another John story that my father had read and liked to talk about with great flair, the one about his rounding of Cape Horn on a Contessa 32.
It only followed that if a Contessa 32 could withstand such a harrowing journey in the notoriously difficult Southern Ocean, then the 26 could certainly handle the trade wind belt I faced. On my first passage from New York to Bermuda, beset as I was with rookie mistakes and navigational difficulties, it was his celestial navigation manual that I used for solace, for reassurance, for learning.
The loose pages were clamped together in a red cardboard binder that still sits on a shelf above my desk almost thirty years later, and I can reread the words of his introduction that were nearly memorized while trying in vain to locate my position out in the middle of all that water...
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