Why Go North? For The Light


Phyllis and I have just started planning a voyage to Greenland for 2011. If we pull it off, it will be my sixth sailing trip to the largest island in the world. You might logically ask, why go again? Or even, why go at all?

People have been asking me that since I started high latitude voyaging some 20 years ago. I usually just dissolve into incoherence because it’s just so damned hard to explain. Still, I’m going to give it a go in a series of posts. With a bit of luck, this process might even help me figure it out for myself.

So here we go with reason number one: It’s about the light. There is nowhere else that has the quality and variety of light that you find in the north. (I guess the far south has it too, but I have not been there.) Sometimes stark and harsh, sometimes long and warm, sometimes soft and pearly and sometimes filled with dark foreboding, but always with a subtle quality that says this is the high latitudes and nowhere else.

Like what you just read? Get lots more:

Learn About Membership

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments