Five Quotes To Voyage By

Bust of Roald Amundsen at Ny Ålesund, Svalbard

Bust of Roald Amundsen at Ny Ålesund, Svalbard

We are on our way back from an incredibly busy trip to Europe teaching our High Latitude Voyaging course and then spending several days in France visiting Boréal.

Here is a short post that will, we hope, make up for our silence of the last few days, and amuse while we wend our way back to Canada and then catch our breath at home, at which point normal programming will resume.

#1 Adventure is just bad planning. —Roald Amundsen

#2 Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.—Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)

#3 A weather forecast is only the most likely of several possible scenarios.Me

#4 I thought you’d rather have a live donkey than a dead lion.—Sir Ernest Shackleton (letter to his wife about turning back just 112 miles from the South Pole.)

#5 There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.—Sir Ranulph Fiennes


Are there any quotes that say something useful about ocean voyaging to you? Please leave a comment.


We will close with a couple of photographs of this site’s editors hard at work sailing a Boréal 44 and interviewing her creators—somebody must do it. Look for a report soon.

JHHOMD1-5151345 JHHOMD1-5151363


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Meet the Author


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.

8 comments… add one
  • Scott Flanders May 17, 2014, 10:33 am

    Ocean voyages tend to begin well and end well. It’s the in between that is interesting. Routine is the friend of ocean crossing.

    You always leave in good weather. By the time of arrival anticipation of landfall outweigh a few puffs of breeze if that’s the case.

    With rare exception, in the end, crossing an ocean is no big deal and great fun before the land adventure begins.


  • richard e. stanard (s/v lakota) May 17, 2014, 10:58 am

    per joseph conrad: there is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea

    now back in tortola after a rolliking round trip run to martinique with island hopping return including lovely visits at our (two friends as crew)destination, then dominica, les saintes, guadeloupe, montserrat, st kitts, and st martin…all beautiful and all more or less accomodating and hospitable…transitting the infamous anegada passage (aka the cape horn of the caribbean) was without incident…cheers

  • Douglas Pohl May 17, 2014, 11:57 am

    Our visit by yacht to Glacier Bay National Park in S.E.Alaska revealed learning about John Muir who advised all to “climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” While we did not climb the Fairweather peaks we capped the day with a sunset walk through the Sitka spruce at Bartlett Cove. “The winds will blow their own freshness into you,” John wrote, “and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of autumn.”

    Keep your eyes peeled if you wish to see the majesty that is all around you.

    Smooth seas,


  • Jeff Clark May 17, 2014, 1:06 pm

    From a Bermuda Race safety seminar:
    “You get what you INSPECT, not what you EXSPECT!”
    I’m embarrased to say I have had to re-learn the truth of this more than once, and intend to put it on a placard on the companionway hatch.

  • Dick Stevenson May 17, 2014, 3:22 pm

    Sounds of water…sounds of water…sounds of water…

    In the olden times, the Alchemist would shape
    his matter and re-shape it, and shape it again, for
    a long, long time. A very long, long time. And the
    people thought he wanted to find the Magic Stone,
    the one that turns Things into Gold.

    What the Alchemist was really seeking was not the
    Magic Stone but to change himself, Through time and patience, and still more time. And sometimes he went
    too far.
    Bernard Moitessier
    The Long Way
    Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

  • Tom Service May 18, 2014, 1:29 am

    Rig heavy, reef early, and pray often; for God does not promise an easy passage, but rather a safe anchorage… Tiger Lilly

  • John May 18, 2014, 8:43 am

    Hi All,

    All really good additions to the quote list, thank you. Anyone else?

  • Chris May 18, 2014, 1:24 pm

    When I was younger I would often whine, “I wish I had… or this wrench is… or I need a longer, shorter, wider, thinner…”
    My (Great Depression toughened) Grandmother would say:
    “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
    A decade or so later, I learned she was quoting Theodore Roosevelt.
    Wise woman.

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