Two Tips to Make Your First Ocean Passage as Skipper Safe and Fun

I  grew up on the water. I had my first rowboat at age seven, my first sailboat at 11, and my first cruising boat—well, sort of, a Sea Sprite 22—at 17.

By the time I was 21 I had spent thousands of hours on the water, including plenty of sailing when it was really honking. I thought I was a pretty smooth operator around the water. And maybe I was.

But here's the thing. All of that sailing, with the exception of a few short forays in calm weather, was within the reef that encircles Bermuda, my home. Result: I knew diddly-squat about sailing offshore. And what's different about offshore, you ask?

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 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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