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.

14 comments… add one
  • Ernest Dec 22, 2018, 6:33 am

    Hi Phyllis and John,
    happy holidays to you both too, and thank you for another year of great articles, insights and discussions.
    And of course all the best wishes etc to all co-readers and contributors out there!

    • John Dec 22, 2018, 8:49 am

      Hi Ernest,

      Same to you, and thanks for your unflagging support all year, much appreciated.

  • Bob N Dec 22, 2018, 11:13 am

    Thanks for the really beautiful photos. Have a great Xmas, a wonderful wintering, and a triffic 19.

  • Bill Hoyne Dec 22, 2018, 2:55 pm

    Hi Phyllis and John,
    Happy Holidays!! Beautiful photos as always!! Love the ACC discussions.
    Looking forward to seeing you guys in Canmore this year for a bit of skiing. The snow is a bit thin on the Eastern Slopes so far this year but CNC is good and lots of snow in the Lake Louise area.

  • Eric Klem Dec 22, 2018, 4:49 pm

    Hi Phyllis and John,

    Great photos as always. I was a bit surprised to get to the first picture and realize it was the parliament building in Victoria until I read the captions and now it makes perfect sense why you were there. We generally avoid marinas as much as possible but I always look forward to going to that one in front of the Empress and the parliament building although you do almost feel like a tourist attraction. Ganges is a very cool and funky place, 5 years ago when we were there last we got an unexpected 30 knots from the SE in the middle of the night which made the anchorage a bit unpleasant. When we were first figuring out where we wanted to live after grad school, we got down to coastal New England and coastal PNW, both places where I had spent a bunch of time, and we eventually chose NE although we do still make it out there for cruising with extended family occasionally. I can definitely see the appeal of year round boating opportunities out there and the scenery is incredible but I find the actual sailing and the weather to be a little better here. Every time I see your pictures of Newfoundland I renew my interest in getting up there, I am sure that we will make it one of these years.

    Happy holidays.


    • John Dec 23, 2018, 12:26 pm

      Hi Eric,

      Yes, there are definitely attractions to the left coast. One that really attracted Phyllis and I was the idea that we could be living on the boat in say Victoria, get tired of the hustle and bustle, and head out to say Desolation sound for some solitude, even in winter. The other thing I love about BC is the proximity to the mountains. But, like you, in the end the pull of the east coast was too much to overcome.

      And yes, Saltspring is fun, and we also had some great hikes there. Some of the best anywhere.

  • Simon gabbott Dec 23, 2018, 12:16 pm

    Hi John,
    I also was surprised to see the BC parliament buildings in your slideshow and as a long term BC resident, I can understand the attraction. As a long term resident I can also concur with your conclusion regarding the constant rain and brooding skies. This is why I’m presently in Cuba with a bicycle. You will also find that the further north you go, the fewer opportunities you will encounter for hiking as the bush becomes extremely dense and impenetrable.
    I think Peter Pye described it as ” the greyest gloomiest, most fascinating coastline he ever cruised”. BC is also off the beaten track for circumnavigators and we don’t see many world voyagers here.
    I am fascinated by your accounts of East coast cruising and an idea presently germinating in my mind is to transport my boat ( a 35′ Wylo 11, same version as Trevor’s) by truck to Thunder Bay. Cruise the lakes and the St. Lawrence and ultimately arriv in the Maritimes.
    My visa would never expire, I would still have health coverage and my pension. The more I think about it, the more I like it

    • John Dec 23, 2018, 12:41 pm

      Hi Simon.

      So true. One of the things I love about my shiny new Canadian passport is that it’s a symbol being at home anywhere in a huge and beautiful country complete with several lifetimes of cruising. Your plan sounds great.

    • AlbergSteve Dec 23, 2018, 7:17 pm

      Oh, I don’t know about that! Nereida was anchored in front of the Maple Bay Yacht Club on the last day of our regatta when I motored out to invite her to stay at the club for the night.

  • AlbergSteve Dec 23, 2018, 7:27 pm

    Just think, if you had Morgans’s Cloud out here, you wouldn’t have to step the mast in fall, re-rig in the spring, or worry about how many layers to wear… in arguably some of the best cruising grounds anywhere! I’ve spent many years commercial fishing and with the Navy in Nova Scotia, but there’s something magical about cruising the Left Coast.

    Have a wonderful 2019.

    • John Dec 24, 2018, 2:21 pm

      Hi AlbergSteve,

      No question you are right about the benefits of BC, even though, in the end we decided to stay based in Nova Scotia.

  • Doug Hennessy Dec 23, 2018, 9:41 pm

    John and Phyllis,
    Very nice year in review photos. Thanks for another season of articles and pictures and conversations. Great learning and inspiration for me to just follow along. AAC website has been one of the most important sources of balanced, high quality information that I have used to refit my 1976 Tartan 34C sailboat and prepare for cruising adventures. My wife, Lorene, and I sailed our new/old beauty home from Saginaw Bay, Michigan through the Great Lakes to Picton, Ontario two years ago. My aspiration is Maritimes in 2020. Your East Coast Cruising Notes were fully aligned with my hopes. Looking forward to another great year. All the best to you guys over the holidays. Good winds, happy hiking and best wishes for 2019.
    – Doug

  • Marc Dacey Dec 24, 2018, 1:42 pm

    Merry Christmas to all and may you see three ships tomorrow.

  • RDE Dec 24, 2018, 2:08 pm

    Merry Christmas John, Phyllis & Everybody

    Ah, the Wet Coast vs the Foggy Coast—

    Somewhere on my list is a voyage to the Fairweather Range in Alaska. The weather isn’t always fair there, but it is the only place in the world where the mountains rise 15,325′ directly out of the ocean!


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