Phyllis Writes: 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 some 140,000 offshore miles including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race.
Over the years he has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic—the majority of which have been to the high latitudes—including six visits to Greenland, a cruise to Svalbard as well as cruises of Newfoundland, Labrador, Iceland, Baffin Island and Norway. He has also voyaged to Greenland as guide/navigator on a super yacht.
John Writes: Phyllis was born on the Canadian Prairies. She had already discovered a love for wild places, having lived in Newfoundland for eight years, when we met in 1996. Though she had no sailing experience then, she has now sailed over 30,000 offshore miles, most of it in the high latitudes, and crossed the Atlantic three times. As a woman who came to sailing as an adult, she brings a fresh perspective to high latitude cruising that helps us communicate what we do in an approachable way.
Together: We live on board Morgan’s Cloud, our 56-foot aluminum cutter, and continue to voyage while running our business, Attainable Adventure Cruising Ltd, which publishes the Norwegian Cruising Guide and marine web sites, and provides consulting and guide services. We are freelance writers and photographers with numerous credits in Cruising World Magazine, SAIL Magazine and Yachting World Magazine.
Colin Speedie, European Correspondent
In 2007 we received an exceptionally well thought out and written comment on anchor selection from Colin. In the ensuing weeks after that initial communication we discussed a variety of issues with Colin via e-mail and always learned from him. Since then he has written an in-depth account of the building and fitting out of his aluminum Ovni 435—a boat as different from Morgan’s Cloud as you could possibly imagine that, none the less, has long interested us—as well as a steady stream of informative and entertaining posts as he and his partner Louise Johnson embark on their new cruising life aboard Pèlerin.
Colin is a deeply experienced offshore sailor who holds a yacht master licence, and a gifted photographer and a talented writer who has added a whole new dimension to Attainable Adventure Cruising. In addition, since Colin and Louise are from England and had their new boat built in France, they bring a European prospective to our site.
You can read more about Colin and Louise and their business at their web site.
Matt Marsh, Engineering Correspondent
Matt is a Professional Engineer, working in the field of laser imaging, but he is also a true renaissance man with a wide range of interests including photography and all things boat design. Working as M. B. Marsh Marine Design, Matt designs innovative powerboats of all shapes and sizes.
Which brings us to the obvious question: Why would we invite a man who has never been offshore and in fact does not even sail that much, to write for a web site about going offshore, mainly in sailboats? The answer is simple: because that is one of Matt’s greatest strengths as an AAC writer.
Let me explain. No one is a greater proponent of the benefits of experience offshore than we are. After all, between the three of us (Colin, Phyllis and I) we have combined years sailing offshore that add up to close to a century. But there is a downside to experience: it can make you set in your ways. That’s where Matt comes in. He writes from a completely fresh perspective.
He also keeps an eye on the rest of us to make sure that we don’t making any technical mistakes, particularly when we are writing about forces and loads. It’s amazing how much of the “accepted wisdom” around offshore sailing turns out to be just plain wrong when subjected to an engineer’s rigours eye.
Christopher and Molly Barnes
We first met Christopher and Molly Barnes and their two boys Porter and Jack eleven years ago when they stopped by to have a look at Morgan’s Cloud and talk about their plans to go voyaging when their boys were a bit older.
Since then we have watched with appreciation and not a little amazement as this very smart and motivated family have converted themselves from sailing neophytes to competent sailors who, as I write, are cruising South Georgia–one of the toughest cruising grounds in the world–as part of their circumnavigation of South America.
But I guess we should not be surprised at the speed with which they attained their goals since before getting the sailing bug they founded and ran a successful wilderness school for young people–these people get hard stuff done!
Not only does Christopher write well, he and Molly are also acknowledged experts on risk management.
They are also cruising with children, which brings a whole new aspect to AAC.