The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

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Articles available on this site in their entirety:

Other Articles:

Back issues are available from Cruising World, SAIL, and Yachting World.


“Little Things That Make Sailing Easier”, Cruising World, September 2006

John talks about some of the small things that we do on board Morgan’s Cloud to make it easier and safer offshore.

“Extreme Anchoring”, Offshore, June 2006

John gives information on our anchoring equipment and offers tips on how to anchor ‘Down East’.

“Rigging for Shorthanded Sailing”, Cruising World, October 2005

Morgan’s Cloud is, at 56 feet, a large boat for a shorthanded crew. John discusses how, by using simple systems and not isolating ourselves from the rig with complex machinery, we handle her safely.

“A Sense of Where You Are”, Cruising World, January 2005

(Available in its entirety as “Knowing Where It’s At“.) John talks about knowing ‘where it’s at’, using a combination of traditional and modern navigation techniques based on 100,000 miles of offshore voyaging experience.

“Beating The Cold”, SAIL, April 2004

Whether you are planning a long cruise of the high latitudes or a short spring or fall cruise or race further south, here are a few tips to help you stay warm.

“Weather To Go in 30 Minutes”, Cruising World, December 2003

John discusses the equipment, software, techniques, and preparation that allows us to receive and interpret weather information anywhere in the world, in less than 30 minutes a day.

“Staying Put in Tricky Anchorages”, Cruising World, August 2003

John outlines some of the equipment choices we’ve made aboard Morgan’s Cloud along with a description of some of the techniques we’ve developed for anchoring in remote places.

“An Affordable Cure for the E-mail Addict”, Cruising World, July 2003

John writes about the system we use on Morgan’s Cloud. It may not be the only, cheapest, or even best way to send/receive e-mail, but it’s a complete system at a known cost that allows us to reach people from any place on the planet.

“Coming Alongside in the Real World”, Cruising World, May 2003

Tying up to fishing boats and docks festooned with rubber tires in places with massive tidal ranges can be challenging to say the least. In this article, John shares some of the techniques we use to make tying up in these conditions safe for us and Morgan’s Cloud.

“The Shakedown Cruise”, SAIL, February 2003

John shares why we use a shakedown cruise to make sure that all systems are ‘go’ prior to leaving for places where access to parts and support is minimal or non-existent.

“Work Smarter, Not Harder”, Cruising World, November 2002

Does it feel like all you do is boat maintenance? You’re not alone! Here are some tips that we use to reduce our stress and increase our confidence in the seaworthiness of Morgan’s Cloud.

“There Be No Soundings”, Cruising World, May 2002

John discusses the joys and risks of sailing off the charts and some techniques we use to make it safer.

“Coastal Overnights”, SAIL, November 2001

John shares how tiring coastal sailing can be and encourages sailors who have had tough coastal passages to not give up on going offshore.

“My Apprenticeship at Sea”, Cruising World, August 2001

(Available in its entirety as “A Prairie Woman Goes to Sea“.) Phyllis writes about the challenges of going cruising as a total novice, but with a very experienced partner. She also writes about the pressure she felt from sailing magazines and books that claim she should be a totally competent sailor and cruiser before ever leaving shore.

“Bracing For Bermuda”, Cruising World, September 2000

Though Bermuda is his home and he has crossed the Gulf Stream between Bermuda and the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. more than 20 times, John still respects a fall Gulf Stream crossing as potentially one of the tougher ocean passages. He discusses his strategies for making a fall crossing as safe as possible.

“Taming the Wimp Within”, Cruising World, July 2000

(Available in its entirety here.) Don’t think you’re the only one who lies awake and worries about all the things that can happen to a sailboat and crew in new and challenging places and situations. In this article John talks about how he copes with his anxiety.


“Down East, a September Cruise of Maine”, Yachting World, April 2008

Autumn is the best time to head down east: fall colours, no black flies, and very little fog. But, Phyllis writes, look out for the lobster pot buoys!

“Make Time for a Shetlands Stopover”, Cruising World, January 2008

Phyllis describes our month cruise of Shetland: the miles and miles we walked over its rolling hills and the more than 250 miles we sailed around and about its islands, and how much we came to appreciate this craggy and isolated archipelago and its warm inhabitants.

“Cold Waters, Warm Hearts”, Offshore, December 2006

Solitary anchorages, splendid scenery and local hospitality more than compensate for the fog and icebergs of Newfoundland; not that there was much of either during our recent cruise of the east coast. In this article, John describes some of his favourite stops during our latest cruise to ‘The Rock’.

“In God’s Pocket”, Yachting World, October 2006

Newfoundland, home to 500,000 people and 110,000 moose, is a cruiser’s dream. Phyllis talks about some of the places we visited during our recent cruise of the east coast.

“Two Voyagers in Darktime”, Cruising World, April 2005

Phyllis describes the first of two winters living aboard Morgan’s Cloud in Tromsø, Norway, well above the Arctic Circle.

“Out There”, Shoreline, Cruising World, November 2003

‘Out there’—a place on the edge where a visiting sailboat is seen as a welcome novelty—isn’t always where you expect it to be. Phyllis describes why Finnmark, in northern Norway, is such a place.

“The Undiscovered Country”, Yachting World, September 2003

“Less scenic than neighbouring coastlines,” dismisses the pilot; “empty and dull,” sniff guidebooks—no wonder so few yachts visit Finnmark, Norway’s northern coast. To us such reviews hinted at unspoiled isolation and Phyllis describes the hospitality and history we found in this remote stretch of coast.

“Hiking To Blubber Town”, SAIL, August 2003

John describes our exciting and challenging seven week cruise to Svalbard (Spitsbergen) including two transits of Hinlopen Strait and a furthest north of 80º35’N.

“Slowing Down in Northern Norway”, Cruising World, February 2003

John describes the beautiful scenery and fantastic people of the West Norway coast.

“Mud, Sandbanks, & Swatchways”, SAIL, July 2002

John first sailed the east coast of England in a small gaff-rigged fishing smack. Here he describes his return visit on Morgan’s Cloud 40 years later.

“Greenland’s Great White Grip”, Cruising World, July 2002

John describes our rewarding, challenging and sometimes frustrating cruise of the southeast coast of Greenland in the summer of 2000.

“London Calling”, Cruising World, February 2002

Phyllis writes about the great winter we spent in a downtown marina in London, England.