John Kretschmer

John Kretschmer

I wrote in my memoir, FLIRTiNG WITH MERMAIDS, "I make landfalls for a living." That's not a bad way to navigate through life. But it's only partially true. I have been fortunate to blend my two passions, boats and books, and make a living by sailing and writing. As a kid I confounded practical minded advisers trying to steer me toward a career. I told them I wanted to be an explorer. When pressed for details I explained that I wanted to sail all over the world and write books and articles about my adventures. Amazingly, that's how it has turned out.

My new book, SAILING TO THE EDGE OF TIME: The Promise, the Challenges, and the Freedom of Ocean voyaging was just published by Bloomsbury. The premise is simple - what matters is time, it is the currency of our life, and how spend it defines our life. I know that time spent sailing, especially deep ocean sailing, far from the shackles land life, where time unfolds slowly and you live in the unsentimental moment, is time well spent. This the book I have been writing my entire adult life. It's amusing, sometimes terrifying, poignant and inspiring. It is a deeply personal account that blends sea stories with seamanship, and reminds us that there is a good life waiting at sea.

My first book, CAPE HORN TO STARBOARD, first published by McGraw Hill in 1986, is a coming of age story that chronicles my record-breaking voyage around Cape Horn. It was reprinted by Burford Books in 2010. FLIRTING WITH MERMAIDS, is a long running nautical bestseller and still in print 20 years after being first published. Just this year it was selected as one of Lyon's Press Mariner's Classics, and reprinted with a new cover. It is a funny and uplifting look at the life of a professional sailboat delivery captain and all the mischief that entails. AT THE MERCY OF THE SEA, is a narrative account of three sailors converging in the eye of a hurricane. It's a sad but profound story, and I worked hard to get it right. It's a book I am proud. It was chosen by the Southern Booksellers Association as one of the 25 best nonfiction books of 2007. It was optioned by cassiopeia-pictures in England. SAILING A SERIOUS OCEAN- Sailboats, Storms, Stories, and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea is an exciting mix of sea stories and seamanship. It's personal, humorous and at times terrifying. Learn what makes a boat blue water capable and how to handle it and the crew when the ocean turns angry. The book is filled with anecdotes and hard-won advice. It has consistently been one of the best selling nautical and adventure travel books worldwide

I have been a contributing editor and columnist for Sailing Magazine for twenty-five years. My column,THE USED BOAT NOTEBOOK has been compiled in two volumes, both available at I wrote a sailing/travel column for the Miami Herald and an online column for for many years. I have written hundreds of magazine articles including features in, Islands, Newsday and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. I won coveted Boating Writers International awards in 2013 and 2014 for features in Cruising World Magazine and Sail Magazine.

I have logged 300,000 blue water miles including 20 Atlantic crossings. My passages and expeditions have taken me all over the watery part of the planet. I own a 47' sailboat, Quetzal, and conduct sail training passages and serious, adventure travel expeditions. For a schedule of upcoming passages check out, Thanks for checking out my books.

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Best Sellers

    • Sailing a Serious Ocean

    • Sailboats, Storms, Stories and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea
    • By: John Kretschmer
    • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
    • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 46
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 44
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 44

    After sailing 300,000 miles and weathering dozens of storms in all the world's oceans, John Kretschmer has plenty of stories and advice to share. In Sailing a Serious Ocean, John tells you what to expect when sailing the oceans and shows how to sail safely across them....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • best sailing book I've listened to so far 😊<br />

    • By gooch842 on 05-20-19

    Regular price: $20.99

    • At the Mercy of the Sea

    • The True Story of Three Sailors in a Caribbean Hurricane
    • By: John Kretschmer
    • Narrated by: Patrick Conn
    • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 130
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 119
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 118

    "The tale of Carl Wake and the hurricane that was waiting for him goes straight to the heart of the greatest sea stories: they are not about man against the sea, but man against himself...."

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Three separate stories told at the same time

    • By Shopready on 05-17-17

    Regular price: $19.95

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