A LIFETIME at Sea - Lessons Learned over 300,000 Bluewater Miles | Interview with John Kretschmer

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I had the opportunity to sit down with the legend John Kretschmer to discuss the lessons he has learned over the last 40 years logging more than 300,000 bluewater miles! in more than 60 boats (accrued during his time as a delivery skipper).

Among his many sailing accomplishments is the doubling of Cape Horn in his Contessa 32 named GiGi (with is the subject of John's first book - Cape Horn To Starboard).

About John from his book "Sailing to the Edge of Time": John Kretschmer is sailing's practical philosopher – as much a doer as a thinker. And that is the overarching theme of this chronicle of sailing life. Often amusing, sometimes poignant, occasionally terrifying but always inspiring, his deeply personal account is a welcome reminder of the good life waiting at sea.

With hundreds of thousands of nautical miles under his keel, John's adventures have taken him several times around the world, with challenging crossings of the Atlantic and the Pacific, a narrow escape from a coup in Yemen, an unlikely deliverance from a coral reef off Belize as well as more serene, introspective passages where trade winds are blowing and stories are flowing. His crew has included CEOs, actors, writers, teachers, kids – in essence, everyone.

John's narrative is interwoven with practical tips and advice in seamanship, but also, and just as importantly, his hard-won insights about making the most of our lives. He truly believes we find out who we really are, and what we are capable of, far from the shackles of land, when we find a place where time changes shape – days may merge into one another, but minutes are memorable.

To live adventurously is to live more fully, and that is the life John Kretschmer continues to live. In this book, he shares his simple profundities that will inspire those who live to sail, and those seeking something more rewarding from life.

John has authored a total of seven books, and innumerable magazine articles and boat reviews.

These days he and his wife Tadji spend their time conducting training passages and seminars aboard his Kaufman47 named Quezal.

You can find out more about John in any one of his books or at his website

Video Content Timestamps.

00:06 - about John Kretschmer
01:28 - How does someone go from not sailing to 300,000 Bluewater Miles?
01:57 - Johns favorite Sailing authors
02:25 - A deal with Mumma Kretschmer
03:20 - What prompted you to look into sailing literature?
05:50 - So you've got the bug and the boat. What then?
07:17 - Thoughts on Qualifications Vs Experience?
09:56 - The journey from your first boat to GiGi (contessa 32)
10:17 - Celestial Navigation
11:30 - Launching dreams your not prepared for.
13:40 - How do you rationalize the risks?
16:56 - the 79-year guarantee conundrum? and Captains Hour.
21:24 - Rounding of Cape and Horn what happened next?
24:26 - 15 minutes of fame.
25:32 - I became a delivery skipper
26:31 - How did you start out writing boat reviews
28:00 - The journey from Delivery captain to Instructor
29:34 - Top 3 attributes that are key to the sailing life.
30:28 - I made a great discovery about people
31:19 - Leadership, Captaining, and Crew management
33:06 - How do you keep a cool head?
38:25 - How do you manage anxiety and stress?
40:45 - Essential traits of a good captain?
43:35 - Things you have to keep in check?

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Adam, Andy and Iain are bumbling their way through the weird and wonderful world of sailing. On the side, they're usually finding an obscure part of the world to sail (Adam), inventing a new boat gadget (Iain) or trialling a new rum for 'future merchandise' purposes (Andy) all while attempting to un-murkey the waters around boating and sailboats.
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