Cruising Helmsman

Sailing the edge

AFTER dropping out of college for the fourth time, it was John Kretschmer’s mother that encouraged him to take up sailing. Bribing him with an offer he could not refuse, she told him she would match his savings dollar for dollar, if he would simply buy a boat with the money and sail away. “She sat me down and said to me, ‘I know you’re not as stupid as you seem,’ I was 19 at the time, so I bought a little 27ft Bristol, started living aboard and never stopped,” said John.

However, it was not because of his mother’s lack of love, quite the opposite. She knew that all John ever thought about was sailing and this was the shove he needed to take the leap and follow his dreams.

Amazingly, John then became the inspiration for his mother to learn to sail. Years later, the very woman who had never sailed and had no intention of learning, single-handedly circumnavigated the globe herself. Perhaps salt water runs in their

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