John Kretschmer, a professional sailor and writer, has logged more than 300,000 offshore sailing miles, including 20 transatlantic and two transpacific passages. He is the author of "At the Mercy of the Sea, Flirting with Mermaids, " and "Cape Horn to Starboard," all seagoing classics. He is longtime contributing editor to "Sailing" magazine, was a sailing/travel columnist for the "Miami Herald" for 10 years, and writes regularly for "Southern Boating" and "Cruising World." He has weathered several storms at sea, and teaches aspiring bluewater voyagers in seminars, lectures, and training voyages. John lives in Florida.