One Simple Question features commentary and insight from some of the most respected and well known names in cruising, voyaging and sailing, as well as arctic ice and climate scientists.
Pam Wall raised her family aboard a sailboat, circumnavigated the world, voyaged across every ocean, cruised through the Caribbean, transited the Panama Canal, and sailed through the South Pacific. Her expertise has come from personal experience, a lifetime on the water, and years of professional service with West Marine and other major retailers in the Marine Industry.
Pam travels around the country giving lectures at boat shows, schools, hospitals, yacht clubs, and other organizations. She talks about sailing, about responsibility, about empowerment, and the necessity of having dreams to work towards. Her Seminars are perfect for advice and suggestions on numerous topics, including Bluewater Cruising, Family Sailing, or the Atlantic Circle. Pam Wall has become a byword in the community for smiles, laughter, and the joy of passing on information and encouragement to so many people.
John Neal & Amanda Swan Neal
John Neal was born on the banks of Africa’s Blue Nile River. At the age of 22 his love of adventure and travel fueled a desire to sail to the South Pacific from Seattle aboard his 27′ sloop. Log of Mahina chronicled his voyage and adventures and became a best seller. To answer the question he was frequently asked, “How can I do what you did?” he conducted his first of now 146 Offshore Cruising Seminars in 1976. In 1990, to meet the demand for hands-on offshore instruction, John established Mahina Expeditions with the goal of sharing his knowledge of ocean voyaging in a safe and supportive environment. John has conducted 164 sail-training expeditions aboard his Hallbery-Rassy 42, Mahina Tiare II & his Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare III, sailing over 313,000 miles in the South Pacific, Caribbean, Patagonia, Antarctica, Atlantic, Scandinavia and the Arctic.
Amanda Swan Neal grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and sailed to Vancouver as a teenager aboard a boat she helped her family build. Upon returning to New Zealand, she became a sailmaker for Hoods and transferred professions to rigging with Noake’s Rigging in Sydney, Australia then Southern Spars in NZ. In 1990 she completed The Whitbread Around the World Race (now The Volvo Race) as rigger aboard Maiden, the first all-women Whitbread boat. Amanda’s 271,000 miles of international sailing include two Sydney-Hobart Races, numerous international regattas and seven Cape Horn roundings intermixed with a ten year involvement in tall ship sail-training. Upon meeting John in 1994 she joined Mahina Tiare for the Cape Horn and Antarctic expeditions. She is author of The Essential Galley Companion and since 2005 has written the monthly Galley Essentials column in 48 North magazine. Amanda enjoys introducing women to the joys of the cruising lifestyle and her personal interests include Celtic step dancing, photography, triathlon training and sewing. She holds a NZ Commercial Launchmaster’s license.
Amanda and John spend seven months at sea annually. When not at sea, they enjoy winter kayaking from their home near Victoria. Their website is: www.mahina.com
Magazines Contributed to: Blue Water Sailing, Australian Yachting, Cruising World, Yachting World (UK),Cruising Helmsman (Australia), 48 North, Latitude 38, SAIL and Practical Sailor.
Books Authored: The Essential Galley Companion (Amanda), Log of the Mahina, Mahina Tiare, Pacific Passages (John), Offshore Cruising Companion, Offshore Expedition Companion, Storm Survival Tactics (John and Amanda)
Books Contributed to: World Voyage Planner, World Cruising Survey by Jimmy Cornell, Surviving the Storm by Steve Dashew, Voyager’s Handbook by Beth A. Leonard, Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die by Chris Santella.
Areas of Experience: Caribbean, Mexico, Atlantic including Azores, Canaries, and Madeira, Patagonia (Chile and Argentina), Cape Horn (six roundings), Antarctica, Brazil, Uruguay, Pacific including Galapagos, Easter, Pitcairn, Fr. Polynesia, Cooks, Samoa, Tonga, Wallis, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Alaska, British Columbia. Europe including the Med, Ireland, England, Scotland, Orkney, Shetland, Norway, Spitsbergen, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Spain and Portugal.
(from Good Old Boat Magazine) Words fail the writer who would describe Yves Gélinas. Maverick? Free spirit? Innovator? Genius? Adventurer? Dreamer? One who achieves his dreams? He deserves all of these appellations and more.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, Yves started his professional career there as an actor and filmmaker. But he closed the book on that career with a dramatic last chapter: he set out to sail around the world solo and non-stop while starring in his own film about the trip.
In making this voyage, Yves says he was attempting to succeed at an art form combining many disciplines. “This was my performance,” he notes, ” . . . completing a circumnavigation, writing a book [published in French only so far], making the film [With Jean-du-Sud Around the World - capehorn.com
Lin & Larry Pardey
Lin and Larry Pardey have been called, ‘the enablers’. Their books and videos have encouraged sailors of all ages to stop dreaming and start doing. The knowledge they share has been earned during the four plus decades they have been voyaging together, years during which they completed both east-about and west-about circumnavigations past all the great southern capes, including Cape Horn. Lin and Larry have delivered more than two dozen boats across oceans and raced on their own and on other peoples’ boats. To date, each has sailed over 200,000 miles. Larry built the two boats they used for two circumnavigations. Both boats were under 30 feet (Seraffyn 24′, Teleisin 29′) and were designed by Lyle Hess (same designer as Elizabeth used in One Simple Question).
Together they have written eleven books and created 6 DVDs. They inspired a huge following with their mantra “Go Small Go Now”. They advocate simple systems, minimal or no electronics, traditional rigging, and a do-it-yourself attitude. They travel the world giving seminars and workshops at boat shows and sailing schools.
You can read more about them, purchase their books and DVDs at their website www.landlpardey.com
In a varied career, before becoming a full-time sailing writer Nigel worked on automotive assembly lines, in foundries and machine shops, and on offshore oil production platforms. He and his wife, Terrie, have built a couple of 70-foot canal boats (on which they lived in England), and a 39-foot Ingrid cutter.
He has decades of sailing and cruising behind him. He is widely acknowledged as the world’s foremost writer on boat systems maintenance, and writes regularly for SAIL, Cruising World, Ocean Navigator, Professional Boatbuilder, and Yachting Monthly, among other magazines. He is the author of six books, including Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual, Marine Diesel Engines, Refrigeration for Pleasureboats, The Cruising Guide to the Northwest Caribbean, and Cuba: A Cruising Guide, ‘Nigel Calder’s Cruising Handbook: a Compendium for Coastal and Offshore Sailors’ and ‘How to Read a Nautical Chart’
Nigel is an active speaker at The Cruisers University, boat shows, and other sailing schools. He currently sails aboard a Malo 42′ and is conducting research on electric propulsion aboard yachts.
John has been sailing full time for over 30 years. During this run, he’s logged an incredible 300,000+ offshore miles, equivalent to 10 classic trade wind circumnavigations. He’s been as far south as Cape Horn, as far north as Sweden. And what makes his experience unique is that he has plied the oceans in a wide variety of sailboats. John has delivered hundreds of yachts of all sizes, and has conducted 97 new boat test reviews for Sailing Magazine, Cruising World, and Sail Magazine. His perspective on how certain boats handle at sea, especially cruising boats between 38′ and 50′, make his consulting service some of the most sought after in the industry.
John has published hundreds of magazine, newspaper and online articles over the years and contribute regularly to: Sailing, Southern Boating, Cruising World, Sailjazz.com, The Miami Herald and others. He has also published five books: Cape Horn to Starboard, Flirting With Mermaids, At The Mercy Of The Sea, The Used Boat Notebook, and The Best Used Boat Notebook.
John leads sail training expeditions aboard his 47′ Questzal, where he teaches offshore passage making skills. He gives seminars and workshops on voyaging, boat buying, and celestial navigation. It’s hard to find John, he’s always off in some remote part of the world, sailing, teaching, or writing.
Check out his website for more info about his expeditions, workshops and to purchase his books. Yayablues.com
Watch a video about watchkeeping offshore with John right here:
Jaja & Dave Martin
In 1988, Jaja joined Dave aboard Direction, and together they began a seven-year voyage around the world. They were married in Barbados, West Indies, and their three children– Chris, Holly, and Teiga–were born in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, respectively. Chris and Holly came on board as one-day-old infants. Teiga was born aboard.
In 1997, after a short stint living ashore in North Carolina, Dave, Jaja, and the kids–all under the age of seven–set sail again. This time, they moved up to the 33-foot Driver, which the Martins completely refurbished themselves. Their three-year, 11,000-mile voyage, the subject of their book Into the Light, took them north to the pack ice above the Arctic Circle.
Since 1995, Dave and Jaja have sold 30 magazine articles and over 80 photographs describing their cruising adventures. They frequently give slide shows and lectures, including a sold-out presentation at the Mystic Seaport Museum. In 2008 they were featured in the PBS documentary Ice Blink.
You can purchase or rent their film Iceblink here.