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Flirting with Mermaids: The Unpredictable Life of a Sailboat Delivery Skipper Paperback – March 1, 2003


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Flirting with Mermaids: The Unpredictable Life of a Sailboat Delivery Skipper + Sailing a Serious Ocean: Sailboats, Storms, Stories and Lessons Learned from 30 Years at Sea
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sheridan House; First Paperback edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574091646
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574091649
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

John Kretschmer has an easygoing style that will ingratiate the reader from the very start of this book. It is a look at what a life at sea can mean to a person, and it is extremely well-written and easy to follow. Plenty of good insight into what can be expected when you are out there for days at a time. Consisting of anecdotes from his sailing career, this book is highly recommended for those who plan to go cruising.
(Latitudes & Attitudes)

Wildly festooned with adventure, romance and outrageous characters. (Miami Herald)

Filled with a myriad of sea stories...all delivered with a wry and self-deprecating sense of humor. (Sailing)

I would highly recommend this book to anyone [with] a sense of adventure and romance.
(Good Old Boat)

From the Back Cover

"As a professional delivery captain, John Kretschmer has done more offshore passagemaking in his first 40 years than most serious sailors do in a lifetime. Part romantic, part poet, part philosopher and 100% optimist, Kretschmer shows his uncanny ability to deliver the wrong yacht in the wrong direction across the wrong ocean at the wrong time of year time and time again, yet end every delivery with the boat safely in port, a smile on his face, good friends at his side, and a few dollars in his pocket. A great story of adventure well-told with warm humor and affection." - Milt Baker, Bluewater Books & Charts

"John Kretschmer is a superb seaman, a master story teller, and a delivery skipper of vast experience. His tales of tropical passages and Atlantic gales, of near sinkings and quirky owners will appeal to anyone who dreams of far horizons and tropical beaches. He has written a book of rollicking humor and abundant common sense that any sailor will find hard to put down." - Brian Fagan, author, archaeologist, and sailor

"Not only has John Kretschmer lived a life wildly festooned with adventure, romance and outrageous characters - his reality outstrapping our most Walter Mittyesque sea fantasies - now he has gone and turned it all into a collection of yarns that incite yet more envy among those of us stuck behind landbound computers.

"Not only can the sailor sail - through hurricanes and civil wars - but the sailor can write. It's a hell of a read. It's just not fair." - Fred Grimm, Miami Herald columnist

"Flirting with Mermaids follows John as he delivers a variety of boats around the world, from aging hulks with a fondness for the bottom to luxury yachts owned by would-be circumnavigators. While he's doing this, with a conscripted crew of friends, relatives, his wife, and total strangers found holding empty glasses at beach bars, he's also learning about navigating the uncharted territory of his heart.

"The glamorous life of a professional sailor? Here's the straight story, with humor, salty adventures, and a steep learning curve." - Gregory O. Jones, editor, Sailing magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


More About the Author

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 and tramp all over the world and write books and articles about my adventures. Amazingly, that's how it has turned out.

My first book, CAPE HORN TO STARBOARD, is a coming of age story that chronicles my record-breaking voyage around Cape Horn. Although out of print, it's been popular as a used book, particularly in England and it is being re-published next year and will be available in the fall. FLIRTING WITH MERMAIDS, is a nautical bestseller. It is a funny and uplifting look at the life of a professional sailboat delivery captain. 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 of. I have a new book coming out next fall, it's about sailboats and storms, two things I know a lot about.

I have been a contributing editor and columnist for Sailing Magazine for twenty years. My column, The Used Boat Notebook has been compiled in two volumes, both available at Amazon.com. I wrote a sailing/travel column for the Miami Herald and an online column for Sailnet.com. I currently blog at www.sailingmagazine.net and www.yayablues.com. I have written hundreds of magazine articles including features in, Islands, Newsday and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.

I have logged 250,000 plus blue water miles including 15 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, www.yayablues.com

Customer Reviews

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John is as great a story teller as he is a sailor.
Benjamin W. Pearce
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about world travel on land or by water.
William Hobbs
I say "Good Job" to you Mr. Kretschmer on a very fun book!
AndyK

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By burgener@aol.com on June 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Of the three books that John has written this is the best. You can feel the excitement, love, and hate in each page. If you are a landlubber, better take some dramamine before you start reading, as the descriptions of the storms can make you seasick. The book is a love story with lots of nautical action to keep the reader's attention. The book is hard to put down, as the reader is pulled into the story with the captain and the crew.. Will John make landfall, with all his body parts? Will the boat sink and the crew vanish? The stories are so well written, that I felt that I should put on my foul weather gear. You should buy the first edition of this book, it could replace the Old Man and the Sea !
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book! I dreaded finishing it as I saw the pages rapidly flying by. Mr. Kretschmer's every day adventures as a sailboat delivery skipper are very entertaining, but the true wealth in this book is this guy's attitude. An inspiration to all, sailors and landlubbers, who are concious of their voyage across this little blue planet.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James R. Mckinley on August 4, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Author, a profesional delivery captain, makes his living doing what the rest of us have to pay to do! The author has probably done more Blue Water Sailing in a few years than most serious sailors do in a lifetime. This is a great story of adventure, but it is told in a humorous tone. Adventure, romance, danger, and outrageous characters fill this book. Each story is better than the last one, and this was truly an enjoyable read.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin W. Pearce on December 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was with John on the voyage through Hurricane Bob, and am alive today as a result of his expert seamanship and calm nerves. John is as great a story teller as he is a sailor. Here's to you John, the "real" Captain Ron. A good read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By William J. Schmidt on February 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Before I wrote my review, I read all the others. Be assured this is a great book for people who love being on the ocean, and can enjoy anything that is written about it. If you're flicking through the channels and stop to watch the Bounty for the 100th time or salt water fishing, this book you will love. Every Captain that has spent anytime at sea can identify with every single circumstance presented is this book. To agree with one fellow, I hated when it ended. And heck, even if it was all made up, I'd look up to him, he's better at telling "sea stories" than me!! Enjoy, it goes fast!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ANDREW H MYERS on March 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent account of what it means to be a sailboat delivery captain. The author blends his stories together in a very clever way that causes the book to be entertaining and somewhat humorous. I would recommend it to anyone that loves to sail, whether it be offshore or cruising around the harbor.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book reminds me of William Snaith's book "On the Wind's Way", written 35 years ago. The vehicle is sailing, but the subject is really existential philosophy and the story of how one young man from a very early age decided to lead a life of individual freedom, independence, self-sufficiency, honesty and responsibility. Don't be misled by the stupid and misleading title (probably suggested by some marketing genius at Sheridan House), this book has an important message for today's disaffected, disenchanted thirty-something generation. The message is that time is an individual's only asset and doesn't have to be wasted in jobs or activities we don't like doing. Although not quite in Camus' league (despite the flattery of Mme. Richardson), Kretschmer is a very good writer who doesn't let the underlying philosophy lesson get in the way of the yacht delivery stories, all of which are related with a sardonic humor and just the right amount of technical detail. And "Mom Kretschmer"--what a gal she must be! But that's another story which I hope her son will decide to write some day. Kretschmer the writer deserves a better publisher who can give much wider distribution and better editing than Sheridan House.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ann Deatherage on October 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is filled with humor and adventure, an unbeatable combination. The author displays a very engaging style and these exciting tales of sailing adventures will entertain sailors and landlubbers alike.
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