Over the course of twenty years of delivering sailboats to far-flung quaysides, John Kretschmer has had innumerable adventures, both humorous and terrifying. In Flirting with Mermaids, he recounts the most memorable of them.He crosses the Western Caribbean with a crew of eccentric Swedes researching ancient Mayan mariners, lands in Aden at the outbreak of civil war, and endures a North Atlantic crossing during which he discovers the existence of Force 13 winds. Approaching Japan at the end of a particularly trying delivery, he finds himself sailing in "a high impact debris zone," but his resolve is unshaken. "If a piece of rocketship jetsam fell out of the sky and sank [me] after encounters with Hurricane Floyd, General Noriega, a tsunami, an erupting volcano, and Typhoon Roy, then it was meant to be."
John Kretschmer has been a sailboat delivery skipper for over 25 years and has made over 100 deliveries. He is the author of Cape Horn to Starboard and Used Boat Notebook and has had articles published in numerous boating and travel magazines. He is a contributing editor to Sailing and currently lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with his wife Lesa and their two daughters.