Join Andy Schell & Mia Karlsson for the ocean sailing adventure of a lifetime on the classic S&S Swan 48 Isbjörn.
The feeling you get on an ocean passage, once into the watch routine and acclimated to life at sea, is at times downright spiritual, in the most universal sense of the word. When I'm at sea I have a sense of peace and contentment that's impossible to feel ashore, connected to the fast-paced 'real-world.' Your entire world exists within the space of 48x14 feet, yet is stretched to infinity when you gaze over the horizon. Your sense of time distorts. Like our friend Tom H. says, 'the minutes and hours go by slowly, but the days go by fast.' If you're thinking about going ocean sailing, do it. It might change your life.
All of our passages are high-level, real ocean sailing, with our crew given full responsibility to sail the boat offshore. Andy & Mia take a 'director' role, and stand by to provide leadership, as the crew get hands-on with all aspects of sailing the boat, from making headsail changes on the foredeck & setting the spinnaker, to driving the boat through all conditions, and even cooking and washing up down below. Be as involved - or not - as you want to. It's your experience.
All of our passages are high-level, proper ocean sailing, with our crew given full responsibility to sail the boat offshore. Andy & Mia take a 'director' role, and stand by to provide leadership, as the crew get hands-on with all aspects of sailing the boat, from making headsail changes on the foredeck & setting the spinnaker, to driving the boat through all conditions, and even cooking and washing up down below. Be as involved - or not - as you want to. It's your experience.
If you've made it to our site, you probably don't need an answer to the 'why?' question. It's a question without a real answer anyway. We go offshore because the ocean is there, we do it for the personal challenge and to fulfill a need for discovery. But in case you want some more inspiration, here's my longer, philosophical pitch, with a few of my favorite quotes sprinkled in to inspire you...
Some people simply 'get it,' and no explanation of why you should venture offshore is needed. 'Won't I get bored?' some people ask. Those who 'get it,' know that answer is 'no.' There is no such thing as boredom on a long ocean voyage. The minutes and hours may drift by slowly, but the days go by in a flash.
We go to sea to learn about ocean sailing, but we come back having learned more about ourselves than any technical aspect of sailing a boat. The sailing part is easy. But do we have it in us to withstand the wind, seas and spray at the helm on a dark, cold night offshore? Do we have it in us to withstand the feeling of exposure one gets at sea, of being so small and vulnerable, the boat wrapped around you like a tortoise shell. Do you ask yourself these questions of yourself? Can we withstand the brutal seasickness that befalls everyone who goes to sea, sooner or later?
So, it's hard to put your finger on it, right? But if you've got the opportunity, whether with us aboard Isbjorn or with someone else, GO! You won't regret it, and it might even change your life...
Andy grew up sailing his mom & dad's boat's, all called 'Sojourner', on the Chesapeake Bay (literally from the time he was in diapers). During his 4th-grade, they sailed south as a family - Andy, younger sister Kaitie, Gail & Dennis and two cats, Ketchie and Salty - and spent the winter cruising the Bahamas.
He met Mia on a backpacking trip in New Zealand in 2006, and the two have been seeking adventures together ever since. They've logged almost 50,000 bluewater miles and have crossed the Atlantic a combined five times (3 for Mia, 2 for Andy). Andy & Mia are based in Sweden when they're off the boat & love endurance sports!
Mia grew up 'ute på landet' - that's 'out in the countryside' - in rural Sweden, about 90 minutes drive inland from Stockholm & far from the sea. She was a strong swimmer in high school and competed on a national level in Sweden.
Mia took off for New Zealand with her best friend Johanna (who thought Andy's name was 'Eddie' for three days when the first met). She didn't start sailing - was never even on a sailboat - until a 4-day charter in the Marlboro Sounds in NZ on a 28-foot boat with Andy, Johanna, Clint & Glenn. Mia hasn't looked back since, and has more Atlantic crossings that Andy now (which she's quick to point out!). In Sweden Mia loves to run, bike & bake bread.
Liz is from Litchfield County, CT & goes to school as a Marine Science major at UConn – Avery Point. Andy & Mia 'headhunted' her after she charmed them at the Annapolis Boat Show in 2015, asking her to join the team as a podcast producer, crewmember on 'Isbjorn' and spokesperson for 59º North. Liz has since sailed nearly 2,000 miles on Isbjorn!
She sailed dinghies from age 7-14 at sailing camp, but it wasn't until I started listening to Andy's podcast that she realized her true passion for sailing. Liz is also an aspiring racing sailor, and is looking for opportunities in the sailing world after she graduates. "It really feels as if I fit this life," she says.
The above is a USA-based (Annapolis area code) phone number that will reach us anywhere in the world we happen to be - it's simply forwarded to our local numbers, whether we're in Sweden, the Caribbean, the UK or wherever! If you leave a voicemail, it automatically gets sent to us as an audio file attached to an email. Pretty cool, eh!? I can highly recommend sonetel.com if you need a similar service.