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.
Quite simply, we aim to share the infinite wisdom of the high seas with those wise enough to seek them out. We've sailed tens of thousands of bluewater miles in our boats and others', and yet the magic of a night watch at sea remains as strong as ever. We want to share that magic with you. Join us, and find out for yourself.
Featured Offshore Sailing Passages.
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"Meeting and hanging out with the people that we've been crewing with...Andy and Mia have built a natural filtering mechanism to find cool people, essentially. Anyone who sign's up for this is going to be really great to hang out with. It was just so much fun on so many levels. I don't think 24 hours had gone by until we were signed up for RORC 2017. There's unfinished business here."
"59º North - Andy Schell, Mia Karlsson & Paul Exner...The real deal!"
"Ocean sailing is something you have to experience to understand. The Swan 48 is an offshore machine and Andy & Mia are fantastic hosts & teachers. Beyond the sailing, Cuba was an incredible destination. Thanks for the check-mark on the bucket list!"
"I can't remember the last time I had a 10 out of 10 experience! I am already looking forward to sailing with you again."
"Sailing on Isbjorn was a transcendent experience for me, something I'll never forget."
"Andy & Mia were an absolute pleasure to sail with! They put together an informative and fun trip on an absolutely beautiful boat."
"I first met Andy as part of his involvement with the Caribbean 1500 in October/November 2011. He also loved our classic style cutter, which also helped establish a rapport.
We maintained contact off and on, until the next year he asked me to join him as crew for the 2013 Annapolis to Newport race. It is through that experience that I can attest to his capabilities as a sailor, a captain and a teacher. In all pre-departure preparations, he kept foremost in his mind the safety and comfort of the crew. During the race Andy was a thoughtful teacher and captain, exhibiting patience, anticipating events and maintaining clarity in his instructions. Andy was always positive in debriefs, as well, which only serves to build confidence in those working with him.
Mia joined us this race, too, and it was wonderful getting to know her better – her knowledge, skills and sense of humor. The two of them make an invincible team! Thanks Andy, Thanks Mia!"
"The journey on Isbjorn impacted me deeply & widely, I'm so grateful. I am listening to all your podcasts and try to keep up with where you guys are!"
"What a treat to sail with the 59 North A-team! It was everything I hoped it would be…good sailing, good company and lots of practical sailing experience. Also, it was a real treat to spend time at the helm of the Swan 48! It has set the bar high in terms of what I’ll be expecting from my next boat! Wishing you guys what I’m sure will be continued success!"
"If you are thinking about reefing - reef! - If you are thinking about sailing with Andy & Mia, stop thinking and GO!!!! Andy & Mia are great sailors, leaders, teachers, cooks, as well as warm, intelligent, and accepting people. No matter how many blue water miles you have under your keel, you will be a better sailor after your trip on Isbjorn."
"How do you say thanks for providing a platform, experience, security, instruction etc. to do something that I’ve wanted to do for decades? The calm sailing seas of the first night, the stars, the bioluminescence, the more lively 2nd run, the sunrise, the boats, English Harbour, the new friends…Be safe out there and keep doing what you are doing. I’m betting that it will provide fruit well beyond your expectations."
"Andy & Mia were great at passing on their significant experience in an easy going way & were calm and professional in an emergency [Andy's appendicitis]. They served delicious food throughout the trip. Isbjorn is a fast, solid & well equipped boat ideally suited to this role. Overall it was a fantastic experience and the trip has given me the confidence to go sailing offshore with my family."
"I thought I would learn more spending time sailing on my own boat. I was so wrong!
I decided to book a trip when Andy announced the 2017 edition of the RORC600. The entire experience felt like an amazing vacation with familiar friends but nothing else was familiar: 4 hour shifts, sleeping against a lee board, larger winches and sails, beautiful boats everywhere around us, the Carribean sea, squalls, ... - the list of new and different goes on!
It's hard to express how much you learn when you are so deeply embedded with real salties. For me the realization came two weeks after I flew back when I looked up at the sails of my own boat and saw them like I never had before, knowing what was wrong and what I needed to trim. I will continue to work hard on better trims, inspired by the true seamanship I have seen from Andy, Mia and Paul aboard Isbjorn.
"An amazing and worthwhile experience. The varied weather provided opportunities to sail/navigate in some challenging conditions which is what I really wanted more experience doing. Andy & Mia are true sailors and excellent instructors. I learned a lot and would sign on more often if my budget allowed. I'm so glad I got a chance to join Isbjorn for a passage and truly hope to so again when I can."
"Words simply can't describe the experience I had aboard Isbjörn. The 600 was one of the most physically & mentally challenging things I have ever done, yet under the guidance of Andy and Mia and with the high-level coaching of Paul Exner, I can honestly say that I have come away from the trip with a total sense of accomplishment. My expectations were more than exceeded, and I feel that my overall grasp of sailing has achieved a new level!"
"The passage a wonderful opportunity given our current plan to start cruising in 3 years. It gave me a lot of information on how to setup my boat for a safe passage at sea; the safety equipment on the trip was the best money can buy. The passage gave me confidence. The biggest bonus, 'some say I’m crazy,' but I got my first taste at heavy weather sailing and it was a big confidence builder! I felt safe with the leadership on the boat and learned a lot… Whatever your reason for going on an adventure sail offshore, I highly recommend Andy to be the captain to take you!
"Sailing with Andy was a great experience and quite an education. I found Andy to be mature beyond his years and his experience and knowledge of sailing is impressive. Andy approaches sailing as an adventure that should be taken advantage of as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. His demeanor around the boat is anything but timid as he is quick to shimmy up the mast or out the whisker pole while underway whether its emergent or just for fun. He keeps a simple approach to systems and figures the fewer systems aboard the less you depend on and the less likely things will break. I would sail with Andy again in a heartbeat as I always look forward to an opportunity to learn from him.
"I learned so much from Andy, Mia and Paul and am grateful for their leadership and willingness to teach so many things. It took a number of weeks after getting home just to digest everything and realize how much the experience had changed me. I went into the trip expecting two main things: 1 - Learn lots about sailing and 2 - Enjoy the race. Both of those expectations were not just met, but exceeded. What I didn't expect was how the entire experience would be so inspiring.
Sailing with Andy, Mia and Paul Exner on Isbjorn was truly a life changing experience. Learning about sail trim, boat balance, spinnaker handling, navigation, headers and lifts...etc So many great takeways! The race we completed was one of the most challenging and physically gruelling trips i have ever been on. But...the greater the challenge, the greater the reward!
Andy, Mia and Paul are truly living their dreams. If that isn't inspiring enough, they are superb at humbly sharing their passion and helping us all reach our sailing goals as well. It was a real eye opener and reminds me that so much is possible with the right knowledge, attitude and perserverence.
If I had to sum up the entire experience in one word, that is an easy choice: Inspiration!"