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Emma Isbjorn 2.jpeg




You go, boy, you go, no matter what they say, you go. Understand?
— Sailmaker, to a young Sterling Hayden

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.

There’s no satisfaction at all in staying at home...You’re doing a hard thing. But you’ll have something to be proud of when you’ve done it. Otherwise, if you just do the easy things, what’s to be proud of? Go for the tough things. That’s how you get satisfaction in life. And what fun it is, to go out in life and to take something on.
— Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Midnight. Thoughts and stars. Stars and thoughts. The heavens ablaze with a billion distant worlds. The mind ablaze, too, in its own fashion. Something’s wrong - with this whirl of emotion and struggle. What in the hell for? The point - what is it? Why take life so seriously, for Jesus Christ’s sake? Why not, instead, do as the majority do? Barge along down the road of least resistance, asking no questions, dreaming no dreams save those you hold within grasp?

Six feet ahead of me the helmsman stands, transfixed by a compass rose. I hunch down into the sheepskin coat, my cloth-visored cap pulled low; its flaps encase my ears to their lobes. Stars glow everywhere - icecold sparks held by infinity.

Midnight. Tomorrow becomes today...
— Sterling Hayden

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?

Voyaging belongs to seaman, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in...”
— Sterling Hayden

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...

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59 North, Ltd.

What We Do

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59 North, Ltd.

What We Do

Sign Up Now!

What we do.

Join us for the ocean sailing adventure of a lifetime on our classic S&S Swan 48 IsbjörnCross an ocean & discover the lure of the open sea, all aboard a beautiful, classic & safe ocean-sailing machine. Why? Because life is short, and time slows down out there. 

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.

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
— T.E. Lawrence

Talk to Us! +1-443-440-5411




What others had to say.

If you enjoyed your time with us, please fill out the 'Testimonial' form below and click 'Submit.' These get sent directly to us, and will be published on the website (see below). Thanks for your support.

We'd love to hear your criticisms too, and how we can improve our passages. If you have some helpful critiques, please use the 'Feedback' form instead. Thanks!

The single most important thing you can do, by far and bar none, to become a safe and happy offshore cruiser is to go to sea as crew with an experienced skipper on a good boat. No amount of inshore sailing or reading replaces this vital step on the road to becoming a competent offshore sailor.
— John Harries, morganscloud.com
That trip was fantastic! That was the best sailing trip I’ve ever had in my life!
— Senator Tom Harkin, Ret. Caribbean 1500 2015
I gained valuable offshore experience on a fine boat, learned how Andy & Mia competently manage their boat, learned about celestial navigation and had a great time doing it! That we got to do all that while completing Isbjorn’s first back-to-back 200-mile day passage was a smokin’ fast bonus! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would love to do it again someday.
— Reed Ellis, Grenada-BVI 2017
Ocean sailing is something you have to experience to understand, and I’m glad I did it on Isbjorn. The Swan 48 is an offshore machine and Andy and Mia are fantastic hosts and teachers. Andy got me to the point where I could steer the boat with my eyes closed wing on wing by feeling the wind. Beyond the sailing Cuba was an incredible destination. I’d highly recommend visiting even if you aren’t lucky enough to go in style on a sailboat to the Hemingway Yacht Club. Thanks for the check-mark on the bucket list!
— Greg Jorgensen, Fajardo-Havana-Key West 2016
Great news about the Swan, really terrific boat and she looks beautiful! That’s one of my all time favorites - a true classic, and just a great sailing boat. Good show. She will treat you well, and is a good boat for running offshore trips. Congrats!
— John Kretschmer, Cape Horner, Author, Sailor
What a treat to sail with the 59 North A-team of Andy, Mia and Andy’s father Dennis. It was everything I hoped it would be…good sailing, good company and lots of practical sailing experience. All three of them brought something to the table to make the whole experience both educational and enjoyable. 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!
— Matt Morrisson, Lunenburg-Annapolis 2015
Andy & Mia were an absolute pleasure to sail with! They put together an informative and fun trip on an absolutely beautiful boat. Andy is a thorough teacher and Mia cooks up an insane amount of gourmet meals, even with the boat healing 20 degrees for days ;) I can’t wait to join the two of them again soon!
— Rachel Cumberland, Lunenburg-Annapolis 2015 / s/v Satori
Andy and Mia, I want to thank you again for such a great experience. 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.
— Dan Levine, Annapolis-Lunenburg 2015, Canadian Maritimes 2016
Andy is an amazing sailor and speaker and just an overall great person to know. He has provided so much encouragement and wisdom about life at sea. I have just completed a passage to the Galapagos from Panama and will soon leave for a 3,000+ nm passage to French Polynesia. I’m glad to leave with the lessons he has taught me.
— Heidi Love, s/v Centime, Caribbean 1500 2012
Thanks to you Andy! We had a wonderful experience in amazing company! It was exactly what we were hoping for, and we learned a ton—about what it’s like to be on a passage, about sail trim, about boats. We’d love to sail with you again.
— Paula & Steve, BVI-Grenada-BVI 2015
I had a great time and look forward to doing it again in the near future.  So far now, it will be lake sailing and some coastal hops until my BVI trip at the end of May.
— Gil M., BVI-Grenada-BVI 2015
Word’s can’t express what I think. If you are going or are currently on a blue water cruise and haven’t been to an event to learn from Andy’s vast experience, be impressed by his humble perspective, and enjoy his genuine friendly disposition...you’re missing out.
— Eddie Lucero, Seminar Participant
Andy is a great seminar organizer. Great logistics, great questions that keep the speakers on topic, and great logistics.
— Pedro Espina, Seminar Participant
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Books We Love...

This list is going to grow exponentially as I get the time to update it! I've sorted it into 'Technical', 'Inspirational' and 'Fiction', but you can sort through several other categories by clicking on the 'category' or 'author' tag to sort the list. Or click the image for the Amazon link to buy them (I get no cut of this by the way, it's just for fun)! 

As an aside, Mia and I always try to buy secondhand books - a great source is abebooks.com. We also highly value local bookstores, buying locally whenever we can. Most cities we visit, big or small, have used bookstores - seeking them out is part of the fun of travel!

Technical Books

Inspirational & Other Non-Technical Books

Fiction Books (for the long night watches!)

Reader Recommended...

The following are books we haven't read, but our fans have. Check out what they recommend!

Did we miss one?