A Backstage Pass to The Sailing Podcast

"...I am trying to capture some of the stories that people have to tell about their journeys."
- David Anderson from The Sailing Podcast

If you're a regular reader of sailing blogs, you probably enjoy that most blogs share very personal perspectives that are unaltered by the editorial process of more traditional print media (magazines, etc.). Information from the blogosphere just feels real and often raw. Podcasts offer some of these same characteristics in an audio format. Unfortunately, sailing and the cruising lifestyle seem largely underrepresented in the podcast world. 

However, thanks to the efforts of David Anderson from The Sailing Podcast, we all now have an excellent podcast dedicated to sailing life. David manages to produce a really informative show with very relevant topics and engaging guests, many of whom may be familiar as sailing bloggers. I recently contacted David and interviewed him in hopes of introducing you all to The Sailing Podcast and to give a sort of "backstage pass" to the show. What follows are my questions and David's answers. A big THANK YOU to David for agreeing to the interview! 

An Interview with David Anderson from The Sailing Podcast, by Kevin Walters from SailFarLiveFree.com

Kevin: David, can you first tell me a bit of the basics about the Sailing Podcast - When was it started? Who’s the primary audience? What’s the format (interviews, etc.)?, How many episodes have you completed so far?

David: I actually started working on The Sailing Podcast in early 2012 and I am not sure whether it was fear or procrastination but the first episode came out around Easter 2012. My goal was to have episodes out every 2 weeks but I am a bit behind schedule and am up to episode 39 now. The most recent episode was with Teresa Carey and Ben Eriksen about their upcoming movie – One Simple Question. You can find this episode at www.thesailingpodcast.com/39 

The Sailing Podcast is a series of interviews with sailors about their experiences and I am trying to capture some of the stories that people have to tell about their journeys. I look for interesting interviews that will help listeners to keep their dream alive of one day selling up and heading out cruising. I think anyone can do it, you just need to follow your dream and do it while you are fit and healthy.

Kevin: What inspired you to start a podcast about sailing?

David: I wanted to start a podcast because I love listening to podcasts. I carried my iPod (now iPhone) everywhere and listened to podcasts whenever I had the chance – driving, walking the dog, cooking dinner etc. I actually spend a lot of time commuting and listening to podcasts.

Once I decided to start a podcast, I asked myself what am I really passionate about? The answer was sailing and I had run out of sailing podcasts to listen to since the Furled Sails podcast had stopped producing new episodes. The whole experience has been very rewarding as I have met so many great people from the sailing community. Another highlight is receiving feedback from listeners.

Kevin: Which episode of the podcast is your favorite so far?

David: I can't really say that I have a favorite episode but I can tell you that one of the interviews really effected me emotionally. It was an interview with Ted and Shirley from the Blame Buffet blog. I had read their blog at the suggestion of a listener and found a couple who were living their dream together. They had bought a boat and were sailing down the intracoastal waterway on their way to the Bahamas. 

Shortly after the interview (and before it was published) Ted suffered a massive heart attack and died a few days later. After speaking to Shirley we decided that Ted would have wanted the interview to go ahead and get published. It was a reminder of how fragile life is and that we should all follow our dreams while we are fit and healthy. You can find that interview at http://thesailingpodcast.com/blamebuffett/ 

Another one of my guests passed away earlier this year. Allan Breckall was killed in a motorcycle accident. Allan and I sailed from New Zealand back to Australia in 2007 and he was a close friend. It was sad to hear that he had died but I was glad that I had the chance to capture part of his story and since then have been able to share this with his family.

Kevin: What’s the most interesting or surprising thing you’ve learned from doing the podcast? Maybe  a tidbit about podcasting or perhaps something specific to sailing that you’ve learned from one of your guests?

David: I think the most surprising thing I have learned is that there are many people just like me who enjoy listening to other people's stories about sailing. I have also learned that it takes a significant amount of time to record and produce the show. 

A recurring theme I find from the interviews is that although sailing can often be challenging and difficult, the rewards are worth the effort. I also agreed with Allan Sparkes from episode 33 who said:

“The sailing/cruising community is the perfect society to be involved in. Cruisers are the most caring, kind and compassionate people who have a most wonderful sense of adventure and to be involved with those people, those are memories I will treasure forever”

Kevin: How do you decide what will be on your podcast (personalities, places, topics, etc.)?

David: At the moment many of my guests have been suggested to me by listeners. I like to promote people who are producing content for the rest of us like bloggers, authors and the Distant Shores TV producers. The last couple of episodes were with movie stars! Well, people making sailing movies...

I think that everyone has a story to tell and when I interview someone I try and give them the opportunity to share their story. I don't script the interviews and just try and imagine that we are sitting at a coffee shop or aboard their yacht having a conversation.

Kevin: Can you give me a teaser about upcoming episodes?

David: One of the challenges of the podcast is coordinating interviews with people travelling in and out of internet access. I have been corresponding with quite a few potential interview guests. For example:

Paul Burgess from www.multihulls4us.com
Chuck and Laura from http://cruisinglealea.com/ 

I am always open to suggestions and encourage listeners to let me know if they would like me to interview someone. There are so many interesting sailors out there that I could put an episode out every week if I had the spare time.

Kevin: What topics would you like to cover in the future and/or who would like to have on your podcast?

David: I have been alluding to another interview soon with Claude Desjardins about solar panels and electricity onboard. I would like to add some more interviews like this that cover some of the topics that come up regularly in conversations with cruising sailors. This would be things like water makers, autopilots, engines etc. I have also considered starting a 'how to sail' podcast in the future.

For future guests I have had Annie Hill on my list for a while but she only has a mobile phone for me to call and the cost would be significant. She is the author of 'Voyaging on a Small Income' and could also share information on sailing on a junk rigged yacht. If anyone wants to sponsor this interview, just let me know. 

I also have been trying to catch up with James Wharram who seems very elusive when it comes to interviews. I have been corresponding with Chuck Houlihan from www.jacarandajourney.com who has met the James and Hanneke while sailing. He has tried contacting them on my behalf about an interview. Maybe everyone could email Hanneke and ask her for an interview - hanneke@wharram.com 

Another idol of mine who I would love to meet would be Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who coincidentally is coming to Australia soon to sail in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

Kevin: Can you tell me a little about you (David Anderson)? Where do you live? What boat do you sail? Do you have sailing/cruising plans for the future?

David: I live in Castaways Beach in South East Queensland with Carina and my two sons James and Jake. The oldest, James has his final year of High School next year (2014) so all sailing plans are on hold until he completes this important year of schooling. 

We have a Wharram Pahi named Seren which is on a mooring here in the Noosa River. We bought Seren in 2007 with the intention of setting off cruising then but like many other people, the Global Financial Crisis was a bit of a reality check and put all plans on hold. 

David & Carina's Wharram Pahi 42' Catamaran

Some things people might not know about me:
- I collect sailing books and I think I have over 150 on my shelf at the moment
- I am a student studying Accounting at Sunshine Coast University
- I was one of the first fully certified snowboard instructors in California
- Last weekend I took the kids sand boarding on Frazer Island
- I am an introvert
- Carina (David's wife) and I have known each other since grade 1

Kevin: Do you have any other future plans for the podcast?

David: I hope that down the track I can find a mutually beneficial way to financially support the podcast. I have avoided asking for donations to support the show. An option I am looking at is creating premium content for listeners. Listeners could subscribe to access the additional content for a few dollars per month and help me out with some of the costs of producing the show. I am also looking for a sponsor or advertiser for the podcast.

Kevin: Thanks David! Keep up the good work on the podcast and I look forward to hearing more great episodes in the coming year.

If you enjoyed this interview, I encourage you to have a listen to The Sailing Podcast and catch up on all the previous episodes


  1. Wow - how funny to read this post today! Scott has been a fan of David's podcasts for a while and has been chatting with him about a possible interview from our perspective of just starting out cruising full-time. I recently starting listening to the podcasts as well and they are fantastic. It is really great to hear the voice behind the blogs. It is a much richer way to hear about people's experiences and adventures. It is great you've flagged up his site - I think other people will really enjoy it too.

    Cheers - Ellen

    1. Thanks Ellen. Hopefully you and Scott can connect with David to share your journey.

  2. Definitely have to go back and listen to some of these now. Thanks for the heads up. We've been stuck in Oriental NC for a month waiting on engine parts and there have been two of those Wharram Pahi cats anchored in the harbor for a good bit of the time we've been here.

    S/V Kintala

    1. If you get a chance Deb, can you take a couple of photos for me? I am always interested in how others have set up their Wharrams,



  3. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for letting me share some information about the podcast. I hope that people will make it through the first few episodes as I think it took a while to get the sound worked out.


  4. David - My pleasure! Building community and sharing sharing resources are integral to both blogging and cruising, so it's the least I can do.


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