As the only one on board who'd actually crossed the North Atlantic, and on a classic Great Circle, I had some experience in the high latitudes. Sure, it'd been three decades earlier, when I was in my late 20s and full of piss and vinegar. I'd signed on with legendary British sailor Robin Knox-Johnston to attempt an east-to-west transatlantic record on his 60-foot cat, British Airways. Shortly into it, we got our asses handed to us on the Grand Banks — in the same spot and the same sort of weather that Sebastian Junger later mined for a little story he called The Perfect Storm. By any standard, that part had been miserable (yet exciting!), but once the weather stabilized, the ongoing leg to England was fast and magical — the best trip I'd ever had. It had been real, flat-out, no-compromise sailing. All these years later, I still wanted more.