Septuagenarian Circumnavigator Hits the Home Stretch

"At Sea" from our March 27, 2007, CW Reckonings.

March 27, 2007


John Gage, 74, is close to realizing his 30-year-old dream of sailing around the world. John Gage

More than a few intrepid souls have sailed around the world, but chances are they weren’t past retirement age when they set off. John Gage, 74, is anticipated to be one of the oldest people to have circumnavigated the globe when he sails into Raritan Bay on the New Jersey coast in early May.

Gage initially got the idea for the journey in the spring of 1977 before he even knew how to sail. He thought lessons would be prudent so he took courses from the Northern New Jersey unit of the U.S. Power Squadron, the nation’s largest boating-education organization.

Gage became hooked on sailing, often cruising his 25-foot sloop Cloud 9 from Cape May, New Jersey, to Nantucket, Massachusetts. He also earned his captain’s license and started his own yacht-delivery company, Blue Water Sailing Services.


Through it all, Gage fostered his dream of sailing around the world, and on December 18, 2003, he set sail from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, aboard a Passport 42 aptly named Dreamcatcher. He has been documenting the journey on his website,, where you’ll find photos from around the globe, a detailed captain’s log, and a position locator. There’s even a section called “Pursue Your Dreams” that just might inspire you to set off on your own journey. If you can’t be in New Jersey in May to welcome Gage back home, you can greet him online anytime.


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