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Seabird is a joint project from writer John Herlig and radio journalist Mike McDowall.

You can find all of Season 1 on this page or any podcast platform. Season 2 is in production. Be sure to subscribe via your podcast provider.

The glorious century-old wooden sailing vessel mentioned in Episode 6 is Toftevaag. She’s the flagship of Ric Sagaraminaga’s ocean research organisation, Alnitak. You can find a picture of her at the bottom of this page.


Randall is a pilot, a flight instructor, and a self-taught sailor. His life story comes from the heart with an intensity that just doesn’t stop. From the hard lessons of learning how to sail off the Stockholm archipelago to studying opera in Tokyo or touring the United States in a van, Randall’s life has become a tapestry of adversity and overcoming—always with a song in his heart. Some years ago Randall encountered Seabird’s John Herlig at a meeting of south-bound sailors in George Town, Bahamas, and a friendship was born. In this episode, Randall joins John Herlig to tell his story.



Aged nineteen, Ky Furneaux was told she would never lead an active life. A car crash had left her with a fractured spine and doctors speculated that her mobility would be limited for the rest of her life. Ky was determined to prove them wrong. And she did. In spades. After a year of physical therapy, she was active again. She finished college and became an outdoor team leader, taking groups climbing, rappelling, sailing, kayaking and hiking. She moved to Vancouver, where she studied martial arts, stunt driving and high falls, and she pursued a new career as a stunt performer. After a few television gigs, her big break came when she was hired to double for Sharon Stone in Catwoman. In 2012, Ky was voted Best Female Stunt Performer in the World for her work in the movie Thor. An expert in outdoor survival, Ky joins Seabird’s Mike McDowall to talk about life as a stunt performer and to explain why she lives in a tent atop her truck in Australia.



Being a lighthouse keeper in the 20th-century might not be the same job that it was 150 years ago, but Meghan Agresto isn’t exactly starving for work in her role as custodian of the beacon at Currituck Beach in Corolla, North Carolina.
Part historian, part events coordinator, part problem solver, Meghan manages not only the lighthouse but also a one-room charter school in this tiny town of just five hundred permanent residents.
Chatting with Seabird’s John Herlig, Meghan talks about all of these things as well as exciting tales of the drama, death, and destruction that was part and parcel of lighthouse life in the late 1800s.


Chris and Melody DiCroce have spent the past decade mostly living on boats and partly living on the road. They have sailed the Caribbean and travelled widely in Mexico and Guatemala, all the while maintaining their jobs and making a good living. We figured the first three episodes probably gave you a taste for an unconventional life so it was time to talk to a couple who have successfully escaped the nine-to-five. Melody provides services for small business owners while also giving advice about side hustles and how to keep that bank account topped up. Chris is a musician and writer. By day, he scripts television shows; by night, he writes terrific books, both fiction and non-fiction, all of which can be found at
Chris and Melody are living the dream. You could too. Listen to find out how they did it.


Not many people enter the sailing and racing world along the path that Dave Shearlock took. Raised in East St. Louis, Missouri, during the 1940s, Dave’s mother placed him in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where he was introduced to sailing on the Mississippi River. Through lake racing in suburban St. Louis, Dave honed his boat handling skills and eventually met his wife Carolyn, in the Illinois racing circuit. Carolyn is well-known as the author of The Boat Galley Cookbook and the creative force behind The Boat Galley brand and website. Dave speaks with Seabird’s John Herlig about bridging the gap between the blue collar world of his upbringing and the high-dollar world of sailboat racing.



Back in the 80s, Ric Sagarminaga was one of those Greenpeace guys making headlines with their daring attempts to prevent illegal whaling or the dumping of toxic waste. Three decades later, Ric is still defending the marine environment only now he does it aboard his own vessel, the century-old Toftevaag, flagship of his scientific research organisation, Alnitak. Ric is a cool guy with a laid-back manner that hides a steely determination to protect the oceans. The work he does helps conservation efforts worldwide. Mike McDowall joined Ric aboard Toftevaag on the north coast of Mallorca.



John Barry never knew his father, a fighter pilot who was killed in action in WWII. But John grew up determined to honor his father’s memory by living life to the full and not wasting away in the confines of a dusty office.
As a young man, he left his native North Carolina and drove to Annapolis on a lark, hoping to find employment in the sailing capital of America.
He took on work as a broker, and through that ended up scoring a job on the schooner, Harvey Gamage.
Some years later, he became the captain of this storied, romantic tall ship.
In this episode, Captain Barry sits down with Seabird’s John Herlig on the shores of the Intracoastal Waterway in North Carolina, to share tales of years gone by, sailing the Caribbean Sea.


In January of 2020, Seabird’s John Herlig crewed together with his friend Benjamin on the delivery of a 44’ Antares catamaran named Seahorse from Rio Dulce, Guatemala, to the island state of Grenada in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean. A year later the two were called upon again, to deliver the vessel from her marina in Grenada to her new home in South Florida in the USA. In this episode listeners can follow along as Benjamin and John fly to Grenada in the midst of a global pandemic, survive quarantine, and pilot this luxury catamaran back to the United States. Aboard Seahorse in 2020 they sailed over a 7.7 magnitude earthquake as they left Grand Cayman. This year’s trip involved piloting the vessel through the ashen skies of the erupting volcano Soufriere on the island of St. Vincent. From didgeridoos to ukuleles, midnight storms to quarantine kittens, John & Ben find amusement in all aspects of the sailing life. This episode offers listeners a rare first-hand look into life at sea. And don’t forget to check out Newsly, the fresh online audio news service. Go to: Seabird listeners can get their first month of Newsly Premium for free using the promo code SEA2021.



The former owner and captain of a Charleston, South Carolina, charter company, Banff Luther has once again tossed the predictable aside to pursue life in an unconventional way.
Trading the sea for the mountains, Banff recently acquired his contractor’s license and is planning to build a number of luxury rental cabins as well as a garage large enough to let him work on the Porsche 911 that he races on weekends.
Grounded, humble, and thankful, Banff sits down with Seabird’s John Herlig and shares what it is that gets him out of bed in the morning.
And he says he’d be content to go out with his boots on, doing what he loves.

S01 E10: IMI

This episode was removed at the request of the interviewee.



Jon Martins was a qualified tandem sky-diving instructor, parachute packer, and cameraman by the age of 20. After performing thousands of jumps, Jon met tragedy on New Years Eve of 2012 as he experienced a hard landing that caused a spinal fracture, making him an L1 paraplegic.
In his words, “I see it as a gift, a tremendous blessing in my life, but it is necessary to act quickly upon it. When you have these life changing enlightenments and you don’t act quickly, it will just fade away, go in the background and you forget about it”
Jon turned his focus to sailing, becoming the first disabled sailor to circumnavigate New Zealand, to cross the Caribbean Sea, and to singlehand across the Pacific.
But you won’t find him wallowing in the spirit of tragedy and despair.
Deeply philosophical, self analytical, and curious about the world around him, Jon joins Seabird’s John Herlig from his New Zealand home to talk about his life, accomplishments, struggles and aspirations in a fascinating and moving episode.


Don McIntyre has spent his entire life engaged in daring exploits. He has sailed the toughest seas, he has led expeditions to the most inhospitable places, he has been an endurance pilot, a rally driver, and an Antarctic explorer. He has won medals and accolades in numerous countries. He has written books and produced documentaries. He has built boats and aeroplanes. More recently, he revived the Golden Globe Race – a solo circumnavigation widely regarded as the toughest sailing event in the world. On October 31st 2021, at the age of 66, he’s due to compete in the Globe 580 TransAt, a race across the Atlantic in self-built plywood yachts. Don McIntyre talked with Seabird’s Mike McDowall about his extraordinary life.


A lot of people have asked us about our theme music and with good reason because it is fantastic. The song is called Welcome to Neverland. The music was written by Nicolas Wind and the lyrics are the work of Claudia de Veiga. It is performed by the absolutely excellent De ImperfAction. You can find it on YouTube and also download it for free at the Free Music Archive