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.
S01 E01: RANDALL WILLIAMS
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.
S01 E02: KY FURNEAUX
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.
S01 E03: MEGHAN AGRESTO
S01 E04: CHRIS & MELODY DiCROCE
S01 E05: DAVE SHEARLOCK
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.
S01 E06: RIC SAGARMINAGA
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.
S01 E07: JOHN BARRY
S01 E08: RIDE ALONG
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: https://newsly.me/ Seabird listeners can get their first month of Newsly Premium for free using the promo code SEA2021.
S01 E09: BANFF LUTHER
S01 E10: IMI
This episode was removed at the request of the interviewee.
S01 E11: JON MARTINS
S01 E12: DON McINTYRE
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.