Sailing Through the Ages

Sailing is no longer exclusively a rich man’s sport. Excellent history of sailing!


Austronesians were probably the first to invent ocean-going sailing technologies. Ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians, about 3,000 years ago, were also among the earliest sailors. The Greeks sailed “Triremes” (with three levels of rowers) that had been introduced by the Phoenicians. The Norse were known for their “Longships,” and around 1000 AD, Leif Erikson was the first European to explore North America. Noteworthy sailing ventures include: Christopher Columbus’ four trips to the Americas in 1492–1502; Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet, the first to circumnavigate the globe in 1519–1522; the Spanish Armada of 1588, defeated by the English and then devastated by violent storms; a Spanish treasure fleet lost during a hurricane in 1715; Admiral Horatio Nelson’s overwhelming defeat of a French/Spanish fleet at Trafalgar in 1805; the first America’s Cup race wherein the yacht America bested the English Aurora in 1851; and Joshua Slocum’s first single-handed voyage around the world in 1895–1898. With today’s trailerable small boats, sailing is no longer exclusively a rich man’s sport. “Weekend sailors” regularly engage in both recreational sailing and the racing of dinghies and sailboats.


David Ritchey








5.5 x 8.5

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About the Author

After being educated in economics at Yale University, David Ritchey served five years as an officer in the U.S. Navy, including a year in Vietnam. Back in civilian life, he initially became a businessman as he had been trained but, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he dropped out, got a divorce, moved to a remote old stone farmhouse and took up fine art photography as his vocation, winning over 60 awards during the next fifteen years.

During that period, he became fascinated with the psychology and neurology of both creativity and metaphysics and returned to school to train as a psychotherapist. During his fifteen years of clinical practice specializing in hypnotherapy, he undertook a twelve-year project to research and write about such subjects and his first book, The H.I.S.S. of the A.S.P., was published in 2003. Writing proved to be every bit as rewarding as photography and became his primary vocation. Being an inveterate learner, he focused on non-fiction subjects, enjoying the research as much as the writing. His more than forty published works have won over 25 literary awards. His books can be found at and online book stores.

See Books by David Ritchey Here

His avocations have included scuba diving, sailing, skiing, tennis, golf, gardening, woodworking, dogs, magic, bridge, and Scrabble. He has two adult children, Harper and Mac, and one almost-adult grandchild, Brendan. He lives in historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and spends most of his time either writing or engaging in stimulating conversations over restaurant meals with close friends.