More Reviews

Book Reviews

The real story is the author’s amazing resilience and sheer bloody-mindedness in fighting for his seriously damaged heart… a remarkable book written by a remarkable person.

John Otterbacher’s exquisite tale of one man’s journey into himself and of his family’s dramatic crossing of the Atlantic is a powerful elixir for anyone tiptoeing through life and settling for dreams deferred… Sailing Grace is absolutely terrific in its rendering of the sea, of man, and our innate need to engage our soul and senses in ways both small and gargantuan. I wept at the conclusion.

Sailing Grace is a thoroughly engaging book. Wise people have known forever that life is a near death experience. The costumes of our lives can be suffocating and Otterbacher and his family shed theirs going to sea… They win big and we win along with them by reading the engrossing and perilous adventure story they made of their lives.

When hope and heart disease collide, hope sometimes wins.

Funny, tragic, uplifting, moving and humorous. It will speak not only to timid sailors, but also to anyone facing immense difficulties, setbacks and even life threatening danger in their non-sailing lives. An inspirational story with a message for everyone.

Heart disease may have run in John Otterbacher’s family, but he was determined not to let that stop him from fully living his life. And that meant testing his limits, whether by running marathons or sailing across the Atlantic four times.

Speaker Reviews

This personable, articulate guy grabbed the audience right at the start of his address and held their attention…It was the decision to face death with an effort to live a fulfilled life that makes his talk (and text) so powerfully heart wrenching.

Heart disease tried to kill him, but he wouldn’t stop living. He resolved not just to survive, but to really live… As adventure stories go, this one is hard to beat.

Truly inspirational.

When John Otterbacher talks about ‘living beyond your fears, he’s speaking from experience. He is now a sought after speaker.

A tale of determination, romance, the will to survive and adventure on the high seas…fascinating.

Like everyone else in the room, I didn’t budge from my seat during the speech, except at the end to join fellow communicators in a standing ovation for what was one of the best, most informative opening addresses I have ever heard…a compelling, inspirational story that applies to anyone.


It is nothing less than a story about our capacity as humans to imagine, perform and soar… a daring blueprint that might force you to reexamine what you do, why you do it, and what you are waiting for.

Participant Reviews

I’ve been with Mayo for 25 years and this has to be one of the best speakers I have ever seen here…an amazing story of triumph and living your dreams.


Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Please ask him back!