Captain’s knowledge, experiences key to first nautical novel

Jul 28, 2015 by Dorie Cox

With a start in Spain in 1622, a stop in Germany in 1944 and culmination in the present day, Capt. John Andersen weaves together several nautical adventures for his first novel, “The Final Option – Bahamas”.

Andersen’s first e-book in an expected trilogy is crafted on technical and navigational knowledge from his years as a captain on boats such as M/Y Where’s Waldo, a 68-foot Azimut, M/Y Eileen, a 70-foot Neptunus, M/Y Vitesse, a 70-foot Hargrave. He also worked as mate and deck on M/Y Lac II, a 137-foot Feadship, and S/V Sweet Maiden, a 105-foot ketch. Anderson researched extensively and used his experience and exposure from four years of work at the nautical store, Bluewater Books and Charts in Ft. Lauderdale.

“Everything in the book is from the imagination, but I make sure it is believable,” Andersen said. “Yes, some of this happened to me, but I’m not saying which parts.”

He based Capt. Jack Elliott, the main character, on himself, but Andersen said he knows a few Bahamians like the lead female, Janine.

“All the traits are from people I have met,” Andersen said. “It has been interesting to meld them into the characters.”

Capt. John Andersen

Capt. John Andersen

The novel includes landmarks familiar to crew who have traveled Florida and the Bahamas, the characters spend weekends in in the Florida Keys, visit lots of bars and even rescue a drunken sailor who’s been thrown in the water, he said.

“Someone said to add a nautical dictionary, but I think crew will read this and they know the terms,” Andersen said.

Born in Denmark, Anderson grew up in Australia and has been around boats his entire life. It was after he competed in the Sydney-Hobart Regatta that his serious love of boating became a career. He delivered a boat from Sydney to Singapore with some friends, then delivered a boat to Bahrain, Athens and England. That’s when he joined the Feadship M/Y Lac II.

Eventually he landed in Florida, got married and settled down. Andersen most recently has run private boats in Chicago for six summers.

Since the e-book is $2.99, Andersen expects crew will download it for an entertaining break from work and study. And he is part way through writing the next book, a murder mystery that takes place in Caribbean.

“The book is full of action,” Andersen said. “But as my wife says, it’s not, “War and Peace”.”

For details visit or search The Final Option by John Andersen on Kindle, iBook and other online media sites.


About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is a writer with Triton News.

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