San Diego Sailcast Episode Recap

Episode 008 - John and Deb Rogers

By Jared Wohlgemuth, Casey Allocco | November 02, 2018

Host Alli Bell welcomes SDYC Members and World Sailors John and Debbie Rogers. The Rogers have spent the last seven years cruising their Deerfoot 62’ Moonshadow around the world including Mexico, the Caribbean, South Pacific and Pacific. In 2016, Moonshadow and the Rogers were the finish boat at the 2016 Puerto Vallarta.

The Rogers start by telling us how they got into sailing. Debbie explains that a cute boy asked her to sail around the world, and the rest was history. John chimes in saying she passed the test of being a boat girl, experiencing a few struggles involving the head in the first ride.

John started sailing when he was ten. His father was in the Airforce, they lived in Hawaii and he got hooked quickly before moving back to San Diego. He tells us about his first opportunities to adventure on a boat, meeting Debbie and going through some of life’s steps before getting to sail around the world. John talks about the quick process of buying Moonshadow and taking their first ride a week later. He continues talking about why Moonshadow is a great world sailing boat.

Debbie explains their first big passage down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), taking little short day sails. “I had no clue when we started what this life was going to be like. I was terrified for the first year almost constantly,” she said. They continued with some stories of their first adventures including multiple bridge encounters (17 to be exact), their trip to Maine in 2012, and being on the East Coast during Hurricane Sandy.

On December 5, 2013 the Rogers started their dream in their first international excursion and told us about some of their learning experiences including the Bermuda Triangle and searching Submarine lights.

John and Debbie talk about their experiences going through customs time and time again, having friends and family visits and making future plans to new places. “Our plan are written in the sand,” they said. They also talk about going through the Panama Canal before traveling the coast of Mexico and stayed in La Cruz for two months, which remains their favorite vacation.

After returning home to take care of their family, they ventured to the South Pacific with their first stop being Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands. The Rogers tell us about their April Fools Day prank (including whales), and some of the highlights of their time in the South Pacific. They told stories from the Cook Islands and the cultural practices.

“They have to make their own fish hooks, collect their own rain water, learn how to catch coconut crabs and at the end of that those eight year olds are ready to survive on their own,” John explained about the traditions.

After was more adventures to more beautiful islands, one of which was Tanga where they were able to swim with Humpback whales. They told the stories of Fiji, getting blessings from the chiefs of each bay, and how they learn about all of these places to explore. They go on to explain weather struggles and technical stuff like how they got news on their trip. John talks about their experience watching a volcano erupt, Sydney Firework Show and stories from traveling on the East Coast of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.

The Rogers are back in the U.S. and are planning their next adventures. Until then, they will be sailing in the Baja Ha-ha, a rally from San Diego to Cabo with a stop in Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria with 150 boats on a 10 day trip. After that, they’ll be heading back to La Cruz, their favorite Mexico destination!

You can find more stories from the Rogers adventures on their blog ( and website (