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Photo by Martin Aaron [Bristol, England]

The ocean is an unpredictable place. But with seasoned navigator Dag Pike at the helm, you’ll never be lost at sea. Pike cut his teeth as a teenager in the Merchant Navy and had already stashed multiple circumnavigations in his pocket by the time he turned 21. Now, after 65 years of experience with all kinds of vessels, Pike is one of the most venerable seamen and acclaimed powerboat-racing navigators in the world.

An accomplished author, Pike published his first book, Powerboats in Rough Seas, in 1974. Since then, he’s written at least 50 other titles on a wide range of salty subjects, from navigation and powerboating to disasters at sea and weather analysis. Simply put, what Pike doesn’t know about the ocean isn’t worth knowing.

Pike is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation, a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology, an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Aside from writing, Pike has navigated and driven some of the fastest boats in the world, raced with at least two kings, won a World Offshore Powerboat Championship and navigated the winning boats in the first two Round Britain powerboat races.

He’s also taken part in at least six Atlantic record attempts and helped Sir Richard Branson and Sir Chay Blyth win the Blue Riband race across the Atlantic.

It has not always been smooth sailing, though. “If you push hard enough something has to give,” he says. And by his own account, Pike is “probably the most rescued person in the world.” But even now, in his 80s, he shows no signs of slowing down—much like the powerboats he used to race.