Jan Mitchell . Author
an Mitchell was born in New Zealand in 1946, moving to live in Australia in 1970. She has retired with her husband, Ian Mitchell, from Sydney to Rathmines, NSW, a semi-rural village in Lake Macquarie City, south of Newcastle. The couple have two sons and three grandchildren.
Jan and Ian have sailed the world’s oceans in their various yachts and it was during the six months they lived on their yacht in Marmong Marina, Lake Macquarie, that they met Col and Judy Kerby. Col is the subject of Jan’s first published book, tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor…
Jan has been an author for many years, mostly writing magazine articles about her family’s yacht travels and experiences. She has been published in Cruising Helmsman, Australian Sea Spray, Australian Sailing, Womans Day and Cruising World magazines. A secondary school teacher of English, during the 1980’s, Jan trained as an alternative therapist, later teaching natural therapies at evening colleges.
Words have always been Jan’s preferred means of communication, both oral and written. Since moving to Rathmines beside Lake Macquarie, she has found friendship and inspiration with the members of the Lake Macquarie branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers. Encouraged by her fellow writers, Jan has attempted writing fictional short stories, being commended in two competitions. Her preference, though, is for non-fiction. Through this, she hopes to inspire others to widen their horizons with travel and adventure.
Jan's second book, Two in a top Hat, is a compilation of magazine stories about her circumnavigation in Caprice, a 25' Top Hat yacht. Two in a Top Hat contains the fourteen magazine articles published during 1978, after Jan and Ian returned from their four year circumnavigation, plus one article by Ian, published in Australian Sailing in 1978. This book was published in 2012 and is available for purchase.
Crossings in Realitas, published in 2015, continues Jan's saga of the Mitchell's cruising lifestyle. This book tells of her family’s travels by yacht and how the younger generation of Mitchell’s have continued to pursue the lifestyle introduced to them by their parents.
In 2019, Jan published the third volume of her cruising memoir, Hear the Ocean Sing. In this, she documents the last cruises she made with Ian in their Brolga 33 to SW Tasmania, New Caledonia and the whole of the east coast of New Zealand, including Stewart Island.