Six Acts of Faith.
One Dream.
One Storm.

A family’s faith strengthened through grit and perseverance.

“A family adventure that leaves you spellbound. Truly unforgettable reading.”
-Clive Cussler

“We don’t get to choose what challenges us, what tests us. We don’t get to choose the lessons our children teach us, or to predict when the lessons they learned without us will be the beacons that light the way out of our darkness. We chose the adventure we embarked on, the gift of expanding our heavenly and earthly horizons for ourselves and our kids.  Here’s the story of the disaster that saved us.”


“Black Wave” is a story of adventure, tragedy and triumph. We have overcome some of life’s most difficult obstacles. Through our book and our public speaking, we hope to inspire others to live life to the fullest. Our message is one of perseverance, faith, hope, courage, love, teamwork and victory in achieving goals and dreams.

Visit the Black Wave Website


John and Jean have spoken in several continents, and multiple radio and television shows.  Their message is about overcoming those impossible situations in our lives.  What started as a family adventure ended in a violent shipwreck.  What surprised John and Jean was to soon find out it wasn’t the end, rather the beginning of their life adventure.  Tragedy to Triumph.  John and Jean’s message is for everyone to find the same resolve and strength that they did, especially when it’s needed most.

John Silverwood Resume


GodSwell’s mission is to provide healing and hope to those physically challenged by a disability or illness through the tranquility and adventure of sailing.



John Silverwood is a top keynote speaker specializing in resilience, overcoming adversity, and reaching impossible dreams. He shares riveting stories and inspiring lessons about how to overcome fear, trauma, challenge, and uncertainty through a winning mindset – and fidelity to family, community, and God. John is a highly successful real estate developer, who with his wife, Jean, wrote a true-life adventure book, Black Wave, about an extraordinary sea voyage that nearly ended in a nightmarish tragedy for him and his family. Their epic survival story is now being considered for a feature film.


Writing has always been a very therapeutic vessel for me. As a teenager, I wrote poetry when something  exciting or traumatic was happening in my life.  Keeping a notebook on my nightstand helps me through a restless evening and just putting my thoughts on the paper lulls me back to sleep.  Every morning on our boat,  I documented the adventures of the day before.  Unfortunately all was lost with our boat  Emerald Jane.  Two nights after the shipwreck, I started writing again to relieve my mental anguish. This was the start of “Black Wave.”

I was born in New York City, the oldest of six children and grew up in Pleasantville, NY.  I commuted by train into Manhattan for college and subsequently worked in Advertising sales for a magazine there.  Standing on the frigid train platform in the middle of February  inspired me to move to warmer weather and I was offered a chance to move to St. Croix in the USVI where sailing became a part of my life.  After two years in the Virgin Islands,  paradise became too much to handle and I moved back to New York, met John, got married and settled in San Diego.


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