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Preparing To Cruise, From A Womans ...

By Little Gidding - Published January 15, 2006 - Viewed 1510 times


From Harry:

We are from Southern California, in the process of selling our homes, and contemplating buying a 44' Beneteau center cockpit sailboat. My partner Judy has had a dream of sailing through the Panama Canal for several years now. Myself, I would just love to sail to anywhere in the Americas. Judy has some minor reservations about what is needed to make the trip successful, including types of stores, things we wish we had thought about before we left, etc. It would be nice if you folks could advise her, from a woman's prospective, about things not to worry about, and things she should take into consideration.

Hi Judy,

Harry contacted us and told us of your plans to go cruising. He asked if we would write you about "things not to worry about, and the things [you] should take into consideration."

Well, there have been a lot of books written on those topics. For a woman's perspective, you might want to read "Changing Course" by Debra Cantrell (available from West Marine, as well as many other nautical outlets). The Women Aboard organization (www.womenaboard.com) has a monthly newsletter that contains advice by and for women boaters. The founder of Women Aboard, Maria Russell, has consolidated some of this material in a book titled "Best Tips From Women Aboard", also available at West Marine.

In terms of stuff to take with you, rest assured that globalization has ensured that you can get just about anything anywhere these days -- for a price. When provisioning, concentrate on high value items or specialties, like favourite seasonings and condiments. You won't have difficulty finding staples like flour, sugar, pasta, etc. wherever you go, so don't sink the boat loading up on them before you leave.

One of the most difficult aspects of cruising for many women is keeping in touch with family and friends left behind. This can be tough if you're very close to your children, grandchildren, or aging parents. Technology has provided a number of means of communicating from your boat; before you leave, you should figure out what suits you and your budget best.

The most important thing about getting ready to go cruising is to GO. You'll never leave the dock if you try to anticipate every last thing you'll need. Don't worry about it. A lot of the adventure of visiting new places is figuring out how to get by with what's on hand. It's amazing how resourceful you can be. And remember you're not alone. The cruising community is wonderfully generous and supportive. The best sources of information and advice are the other cruisers whom you'll meet along the way.

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