I joined Sailnet yesterday and am so glad to have found this thread today -
I am looking forward to my third summer on Esmeralda, my 1982 Pearson 26 - am married but my husband loves the farm (and HATES heeling) so I go by myself, or with my 11 year old first mate son, or with a friend or two...and everytime I learn something new and gain more confidence. The challenges I have set for myself for this coming season are sailing to the dock (not motoring), anchoring (it's amazing that I haven't quite gotten to that one yet) and a two day cruise down Casco Bay to the Saco River. We'll see how it all pans out.
I agree wholeheartedly with so many of the comments in this thread - I do receive both admiration from both genders as well as looks of incredulity as I talk about singlehanding (I am 45) - even just in protected water for an afternoon. It has definitely been a challenge for me to believe in my own capabilities and I also love the euphoria at the end of the safe mooring (sailed onto the mooring last summer - met that challenge!). And I also prefer to take someone with me - it's just more fun.
Two winters ago I took a group of women on a charter to the BVI's - a wonderful learning experience for me as skipper - but that's another thread.
Thanks for posting your stories and come on summer!