Re: Full time long term cruising
Well, for anyone who cares, my search was finally rewarded a year ago.
Through a former crew member, I met a gal of 24 who was the "right" person.
From an equestrian background, she was no wimp and has the strength to be a lot of help as a sailing companion. We sailed from RI to Bermuda in October 2011, (her first sail ever!) and then down to St. Thomas. We've sailed the windwards and leewards several times, adventuring to waterfalls and mountain tops on various islands (we even rented a moped in The Saints; NOT TO BE MISSED!). Last Christmas was spent in the Tobago Cays and New Year's Eve in Bequia with fireworks and rum punch.
She has become quite the accomplished sailor and a fantastic sailing partner.
The two of us sail a 53' ketch off the anchor (or mooring) and to the anchor whenever there is room and have gotten the old girl up to 10.3 knots to windward in Christmas Winds between Bequia and St. Vincent with a very deeply reefed main and Yankee jib. Probably do the Western Caribbean next year and Europe after that.
So for all the naysayers out there; shucks fellers some of us ARE winners, and for those with dreams; don't give up hope.