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Old 09-23-2009
ElementQuest
 
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Tips needed as a Young Woman Sailing!

Hello Ladies,

I am 25 and leaving in one month with my boyfriend to do a 2 year circumnavigation. I have been sailing for the past year and working in the marine industry but I still have so much to learn.

I am very nervous about leaving my family, friends and home...and living with my partner on a boat for the first time. I was hoping that some of you Ladies may have some words of wisdom or experiences to share to put my mind at ease while I am transitioning into a Liveaboard Lifestyle.

Any advice, tips or support would be greatly appreciated.

Ash
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Old 09-23-2009
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You have already opened your heart. Now open your mind, and set aside the land life. Unless you get deathly seasick. You are in for the time of your life. You will meet no new shores, cultures, and experiences by staying home.....ENJOY............i2f
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Old 09-23-2009
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Hey Ash, welcome to the forum! The fact that your nervous makes me wonder.. why are you nervous? leaving in a month?? Does that mean the very substantial time it took to plan the trip, outfit the boat, (assuming it's the right boat), packing gear, food by the ton, water, watermaking, emergancy equipment and gear, the list is endless... has all this and more been done?

Now the hard questions; Is boy friend really experianced enough to take you with little experiance on such a trip? Can you handle sailing at night? not, "oh it's a pretty moon tonight" Are your concerns really being addressed? Or are you "just along for the ride"? what is expected of you, what will he do... Everything? think.. why are you nervous? There are reasons.

It could be the trip of a lifetime with memories that will last equally as long. I pray you will find it all works out for the best.
Do let us know how it's going!
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Old 09-23-2009
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Wow, I'm jealous! I was almost twice your age when I started sailing. And I'm still a couple years from moving aboard with my boyfriend. Well okay, husband of 25 years, but he's always my boyfriend in my mind. We bought our first sailboat as our 20th anniversary gift to each other. First advice is that sailing can put you in stressful situations that can test your relationship. Use those tests! They teach you alot about your relationship and yourself. I learned that I don't have to be in control all of the time, and that I can trust my co-captian with my life.

Next I feel strongly that you need to be able to single-hand the boat. I mean everything - departing, sailing, motoring, sail changes, anchoring, docking, switching a fuel filter. Things happen and you may need to do things alone for any number of reasons - from a nasty case of flu to an injury. Not to mention being together because you want to is far better than because you need to.

The world-travelling-by-sailboat I'm less qualified to expound upon. Anything I tell you, you can read in a book. But as far as sharing a small space with your lover goes, I can tell you that it's work. Could be the most rewarding of your life's work, but it's still work. If the relationship is good, it's worth the work. I suspect you wouldn't be casting off if you didn't feel this one is worth that work. In that case you'll have a great experience that will build your relationship and your self. Best wishes!
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Old 09-23-2009
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Try the book. "Changing Course" by
Debra Ann Cantrell

Debra interviewed many women and reports on what worked and didn't work for them.
Everything you are worried about is covered, Leaving family and friends, career, relationships, safety etc it's all in there. Along with some wise tips on how to deal.
She wrote this book for you.
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Old 09-24-2009
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Thanks for all the kind comments and warm thoughts...it makes me feel so great to know how wonderful the sailing community is. Ash
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Old 09-24-2009
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Hi Ash, welcome! Others have pointed out the importance of knowing the boat, and I can't speak to circumnavigating (we've only been coastal or short 4-5 day offshore passages ... so far!) But living aboard a 33-foot boat for 7 years with another person, I have one tip. There's no such thing as 'real' privacy if you're never out of arm's length of each other, so you must become hypersensitive to what we call "virtual" privacy. (Discuss this with your partner, everyone has different needs and different hot buttons.) You'll hear each others bathroom noises - but pretend you didn't. You'll overhear each others phone conversations - but don't comment unless invited. Most important, no shoulder surfing! If one of you is reading, writing, drawing, or using the computer, absolutely under no circumstances peek unless invited! These walls of courtesy have very effectively replaced real walls, for us.

As for missing friends and family, set up a blog and train them to use email - the easiest way to stay in touch as you travel. If you can afford it, budget some $$ for airline tickets to fly home for [insert your priority here - Xmas, kid brother's graduation, parents' 40th wedding anniversary, etc]. Before you leave, take photos of your friends & family and make a great collage.
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Old 09-24-2009
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I am heading south with my girlfriend in a couple weeks ending up somewhere in the Caribbean. Sometimes we talk about a circumnavigation, but we will have to see how we feel and how our budget is doing in a year. We are leaving from NY and headed down through the ICW. We are both 26. Its always nice to hear about other people our age on a sailboat. Where are you leaving from and what route are you taking?
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Old 09-25-2009
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Hey Chad, great to hear from another young sailing couple!!

Plan is to be in New York for Halloween and then leave for Bermuda the first week in November (weather pending)...Bermuda for a week perhaps, and then not sure Bahamas, Puerto Roco, BVI's???

If your Leave date gets pushed back maybe we could meet in New York or hopefully we could meet up sometime down south.

Thanks for the reply...Ash
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Old 09-30-2009
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here are some other female cruising writers who have interesting points of view on the subject. Try Beth Lenoard's Following Sea and Diana Jessie's The Cruising Woman's Advisor.
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