#33 – How We Choose Where We Cruise – Part 2

Last month we surveyed the basic principles that guide how cruisers, especially new cruisers, make decisions about where they are going to cruise. Those principals were interests of the crew, activities they want to pursue, personal style, needs from civilization (or not!), recommendations, security, and, of course, the patterns of climate, season, wind direction and current flow. » Read full column

#32 – How We Choose Where We Cruise – Part 1

Cruisers are unique travelers.  We can go almost anywhere in the world we get a hankering to see (some of them places no one else can reach), subject to patience, planning, ability, tolerance, plus a few rules and a nearby shoreline.  Hand-in-hand with the idea of going cruising is usually a dream destination. Where it is and how we came by it will be different for each of us.  It may be near or far, it may be a place or an activity, it may take a weekend to reach or a commitment of years, or it may have nothing to do with land at all and be the challenging sail itself. Whatever it is, the dream is what stirs us to drop the dock lines and actually go. » Read full column

#31 – To Have or Have Not?

It is the most recurring debate of modern cruising:  Do we keep the boat as simple as possible or do we load it up with all the equipment and systems advertised to make our cruising lives safer and more comfortable?  Everyone you meet will have a different opinion! » Read full column

#30 – Taking Care of Ourselves

Getting blood pressure checked Concerns about health care preoccupy most cruisers preparing to go away from their home country the first time.  In the First World, we tend to associate the quality of health care with the quality of its infrastructure – nice offices, state of the art equipment, and big staffs.  We imagine we will not find that in countries where people still live in tin-roofed shacks.  What will we do if we have a problem?

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#29 – Little Things Make a Big Difference

Much has been written about what a boat needs to make it safe for cruising, but not so often is much said about what things make a cruising boat pleasant to live aboard.  I posed this question to the Admirals a while back and received a flood of input.  More than I’ve ever received for any other subject!  This may be because it is easier to think about this than heavier subjects, but I think it is also because we all love to share little discoveries that are (sometimes disproportionately) important to us. » Read full column

#28 - Single Women Sailing - Part 2

It’s not everyday you run across a woman who owns and sails her own boat.  But it’s not all that uncommon either.  People are inclined to make a big deal of it, but really why should they?  There is nothing about boating that a woman can’t take on if she’s of a mind to and if the boat and its equipment match her strength and resources.  The days of the sea as the exclusive province of men are long gone » Read full column

#27 - Single Women Sailing - Part 1

Not every woman comes with a man attached to her hip.  For some this is a good situation and for others not so good, but for women wanting to go cruising, it could be seen as a handicap.  Certainly the majority of the cruising community is comprised of couples, but it is often surprising to discover that couples you take to be married, not only are not, but may in fact be in arrangements of ease and convenience that have been in place no more than a week, month, or season.  By no means does cruising present a closed door for unattached women. » Read full column

#26 – Cruisers Give Back

Recently I read an inspiring book called Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin. It is the story of Mortenson’s stumbling onto his life’s mission of building schools in remote villages that started as an effort at giving back. What distinguishes Mortenson’s achievement is that he manages to avoid the major pitfalls of giving: undermining the receivers’ self-respect, violating the recipients’ customs or beliefs, imposing external values in return for the gift, or pursuing inappropriate goals. Mortenson’s magic is that he has made a real difference not only in villagers’ daily lives but in how they think about foreigners. » Read full column

#25 – Happy Anniversary to the Admiral’s Club!

Lisa of Lady Galadriel wrote the other day to say she’d been walking down the beach in the Bahamas and somebody said, “Hey, I know you. You’re one of the Admirals contributing to the Admiral’s Angle.” This is exactly what I had in mind when I started the column: building an awareness of the neat women out there cruising. » Read full column

#24 – Admiral Abuse

It’s an  eye-catching title, isn’t it? Admiral Abuse. It conjures up images of apoplectic captains chasing their partners around the deck with a winch handle. Fortunately this is not what I mean. Unfortunately, what I mean is much more subtle. It has to do with making a woman feel trapped aboard, usually from an imbalance in power. » Read full column