Category: How We Learn

Women tell us how they have learned the skills they need to sail and cruise.

How We Learn

Why it’s better for women to take the helm - Part 2


One woman’s cruising…and learning…experience

This is the second half of a 2-part article by Daria Blackwell.
You can read part 1 here.

Daria not crabby at all sailing along on Long Island Sound.

Ratcheting up the confidence level

Fast forward to another time and life with Alex, my husband, friend and trusted partner in everything worthwhile.

Fast forward, …Read more

How We Learn

Why it’s better for women to take the helm - Part 1


One woman’s cruising…and learning…experience

This is the first half of a 2-part article by Daria Blackwell.

The author at the helm of EXPRESSO, a 41 foot German Frers-designed sloop.

There is no doubt that many women have been reluctant to take the helm. But based on personal observation, times are changing. I’ve been seeing more women …Read more

How We Learn

How do women educate themselves about sailing?


The captain put me in charge of getting us from point A to point B. I was responsible for upping anchor, route planning, navigating and dropping the hook at our destination.

My cruising life started and nearly ended in 2007. It just wasn’t what I thought or hoped it would be.

It was clear: never darken the …Read more

How We Learn

Marine mechanics: Women’s work


Testing our fuel tank sender float

It’s a shame that more girls aren’t trained as marine mechanics because, frankly, with the tiny spaces one has to maneuver in to work on  a boat, most men, with their big, cumbersome frames, just aren’t built for it.

The job we tackled on Monday, after putting off boat work to …Read more

How We Learn, People Who've Inspired Us

Everything I needed to know to go cruising ...


Everything I Needed to Know to Go Cruising …
… I learned from my mom.
No, she wasn’t a cruiser, a sailor, a diesel mechanic or an electrician. Those skills would have been helpful, but not as helpful as what she did teach …Read more

How We Learn

Getting started on tall-ships

Stephanie Katz

“Wow! How did you end up doing that?!“
These are the words I’ve come to expect from new acquaintances after telling them what I do for a living.

I’m a North-American woman in my late twenties, and for the last several years I’ve worked on and off on tall ships, mostly doing education work with youth. Right …Read more

How We Learn

Your disability is your opportunity

Teresa Carey

I spent last winter in Miami, Florida working and saving for my next big sail.

My goal was to sail to the Bahamas, spend some time exploring the sandy beaches and shallow banks, and then head north, offshore, bound for Martha’s Vineyard. I had summer plans for sailing on schooners in Maine and the Vineyard.

But having …Read more

How We Learn, People Who've Inspired Us

The Captain’s Father


I have learned from many sailors over the years, but none so much as the years I spent in the cockpit of my father’s ‘old classic woodies’ on the Great Lakes.

Being the youngest of 5 and having lost my mother to her nursing career, I tagged along behind the Captain (my father) and learned by …Read more

How We Learn

Kim Hess moves aboard her first boat

kim hess

“Tonto he was smart, one day said Kemosabe, Kiss my ass I bought a boat, I’m going out to sea.” Lyle Lovett’s, If I had a Boat

I could not wait to make this the ring tone on my phone, and I did November 20, 2009 as the selling broker and I were bringing ‘my’ …Read more

How We Learn

Debbie Leisure: What I learned on my first solo trip to the Bahamas


In September of 2009, Debbie Leisure wrote here on the Women and Cruising Blog about how she learned to single-hand her boat after the death of her husband. At the end of the post Debbie said that she planned to sail to the Bahamas this winter. So we recently asked Debbie to update …Read more

Fears and Worries, How We Learn

Ruth Allen's secret weapon against fear: the theme song from Gilligan's Island


My first sail was on May 24th 1999, I was 41 years old.

My husband had sailed from the time he was a young boy, starting off in dinghies. We had purchased Thetis, a Halcyon 23, restored her and were now ready to sail.

There was one small problem: her engine was …Read more

Fears and Worries, How We Learn, Sharing Our Stories

Laurie’s epic journey to conquer her fear of the water


I don’t know why I’m terrified of water.

It’s not as though I have memories of any tragic or traumatic moment in my life, such as I’ve heard others tell when detailing their fear of the deep.

In fact, I remember a few family outings as a child to Terracina or Sabaudia or even San Felice (Italy) …Read more