Category: Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

What we learned from our first cruising boat


This article was also published in 48° North (July 2015) – a great, free sailing magazine for the Pacific Northwest, and on Pacific Sailors, Verena Kellner’s blog.

It’s been nearly a year since we sold Camille and we’re starting to think about our next boat. We’ve had a nice break but …Read more

First Cruise/First passage, Lessons Learned

Tale of a gale: A novice sailor’s adventure


A couple of years ago when my husband gave me a copy of Beth Leonard’s book, “Following Seas”, with the caveat that I probably shouldn’t read the first chapter, I might have known that sailing would have some adventures in store. But our story started long before that; it really started 8 years ago on Long Island …Read more

Lessons Learned

Just a little heart attack


Here is a fabulously funny video by the Go Red for Women campaign about heart attacks in women. It’s not about cruising but it can help save some …Read more

Cruising Life, Fears and Worries, Lessons Learned

Chance encounters between ships and whales - Part 2


Bizarre whale tales

Who can forget the photos of the 40 ton southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) that breached onto a 33ft sloop in South Africa in 2010, breaking the mast before sliding into the water with an ‘eerie …Read more

Cruising Life, Fears and Worries, Lessons Learned

Chance encounters between ships and whales - Part 1


Most sailors setting off on a passage dream of encountering wildlife at sea.

Yet ask blue water sailors about their biggest fears, and near the top of the list is likely to be ‘striking a whale’. It’s one of the events most likely to be catastrophic at sea. Today, we can usually avoid really bad weather, but can we avoid a sleeping whale at …Read more

Cruising with Kids, Lessons Learned, Relationships & Roles Aboard

Confessions of a Bad Boat Wife



A year ago, I went to a girl’s night out with some women at a local marina. Over dinner and a glass of wine, one of the gals confessed, “I really wanted to be a good boat wife this summer when I wasn’t in school. You know, like pack his lunch and make him coffee. …Read more

Lessons Learned

Anything you can do…


Lisa in her bright pink dress surrounded by her crewmates
in their Bermuda shorts and high socks

At first, being the only woman on a boat is no fun. You have to change in a teeny head or cabin, hide certain bathroom products from sneaky boys, and deal with a larger hygienic adjustment than most men. However, …Read more

Lessons Learned

What I have learned: Choose your mistakes


Buying exactly enough provisions?

All cruisers are trying to find the sweet spot of “exactly enough” — exactly enough spares, exactly enough gear, exactly enough provisions, exactly enough planning — but we all know, even as we strive, that our careful attempts at finding “exactly enough” are made in changing conditions based on incomplete knowledge and …Read more

Lessons Learned

Tell us what you would do differently: Ruth Allen


We are still year round boaters and consider from time to time when we might head off again for a year or more of sailing. Currently work beckons and so we enjoy Witchcraft, sailing when we can in the Thousand Islands Region. It sure could be worse.

There is lots of good company here, …Read more

Lessons Learned

Lesson learned from Hurricane Irene: Do your own thing.

Heading Home: The start of our return to port, before we knew we’d be seeking shelter from the storm! [Photograph by Ann Marie Maguire]

We sailed into our home port of Belfast, Maine, after two weeks of cruising just days before Hurricane Irene made land fall in North Carolina. We spent the winter refitting and living aboard our Bristol 24, Read more

Lessons Learned, Sharing Our Stories

Lessons from an offshore voyage: How one woman’s life was changed by the sea

Heather Mann

“Do we remember how to do this?” I ponder in my offshore sailing journal.

“My mind creaks as I shift from boat maintenance to sailing. Having spent the hurricane season in Wisconsin with the boat tucked into a boatyard in Florida, Dave and I realize it has been five months since we’d hoisted sail on our …Read more

Lessons Learned, Relationships & Roles Aboard

6 Mistakes men make in sharing their sailing passion (Lessons I learned the hard way)

Nick O'Kelly

On even the most perfect weekend afternoon, we see only a handful of empty slips; most boats jostle restlessly in place like drunken tombstones.

Smart, motivated, and capable people own these craft:  doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, teachers, engineers, etc.

They’ve sacrificed and saved and dedicated significant resources for years to buy, berth, and maintain their boats, yet …Read more