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Old 25-01-2006, 03:59   #1
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Seagypsy Woman Asks -

From seagypsywoman, regarding a Women's forum:

Ok, here are examples of real questions that women have asked me and ones that I don't think would fit on another thread:

1. How can I get my skipper to teach me how to use the GPS? He gets really impatient with me and I get the feeling that he wants the navigation station to be his domain, but I really would like to learn.

2. I answered a 'crew wanted ad' and although we have corresponded via email, we have never met before. I'm planning to fly to where his boat is so that we can meet. How can I find out if he expects extra benefits - and can I trust his answer? What if he turns out to be a captain Bly? How can I protect myself?

3. My boyfriend really loves sailing, but I have never done it. He now wants to buy an offshore boat and cruise around the world. He says I don't have to know anything, he'll teach me. What if I miss my family and friends. What if I don't like it or we break up somewhere far from home. I would have to quit my job and store all my furniture. I'm afraid.

4. I just broke up with my boyfriend and he just dumped my gear on the beach. So, now I'm stuck in Equador with all my books, my clothes, my diving gear, my favourite cooking pots and no money. Help!

5. I used to sail with my boyfriend, but he turned into captain Bly. However, I love cruising and I want my own boat. Is it difficult for a woman to cruise alone? Is it safe?

Shall I go on?

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Old 25-01-2006, 04:20   #2
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Sailnet article ~ by Sue & Larry
http://www.sailnet.com/collections/a...eid=suelar0178

Women and Cruising

It was just the girls and I, kicked back in Serengeti's comfortable cockpit, enjoying the cooling evening breeze and a rare "girls-only" get together. Larry and the boys had cooked up a scheme to try some night fishing. Off they had putted in a couple of dinghies, loaded down with what must be every piece of fishing gear they owned, like a bunch of excited Boy Scouts heading out to camp.

Becky, Karen, Jen, and I laughed as we heard the boys' voices trailing away, arguing over which spot to try first. I opened a bottle of wine and poured all around as we speculated on just how many fish would be caught. We toasted to the good life of cruising, our glasses capturing the dancing light from the flickering candles. The night was beautiful and the talk soon turned to how we all ended up cruising about on boats.

"You know," I told my contented looking, barefooted friends, "Back when I used to work at boat shows, I probably spoke to a dozen men a day who told me they wanted to go cruising, but couldn't convince their wives. One man even handed me his cell phone and pleaded with me to talk to her for just 10 minutes."

"Hah!" Jen chortled and sat up suddenly. "What year was that? It could have been me. My husband was trying everything to talk me into going."

"No, the guy's wife wasn't home and he left all disappointed." I responded. "So, what changed your mind, Jen? Why didn't you want to go cruising at first?"

"It was fear. I was afraid of all the unknowns, and I just didn't feel that I knew enough about sailing," she exclaimed, laughingly shaking her head from side to side. I watched the other girls nodding their heads in agreement.

This quickly become the theme of the evening. It appeared that we each had our own individual concerns that might have held us back from joining the cruising life had we not faced them. We spent the rest of the evening comparing our fears, identifying those that were still present, but getting the most enjoyment out of remembering the many that had miraculously dissolved away with miles logged through the water. As it turns out, cruising is much more than just sailing. It's really about learning a whole new way to live your life.

Of the group assembled, I was the only woman that had plenty of sailing experience before cruising. Jen, Karen, and Becky each cited their own limited boating skills as their biggest concern before taking off. "I just didn't feel qualified," said Becky. "I didn't want to give up my house," Jen added. "I thought it might be dangerous," Karen jumped in. Jen and Becky, both sailed a little with their husbands back home, but mostly their sailing consisted of a couple of hours out on the water, followed by a picnic in the cockpit. They had both recognized the need to take sailing lessons to bone up on their skills before they left to go cruising. Karen had no sailing experience, and just figured she would learn from her husband along the way. That had been a disaster, she reported, wishing she had approached it differently. "I'm still scared when the wind pipes up. To be honest I wouldn't know what to do if anything ever happened to Bill," she added, appearing now uncomfortable with the turn the conversation had taken. The rest of us clearly felt her anxiety as she further shared some of her misgivings about cruising.

Becky swore us to confidence, then told us that when they first discussed going cruising, she wasn't so sure that her husband really knew enough about sailing and navigation to command their boat safely. Her voice lowered to the level of a whisper and she looked around as if expecting her husband to have somehow sneaked back from fishing early. Her fear was that the first time anything more challenging than what they had experienced back on their small lake in Wisconsin arose, they'd be in big trouble. It was this realization that made her really start getting involved in some of the planning. She ordered all sorts of cruising and sailing books and planned their next vacation at a sailing school. As she said, "I couldn't come right out and question Bob's sailing ability. To most men, that's like questioning their manhood! My decision to become involved early in the planning process allowed me to ensure we both were more comfortable and competent when faced with handling a boat in very different conditions. And so far, it's really paid off."

We all admitted to an uncertainty as to just how well we were going to get along with our husbands in this small space. Spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week was going to be a new experience for all of us. Becky related that she and her husband traveled so much in their work lives that she didn't think they had ever spent more than five days together in a row before retiring on the boat! They hardly knew what to do with each other when they first took off. After comparing stories, we concluded that it takes at least six months to truly adjust to each other, and if you make it that long, you'll be just fine for the long haul. Mutual respect, patience, and a sense of humor are all needed for a successful cruising relationship.

It may be a trivial fear, but one we all shared was that of gaining weight. Once our more structured and disciplined home life had been left behind, could we resist the temptation to snack all day and would we get enough exercise? I was particularly worried about lack of exercise since we planned to be at anchor most of the time. Becky piped in that she was most worried about the constant physical proximity to the galley, mingled with the fact that she loves to cook. But, of the four of us, only Jen reported that she had gained any weight since embarking on her travels. The rest of us found that we were actually eating very healthy meals, having left behind all remnants of fast food. A combination of never-ending-boat related jobs, and walking or riding bikes each time we went ashore seemed to be keeping us in fine shape.

Losing some of the "creature comforts" of regular house dwelling seems to be easier for most men than for women. We all groaned as we listened to Jen tell us about the altercations she had with her husband before making the final decision to live aboard. She didn't think she could get by on a boat where she couldn't take long hot showers, had to manually flush the toilet, and would be limited in the amount of clothing, makeup, jewelry, and shoes she could bring. Being grubby and casual might be OK for her husband, but she couldn't see herself in that role. They finally struck a deal that she could have most of the storage room for clothes, he'd really scrimp on water so that she could use more, and they'd stop in marinas regularly. Jen concluded she now feels ridiculous about it all. The thought of leaving these comforts behind was much more difficult than was the actual loss. After only a few short weeks, she realized just how silly she had acted. She was experiencing things in her life now that wouldn't have been possible if she hadn't "sacrificed" what she thought was important to her. "I never want to see another pair of high-heeled shoes or panty hose again as long as I live," Jen proclaimed.

Karen and I started to laugh when the fear of sailing at night was brought up. I told the other girls about the first words Karen ever spoke to me two years before. Larry had dinghied over and invited her and her husband over for happy hour. As Karen, a complete stranger to me, boarded our boat she blurted out, "If you say you like sailing at night, I'll hate you!" Through our late night cockpit discussions, we realized we had each gone through the same process of being, at first, quite intimidated by the thought of traveling at night, then realizing it was just another small learning curve we had to go through. In fact, once you get used to all the new sensations, it can actually be a unique and special experience. Karen remained alone in still having some doubts about night sailing as she continued to feel the need to wake her husband for even the smallest occurrences.

Sailing offshore was admittedly an initial concern for all of us. I think everyone fears getting caught in a storm to some degree. Sailors address this in different ways. Jen and her husband have decided that offshore sailing is really not for them. They stick to inland routes and waterways whenever possible and have found this type of travel suits them best. Jen says they haven't run out of new places to discover yet. Becky's way of dealing with offshore sailing has been to learn as much as possible about the weather herself. She got tired of leaving with other boats that said everything looked fine, then having a really bumpy, uncomfortable voyage. She now gathers and interprets the weather forecasts herself. "This way, it's my call whether we leave port!" Becky pronounced. Her newly acquired confidence was obvious as she spoke. We all agreed that some of the most enchanting cruising moments can happen when you're miles away from shore.

Mixed feelings were expressed over leaving family and friends back home. Karen was missing her two kids in college, but admitted she probably wouldn't see much of them back home anyway. "They love visiting us in places like the Bahamas, and tell their friends we're really cool," she chuckled. Jen's daughter is about to have their first grandchild, so she and her husband are presently discussing a plan to split their time between cruising and being back home so that they can get to know their latest family addition. Becky worried about her aging parents, but had finally gotten them a computer, and feels good about regularly communicating by e-mail. We all realized that how you decide to deal with leaving family and friends is a very personal decision, but that there are lots of options.

The stars were twinkling brightly and the moon cast a magical sheen over the calm waters. The four of us silently reflected on our own initial reservations about cruising. Sure there's still reason for concern sometimes, but isn't that true of life anywhere? Facing challenges and confronting the unknown is often easier than it might first seem. Many anxieties dissolve with just a little experience and a few miles under your keel. I don't think any of us there that night would have traded places with anyone.

Through the darkness, we heard some familiar voices heading our way. "So, figure the boys caught anything?" Becky queried. "Not a chance!" Karen and I chimed in together and we all hooted. As we quieted back down and readied ourselves for the boys to join us, Karen looked over at me a little shyly. "Hey Sue, do you think you could show me how to sail your little dinghy tomorrow?" "Of course!" I replied, wishing I'd thought of it myself. It looked like Karen was ready to take charge of her future sailing skills.
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Old 25-01-2006, 05:49   #3
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WOW! WHAT A GREAT START. WELL DONE seagypsywoman and gord ?
It's my first try at threading, having restricted threading to the needle variety, but I'm slowly learning to 'navigate' this excellent site.
As I can't see the previous threads, I will have to go from memory - dodgy at the best of times!

GPS/NAVIGATION. Navigation is NOBODY'S personal zone - it's vital for all the crew to be able to do it - they may HAVE to. Perhaps he's afraid it'll become obvious to you how easy GPS navigation is, after all the rhetoric. What he should also be showing his crew is how to dead reckon and mark the chart, if on a passage out of sight of land. Really, it's not rocket science! If I can do it, any lass can - for sure. My Kipper is pretty good as far as sharing knowledge goes - he is limited only by my ability to understand AND remember before exasperating him! However, in ONE thing he is adamant: no helming in close quarters, i.e. alongside, in our HEAVY 47' long keel + 2 bilge keeler. Not since my first AND ONLY attempt in a marina when I parked nearly too close to an expensive new catamaran. We didn't have Third Party Insurance at the time, but I still feel he should let me try again as I have helmed in some tight situations since. If I were not so lazy, I should get him to practise MOB, but he won't hear of it.
NOT SURE IF YOU'LL LIKE IT? Best solution is to go on a minimum 5-day sailing school course. I have close friends in Gibraltar who treat their trainees like friends - and they, and their friends, come back for more.
SURE, IT CAN BE SCARY AT TIMES. That's what the challenge of the sea experience is all about.
One of the delights of sailing is a successful landfall and the camaraderie of the sea amongst genuine cruisers who practise boating etiquette. One of the least delights is leaving my bosom-buddy First Mates behind, which is only eased by the promise of the next place. Boating females are much more open than shorebound ones and the best policy is not to try and have any secrets - everybody knows everybody in boating. We are unashamed lace-curtain twitchers.
To aid a rookie First Mate, I was roped in to cruise the Summer many moons ago - I have been living aboard full-time for 25 years - with the couple and, with LOTS of joking and EXPECTING to do it wrong til we got it right, she at last relaxed and began to enjoy taking part in more than victualling.
THE GIRL ON THE BEACH is an extreme example of the control-mad male syndrome. No word of advice there - it happens or it doesn't. The yachty community is bound to have lent a helping hand.
WHAT 'PERKS' WILL A PROSPECTIVE SKIPPER BE EXPECTING? It is rarely understood by the male of our species that the female cannot be expected to travel to an unknown boat and be 'available' on arrival - if at all! If any males are going to peruse this thread, they shouldn't be surprised at this comment. Women may be from Venus, but they've got to accept, or not, their Mars on his merits - and attraction.
I shall be back!
Happy sailing!
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Old 25-01-2006, 05:59   #4
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Hi Gini, welcome
Regarding the berthing difficulties. Attending a sailing school will be of some benefit but it will not teach you how to sail YOUR boat, only teach you the fundamentals. I have driven a countless number of powerboats of all sizes over the years and every single one is different. I haveeven experienced sister ships that behave differently when going alongside. Methinks he needs to give you a second chance, I've failed my first attempt at many things.
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Old 25-01-2006, 07:40   #5
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I learned to sail in my forties. My husband had sailed all of his life.
I took some courses that helped me learn navigation, through the power and sail squadron. I did that simply because I did not feel it was safe if I did not know how to do things. I learned both GPS and the older dead reckoning, conning, plotting on paper. Going to work on sextant next.
Sailed every chance I got, both on our boat and on others boats. Practiced heaving to in light air, medium air and heavier air to learn how the boat behaved.
I would not have moved aboard full time if I had not spent a considerable amount of time aboard first, with weekend trips, and longer ones. But that is me.
Cheers
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Old 25-01-2006, 11:20   #6
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Gini, if you mean't you couldn't see the previouse threads when you are writing your reply, just scroll down a little. They are under neath the reply window. Sorry if that isn'twhat you meant.
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Old 25-01-2006, 12:21   #7
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AS regards having your own boat and cruising alone. I assume that you very well may own and car and even drive alone, or ride the bus without a boyfriend present.
There is no good reason you cannot sail single handed, provided the boat is set up for single handing.
I have more than one female friend who owns her boat, sails and even cruises on her own. Including two that have done long
trips.
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Old 25-01-2006, 13:26   #8
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Risk Analysis & Management

Seagypsywoman posed the hypothetical question:
“... I answered a 'crew wanted ad' and although we have corresponded via email, we have never met before. I'm planning to fly to where his boat is so that we can meet. How can I find out if he expects extra benefits - and can I trust his answer? What if he turns out to be a captain Bly? How can I protect myself?... “

This isn’t a woman’s relationship question, so much as an engineering problem.

Principles of Engineering as applied to Relationships:

Risks may be divided into three tiers. In the lower band, we readily accept risks because benefits are felt to outweigh the disadvantages. In the upper band, risks are regarded as completely unacceptable and must be reduced even at very high cost or, if not possible, the activities must cease. The intermediate region is the one in which decisions on risk reduction are made by trading off associated costs and benefits.

Risk assessment generally involves two major elements:
a) the occurrence probability of an adverse event
b) the consequences of the event.
Risk estimation, consequently, is an estimation process, starting from the occurrence probability and ending at the consequence magnitude (severity) values.

I understand* that studies indicate that boys and girls evaluate risk differently. When deciding whether or not to undertake a “risky” activity:
Boys ask themselves, how badly will I be hurt? (Consequence Severity assessment)
Girls ask themselves, will I be hurt? (Occurrence Probability assessment)

* I cannot provide a citation for this study

Given the purported divorce rate of 70%, and the difficulties that some long-time (happy) couples have had adapting to cruising, constant togetherness, and living t in a confined space; I think that the likelihood of a mutually satisfactory cruising arrangement between any two “relative strangers” is low.

I would advise against participation in any activity for which the “likely” consequences are “unacceptably” severe. Each of us must quantify likelihood and severity for ourselves.

FWIW,
Gord
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Old 25-01-2006, 13:41   #9
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I taught my wife to sail in her early 50's

And now she's assisting me (almost showing me) in changing a cutlass bearing as well as many other things.

A woman that is good at math and/or mechanics will pick up on sailing real fast. But just like anyone else, male or female they must have the interest. And condemnation will snub that out quickly in most cases. For every action there is a reaction................_/)
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Old 25-01-2006, 14:00   #10
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Risk

ECC, my father. " I would be careful with that ( my wallett ) in case you get mugged "
MC, me. " Ted, I am still at the age where I do the mugging "
There is little risk in racing a motorcycle, or surfing big waves, if you have the experience and stay within your own limits.
There is a great deal of risk if you have more macho than experience, and you excede your limits.
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Old 25-01-2006, 18:29   #11
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For any woman feeling apprehensive about cruising, I would strongly recommend reading Pat Henry's book "By The Grace Of The Sea". Pat, while completing a solo circumnavigation in her mid 50's, managed to maintain a level of femeninity that many would think impossible for someone of her strength, and accomplishment.
As for relocating to go cruising with someone you do not know, I have a friend with a real horror story. I, myself would be reluctant to do it, but because of the general attitude in current society, I would never support my daughter's idea to do something like this. On the other hand, if she wanted to get her own boat, and just take off, I would be behind it 100%.
I strongly agree with GORD's take on navigation. There are lot's of options to make a boat move, but if you can not determine where to move it, you are in real trouble, or at the very least, identify your location to get help to come to you. I have found it a benefit to teach my wife to navigate, because, in average conditions, I get seasick, and concentrating on a chart below decks is second only to doing engine repairs to causing misery. (I do fine if the seas are rough. Go figure)
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Old 27-01-2006, 06:31   #12
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DIVORCE RATE

70%?? That's amazing! I wonder what it is for cruisers. GordMay, you don't sound too encouraging. And I wonder if there is a solution to this awful statistic.

In my opinion there would be no divorce if men just learned to begin all their sentences with 'I am so lucky to have you in my life, darling,' as in, 'I'm so lucky to have you in my life, darling, please pass the no. 10 wrench," plus buy flowers every time they got a new boat gadget.
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Old 27-01-2006, 07:18   #13
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Thanks for the good advice seagypsywoman. I’ve always understood the “Men’s Marriage Survival Handbook” to limit hubby’s basic lexicon to:
“Yes Dear”
“You’re right, Dear”
“I’m sorry, Dear”
Usually, all three should be used consecutively, as in:
“Yes Dear, you’re right. I’m sorry.”

Three main causes of divorce:
1. Marriage is the main cause for divorce.
2. People divorce because they can.
3. Disrespect.

I think that seagypsywoman’s advice (and the above lexicon) put a humorous face to the most important factors in maintaining interpersonal relationships:
1. RESPECT, APPRECIATION and CONSIDERATION
2. COURTESY and CIVILITY

I think that most couples could remain happilly cruising, if they practice thoughtful solicitude for each other’s feelings, person, space, and things; and utilize friendly politeness in their communications (spoken & un’).

Simply put: "Do no harm"

FWIW,
Gord
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Old 27-01-2006, 08:47   #14
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I agree 100%

If we could only treat our mates the way we treat our friends or even strangers!

Now how about a list of things men would like from their first mates?
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Old 27-01-2006, 08:54   #15
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What do I want? The things Gord mentioned plus understanding of the difference in us, respect for those differences and her continued love.


Oh, and that little thing she does with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
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