The Cruising Life - A Woman's Perspective
Recently, I was invited to participate in a questionnaire from a fellow sailor Byn Always of Oh Sail Yes! She wanted to answers from female cruisers on what their life was actually like. Do we really spend all day swanning it up at the beach...?
Find out below...
1. What are the main thing/s that makes the cruising life worth it for you?
The freedom. Sailing to places I never dreamed I would visit. Being remote – away from human consumption. Meeting people who live minimally - yet and most importantly, happy.
Living minimally ourselves. Making our own power, water and 'mostly' catching our
own food. I like that we have reduced our global footprint and are fairly self reliant – and I
love being in such direct connection with nature.
2. What is something/s that you wish you had done differently from the beginning?
Hmm, I hear people speak often about things they wish they would've done. My answer is that there really isn't anything I would change because life is a journey that I can alter at any time.
3. What has been your most surprising experience since moving aboard?
Having a whale surface less than 10 metres from the boat! Now that was unexpected. And a super experience. We sailed along with it looking at us with it's big all knowing eye, then it took a long deep breath and dove down... and THE REST of it's body moved past. Whales can utterly dwarf a yacht.
4. Of all of the places that you’ve been thus far, where would you most like to return to?
New Zealand. I want to sail Milford Sound, Dusky Sound and Doubtful Sound. It would be mind-blowing!
5. What is your favourite physical activity on/off the boat? How often would you say you do it?
SuP. Oh and, Snorkelling for sure!
Re: Products to recommend. I'll get back to you on the SuP thing. I did a tonne of research on brands and two caught my attention. We will be purchasing our second brand in a month or so, so will then be able to compare the two. I know a lot of you will be curious as to what we find, as I have found most cruisers usually only purchase the one due to the restrictions of space on board and cost.
6. What were the biggest struggles for you in your first year? How did you deal with them to get through?
Mechanical issues and lack of mechanical knowledge.
Persistence was key. I asked tonnes of questions and took loads of photos to remind me of how things were before, during and after ‘the fix’.
7. Technology stuff: What would you consider crucial for YOUR cruising life? Why?
Accurate Nav programs. The boat needs to be where it needs to be - not on the bricks.
8. What is your best piece of advice for people who are getting ready to take off on a cruising adventure?
Boat prep. You just can’t do enough of it. Systems, sails, mechanical, electrical… Ensure you have the appropriate equipment that is up to the task… and the equipment required to fix it when it breaks.
9. What has been your scariest moment?
I haven't been thoroughly frightened yet. Likely it will come :)
Darren though ran the boat up onto the rocks at South Mole trying to take a shortcut. He thought he would have lost the boat. He knocked 2 holes in her. Unbelievably, one went into a rib which didn’t allow water ingress into the boat itself. The other went into the keel, which also only allowed water ingress only into the keel. Very lucky!
10. Best budget friendly ideas?
Stay out of marina’s.
Learn how to be self sufficient.
Learn how to do your own maintenance.
11. Best Social Media (blog/social media marketing) advice?
Be real. Post often.
12. Best “Life Hack” solutions you’ve found when living aboard. These would be the types of things that are unusual solutions - the things you’ve created to fix a problem or a situation that others might not have thought of?
The coconut picking tool. Now this item is simplistic and genius - and a foot saver for sure!
13. What is the your most favourite photo you’ve taken?
Ha! Now this is my Pooch, Moo doing her most favourite of things, de-husking a coconut. She is fully committed to most things - but these blighters - she just can't get into them quick enough!
14. How has the cruising life affected your marriage/relationship? Any advice for others?
It has brought us closer together for sure – we appreciate each other more.
Advice? Be thankful. Be grateful for the skills and knowledge that each person brings to the experience. Encourage each other to learn.
Let laughter be your greatest ally.
Let crazy ideas flow – you never know what you might be able to create, or fix.
15. How has the cruising life affected your sex life? Any advice for others?
We built a bigger bed – we call it the ‘super bunk’…. Everyone needs one!
16. Your biggest struggle on board and how you dealt with it?
Oh yes I am right there with this one at the moment. My gorgeous, closest, most vibrant, fun loving buddy (my dog) is nearing the end of her days - and it is heartbreaking to watch her struggle to stay. She loves life and has been the most wonderful gift. Being, and having a dog living on board is challenging at the best of times, however I believe Moo has had a most wonderful life. She has seen things other dogs wouldn't believe and you can see that she just loves being immersed in nature. These are the thoughts I hold on to as I too struggle to bid this most wonderful creature goodbye.
17. Have you gone through menopause on board? Advice?
I am hoping that my mantra of 'love everything' will get me through!
18. Most embarrassing story from your cruising life?
Sadly, nothing springs to mind!
19. Do you struggle with feeling isolated? How do you deal with that?
I thoroughly enjoy my time alone. I just love being immersed in nature and ‘moments’. I love making fun with my partner, getting off the boat and adventuring, keeping fit and making videos… It’s actually quite a busy life this lazy cruising of ours.
20. Do you struggle with any emotional issues that have made it more challenging to do the cruising life?
I did have an irrational fear of jellyfish, however I have learnt that they can swim away from me if I give them time... so I think of that... and now actually enjoy filming them.
We both miss connection with friends and family - it is difficult to keep regular contact. However, I have just purchased a new fan-dangled amazing WiFi system, which we hope will make connection easier in the future.
21. What do you wish people knew about you/your boat/your life?
I have held the dream of cruising the world for many years now and I am just so glad that we said YES to living this life. We have both worked hard, and gone without to make our dream a reality - and it has been the most humbling, invigorating and rewarding experience I have had thus far. I feel utterly blessed. We travel to the most amazing places, meet the most incredible people - and almost every day we see something that makes us go WOW!
To read other women's responses to these questions, simply click on the link here to go to Byn's Blog. I would be grateful if you would share via the links below - and as always feel free to ask me any questions through the comment box!
Thanks for reading and...
Have A Great Day!