To quote my good friend Lisa, learning means stepping outside of your comfort zone. Well, I sure did that, and I learned a lot! Doing a two week delivery trip was a great way to learn all about sailing and living aboard a large sailboat, in a very short time. As requested, here is my review of both the good and the bad. It’s just one woman’s perspective, as a recent convert to the sailing life.
First, the good. A huge sense of accomplishment! I am no longer intimidated by the electronic gadgetry – nothing like pea-soup fog to give you incentive to learn to use and interpret the radar, AIS and the rest of the navigation tools aboard. They make it possible to “see” what’s out there when you can’t actually see beyond your bow. Another good, I like living aboard, small spaces are cool, it’s really just like camping, only on water. And it turns out I have a good sailing stomach. I didn’t feel the least bit queasy. In fact, I was the only one aboard who wanted a meal, so I had fun learning to cook in a kitchen in motion. I am a shoe-in for any cruise needing a cook. I managed to produce a pot of home-made soup with the help of a gimballed stove (which keeps the pots on the stove) and a galley strap (which keeps the cook from falling over).
The bad? Four hour watches! The closest comparison I can make is having a newborn, but without the reward of the cute cuddly baby. You only get small snippets of interrupted sleep, and you have to choose between that and other such nice physical comforts as eating, toileting etc. Fortunately we only stood watches for 24 hours.
Overall rating? Amazing experience, and I would do it again in a flash – well, maybe not exactly the same way…I also learned what does and does not work for me, and would avoid the latter in future. Despite some tears and fears, it was a great first step in this new adventure I have embarked on called sailing!