Monday, January 23, 2012

Ladies - You're On The Boat, Why Not Sail It?

OK ladies and gents, listen up!  If the pretty half of your sailing crew isn't reading this - she should be!  We can't emphasize enough how important it is for this to be a shared adventure.  Ok, there can be blue jobs and pink jobs, but for everyone's enjoyment of sailing, it is important that you both participate and become comfortable with all aspects of handling the ship.  Yes ladies, you do need to know how to empty the port-a-potty - but you don't have to do it every time. (OK, we ladies all know some tricks to get out of jobs like this.)  Likewise, gents, you need to share the fun!  Our comfort and pleasure has been enhanced because Mike has encouraged me to take the tiller, hank the jib, raise the sails, drop the anchor, and pull the cord for the motor (again ladies, you don't have to do this every time, but it sure is reassuring to know that you can do it if you have to.  Powerful stuff!).  I now feel more comfortable being in control which makes me feel safer on the boat.  It amazes us how many couples that do sail together have one crew and one passenger.  This just doesn't work for us.  I need to know that I can do what is necessary if Mike should go overboard or become ill.  And, it makes sailing fun when I can take the tiller, make the decisions on course and sail trim, and actually get where we planned to go.  When Mike pulls the anchor, which is usually my duty, he can understand what I am talking about when I say,  "It is hard to put the retaining pin through when we anchor."  He can then come up with a solution.

Sarah and Brenda in control on Lake Carlyle, IL.
On a recent sail with another couple on our Com-Pac 19, the ladies took the tiller and the guys acted as bow candy.  Ladies you have to share the bow with the guys - it's only fair.  And you can even enjoy the view and stroke their egos by saying, "Nice bow candy!" (which it was!!!)  From the beginning, this is how we have approached learning to sail.  I know that I wouldn't enjoy sailing nearly as much as I do now, and I don't think Mike would either.  Knowing that Mike trusts me and respects me enough to let me try, assures me that he values my feelings and my self-worth - two very important ingredients in a lasting relationship.


You may enjoy reading Suzanne Giesemann's It's Your Boat Too: A Woman's Guide to Greater Enjoyment On The Water.

1 comment:

  1. You go girlfriend! And in the event of any mishap out on the water, you are prepared to take over...hats off to you Brenda!