© Voyageur 10.10

Sailor-Made Learning

October 22, 2018

These days, there are more Women Sailors than ever before… Women who seek adventure, women who want to cruise the world alone or with their partners, husbands and friends!

….Go for it, Girls!!!!

It’s heartening to see sailing instruction for women being supported these days by so many cruising organizations. Today, women can learn, with their peers, a discipline that was once exclusively; a man’s world! The Women’s Day at the BC Boat Show, last January, was a huge success! The Bluewater Cruising Association in BC fills many “women only” courses in diesel engine maintenance, among others. This year’s Toronto International Boat Show has an added feature; Women’s Day, where experienced female sailors lead seminars tailored for women.

                                                                                                                                                   

When I was 40, Ken articulated, “Hey Carol, What do you say, we build a boat and sail around the world!” Immediately I replied, “Sure, let’s do it!”  My hasty reply was simply a reaction! Ken statement bought to my mind, an outlandish opportunity to continue living an exciting life as we grow older together. Although, it appealed to me, I could not fully embrace sailing across oceans, until I felt comfortable in this world just outside my “comfort zone”. I knew I needed sailing instruction, but Ken wasn’t going to teach me. As with training your teenager to drive, home life is much happier if you leave that task to Driver’s Ed! Ken suggested that I find the instructor and he will take the courses with me! It was a great plan!

Ken and I learn differently and while we learned, together, with various instructors, Ken witnessed my way of processing information and learning, and I witness his. I, as a novice sailor, followed rules, set by our sailing instructor, whose rationale I understood and agreed with. If I didn’t, I would question the logic and safety of practice. Questioning is an important part of how I learn; I must know why!  Ken watched and listened to my concerns and reactions, and also witnessed the instructor’s reaction to them.

Aboard Voyageur, Ken and I have been successful in helping sailing students who learn in a variety of ways. We’ve met visual learners, auditory learners, those who need multiple diagrams and those who learn by repeating a task 3 times, or 33 times! Whatever their learning strategy, our prime objective is not to teach our students but rather, to help them learn.

Ken and I use our personal, and joint insight to learning, to help build confidence in sailors who join our sail training adventure courses. Besides skill building and boat management, Ken and I emphasize onboard communication and partnership, related to the cruising lifestyle. We enjoy empowering women as they enter a historically male dominated role as skipper, co-skipper or first mate. Equally as much, we enjoy empowering couples and families to happily and effectively cruise long term, together.

 

 

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