A few months after we set sail back in 2009 Steve got a job offer. It wasn’t in the plans to leave me alone afloat but after A LOT of consideration and debate we accepted. I was (mostly) comfortable being by myself, the boat was secure and we had some great neighbours that I could lean on if need be. Alone on Kate for 8 weeks up a river in Panama I learned a lot about myself, my abilities and the boat.
Since then we have found a way to balance work and our sailing life, repeating when necessary the me-staying-on-the-boat-while-Steve-goes-off-to-do-the-hard-yards scenario. During those times alone I refer to myself as a “temp single-hander.” I get a brief glimpse into what it takes to run a boat alone; the stresses of being solely responsible for a floating home, the joys of discovering some previously untapped skill or ability and the mental game required to not start talking to inanimate objects…or at least not to talk back to them.
Women who single-hand (for real and not just when they have to) are a bit of a rare species- over the past ten years I have only met 2. Which is why I was excited when Nike Steiger of @whitespotpirates was up for answering a few of my questions, and Cruising World was up for publishing my interview with her.
Nike recently released a full length documentary, you can find the link on YouTube. I hope you find her as brave and inspiring as I do and enjoy the read!