There are plenty of cruising couples where both are equally enthusiastic about spending extended time aboard. If you are one of these lucky ones, good for you.
However, often and perhaps more often that not, one member is enthusiastic and the other, well, not so much.
Our boys, Rob and Chris, now adults, and witness to Brenda’s and my cruising together, like to say that my efforts to coax her aboard are best described as “40 years of Dad’s desperate moves trying to make Mom like sailing”. I suppose that is a true statement but so far, it’s gone fairly well as we have been sailing together since the late 70s, well over 40 years now, logging more than 1,500 nights aboard together and months at a time since I retired in 2012.
I won’t say that I have been fully successful in my goal as there continues to be a big difference between the amount of time I want to spend aboard and what she’d prefer to do.
However, so far, so good but the quest continues.
Over the years I have observed that among cruising “wanabees”, more often than not, one partner is generally more enthusiastic than the other. I’ll go further out on a limb to say that it’s the guys that are inclined to be more enthusiastic. Ok, sure, there are plenty of the fairer sex that love to be aboard but the are mostly all called for and for us “mere mortal guys” it’s up to us to work hard to coax the reluctant partner aboard.
For the last few months, I have been involved in a series of weekly Zoom meetings with a half dozen couples to talk about the cruising lifestyle and most of them fit the pattern that I have laid out.
That’s not to say that this reluctance is insurmountable but it’s has been my experience, and I understand among many others, that to head out and spend months at a time aboard together, often takes some convincing.
Our Zoom discussions were wide ranging and over the months I kept track of what I was hearing and tried to distill those thoughts into a talk presented recently to a group of cruisers, as part of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association webinar series.
With this talk, about a half hour long, I try to get at the heart of some of the issues that cruising couples face where one partner isn’t as enthusiastic about spending extended time aboard. Brenda’s and my cruising has taken us from Maine to the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Cuba and most recently the Lesser Antilles, in the eastern Caribbean where we plan to head again next winter.
I’d be interested in what you think.