Last weekend I went to a Women Who Sail Australia lunch at Manly. I only recently joined the group on Facebook and was amazed by the warmth with which I was welcomed. The lunch was attended by fascinating, capable, resourceful and humble women and their partners.
Some of the things I found interesting about the conversations were:
- Conversations were focused on the future, where were you going, what was the next adventure?
- Everyone was genuinely interested in the person they were speaking to – not looking over your shoulder to see if there was someone more interesting to speak with.
- There was an openness to share ideas and assist in problem solving based on real life experience.
- Nobody cared about what shoes you were wearing or what handbag you were carrying.
- There was no judgement on what size or type of boat you had, your level of sailing experience or where you had been.
I walked away from the lunch feeling like I had just received a big warm hug.
One of the things I learnt from the lunch was how to spot another ‘kid boat’:
- There is netting on the life lines (am nearly finished putting the netting on Medina).
- There is washing on the life lines – and it includes kids sized clothes.
- The tender gets used a lot – at least twice a day.
- If there is a party on board, its usually over by 7pm.
- There are kids on deck (the most obvious one) and there is a high likelihood that they have made swings from the halyards (ropes that pull the sails up).
One of my concerns about going cruising was not being able to provide Orbit with the opportunity to regularly play with children his own age. Since hearing the experiences of other cruising mothers and joining the Women Who Sail Australia group, I’m not concerned any more. As one mother explained, ‘kids attract kids’. I know we’ll all make new friends, renew existing friendships and have fantastic adventures together.