Stop right there, guys! Let’s not be blowing off this book as Girl Stuff Only. The fact is that three-fourths of the folks who pre-ordered the book were men. A number of gents are buying the newly released book as a gift to wives or partners, to share with them the joys and realities of living aboard a cruising boat.

The 25 women contributors to the newly released book candidly share their fears and adventures with vulnerability, enthusiasm, practicality and humor. It’s the kind of book I wish I’d had before I took off on my first seven-month cruise through the Bahamas. It’s a book from which couples can learn the fundamentals of cruising in the areas they will be traveling, which may not necessarily include Fiji or Christmas Island.

Some of editor and long-distance cruiser Lisa Targal Favors’ salty women have circumnavigated the “Loop” – the Eastern United States from the heartland rivers to the North Atlantic seaboard to the Great Lakes. Others have sailed around the world. Favors herself has 20,000 miles of cruising experience, including two 6,000-miles loops aboard her boat, Kismet.

A number of the Women on Board Cruising selections offered bulleted lists of tips, “need-to-knows,” and lessons learned, which help break up the tiny-sized font in which the soft-cover book is printed. For example, Darcy Searl’s selection, entitled “This is an adventure, not a vacation” offers the following suggestions:

  1. Ask a lot of questions.
  2. Purchase or borrow the cruise guides, as well as the charts, of all the areas you will be traveling.
  3. Keep a road atlas on your boat.
  4. Purchase a pair of communication headsets (marriage savers).
  5. Become a member of America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association if you plan to do the Great Loop.

Each vignette carries a “been-there-felt-that” mood, and pictures of each author make a nice visual addition. Bernadette Bernon of Cruising World magazine says, “It’s like sitting down with a cup of tea and a support group of experienced fellow cruisers who can’t wait to show you the ropes . . .” It brings to this reader’s mind a similar excellent book for women sailors, Diana Jessie’s The Cruising Women’s Advisor, the second edition of which was released three years ago. Anchored in experience, both books address questions common to those considering sailing off into the sunset.

Women on Board Cruising Edited by Lisa Targal Favors (Favors Ventures, Llc., 2010:251 pages)