Tuesday night we had the opportunity to have a conversation with Behan Gifford, a very successful cruiser with a great blog sailingtotem.com. Laura won this opportunity through the “Women Who Sail” Facebook group that was celebrating adding its 5000th member with a series of giveaways. Members offer up whatever they can to be won in a drawing, and Behan offered an hour conversation about cruising as she has been doing it since 2008 and certainly has some expertise on the subject. Laura was selected as the winner and so she set it up to skype with Behan at 8:30 on Tuesday night. We were really, really excited about the interaction and, in all honesty, a little nervous about it as we view Behan as somewhat of an expert and celebrity (at least in the world of cruising!)
It was a very informative and entertaining conversation and hopefully the beginning of a cruising friendship. The Skype connection left much to be desired (we kept losing our connection and the sound was in and out), but we were able to get some questions answered and Behan is going to send us an email with a summary of most of the topics we discussed. We asked about safety issues, checking in and out of foreign countries, having kids on board, informing family and friends of our plans, and even about the cruising kitty.
The conversation felt like a big step in the right direction toward our cruising plans as we have no personal relationships with any real cruisers right now. Beaufort is on the ICW and there is water everywhere, but it isn’t much of a sailing community. So we don’t have a lot of personal role models or contacts about cruising, just lots of people with blogs that we regularly read. So this was a first for us, a great experience, and I hope that when we achieve our goals of cruising on a sailboat with our family that we can extend another ‘thank you’ to Behan personally somewhere in the Bahamas or the Caribbean.