Table of Contents
Before I jump into today’s topic, I wanted to draw attention to a recent event spreading through social media. Many of you have probably seen a flood of black and white photos of women with the hashtag #challengeaccepted and #womensupportingwomen. Before participating, I paused to consider what message I would want to convey and what image best represents that message.
I decided that I wanted to highlight a 30-year history of supporting girls and women ever since I matriculated to Wellesley College.
Growing up in a melting pot, I had a somewhat sheltered beginning. It was only when I moved to Boston did I experience contrasts in points of view - social stratification by gender, ethnicity, class, education, occupation, geography, income, derived power… and, I suppose, any other way that people seem to divide themselves from “others.”
While I could expand on all the variations, I will stay on point and focus on gender differences. I am reminded by the work of the Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College as well as experiencing the dynamics of both supportive inclusion and “Mean Girls” exclusion. That’s right… even in the hallowed bastion of feminism lurks pettiness and betrayal.
Just like life.
Following graduation, I took my costly lessons-learned into the workforce and experienced more of the latter than the former. We do not live in a utopia of equality; there are invisible systems conferring dominance in some groups to the detriment of others.
With that in mind, I wanted to make an impact in a broad way among girls by becoming a board member of the Girls Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, supporting their mission:
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. We are the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. With programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success.
The next chapter of my life will role model these characteristics and continue the story of supporting girls and women throughout the world, teaching them to be brave and encourage adventure. Over the past few days, I selected photos in my social media stream of women from various stages in my life who have made an impact on me, who have inspired me, and who have embodied the ethos of women supporting women.
As we prepare to cast off later this year, I have relied on the support of Women Who Sail, where I have found a safe haven of inclusive support once again.
At the time of this writing mid-July, Gov. Gavin Newson ordered major reopening rollbacks in CA in attempt to control rampant coronavirus spread. Several sectors are once again shut down as of Monday. One step forward, two steps back.
We remain thousands of miles away from our sailboat. We are patiently waiting for September to roll around so that we can headout to Ft Lauderdale and complete the haul out, marine survey and sea trial. Even then, we’ll need to exercise caution to OCD levels.
During this time, I was inspired to read works of fiction about sailing in various cruising grounds. I suppose you can call it fictional prep. I’m part of the Women Who Sail Who Write Facebook group. Recently this topic came up, and I began to organize the suggested books to read while cruising an area. This can help us get to know the geography, people and culture.
So far, we’ve taken advantage of audiobooks of the following works of fiction:
… as well as non-fiction:
- Everywhere - Sailing Alone Around the World - Joshua Slocum
- Mexico - The Log of Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck
Here is a collection of the suggested reading. Based on a cursory glance at the synopses, these range from literature and best-sellers to self-published fare (that may have typos and require ruthless editing). They also cross a variety of genres. Personally, I will be steering away from steamy, chick lit.
I find it interesting that this list of books excludes many locales including Europe, South America, Australia, India, Africa, Russia and Antarctica. Perhaps the sample size is too small. Perhaps it is an indication of the type of sailors that happened to respond to the request. Therefore, it seems like a good project for me to tackle, that is to round out and complete the list.
The list is organized by bodies of water rather than land.
- Rhode Island - Ferry to Cooperation Island by Carol Cronin
- North Carolina coast - Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- Chesapeake Bay - Beautiful Swimmers by William W Warner
- Chesapeake - Chesapeake by James Michener
- Florida - Captiva by Randy Wayne White
- Bahamas - Wind from the Carolinas by Robert Wilder
Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico
- Cuba - Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- Cuba - North of Havana by Randy Wayne White
- Caribbean - Caribbean by James Michener
- Martinique - Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau
- Virgin Islands - Sailing Paradise by Gabrielle Thompson
- Sea of Cortez - The Girl of the Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley
- Mexico - Mexico by James Michener
- Guatemala - The Long Night of White Chickens by Francisco Goldman
- Victoria, BC - To All Appearances a Lady by Marilyn Bowering
- Hawaii - Hawaii by James Michener
- Island of Jeju, Korea - The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
- Japan - Across the Nightingale Floor, Grass for His Pillow, Brilliance of the Moon and other books from the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn
- Spratly Islands - SSN by Tom Clancy
- South Pacific - Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener
- French Polynesia - Typee & Omoo by Herman Melville
- Galapagos - Galapagos by Kurt Vonegut
- New Zealand to California - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
- Pacific / South Sea - The Far Side of the World by Patrick O’Brian
Some of the contributors didn’t seem to pay too much attention to the request and proposed a variety of non-fiction books. I am including these below, which would include memoirs, travel logs, autobiographies and biographies.
- Various - Sailing Alone Around the World - Joshua Slocum
- Various - Following the Equator (sometimes titled More Tramps Abroad) by Mark Twain
- Various - Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz
- Various - Swell by Liz Clark
- Various - The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier
- Various - Saga of the Wayward Sailor by Tristan Jones
- Carolina coast - Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea by Gary Kinder
- Florida Keys - Last Train to Paradise by Les Standiford
- Bahamas - Out Island Doctor by Evans Cottman
Caribbean/Gulf of Mexico
- Caribbean - An Embarassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof
- Caribbean - A Sail of Two Idiots by Renee Petrillo
- Panama Canal - The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough
- Virgin Islands - The Sailor Who Climbs Mountains by Jean Braure
- Alaska - Travels in Alaska by John Muir
- Pacific North West - The Curve of Time by M. Blanchett
- PNW & Alaska - Passage to Juneau by Jonathan Raban
- Vancouver Island - White Slaves of Maquinna by John R Jewitt
- Broughton Archipelego, British Columbia - Full Moon, Flood Tide by Bill Proctor
- Borneo, Malaysia - Land Below the Wind, Three Came Home and White Man Returns by Agnes Newton Keith
- Malaysia - The War of Running Dogs by Noel Barber
- South Pacific - The Cruise of the Snark by Jack London
- Solomon Islands - Faraway by Lucy Irvine
- Suwarrow in Pacific - An Island to Oneself by Tom Neal
- French Polynesia - Tupaia, Captain Cook’s Polynesian Navigator By Joan Druett
- Fiji - Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost
Regardless of the category, we hope you find some enjoyable reads from these lists. If you would like to add to this list, send us a message!
Thanks for reading!
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