Going it Alone

Singlehanders go it alone. What does that mean for them regarding relationships, friendships, and family? Was it a choice or did the other half back out? Would you rather be alone, are you looking for a long-term partner, or perhaps looking for the occasional buddy boat? What are the emotional and practical realities of going it alone in what is often a coupled-up cruising world?

Bruce Glass of s/v Scuttle Butt clips to a jackline for safety when sailing solo
(photo copyright Bruce Glass)

Below are links to a variety of blog posts from singlehanders, some practical, some emotional, some a bit of both, and some just a peek inside a day in the life of a singlehander. It was more difficult than I expected to corral together posts on this topic. Perhaps many singlehanders are too busy doing everything on their own to have time to blog, perhaps many are simply somewhat private, introspective folk not as prone to sharing their life online. In soliciting blog posts by singlehanders I received comments that blogging defeats the purpose of being a singlehander, that singlehanders who blog have an ulterior motive, and that singlehanders who blog sound desperate because they are. I do not think we are all antisocial hermits or desperate; we are, like most liveaboards, unconventional folks who don't readily fit in society's mold.

Topic organizer: Suzanne (Orbis Non Sufficit)

Posts are organized alphabetically by blog or boat name:

Laura McCrossin (s/v Annie Laurie) was surprised she couldn't round up crew for a free trip to the islands, so off she went on her own, and found her soul mate along the way:

Teresa Carey (s/v Daphne) buddy boats with her boyfriend but was determined to learn her diesel engine, and it paid off when crossing the Gulf Stream solo:

For Dylan Winter (Keep Turning Left), sailing is a spiritual experience:

Chris (s/v Ladybug) found that singlehanders were often avoided by the coupled-up cruisers, whether because they look rough around the edges or because they are starved for conversation:

Ko Barrett of s/v Little Wing faces the challenges feeling alone and in too deep:

On his second night aboard Captain Clownshoes (s/v Nautilus) faces the challenge of cell phone being out of reach and thumb the only thing plugging a wayward thru hull left open:

Jeanne Socrates (s/v Nereida) is rather famously on her third attempt at a non-stop circumnavigation but still suffers from sometimes feeling down when out of radio contact and with very intermittent email:

Suzanne (Orbis Non Sufficit) is still looking for a chartplotter for her heart:

Roger Jones on Reboot discusses the loneliness and boredom that can occur when sailing alone, but also the upside that solo sailors can forgive themselves when they make mistakes along the way:

Peter Foerthmann (Windpilot blog) provides some interesting insights on how many end up as singlehanders and on the modern marketing of singlehanders to help sell the dream and attendant equipment:

Arnd on s/v Zanshin alternates periods of cruising with periods back ashore to stay connected with the "real world:"

We also received some comments when soliciting posts to include in this compilation and have a few guest blog posts.

Additions to the collection:

AndrĂ© the Singlehander sees society as something to use only as necessary, not be a part of.  [Added 06/22/2013]

Elizabeth (s/v Aquarella) bravely takes on the challenge of single-handing in the wake of her husband's death. [Added 07/03/2013]

Hi, blogger! Are you a singlehander with a post on how and why you live life solo or your view, experience, or plan on finding a sailmate? Do you know of someone's blog post on this topic?  Drop us a link in the comments box below to add to the compilation.

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  1. Looks like a great collection of blog posts Suzanne, can't wait to work my way through them!

  2. Some single-handers blog simply because they love to write, and they want other dreamers to see that they TOO can do anything their hearts desire! :)

  3. I have started sailing single handed on my 31ft boat in Greece after my husband died 6 months ago. I hope my blog will be an inspiration for others in the same situation. http://yachtswoman.blogspot.gr/

  4. Thank you for the link, Elizabeth. Yours looks to be an inspiring story.