Members' Online Book: Getting Along With Your Crew, Chapter 7 of 7

Good Communication—A Vital Key To Cruising Happiness

5- Seeing penguins in thier natural habitat was one of the goals of our expediton on Sila (2)

Last spring my family and I met a delightful family of four in the Caribbean. Like us, they had started their sailing adventure in the spring of 2013. It was not long into the conversation, though, that we realized they were having a very different sort of experience. In the time that we had sailed 36,000 miles, including months in the high latitudes, they had sailed 6,000 miles in the Caribbean.

I was struck by the realization that their family was just as happy as our family, but that it was a good thing we were not together. That is, what worked well for them would not have worked for us and vice versa.

In both cases, clear expectations about the expedition goals facilitated family happiness. In our case, our stated goal was to see penguins and polar bears in their natural habitats. Not a goal that is possible to realize in the Caribbean!

Articulate Your Goals

So, before you go voyaging as a couple or as a family, it is important to discuss each person's goals and desires. As John noted in his post "Going Cruising—Being Realistic About You", it is a deeply personal process to look in the mirror and think carefully and honestly about your abilities, strengths, weaknesses and desires.

But once you have done that, communicating those realizations to your partner or family and working out expedition goals together is essential. And, once set, revisiting your expedition goals periodically and formally will enhance everyone's enjoyment.

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Meet the Author

Molly Barnes

Molly and Christopher Barnes, and their two boys Porter and Jack, have just completed a 36,000-mile circumnavigation of South America in their Boréal 47, Sila, including cruising South Georgia—one of the toughest cruising grounds in the world. Molly is the co-founder of an academic and wilderness school, an ultra runner, and an expert on motivating young people to find their own inspiration in adventure.

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