Title Change

You may remember that I used some of the earnings from our Amazon Affiliates* to buy a stack of books which my parents delivered to us in San Francisco when they visited.

One of the books I bought was “Changing Course : A Woman's Guide to Choosing the Cruising Life”.
I will start by admitting that I didn’t have much intrinsic interest in reading the book. I’ve had the book recommended several times and I have a difficult time thinking of women-specific issues for cruising preparation. The only things that I think are women-specific for most (but not all) women in my generation are things that don’t need a book like shaving your legs while aboard or menstruation or maybe dyeing your hair. For my generation, most other issues are common enough among both men and women that the book title didn’t make sense to me.

I thought long and hard about how to review this book – why did I dislike it when I agreed with many of the things that she said? Part of my dislike of it comes from the title. If the title had been “Changing Course: A Guide to Cruising for Fearful or Reluctant Cruisers” (which would really cut down sales!) then I would say that the title fits the content. I know that there are more reluctant female cruisers out there than male but I would also say there are a lot of fearful cruisers, both male and female, and the book is really geared at assuaging fear and giving the reader ideas for control over their course.  This might make it seem like my disinterest boils down to a generational issue.

However, the second thing I didn’t like about the book, as a former professional collector of data, is that she neglects 20% of her sample. If you read the data at the back, 1 in 5 women she surveyed either instigated the cruising lifestyle or immediately embraced it. That doesn’t sound particularly reluctant of fearful, does it? If you read the book, you would get the sense that these 20% are the vast minority of women. I have passed on the book so I can’t give an exact quote but in the first few pages of the book she talks about how virtually all women were reluctant cruisers in her sample. She seems to have found what she was looking for in her data, even though her data were not necessarily saying that.

In sum, an interesting book for a fearful or reluctant cruiser. Not a book for me, or (I believe) representative of the majority of women in my generation that I’ve met cruising.

*If you buy anything from Amazon, find one of your friends who has an affiliates account and bookmark it on your browser. If you don’t, you are missing out on an opportunity to buy your friend a beer without paying for it. You get the normal Amazon home page, the normal prices, the normal free shipping, your friends get a cut. If you don’t know anyone, please use ours. We’re saving our Amazon earning for cruising guides for the S Pacific right now.

PS – We are selling our Dixon guide to Northern BC and chart book for Desolation Sound. Both half off retail price and they are in Marysville, WA at my brothers. Would consider shipping them to you.


  1. Hmm, we buy a lot on Amazon these days, so I will try this next time.

  2. I agree with you 100% on this book! I ordered a few years ago and was completely disappointed. I had thought of myself as a fearful cruiser at that point,(at times still do!) but didn't feel this book did women justice at all. Perhaps like you stated, it is a generational thing!

    Wishing you both adventures & safe travels!

  3. Agreed. You touched on what bothered me about the book too. Interestingly, I did meet women, from my parents' generation who benefited more from the content.



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