Who is your most inspiring role model and what two major lessons did you learn from HER?
There’s nothing you can’t do, and never let other people’s perceptions color your own actions.
What was the most outrageous thing you ever did as a teenager?
Spent a weekend at Port Clinton dancing my ass off on the beach while my grandmother thought I was overnighting at a friend’s house.
Became the first woman in the Thomson chain to manage a newspaper.
Had a love affair with a much younger man when I was 34.
If you won the Mega-lottery tomorrow and could do/be/have anything, what would that be?
I’d be a writer who sails the world on a 60-foot classic Swan.
When sailing, what is the one most important thing to remember?
What was the most scary thing that ever happened while sailing?
Ten hours of 60-knot winds and 25-foot waves six miles off Frying Pan Shoals near Cape Fear, NC. I was delivering a 38-foot Beneteau from the Annapolis boat show down to Marsh Island in the Bahamas. She couldn’t sail in the high winds and waves, so we hove to until the winds calmed down. A very hairy night, floating up and down those monster waves like a cork.
What do you find so interesting about celestial navigation?
It’s like magic, and it works most of the time—you learn the planets and all the lore of the sun and the sea. It doesn’t work when you’re surrounded by storms and overcast skies—and then you have to let go and trust your instincts and the records you’ve kept until you can do another shot with the sextant.
What are some of the things about sailing that you learned and practice that others don't take the time to?
I can feel the wind with all my senses, and I’ve learned the signs at sea when you’re approaching land —the different shape of the waves, the birds, the weather. You learn to prepare for all eventualities and then trust yourself and your equipment.
If you could interview any one person alive or dead, who would that be and why?
Eleanor Creesy, wife of Captain Josiah Perkins Creesy of the clipper ship, Flying Cloud. She was the navigator when they set the world’s sailing record for the fastest passage between New York and San Francisco—89 days, 8 hours. She held the record for over 100 years, from 1854 to 1989. She did something extraordinary in a time when women didn’t do things like that. She is the kind of woman I write about.
What is your favorite thing about being out in nature and why?
All the noise and layers of civilization peel away and you find out who you really are.
Aside from health and happiness, what one thing do you wish for those you love?
Peace within themselves and a satisfying life’s work.
What is your one biggest wish for yourself?
To continue to write and reach as many people as I can with my stories for as long as I can.