Navigation: One Women's Quest to Hitchhike Around the World on Sailboats

Glenda Reed, Minnesota State University, Mankato


Navigation is a memoir that explores the years Glenda Reed set out at 26 to sail around the world by hitchhiking on other sailors’ boats. An intimate, quotidian portrait of an uncertain life at sea, Navigation discusses the challenges a young, single woman faced seeking passage on boats captained by older men. Reed was not afraid her shipmates would assault her and only twice, caught in storms, was afraid for her life. Primarily, she feared her own inadequacies. Attitudes in the male-dominated sailing world helped to fuel these self-doubts. More than an affirmation of personal or feminine ability, this story gives voice to the experience of weakness and strength, doubt and resolve inherent in a woman’s experience and, ultimately, the human experience.