Navigation also belongs to women

Sea and navigation are her life. Our friend Anne is a brilliant example that this world also belongs to women, and that they only lack “confidence” in themselves to realize their full potential.

Define yourself with three adjectives
Loyal, Enthusiastic and Happy.

There are still many fewer women than men in sailing. What do you think it is due to?
Confidence, especially to own and manage your own boat. There are more women beginning to sail including solo sailing, but there needs to be more. I also think Women find it very boring, not very interested in the sailing part. Am I strong enough and technical enough to enjoy the sailing part? There are plenty of roles on a boat for women; for example women often make better helmsmen.  In fact, we can do it all, given the chance.  


How and when did you start navigating?
I have been sailing all my life. My first trip was in a carrycot as a baby across the North Sea to Holland strapped on to the boat! I had a dinghy, which I raced. Then I crewed on lots of different boats. Eventually Peter and I bought our own boat.

Who started you in this hobby?
My parents, as they owned their own boat. 

When was the first time you came to Cartagena? Why have you come again?
We first came to Cartagena for the winter of 2016/17. Came back again as we really like the winters here both in the marina and city with lots to do. Also for of ease travelling back to the UK, and cheap winter car hire, we can get lots of boat jobs done here, sails, windlass, to name a few…

Did someone talked to you about Yacht Port Cartagena? How did you get to know Yacht Port Cartagena?
We had friends stay here on a yacht called Chin Chin the winter before we arrived whom we knew from our homeport of Ipswich UK. They said it was a great place and we must stop there. So we did!

How long are you going to be in the marina?
We are here for another 4 weeks and then we are off!

What do you value most about Yacht Port Cartagena?
The staffs are really approachable, knowledgeable, fun and extremely helpful. Yacht Port Cartagena is also safe, secure and central Marina.

What is the first thing to do or to see you would recommend from Cartagena to a friend?
I always tell me friends everything is within walking distance. The first walk I suggest is to go up to the castle and look around from the top. Then go to San Francisco square and have coffee, tapas, set meal or whatever. If your feeling really energetic walk up one of the other hills or to port Navidad or the beach! I do tell anyone I know who is planning to winter to try and get in for end September to see the Romans vs Cartagenians festival a full week of the history of Cartagena acted out!  It’s fantastic and worth getting in early to experience it. It’s also worth leaving after Easter to see those festivals as well.

Barco Sacre BleuG

How is your day in the port?
Depends on boat jobs! After the usual, cleaning, and shopping, I go for a walk, either to the supermarket, but often I will just set out and wonder around the city always finding new things to look at. On Wednesdays, I walk to the market. In the winter I walk to the beach often or port Navidad as there is coffee snack shop at the end!  Great motivator!  In the winter depending on what the activities are, I will join in with say Yoga, an organised walk, BBQ,  or a lessons i.e., first aid, this all depends on what the cruisers skills are.  I get out of the marina every day. It is really important to socialise and get out and see and experience where we are living.  I try and do something different every day. I love seeing all the different festivals that happen almost every weekend!

You are going to cross the Atlantic. Why did you decided to cross the Atlantic in particular?
Our aim is to sail around the world. We have always wanted to do long distance sailing. I first crossed the Atlantic in my 20’s with a family. Then, Peter and I both crossed together on a boat in 2017, and now want to do it on our own boat, even though once it is your boat it feels a bit more nerve racking!

How do you prepare to make this journey?
There is a lot to do… Lots of research and talking to other cruisers. The boat and us have to be self-sufficient, our own little city! We have had our sails laundered and checked, serviced everything on the boat,  washed all our running rigging, replaced some of it; we have changed our windlass, and added more solar panels.

We bought a second hand sat phone and are going to get an iridium Go for weather and day to day communications / tracker.

We have started to stock up on food for the journey. When we leave here we will head to the Canary Islands via a boat haul out route, where we will do the final preparations.

However before leaving Ipswich we put extras on the boat like the water maker, solar panels, inverters, larger alternator and a 7kg washing machine, AIS all of these things have been used while sailing the Mediterranean. We had re rigged the boat when we bought her and upgraded the rigging to the next Changed all the seacock. So we have changed a lot!

How long do you expect to make the crossing?
Once we leave the Canary Island which we hope will be around Christmas time, we hope to cross in about 21/22 days.

A book that you recommend…
Difficult… One I found stayed in my mind was a book called The Red Tent, by Anita Durmand, because makes you think about other cultures lives and what women go through.


A city that you’re passionate about…
Los Angeles – Santa Monica

A dream to fulfil…
Umm… I am fulfilling one of my dreams now, so will have to start imagining my next big dream. Who knows what’s next!

You would not be able to live without…
A good cup of coffee and a sea view. Right now our autopilot, washing machine and AIS, they are crew number three, four and 5! On a day to day level “girly shops“ love wondering around looking at clothes. The more impractical for this life the better! It’s important to explore whatever you enjoy, museums, shops, markets etc.

What destination would you repeat?
I would go back to everywhere we have been in the Med but to different parts. I love that all the European countries have their own identity and different Cultures there is so much to see it would take a life time to do!

Will you ever go back to YPC?

Name: Anne Babbidge

Boat Name: Sacre Bleu

Nationality: British

Profession: Childcare various

Country of Residence: England

Facebook: sailing Sacre Bleu