In May 1985, when Tania was 18 years old, she cast off from the docks of South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan and sailed 27,000 miles around the world—alone—on her Contessa 26, Varuna.
Concerned about her lack of ambition, her father offered her this opportunity as an alternative to a college education, and she took him up on it. With just a cat for company, she crossed the Caribbean, the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, and the North Atlantic, stopping in 23 countries along the way. In November 1987, at 21, Tania Aebi returned to New York City, a solo-circumnavigator.
She spent the following year reliving the trip in words, writing her bestselling book, Maiden Voyage, a personal account describing her coming of age odyssey and dramatic childhood.
Nowadays, as her boys turn into young men, she continues to write, runs her businesses, and is working on her next book—in between keeping the paths shovelled and wood fires stoked in the winter, the gardens planted, weeded and productive in the summers.
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Sailing solo around the world when she was 18
Living in the countryside
Getting into sailing when she was a teenager
Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean with her dad
How she gained her sailing skills
Reflecting back on her teenage years
How the opportunity came up to sail around the world
Leaning new skills along the way
Sailing to Bermuda
Trying to figure out how to fix the engine and how to navigate
Figuring out that she was ok being alone on the ocean
Having to learn how to sail better
Being sad that the adventure was over
What happened next after arriving back in NYC
Sitting down to write the book
Going back to university 10 years later
Figuring stuff out while writing about her experience of sailing around the world
Having a cat on the boat
Introducing her 2 sons to the world of sailing
Romance while sailing!
Doing a big sailing trip with her boys
Feeling protected and looked after while being a solo female sailor
Being fuelled by the negative comments
Being inspired by Laura Dekker
Ignore the negativity and do it
Not being active on social media
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