Liz Gillooly is 25 years old girl. But most of all… she is a true sailor: Captain Liz. She has ridden horses in Spain, dolphins in Tortola and donkeys in Antigua. She cooked pancakes in 15ft seas, 700 miles offshore. Author of the blog “Moxie and epoxy“, who better than her could talk about life in the boat for a woman?
Please introduce yourself to our readers…
My name is Liz Gillooly and I am a USCG licensed sailboat captain. I am 25 years old and I have found the perfect job that ties together my passion for sailing and my love for travel in a neat little package that gives me tons of freedom. I have been incredibly lucky to get where I am, but it also took a lot of hard work.
When you discover sailboats?
My parents introduced me to sailing lessons at a young age, but I seem to have been born without a single competitive bone in my body. I hated the lessons because they forced us to race. It wasn’t until later in life that I discovered my passion for sailing. Five years ago, when I was offered a position on a Caribbean-bound sailboat leaving New York, I decided to hop on and see what would happen. I was instantly hooked. Since then, I have worked on many different boats all over the world.
You travelled all over the world: which are for you the places where we have to sail at least one time in our life?
I absolutely loved living in St John in the USVI and sailing day charters over to the British Virgin Islands. This area is super lush and surrounded by the most immaculate waters. If you get a chance, I would recommend hiring a boat for a weeklong sailing adventure throughout these islands, sailing from port to port each day. The Greek Islands are utterly breathtaking, and you absolutely have to plan a trip to Maui during humpback whale season!
How can someone find work while sailing?
This is a wonderful question! It is one that I aim to answer within my blog. There are many ways for people to find work on boats, and I actually believe that it is something everyone should try! I have worked on day charter sailboats as well as live-aboard sailing yachts. It is much easier to find a job than you might think! I am now able to work for a few months at a time and then take time off to travel.
It’s difficult to work onboard for a woman?
Girls who work on boats are usually pretty tough. We don’t mind getting dirty in an engine room, or a little manual labor here and there. We are really great at finding solutions that don’t require as much exertion. Work smarter, not harder! It can be difficult for female captains to find work, but overall I have experienced nothing but respect from my male co-workers.
Why did you start your blog “Moxie and epoxy“?
I first started Moxie & Epoxy as a way to share my stories with my family. I was traveling a lot, and wanted a quick way to update everyone. Instead of sending long group emails, someone suggested that I start a blog. Since then my website has adapted and become a place to share quirky stories about life working on boats as well as a place to document my travels. I also provide resources for people who are interested in entering this field of work.
Our classic final question for you: what does it mean “Sail” for you?
To me, sailing means freedom: financial freedom, physical freedom from a desk job and the freedom to see the world. I am so lucky to have found a profession that gives me so many opportunities, and I am excited to share my stories with others!