Rebel Heart Charlotte_Eric_Ryan.jpg

Writing: I've just finished the manuscript of my real-life adventure story of life aboard our sailboat, Rebel Heart and am represented by agents Aemilia Phillips and David Patterson of Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency. The book tells the unlikely story of how my husband and I met, bought a sailboat, raised our young children on board, and ended up in a dramatic rescue at sea. It details the international media frenzy our story caused and how we were eventually able to move on after losing our boat and home at sea.

This American Life documented what happened during the rescue in their Call for Help episode and more recently author Kevin Grange wrote about the events in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.


My Published Work: I have been published four times in San Diego Magazine and more recently in Sammiches & Psych Meds. I wrote for 10 years on my sailing blog,, am a monthly contributor to

Charlotte Kaufman sailing with daughter Lyra Kaufman

Sailing: I am a sailor and the founder of Women Who Sail, a 16,000+ group of female sailors. Women Who Sail is a supportive, positive community for women on the water (both sail and power vessels) and includes members who are beginner sailors as well as world famous mariners like Lin Pardey, Lisa Blair, Abby Ehler, Linda Greenlaw, Jeanne Socrates, and Behan Gifford. If you are a woman on the water, please join us!

About Charlotte Kaufman

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Charlotte and Eric Kaufman and daughters Cora and Lyra

Excerpts of My Writing

On our second date, Eric told me he wanted to sail around the world. He was tall, dark, and handsome with striking green eyes and an all-American smile that promised a world of adventure ahead of me should I dare to join him. Ten months after that date we bought our boat together, the Rebel Heart. Two years later we got married, and in another two years, our first daughter was born. We moved aboard the boat as a family of three, and announced to our friends and family how we’d been saving and preparing to sail around the world. They smiled indulgently and disbelievingly. At each stage of this journey, most people did not believe we were going to go.”
~ from San Diego Magazine: How to Sail Around the World Pregnant

It was early morning and the Coromuel winds were still blowing white-capped waves that sloshed the starboard side where I sat holding my four-month-old. Eric laughed and started pushing off of the sand with a spare oar. He had misjudged the usual passage we motored over each morning in our shallow-drafted dinghy. In a few moments he would shove us off. Heck, we could have probably stepped out onto the sand in the middle of the bay and walked our boat a few feet over, but none of this registered. Instead, my toes began to curl and my hands started clenching and unclenching involuntarily. I clamped my teeth together so tightly, I had an aching jaw the rest of the day. Sweat fevered my body, even though the wind was raising goosebumps on my toddler’s arms. I couldn’t breathe. The sky overhead was a giant vise pushing down against my body. I kept my lips in a tight line, instead of opening them into the O shape I wanted to create with an ear-curdling scream.”
~ from San Diego Magazine: Even Adventurers Get the Blues

And these people, who you thought you knew, their words will roll of their tongues so easily, like they’re changing a roll of toilet paper or wiping down a kitchen counter, like the devastation you’ve experienced is just casual chatter. The kind of stuff you talk about while refilling a ketchup bottle.
~ from Losing Rebel Heart | What I’ve Learned


I felt such immense gratitude when I saw my things returned safely to me that I wondered how I could ever repay them. My mind connected back 16 years prior, to the woman in the pink cashmere sweater in Zurich. Her gesture might have been borne out of custom and her items had all been brand new, but they were clearly of value to her. My items were not new, but they were imbued with the lasting power of sentiment, sweat, and tears.”
~ from Putting a Price on Gratitude


Stay in the car, girls,” she admonished to both C and B and then she hopped out. I scrambled after her, but grabbed my can of bear spray. I exited the passenger side and popped off the safety cap. Then I followed her, keeping the can behind me. The guy was probably 6’2” and a very big dude. If this were a ruse, he was gonna get a face full of capsaicin for trying to fuck with us.
~ from I Don’t Know How to Fix a Flat Tire | On Not Shaming Those You Offer to Help


The sun was just peeking up over roof tops as I slowly drove down the streets of Golden Hill (my neighborhood in San Diego) toward the 94 east. My arms tingled with emotion. I love this city. San Diego is where I came of age as a woman. It's where I met and fell in love with Eric. Where Cora was born. San Diego is the place we came back to re-start our lives after losing Rebel Heart. It was time to leave there, and so I did.
~ Day 1 of Living in Mammoth Lakes

Scene: a dark, frigid night on the outskirts of Mammoth Lakes, a town in the Eastern Sierra. A young mother, scratch that, a late-30-something mother is home alone with her two daughters while her husband is out of town.
~ Bear Attacks Side of House in Mammoth Lakes, California