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Old 08-01-2006, 05:11 AM   #1
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Default Hello, I'm new!

Hello all,

My name is Anya and I've got this terribly large itch to get out and see more of the world. I'm not made of money and I keep finding myself scouring the internet for working holiday opportunities and I'm very intertested in crewing on a boat, motor or sail will do but I would prefer sailing.

I've got no experience on boats other than small motor boats in the summertime. I'm planning on staying in Atlanta till the end of 2006 as I'm paying off the last of my debt. But, please keep me in mind! I've read some threads about newbies to the sport and so I'm going to look into gaining some knowledge on local boats. I spent a few day trips on a sailboat on Lake Michigan so I know I'm ok with the seasick. My grandmother used to race sailboats and my grandfather was in the Navy so I'm praying it's in my blood!

Anyhow! I'm fun, I find my jokes funny (oh dear), I've cleaned houses professionaly so I know how to scrub and cooking is my passion. Feel free to throw any advice my way!

Thanks and take care!



-A

P.S. One question- for boats that don't pay for unexperienced crew members such as myself, could anyone give me a ballpark figure of normal expenses and such?
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Old 08-01-2006, 07:56 AM   #2
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I don't wish to sound discouraging, Anya, but I have to say that not many skippers are likely to take on an inexperienced sailor who cannot pay for the passage. You should, if at all possible, get some experience under your belt.

While there is no substitute for offshore miles, you can certainly learn a lot about sailing at your local yacht club or marina. Most clubs organise courses for beginners, many of these courses are Nationaly accredited and recognised, and will be useful on your resume when you come to try to get crew positions). The Nationaly acredited courses can take you from beginner to quite advanced levels of knowledge, so are definitely worth a look. Local community colleges or Adult Education facilities may also have learn-to-sail courses. Also, most yacht clubs organise low key races, on weekends, or mid-week "twilight" races, where a beginner can usually find a spot crewing on a boat.

Bear in mind that although harbour racing on a small racing yacht might not be the main aim, it will teach you a lot about sailing, and all that you learn will be transferrable to a larger off-shore cruising yacht.

You can also increase your "desirability" as crew by getting other useful skills. For example:

Take course in First Aid, Paramedic CPR, etc.

Get your marine radio operators license

Do a marine deisel maintenance course

Good luck with your plans.
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:35 AM   #3
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Au Contrair, Weyalan

I personlly prefer inexperienced crew because they are usually very keen to learn to sail the way I like my boat to be sailed!

Please don't let "lack of experience" discourage you, Anya. A keen interest is desirable in itself... and you obviously posess a keen interest otherwise we wouldn't be reading this now.

Weyalan is correct in his / her advice in increasing your chances of getting out there by getting to know the folks at the local yacht clubs & marinas... and a person sitting by a boat ramp with a six-pack of cold beer will find themselves welcome on just about every boat passing by. Sailors, by nature, love to show off their boats regardless of how large or small they are and there's always room for someone with a good sense of humor.

As always - choose your friends wisely, but you'll never find a friendlier group than those you meet simply "messing about in boats".

Come to the Caribbean - there's lots of work on day sailers and charter boats down here.

Happy Hunting!

Kirk
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:11 PM   #4
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I totally agree with Kirk. If I could find someone who admitted to being inexperianced but keen to learn then there is a spare berth on Bedouin. I would in fact look for a 'novice' to learn how I like to sail my yacht and to see the smiling face at every achivement.

Give it a go Anya and you will gain so much knowledge as you find new limits to your confidence and enjoy a great lifestyle.

Regards

Peter
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Old 08-08-2006, 08:53 PM   #5
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Hi Anya. I think sailing was first mastered by Cromagnon man. He was not especially endowed with brains. It follows that as sophisticated youman beans,we adapt to the practice, if not the theory of sailing, with ease. It really is not so difficult to do and I feel sure that as long as you don't pay much heed to the blazered set at the Royal Doodad Yacht Club ( who will go on and on and on about how sailing is a difficult 'art')...you will be fine as long as you maintain your enthusiasm and sense of humour. Perhaps it would be helpful also if you were to bash an animal senseless every now and again, for dinner. Have fun. Kronk.
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:58 AM   #6
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Ah, thank ya for the replies to everyone!

I fully understand the qualms folks have with newbies and also the attractiveness of a newb for you can break 'em in to your liking. It works that way in loads of trades, right?

I'm stuck in this awful place right now: Do I do the corporate, climb the ladder option or do I save a bunch of money and go travelling. My heart tells me travel. But, part of me says to quit screwing around and get my ducks in a row.

Because I live in Atlanta, what do y'all suggest? We surely don't have a yacht club. I was thinking of moving back to Florida, the Cocoa Beach area to be exact. But you say that checking out the Caribbean is the best bet? How does the cost of living pan out down there? Would I be legal to work?

I have so many questions. I must pace myself!

-A
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:30 PM   #7
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Hello again Anya. I guess the Caribean is the place sugested as it is near to you but any 'great cruising ground' is an ideal place to begin. Costs here are your share of food on board and you own personal additional requirements so cruising is very cheap and doesn't need a big roll of money to start with. The choice is your to either climb the corperate ladder or look at cruising as a complete lifestyle change. I tried both and have opted for the cruising life and nothing would change me back to the stress and rat race. Your young enough to take a year or two out and go anywhere you like then if cruising doesn't suit you then you could go back to the ladder. Short term work is available in some places but not all in some form of employment or other but the wages are not always that rewarding; it's as much for a bit of social exchange as much as income.

Regards

Peter
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:10 PM   #8
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Anya,

REMEMBER... There are no Winners or Loosers in the Rat Race - only a lot of other Rats struggling to climb over you.

I abandoned all career pursuits twelve years ago at age 38 to go on what has become an open-ended voyage across three oceans. I've lived profitably, honestly & happily ever after and I am pleased with where life (and my boat) have taken me.

One of the biggest things I've learned is just how little I really need to be happy in this world.

Enjoy!

Kirk
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Old 08-13-2006, 06:10 AM   #9
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I am moving away from Anya's original enquiry, but perhaps the answer to my question will also assist her. Kirk, I am one of those who has been preparing for a voyaging lifestyle forever. I have reached some lofty heights in the professional world, but have never been a truly career happy person since I sailed my first long voyage in 1995.

I have run out of excuses to remain land-based, mowing lawns, vacuuming the pool and washing the blasted car. I understand that security is found in what we know, not what we do. I know I can earn enough whilst sailing that I don't need to touch the small 'stash' back home. Western life provides us with a set of ideals broadly encompassing greed....and this is where the problem for me, and I expect Anya, is found.

Have you prepared financially for the day when poor health or frailty dictate that you must bid the voyaging life farewell? Does the question 'when is enough, enough', occupy your mind, or can we learn to be satisfied with a more theological solution...ie God, or some other entity or set of earthly circumstances, including government assistance?

Like Anya, I have yet to cast off the shackles of corporate expectations; even if the expectations are not mine, but are those of people concerned with my wellbeing.

I know this question is from the same mould as 'How much does it cost to go cruising', but I am interested to know from all those who have chosen the cruising/voyaging lifestyle, what financial preparations have been made for your dotage. Is it a case of amassing a few more dollars before cutting the dock lines, or is the answer, as Dylan suggested, 'Blowin' in the Wind'.
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:46 PM   #10
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Firstly, let me say thank you for the well thought out replies and comforting advice from all of you. I've found multiple forums and only this one has constant traffic and no shady characters (from what I see, hehehe)

I don't know if sailing is what I want to do for years to come. But, that's what's brought me here is that I have no idea what I want to do and I think it would be a most fabulous experience(s). Sure, I know I'd like to own a house and meet someone who doesn't drive me crazy, but who doesn't? I feel that if I don't get out and see the world now, I might never. I've worked full time in offices since the day I graduated high school and I think I may be worried to leave that track as having a consistent paycheck every week is my security blanket. I guess my problem is that I don't understand how people travel so much. Are they rich? Do they rack up huge credit card debts? Do they save for two years before traveling? A lot of the working holiday programs that other countries offer are not open to Americans. Hmmmm, I wonder the cause of that?

I guess it all comes down to I'm still trying to find little parts of me and I think they're scattered around the world.

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Old 08-16-2006, 08:19 PM   #11
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Travel has always been what kept my mind from going to mush (well, perhaps an exaggeration, but I think you'll understand). One close friend was a school teacher and spent her summer vacations traveling. Every year.

I just didn't worry about leaving a job and going back into the work force later. Sometimes it meant that I took a pay cut, but I never felt that my choices limited me. To protect myself from the worst of my choices, I had no credit card debt, no car payments, a small savings cushion. When Peter and I married we dove into debt and real estate development but started out very, very conservatively until we again had a cushion to protect ourselves from market glitches. No guarantees, but two people with jobs meant our "second jobs" could be financed. And we traveled. Worked 7 days/wk in order to have 4 weeks + 4 days a year of travel. And when we "retired" it turned out to be a permanent retirement and full-time cruising "for ever"!

Every person has their own tolerance for risk, their own idea of the level of comfort they need. There is no "one size fits all" level of life, thank goodness. You can try small steps and see how you go.

Cruising, sailing, traveling can be done in little pieces, chunks of months or years, or full-on lifestyles. Try little pieces, go from there.

Whatever you decide, may it be the right choice for you.

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 08-26-2006, 03:52 AM   #12
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Anya,

We waited until later, and though we have some security, it wouldn't be enough for everyone. Often life gets in the way of one's best-laid plans and eats at the stash you think you'll have. But...the refit is almost completed and we're heading back out. When we come back, whenever that is, we'll have a home and a piddling pension, and whatever else the Lord has in store for us.

My son, on the other hand, just graduated from university and hasn't a clue what he wants to do with his life (what DOES one do with a political science degree?). So, he's coming cruising with us for about six months before he tries the grown-up life. Before he joins us in Mexico, he's saving his pennies, because he's paying his own way.

I can't help but think that this trip of his will teach him things he didn't get in university. Maybe you could consider the same sort of thing. Save your pennies for a while, and then go see what kind of adventure you can find. I know that we welcome anyone on board who has enthusiasm, enough intelligence to learn, the ability to listen, a sense of humor (meaning they don't laugh at others but know how to laugh at themselves) and a good work ethic. Obviously, others on the board agree with me about the qualifications of good crew.

If you don't know what you want in life, now's the time to get out there and try to find it. Adventure certainly doesn't come to those who merely sit home and wish. I will never regret my years of schooling in Italy--I still have dear friends in various parts of the world that I met as an international student abroad, just as I've made friends in every port I've visited.

Buona fortuna!

Normandie
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Old 09-21-2006, 05:09 AM   #13
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Anya best of Luck, I am myself am looking to purchase a cat and do some world sailing after living over seas for the last 24 years. Ready to relax get out of the rat race and enjoy.

Keep in touch.
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Old 09-22-2006, 03:49 PM   #14
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Hi Anya,

I'd suggest you just go for it. You sound young enough to worry about later life, well.....later.

We travelled when we were first married some 37 years back. In our opinion its always the journey thats the true experience - not the destination you reach.

Back then we went overland across Europe and Africa is the classic the classic VW Combi - and we loved every minute despite missing out on a few meals when the purse ran dry.

First son came along two years out on the road - so we got back to the UK - shaved off the beard and had a haircut (me not Sue) - and did the right thing in settling down and giving the family what it needed.

Thirty years on and we've been fortunate to get got all the bits one needs - and more.

Nice houses, nice cars, nice boat, nice family, nice pals, good business - even still got good health!

But if I had died in that period the one thing we would not have had is a return to that wonderful life of travelling in a self sufficient manner, and really enjoying the experiences.

I am lucky. Even in late 50's Sue's still happy to pack our bags and head off each year (as long as she's all the nice things to come back to when she feel like it) - so we are now resuming the journey.

But if I was not so lucky as to have a partner like her - I could have died and not complete that journey - how sad that could have been.

So my advice is 'go get em' girl. The whole wide world awaits - and later can always come later............

Cheers

JOHN
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