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Old 08-10-2011, 01:12 PM   #1
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Hi everyone!

We have a dream! and we're going to make it come true. We want to hitch/work/pay our way across the Atlantic starting in Spain/Canaries in November, and end up anywhere south of the US.

Thing is, is see our chances being greatly diminished by the fact that we are taking our two dogs with us; a Belgian Shepard and a small, very calm, husky-mix. I'm wondering if anyone has any expierence with this? Is it even possible to take them with us? Are there people taking their dogs?

Flying is not really an option for us, unless perhaps we are still in the harbour come February.. I couldn't do it to our dogs, nor to ourselves. A few years ago I went overland, hitching, walking, and taking a lot of small boats between a lot of small islands from Holland to Papua (Irian Jaya, Indonesia), and for me this is the only way to travel. Flying is like taking a time machine, it doesn't make any sense to the body or mind, and you miss all the beautiful things and experiences that naturally paced travel offers.

Aside from the dogs, I'm wondering about visas. Our 'plan' is to go to the south of Spain, and if it doesn't work there, move to the Canaries, and just talk to people, asking around, offering help, and hopefully find someone willing to take us. But since we don't know beforehand where anyone is going, we don't know what country we should get a visa for. And unless you can get one on arrival at the country they are headed for, I don't think we can afford the time to apply for visas once we have found a boat. How do people do this?

Are the any other websites that may be useful?

Many thanks for reading, hope to hear something soon,

Mike & Bouwien
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:47 AM   #2
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?naturally paced travel?

There's really nothing "natural" about sailing the oceans. Humans walk and swim. Sure, the human race has been sailing for thousands of years...but thousands of years from now people will probably be calling air travel "naturally paced" somehow, too.

I think your walking trip will be fantastic for you and your dogs, btw.

We all understand the romantic idea of sailing across oceans rather than flying, however, you may be better off with a cruise ship or trying to find your way onto a large cargo vessel--both are costly methods of traveling the oceans but they do work for folks who don't sail and want to take a lot of luggage or "baggage" so to speak.

Hitchhiking implies inexpensive or free travel. There are many people with a little or a lot of sailing experience who do this. Some people with no experience are lucky enough to be asked to join a crew, but two people (with boat experience but NO experience sailing? No certifications to assist with the crew?) with two dogs...that's really a stretch.

If interested in sailing on a small cruising vessel, suggest that you totally nix the idea of taking dogs. Especially dogs that have never sailed aboard someone else's sailing vessel. They will be far less uncomfortable on an international flight than days and days and days at sea in what will likely include rough conditions. Many cruisers take their own dogs with them--they love their pets and live aboard their boats for years--but it is a hardship to be worked around to make things safe and comfortable for the animals and the people as well.

If the dogs are known to have sailed before, know how to potty on deck (or however you've trained them to do their business while at sea), known (from prior sailing) to not be too sea sick to make the trip, etc and if you have the money, you can charter a crewed vessel and take your dogs with you, but I doubt that you could realistically talk anyone who owns a boat to take your dogs along as well as you. However, you could charter and that might be less costly then joining a cruise ship or cargo ship that is willing to take your dogs too.

Crewing on a cruising vessel (unless you're friends/family of the vessel's owner) is pretty much like finding a job. Your elevator pitch for joining a sailing vessel usually is best put forth as "this is what I can do for you" and so I'd suggest that you put together a realistic resume of your desirable skills and experiences that will help you find two spots aboard a boat.

Fair winds,
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
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Hi red, thanks for replying. I'm hoping there will also be other people who are willing to share their opinions?

Quote:
... two people (with boat experience but NO experience sailing? No certifications to assist with the crew?) with two dogs...that's really a stretch.

If interested in sailing on a small cruising vessel, suggest that you totally nix the idea of taking dogs. Especially dogs that have never sailed aboard someone else's sailing vessel.
Yeah, I was afraid of that. You're probably right. We will still go down to Spain and try our luck though, see what happens. At least we will have tried and not be stuck with 'what-ifs' the rest of our lives. - I don't think we can afford to charter a crewed vessel, so if nothing happens and everything fails, we will have to fly. Something is calling me to South/Central America, I will make it one way or the other.

I think sailing is a lot more natural in its essence (for humans), than flying. Thousand years or not. It doesn't take long to invent a raft, and from there to put a mast and sail on it. It's a very old and basic human invention. It feels to me a lot more natural, and 'naturally paced' than taking an air plane. But that's me.

Mike
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:04 PM   #4
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You have to apply for a visa at an American embassy. First you need to get an appointment, and the new way to do that involves an extensive online questionairre with photo. Quite the hurdle, that is. The process takes at least a few weeks. But the visitor´s visa is good for 10 years. Dogs don´t need special quarantine, do need vet papers, check with each port before allowing dog ashore. Maybe you can find some dog lover! we met a guy with 13 dogs on his 34 footer once. course, he was never crossing an ocean! good luck

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBouwien View Post

Hi everyone!

We have a dream! and we're going to make it come true. We want to hitch/work/pay our way across the Atlantic starting in Spain/Canaries in November, and end up anywhere south of the US.

Thing is, is see our chances being greatly diminished by the fact that we are taking our two dogs with us; a Belgian Shepard and a small, very calm, husky-mix. I'm wondering if anyone has any expierence with this? Is it even possible to take them with us? Are there people taking their dogs?

Flying is not really an option for us, unless perhaps we are still in the harbour come February.. I couldn't do it to our dogs, nor to ourselves. A few years ago I went overland, hitching, walking, and taking a lot of small boats between a lot of small islands from Holland to Papua (Irian Jaya, Indonesia), and for me this is the only way to travel. Flying is like taking a time machine, it doesn't make any sense to the body or mind, and you miss all the beautiful things and experiences that naturally paced travel offers.

Aside from the dogs, I'm wondering about visas. Our 'plan' is to go to the south of Spain, and if it doesn't work there, move to the Canaries, and just talk to people, asking around, offering help, and hopefully find someone willing to take us. But since we don't know beforehand where anyone is going, we don't know what country we should get a visa for. And unless you can get one on arrival at the country they are headed for, I don't think we can afford the time to apply for visas once we have found a boat. How do people do this?

Are the any other websites that may be useful?

Many thanks for reading, hope to hear something soon,

Mike & Bouwien
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:47 PM   #5
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Visas. To travel to the US foreign nationals generally must apply for a visa beforehand. However, 36 countries participate in the VISA WAIVER PROGRAM , enabling their citizens to travel to the US for visits up to 90 days without first obtaining a visa. The Netherlands is one of them.

Foreign visitors must also obtain visas when visiting other countries as well, some of them requiring that the visa be obtained before arriving in that country. Australia is the most notable of them. There is no procedure for waiving this requirement, you must know beforehand whether you need to obtain a visa before heading to that country. It really doesn't matter whether this is a nuisance or not, "It's The Law" as I was reminded so many times by French officials for whatever they insisted that you do.

The biggest concern is the dogs. Redbopeep spelled it out quite well. And I can't imagine how fair it would be to the Shepherd to be put on a boat with limited exercise opportunities and space. Cruisers without dogs on board are most UNlikely to consider taking one, let alone two, on board. People with a dog on board already will most likely be concerned about the stress and discord with the introduction of a strange dog or two. And finally, cruising sail boats are usually not so large and roomy that they can accomodate two additional people with their gear, as well as two dogs, one of which is the size of a pre-teen child.

Dogs are not welcome in the South Pacific islands, and in some of them would not be allowed off the boat. Australia and New Zealand have extremely strict and expensive regulations regarding dogs and cats - to the point that it would be almost cruel to bring them to the S. Pacific.

You can find out more about bringing animals into a country, and about specific visa requirements by going to the web sites of the countries you expect to visit. Citizens of The Netherlands should find it relatively easy to enter many countries, but it is always wise to check requirements beforehand. Usually you can obtain a visa in about a week, which should be more than enough time.

Good luck.

Jeanne
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