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Old 01-08-2007, 09:07 AM   #1
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Default Timing for W to E Transatlantic?

Hi.

First of all, to the webmasters in particular: This is not a crew position wanted -type ad. I already posted one of those in the proper forum. This is a specific question about the best way to find a crew position on a pleasure boat. Thank you for not deleting this topic.

OK, whew!

I have a lot of greenwater experience and I want to find a crew position crossing the atlantic, W to E, this february-ish. Is that unrealistic? Currently I am in guatemala, and, in addition to posting here, I am travelling to Panama to search for a ride while working as a line-handler in the Canal.

Is Panama a good place to look? I am hoping to board for a crossing sometime in february - Is this a reasonable hope this time of year?

A sailor in Mexico told me that, in addition to it being a good place to look for a crossing vessel, there is also a yacht club at the west end where one can camp and meet skippers, and that line-handling work with boats going through the canal is quite plentiful. Is this fantasy? Does anybody know the reality of the likelihood of work as a line-handler there?

Barring the above working, my plan is to head north to Ft. Lauderdale, checking out Cancun along the way. Are these good - or better - places to find a boat going east?

Above all, my basic plan is to find cruising anchorages and hang around, ready to leave at a moment's notice.

Above all, my biggest questions are:

Is this a reasonable plan for a 21 yo trying to cross?

Is this a bad time of year for it?

Are there any heavily trafficked places you might suggest?

Does anyone have any other advice?

Thanks again!

Reply here or directly to jjames3157@yahoo.com

Interested parties may view my crew ad in the appropriate forum on this at http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/top...?TOPIC_ID=2922

Or check out my myspace at http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea...iendID=18396955
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:51 PM   #2
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Hi James,

I take it that you have read "A rough guide to the movement of cruising yachts around the world" - a guide to the timing of passages.

See this guide at:

http://www.cruiser.co.za/crewfinder1.asp

Good luck.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:44 PM   #3
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J, do you really mean 'East to West'? That doesn't fit with your current location nor the positioning plans you describe. If you do mean E to W, the places to catch a ride now are in the Canaries, Spanish islands off the W coast of Africa. Most boats have left by now (until Spring) and the feeder ports (Gib, Lagos, etc.) are unlikely to have yachts leaving for the Canaries because of the weather in the N Atlantic this time of year.

If you meant W to E, the answer is 'no', this isn't a reasonable time to catch a ride westbound aboard a yacht. Touch weather, cold temps, etc. The normal W to E migration from N American begins in May.

Jack
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:53 AM   #4
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Oops. I meant W to E. i have changed the message appropriately. Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:43 AM   #5
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Panama is where the East to West sailors land to pass into the Pacific. It is very difficult and uncomfortable to leave Panama and head East. A very few boats do it, usually large overpowered sport fishermen heading for the Caribbean tournaments, and they very often get beat up badly.

Heading north from Panama is also a bit of a bad bargain, particularly in winter - January, February, etc.

Most boats coming through the canal will head north up through Central America and then over to Florida, then choose where they want to go next, even the Caribbean.

Finally, winter is not the time that boats head for the Med. The Northern Atlantic storms can be killers, it's cold in the Med., no reason to go there when it's warm and comfortable and safe in the Caribbean.

You will find that boats leave the Caribbean in late April or early May to head East to the Med or UK. They will generally leave from the Virgin Islands, St. Martin, or Puerto Rico, and that's where you will find boats that might want to take on crew. East coast US might also be very good, but that's a lot of area to cover.

Put your name out now on the Free Crewfinder, check the Crew Wanted board and see what's available, and who is going where, when.

Good luck.

P.S. What do you mean by greenwater?
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:30 AM   #6
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Wow. Thanks for all the information, everyone. I had read the Guide to the movements of cruising yachts or whatnot on cruiser.co.za, but it is somewhat vague... The information you have so generously given is great!

In regards to the above question - what do I mean by Green-water sailing; I mean sailing inland sounds and straights in the pacific northwest, as well as some close-to-shore open ocean sailing on the coast. Mostly in the northwest - Puget Sound, the straights of Juan De Fuca and Georgia, the San Juan and Queen Charlotte Islands, the West side of Vancouver Island (open ocean); I have circumnavigated Vancouver Island two and a half times with my family in the last 6 years, which has been the main setting for most of the above.

So basically, I mean that I have working experience with navigation (plotting on charts from GPS, Loran, and landmark compass bearings), the mechanical and electronic systems of a small sailboat (including their repair), and Fair to moderate weather sailing skills.

What I dont have is open water experience - mainly night watchstanding, heaving-to, tieing into bunks, windvane usage, etc.

Whew. That was lengthy.

Thomas
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:45 AM   #7
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So, another two questions...

What about finding a spot on a boat going west to australia from panama, or north to northern mexico/texas/florida/cuba/the northern caribs from panama?

Also, assuming I were to get to australia, say, end of march. What then, would be my prospects for finding a boat going east, say from sydney, towards hawaii, guam, etc.?

Maybe these are questions for a new topic...

Thanks again for all the info.
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:07 AM   #8
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Generally, with the exception of West to East from the East coast of the US or the Caribbean to Europe, the general cruising route is from East to West, being pushed by the wind. "The Coconut Milk Run". I know of nobody who has sailed from Australia East. I know of several who have done it from New Zealand, but over a period of ten years, three boats going that way isn't much! But I'm sure that anybody who wants to bring their boat back that way would be very happy to have crew to help. It is a very hard, very difficult slog.

People heading for Australia will arrive in December. Any who are sailing in the South Pacific in March are asking for trouble. That's cyclone (hurricane) season. The cruisers then wait until the following April, May, or June to head out again.

I think you need to do a bit more reading, your ideas of where cruising boats travel are a bit confused. Because there are no hurricanes where you have been sailing, you need to learn a little more about the weather patterns of the North and South hemispheres.

Line handlers for the Panama Canal. I guess that there are some boats that have hired line handlers, but in general yachts find free line handlers, often crew from other yachts who want to go through the canal on some other boat before taking their boat through so they have some idea of what to expect. I would not count on making much money working as a line handler.

If you've been sailing with family, does any family member or friend belong to a yacht club? Somebody who knows somebody who wants to sail to >>>> is another way to get an introduction to crewing. Put your name out everywhere, and check out the yachts looking for crew on this board, which will give you an idea of where people are, when they leave and where they head.

Greenwater to me is the huge waves that come over the bow while underway. I've never heard of it used the way you do (though that doesn't mean your use is incorrect

Fair winds,

Jeanne
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