Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Sailing Resume

I have been asked how someone could do what I am doing. For my current crewing, I was lucky to have had experience and to know a family in the middle of a two year sailing trip. But now I am in the Caribbean looking for another boat who needs crew for two to four months.

But what if you would like to do this and don’t know how to begin.

To embark on an adventure in sailing here are my suggestions and my personal history of sailing.

I have a little over 9000 miles of sailing in my log book, not counting any racing that I’ve done.

At 25 years old, I owned a 16’ Hobie Cat and raced with the Daytona Beach Fleet 80 for about 10 years.

My first larger boat experiences were crewing on chartered boats from Miami to the Keys and then later to the Bahamas; crossing the Gulf Stream round trip 3 times.

Later I crewed from the Azores to Gibraltar, a 10 day passage. The boat was a 32’ Southern Cross.

For one summer, I crewed for Daytona Beach Yacht Club races on Gitana, a 1973 Nautor Swan, 44ft sloop designed by Sparkman Stevens/ Built in Finland. All races were off the coast of Ponce Inlet, Florida.

In November 2008, I crewed with a captain and one other to bring the captain’s newly purchased boat from Deltaville, Maryland to Fernandina Beach, Florida. We motored in the intracoastal until Moreshead, NC and then went offshore into heavy (and cold) weather.

In March of 2010, I joined the crew of S/Y Juno, a 44’ Alten Cutter, in Italy to sail the Mediterranean, Atlantic Islands and make the transatlantic crossing to Barbados.

All boats have been small yachts (32’-48’) where repairs and projects are spread among the crew. Special skills include sewing, deep cleaning, organizing and baking a great chocolate cake at sea. General crew duties have included night watches, sail changes, anchor duties, helm and other normal crew activities that cause bruises and sore muscles.

I do not get sea sick. I LOVE to sail in all conditions except very cold weather.

Now, if you do not have experience you can gather it by volunteering at yacht clubs or ask to post a sign in a marina offering free service in exchange for learning to sail. Sailing schools of course, are the other popular option.

The number one book that I would suggest reading is the Annapolis Book of Seamanship. This is a text book that really goes over all aspects for a serious sailor.

Although I had sailing experience, I still took a class on Marine Boat Safety that was offered free of charge from the Sailing Auxiliary branch in the city I lived in. This might be harder to come by if you do not live near the ocean or gulf.

Then, to get placed on a boat, go to the internet. There are several internet crew finding sites. Start with: Crewfinders.com or findacrew.net

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