Po Wodzie – Find a Crew

By kuba • Transport • 1 Nov 2009

Majtek na jachcie

Są dwie strony, o
któych wiem, poszukujące członków załogi do jachtów. Obie zrodziły
sie z prostej potrzeby – właściciele łódek potrzebują pomocy aby
przepłynąć z jednego miejsca w drugie. Czasami jest to pomoc fizyczna
ale równie czestą psychiczna w postaci kompana, a częściej kompanki
🙂

Jak narazie większość jachtów pływa w drugą strone…
więc narazie nic – ale kto wie, ja mam mam nadzieje, że jeszcze się
uda.

title=”http://crewseekers.net/”>http://crewseekers.net/

<a
href=”http://www.findacrew.net/”>http://www.findacrew.net/

Podsumowaie z CS:

href=”http://www.couchsurfing.org/group_read.html?gid=4534&post=5546004″>Boat
hitching collected INFO

04/25/2010 12:18 am<br
/>Maybe there were always nomads out there taking to the seas. Maybe
travelers just got sick of the highways. Or maybe the aviation
industry finally spilled too much fuel… In any case, boat-hitching
is gaining ground in the rambling world – we wanna sail!

I
was spat into the whirlwind of ocean cruising on other people’s boats
when in Greece about a year ago, and have since hitched lifts through
the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and up into
North America. Along the way I’ve picked up bits and pieces of
information to help the boat-hitching traveler… so thought I’d set
them down and spread the word!

• You can choose where you
want to go, OR when you want to go… but rarely both. This is the most
important thing to remember I think. Although there are a good amount
of yachts sailing the oceans, they keep to pretty specific routes, and
pretty specific seasons, so flexibility on the travellers behalf is
huge. Find the boat first, THEN decide where you want to go or when
you want to leave. This will save lots of disappointing dead ends and
discouraging knockbacks.

• Be in the right place at the
right time. This kind of follows the point above. Looking for a boat
in Gibraltar in November, when all the yachties are sailing out of the
Med. readying to cross the Atlantic, will be a lot smarter than
rocking up there in June, when they will all be sipping Ouzo in
Greece. Find out the cruising routes (link at the bottom of this page)
and cruising seasons, so you know where to be to find the most boats
going your way.

• So there are basically two ways to find a
boat: Online, or in person. Most people do both. I am a huge advocate
of the online method. Most skippers who need crew will put up
something on one of the crew finding websites anyway… and a lot of the
‘cool’, ‘grassroots’ sailors won’t be hanging around marinas – they’ll
be in a little (free) bay somewhere with a quiet anchorage. Browsing
online will save you time, energy, and you’ll probably find a boat
more suited to you, since you can check out their profile first. Check
as many of the sites as you can, (I always use href=”http://findacrew.net”>findacrew.net) and write to as many
different boat owners as you can. Remember, be flexible. Just send
send send, as many messages as you can. The system on <a
target=”_blank” href=”http://findacrew.net”>findacrew.net is kind
of shitty, where you can only send a pre-written message, but set up a
good profile and make yourself sound like the adventurous spirited
traveler that you are, and hopefully you’ll get some replies. If
neither of you are premium members, you might have to pay the 50bucks
for ten days or whatever. If you do, use that opportunity to write
personal messages to any skipper who sounds interesting. Another
option is to try to find them online, with the information they’ve
given you in their profile, a lot of boat owners will have blogs. It’s
still the biggest, and I think the best, website to use… but there are
lots of others, check them out too.

• Weed out the dodgy
‘seeking relationship’ skippers. It’s not hard, just read their
profile well, and check the signs. If they are looking for a ‘female’
between the ages of ’18 and 35’ for a ‘friendship/relationship’ you’ll
probably get the idea. There are good people on these websites, you
just got to find them! Also remember, it can take a lot of time for
captains to plan journeys/crew, so the more time you have up your
sleeve, the better. Start looking months before you want to head off.
On the other hand, some will need crew right away, so be ready to go
when they are!

• Then there’s the in person method. Go to
marinas, poster every notice board you see. Be honest, write down your
nationality, sex, age, level of experience, and include a photo. I’ve
seen these around a lot, but honestly, I doubt their success rate. I
think the best way to find a boat in person is to network network
network. Hang out at the local bars (they’re sailors!), stay close by,
hitchhike around, and try to meet as many people as you can. The word
of mouth is huge in the yachty world, it’s all about someone who knows
someone who knows someone. If you have time, get down to the cruising
area just before the season begins, and stay a while (like a month or
more!). Often they are great places to hangout anyway (British Virgin
Islands, Majorca, Sicily…) and small communities, so you’ll be in with
the crowd in no time. Be social!

• What experience do you
need? Obviously, any time at sea, courses etc… is going to help, but
don’t worry if you don’t have this. I started with nothing but a love
of water. A lot of sailors will want to teach you THEIR way anyway, so
having a clean slate might even help. Be prepared to offer whatever
you have. Think of how your skills could be useful. Medical, cooking,
and engineering, all very handy! Even a good musician can be a welcome
addition to a crew. Be fit, be handy, be positive. Light hearted and
fun, but sensible and with lots of common sense, that’s what most
skippers will be looking for.

• It’s a good idea to know
the basics. Read a book on the 101 of sailing. Which is port, which is
starboard, how to tie a bowline… the very basics will help you a lot.
Once you get ‘into’ the scene, you’ll be learning the jargon and
systems in no time… just keep all eyes and ears open.


The next step is seeing if the boat is right for you. Before any long
passage, go for a ‘get-to-know-you’ sail, and spend up to a week with
the skipper you’re signing on with. Finding crew is like finding
friends, there’s a possibility you might just not get on. This will
give you an idea of their lifestyle… do they drink a lot? (Ask about
whether the boat is ‘dry’ at sea or not). Do they smoke? Boats are
tiny spaces, if you’re a non-smoker, this might bother you. What kind
of sail are you after? A nice big boat where you push a button and the
sail goes up, another one and the sail goes down… or a little cruiser
with no shower, no engine (ha, this is rare, but they WILL be cool!).
In my opinion, the smaller it is, the better it is. Small boat owners
will generally use their boat more, sail more instead of motor, and
spend less time on the dock in a marina, and more time in pretty
anchorages. A week long sail with them will tell you if they’re a
motor sailor, or if they wait for weather windows and go where the
wind blows.

• Ask about money. What is it going to cost
you? The most common is that you pay for your food, and they pay the
rest, but keep in mind this might be more than you would normally
spend on food while on the road, so make sure you ask. Some skippers
will ask you to pay a few boat costs too, mooring fees or fuel. You
might be able to organize a ‘work exchange’ deal, if they need
varnishing or maintenance done to the boat. Maybe they are getting
hauled out, put on the hard for a week, and could really use a spare
pair of hands. If you’re REALLY lucky, they will pay all the costs…
and once you start getting some serious sea miles, you’ll even get
PAID to go sailing!

• Finally, have a good think about if
this is really for you. The idea of sailing off into the sunset might
sound awesome, but try to imagine being at sea in rough weather,
heeled over, raining and cold. Everything falling all over the place
and never being still. Most watch schedules will mean 3-4 hours alone
at night sailing the boat (after you have experience of course) and
sleeping patterns are always erratic. You’ll be in a small space with
several people (depending on the size of the boat, usually 3 or 4 crew
on board) and not always in the best situations. You’ll need to keep
your head together and be switched on almost 24hrs a day. Also,
remember than more than HALF of your time on the boat will be spent
anchored, moored, or docked somewhere. Usually this means working at
putting the boat back together, installing new gadgets or waiting for
the weather to change, and as crew you’re expected to help with this.
It won’t all be high energy stuff.
On a brighter not e – it iS
everything you imagined… dolphins, sunsets, sustainable transport and
using your hands to carry you along… if you’re up for it, it’s
magical!

Links:

When and where to be: <a
target=”_blank”
href=”http://www.cruiser.co.za/crewfinder1.asp”>http://www.cruiser.co.za/crewfinder1.asp<br
/>Find that boat!: href=”http://www.findacrew.net”>www.findacrew.net

<br
/>And here is some excerpts I typed up from a book called “the
Hitchhikers guide to the Oceans” by Alison Muir Bennett and Clare
Davis. It was published in 1990 though, so beware it’s a little dated.
Still, most of the information is still useful:

Where
is the need? To find an answer to these questions will require an
understanding of world weather patterns and the relative seasons of
trade winds and hurricanes. The area concerned is the tropic zone
located between the Tropic of Cancer at latitude 23N and the Tropic of
Capricorn at latitude 23S. Here, during certain parts of the year, the
north-east trade winds north of the Equator and the south-east trade
winds south of the Equator are found.

It is these east to
west blowing, warm trade winds of 10 to 25 knots plus the easygoing,
happy, relaxed people found on islands and continents in this zone
that draw cruising yachts to it. Unfortunately, the tropic zone is
also where hurricanes with winds of 65 to 175 knots or more are
formed. However, their times and places of origin are fairly well
defined. North of the Equator they arise between the months of August
and November, and south of the Equator between December and March. <br
/>
Like the birds, yachts migrate in and out of the tropic zone.
Whether yachts are circumnavigating or just cruising around the oceans
of the world, they gather at certain points in the tropic zone before
making their ocean passages according to these weather patterns. Thus,
these are also the places where skippers most need crew.
<br
/>(…) Finding a crew position along the known yacht routes can often
be easier than at the outset of an ocean passage from a home
continent, even though it may not be so economical of convenient. The
family or friends that skippers set out with often have to return home
or some drama en route may have convinced a skipper of the need for
crew. There are natural bottlenecks where boats will congregate in
numbers while waiting for the weather or the season for the next leg
of the voyage. Sometimes they wait for brief periods, sometimes for a
few months, as in the case of having to ‘hole-up’ for a hurricane
season to pass by.

The following locations will be the
easiest and best places to make contact with yacht skippers who might
be considering taking crew aboard:

North Pacific Ocean:<br
/>Southern Californian ports from Santa Barbara to San Diego in
October. Cabo San Lucas and La Paz, Mexico, at Christmas. <br
/>Hawaiian Islands: Hilo (Radio Bay), Hawaii and Lahina, Mauii from
May to September in all directions. Ala Wai, Honolulu in
August/September for returning TransPac racers to the USA<br
/>Philippines: Liloan, Cebu Island in August/September. Hong Kong from
December to April for deliveries of yachts built in Taiwan going north
to the USA or south to Europe.

South Pacific Ocean: <br
/>Tahiti, French Polynesia from April to September/October, Fiji in
September. New Zealand, North Island at Bay of Islands in March. <br
/>
Indian Ocean:
Australia at Darwin in July. South Africa
at Durban in December. Sri Lanka, Galle in December.

South
Atlantic Ocean:
South Africa at Cape Town in January/February.

North Atlantic Ocean:
British and North European
Ports – Lisbon/Vilamoura. (Yachts should have crossed Bay of Biscay by
the end of August.) Bermuda in November and April to August. The
Canary Islands, Las Palmas and Madeira, Funchal in November. Fort
Lauderdale, Florida in November.

Mediterranean:<br
/>Gibraltar, Palma, Malta and many other ports from April to November.

Note: Apart from some diving charters in the Red Sea area, there
is very little cruising traffic to rely on from the Mediterranean into
the Indian Ocean. An inconvenient passage combined with a difficult
political area reduces the flow of yachts going south. In the opposite
direction, more yachts go via the Suez Canal as a convenient short cut
back to Europe from the Indian Ocean – despite the inconveniences – if
they do not wish to go around Africa.

Caribbean:
St
Thomas, Virgin Islands in November. Barbados/Grenada in
November/December. Panama Canal – Panama Canal Yacht Club, Cristobal,
and Balboa Yacht Club in March/April.

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