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Old 02-01-2019, 18:55   #1
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Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

Sorry about the long post.

I'm looking for the collective experience of this forum to help me make my decision.

My goal in 2019 is to cross the Atlantic in a sailboat (as crew).

Is this feasible for me at this point in my life?

Sailing Resume:
ASA through 106, 30+ charters (sailing Galveston Bay, usually in charge of the boat) 5 Offshore races (Gulf of Mexico) as crew, watches, provisioning, cooking. Bareboat week long catamaran charter in the BVI.
Personal:
49, married, healthy, fit (run a dozen 5k races, a couple 10k and one half marathon each year). Veteran, business owner (technology related), firefighter, EMS provider.

Perceived Pros:
Can take up to a month off.
Capable crew member, mechanically inclined, familiar with 12v systems, I can cook.
Medical training.
TWIC

Cons:
Fire department shifts are scheduled 6 weeks out (need lead time before trip).
Difficult to take more than 4 weeks.

For those who have done a crossing, is my timeline too rigid for the type of flexibility required for an Atlantic crossing?

My ideal would be to hop on a new Catamaran and bring it to the Caribbean.
But, I'd be happy to sail the Wanderer with the Harvey's (As long at it was safe)

I expect I need to keep the year open for this experience.
Should I just plan (rather than wait for) a sailing experience for 2019. (Charter in Thailand or Croatia)
Are the crewing opportunities I'm looking for available to me?

Not asking for you to make my decision, I understand there are many variables. What would you do? Am I missing anything?

Thanks for spending the time to read.
I also appreciate any feedback you have.
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Old 02-01-2019, 19:53   #2
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Re: Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

You could join a boat doing the ARC (they meet in the Canaries before jumping to Caribbean - which generally takes about 2 weeks, depending on the size of the boat).

And yes, you absolutely would be a welcome addition to any transatlantc crew!

Fair winds,
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Old 02-01-2019, 20:25   #3
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Re: Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

Sounds to me like you will be a great addition to any crew. Sorry I don't know about Atlantic crossings, but you might also check into finding a good yacht delivery skipper to work with.
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Old 02-01-2019, 20:39   #4
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Re: Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

Arc is definitely the most scheduled of all transatlantic crossings. There shouldn’t be a difficulty, but good boats are looking for good crew now, not later.
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Old 02-01-2019, 20:49   #5
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Re: Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

You sound like excellent crew, and I don't think you will have any difficulties along those lines. However, for a regular cruising situation, a schedule like yours is indeed a bit tight. Most folks don't want to commit to a schedule for a serious passage (I sure don't) and would be leery of a chap who HAD to be back on a given day. Puts a lot of pressure on the skipper.

On the other hand, going crew on an ARC boat, where they already have a schedule might work out ok. It(IMO) is a very different experience than a normal cruising crossing, and I dunno how that would sit with you. Ann and I avoid those mob scenes like the plague... just not our scene, but many folks seem to get off on such activities. More power to them!

Good luck with your quest... an ocean crossing is a wonderful experience (except when it ain't!)

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Old 02-01-2019, 21:12   #6
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Re: Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

There are various boards where you can list yourself for crew. CF has one. You are eligible for it.

Ann
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:30   #7
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Re: Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

Good post, OP!

The Canaries are definitely the jumping off point for crossing to the Caribbean. Given your time constraints, joining a boat there might be your best plan.

It took us 20 days to cross on a Swan 48.

The ARC leaves early (IMHO) so that they can arrive well before Xmas in the Caribbean. The NE trades are not fully formed and reliable at that time. Going a few weeks later makes for an easier, faster trip.

I was part of a crew of 4, including the skipper/owner. They were chain-smoking alcoholics who drank themselves across the ocean. Seriously, we carried more booze than fresh water, and they were drunk every damn day. Their collective sailing experience was little more than a few day sails. Although the one fellow had been rail-meat in a few races. And the skipper was very good at writing cheques. My point is that a good attitude, and some enthusiasm are worth a lot. And also be careful who you crew for.

FWIW, The social centre for sailing in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria is "Sailors Bar": https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sailo...08927459187590
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:44   #8
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Re: Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

And a good bar it is to.. Hic!!!
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:04   #9
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Re: Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

Thank you to all that have replied so far!

I like the ARC series idea, though hooking up with a professional delivery Captain would reduce the likelihood of hamburking's experience (inexperienced chain-smoking alcoholics), if anyone knows someone looking, please, let me know.

I will post my information here on CF's crew forum and sign up on https://oceancrewlink.com/ in the near future.
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:48   #10
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Re: Is my plan feasible? (Long post)

Go to the ARC website as well. I believe they have a crew page.

Warmly,
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