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Old 11-04-2013, 15:23   #1
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Advice Wanted

Hello there seasoned sailors!

My husband and I are looking for our first deck hand opportunity! After posting a "Crew Available" post without any responses, I thought I would reach out to you all to see if you had any advice for us in how to secure our first gig. It seems like after you have some experience that you are way more likely to get a spot...so how do you get that first shot? We are currently in Bogota, Colombia and will be free to "sail" starting the middle of May! I have heard that the best chances to secure a gig is to go to a port town, so we are thinking of heading to Cartagena to see what we can scout out. Does anyone know the best place to go in Cartagena to meet fellow sailors? Also, where do you suppose boats will be heading from Cartagena in the middle of May. Are any heading North to the US at this time? Or has that window closed? Any advice that you could give to us on where to look or where we should post that we would like to go would be very helpful! Thanks in advance...
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Old 11-04-2013, 15:33   #2
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pirate Re: Advice Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saylor2013 View Post
Hello there seasoned sailors!

My husband and I are looking for our first deck hand opportunity! After posting a "Crew Available" post without any responses, I thought I would reach out to you all to see if you had any advice for us in how to secure our first gig. It seems like after you have some experience that you are way more likely to get a spot...so how do you get that first shot? We are currently in Bogota, Colombia and will be free to "sail" starting the middle of May! I have heard that the best chances to secure a gig is to go to a port town, so we are thinking of heading to Cartagena to see what we can scout out. Does anyone know the best place to go in Cartagena to meet fellow sailors? Also, where do you suppose boats will be heading from Cartagena in the middle of May. Are any heading North to the US at this time? Or has that window closed? Any advice that you could give to us on where to look or where we should post that we would like to go would be very helpful! Thanks in advance...
Hi Saylor... Welcome to CF..
I think your best bet might be to head straight for Panama early as poss on the ferry... still time to catch EW traffic going to the States... seem to remember it was not all that dear.
You can do some transits as crew.. backpacker hotel in Paname city and post in Shelter Bay Marina Colon and on the board at the anchorage at Las Brisas, ...
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Old 11-04-2013, 15:39   #3
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Re: Advice Wanted

No idea about that locale (or time of year), but it's a numbers game - the more boats in a place doing what you want to do the more chance of getting on one.

From a quick look at your original post I am guessing you are both US passport holders (so no Visa issues) - but I would spell that out. I would also mention any local language skills you have.

If boats are available probably the best thing can do to get a berth is a willingness to put hand in pocket with a contribution for expenses (what level is a matter of negotiation - but to cover at least own food would be welcomed by most)......some folks will likely want crew who have circumnavigated Mount Everest in Winter!, but in truth a willing pair of hands and half a brain is all a decent enough Skipper needs to work with / work around. That and folks who don't puke as soon as shoes get damp.......

Certainly a walk around where cruisers congregate and socialise would be useful (for both parties to have a look at each other). With a bit of luck might even be a Yacht club or 2 to ask around at / have a notice board. IIRC when in NZ many moons ago the odd cruiser would post a crew wanted ad in a Backpackers hostel, no idea if that set up happens in Colombia. Plus finding out if any other (!) websites / forums are popular for that locale.

And at the risk of jumping on a stereotype!, if I was in Colombia and a couple of folks wished to set sail for the USA my thoughts would turn to what sort of local export product they might be bringing with them.......and my risk management programme would very likely involve a long hard look at them and a thorough search! But I have trust issues!, partly based on previous experiance of folks in that game - albeit on the other side of the world. and with a different product.

Anyway, lets hope that this thread bump throws up some more help for ya.
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Old 11-04-2013, 15:59   #4
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Re: Advice Wanted

Welcome to the forum, Panama is a good place to start, there are usually cruisers going through looking for some extra hands for line handling, who knows what may develop from there, or maybe you get a lead from some boat you help go through the canal.
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Old 12-04-2013, 14:49   #5
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Re: Advice Wanted

Answer posts of captains seeking crew leaving from someplace close to you.

I got my crew this way. One came from Europe and the other from Cincinnati. I was in Antigua West Indies. Be willing to move quick.

Also check other sites for crewing opportunities and be careful of scams.
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Old 12-04-2013, 15:10   #6
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Re: Advice Wanted

David has made a valid point! You should consider his advice! Be very suspicious when someone vacations in Columbia, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan, to just name a few countries on my off-limits list. You really do not want to be in any of these countries, ever; eventually, you'll be raising big red flags when going through US Customs/DEA/FBI. Mauritz
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Old 12-04-2013, 15:28   #7
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This is a good place to look also try OPB forum
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Old 13-04-2013, 09:45   #8
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Re: Advice Wanted

Here is an interesting Fact getting aboard a Vessel!

Excerpt.Wiki.

Shanghaiing refers to the practice of conscripting men as sailors by coercive techniques such as trickery, intimidation, or violence. Those engaged in this form of kidnapping were known as crimps. Until 1915, unfree labor was widely used aboard Americanmerchant ships. The related term press gang refers specifically to impressment practices in Great Britain's Royal Navy.[1]

Crimps flourished in port cities like San Francisco in California, Portland[2] and Astoria inOregon,[3] and Seattle[4] and Port Townsend in Washington.[5] On the West Coast, Portland eventually surpassed San Francisco for shanghaiing. On the East Coast, New York easily led the way, followed by Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.[6]
The role of crimps and the spread of the practice of shanghaiing resulted from a combination of laws, economic conditions, and the shortage of experienced sailors on the American West Coast in the mid-19th century.
First, once a sailor signed on board a vessel for a voyage, it was illegal for him to leave the ship before the voyage's end. The penalty was imprisonment, the result of federal legislation enacted in 1790.[7] This factor was weakened by the Maguire Act of 1895 and the White Act of 1898, before finally being eradicated by the Seamen's Act of 1915.
Second, the practice was driven by a shortage of labor, particularly of skilled labor on ships on the West Coast. With crews abandoning ships en masse because of the California Gold Rush, a healthy body on board the ship was a boon.[8][9]
Finally, shanghaiing was made possible by the existence of boarding masters, whose job it was to find crews for ships. Boarding masters were paid "by the body," and thus had a strong incentive to place as many seamen on ships as possible.[8] This pay was called "blood money," and was just one of the revenue streams available.[10] These factors set the stage for the crimp: a boarding master who uses trickery, intimidation, or violence to put a sailor on a ship.[11]
The most straightforward method for a crimp to shanghai a sailor was to render him unconscious, forge his signature on the ship's articles, and pick up his "blood money." This approach was widely used, but there were more profitable methods.[10]
In some situations, the boarding master could receive the first two, three, or four months of wages of a man he shipped out.[8] Sailors were able to get an advance against their pay for an upcoming voyage to allow them to purchase clothes and equipment, but the advance wasn't paid directly to the sailor because he could simply abscond with the money. Instead, those to whom money was owed could claim it directly from the ship's captain. An enterprising crimp, already dealing with a seaman, could supplement his income by supplying goods and services to the seaman at an inflated price, and collecting the debt from the sailor's captain.[10]
Some crimps made as much as $9,500 per year in 1890s dollars, equivalent to about $260,000 in 2012 dollars.

In 1872, Congress passed the Shipping Commissioners Act of 1872 to combat crimps.[15] Under this act, a sailor had to sign on to a ship in the presence of a federal shipping commissioner.[15] The presence of a shipping commissioner was intended to ensure the sailor wasn't "forcibly or unknowingly signed on by a crimp."[15]
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Old 14-04-2013, 12:12   #9
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Re: Advice Wanted

I have signed on plenty of ships, never once saw a shipping commissioner.
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Old 14-04-2013, 13:22   #10
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Re: Advice Wanted

I am in Bradenton, FLorida now on an IP 445. I plan to leave in the next 2- 3 weeks for Panama going around the east end of Cuba. If I single hand, I plan to go north to Grand Bahama then island hop. With crew that can stand watch, I will hug the coast of Cuba, as it is more days at sea as well as too close to the beach to single hand. I plan to head for Red Frog Marina, then hang around until next Pacific crossing season.
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Old 05-05-2013, 16:05   #11
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ATTN: HEELING...

We are interested in the trip! My email address is: hiromieh@gmail.com. Please reply with yours!


We would be very interested in crewing on your trip to Florida if we could get the details nailed down! As far as your question about seasickness... My husband and I have never been seasick. However, our time on the open sea is limited. We have taken a 3 hour ferry in Costa Rica, a 3.5 hour ferry to Roatan and back (on which MANY passengers were throwing up and we were unfazed), a 4.5 hour boat ride from Miramar, Panama to Porvenir and then an 8 hour boat ride from Porvenir to Capurgana, Colombia. I'm not sure if these types of trips are any indication, but we have survived them very well and have seen others not faring well at all.

A couple questions for you! When will you be leaving from Brazil? Would you be willing to pick us up in Cartagena? How long do you expect your trip to last? What stops are you thinking of making? What kinds of expenses are you expecting? If you could give us a rough idea of a per day cost, that would be helpful!

A little bit about us... We both speak passable Spanish, we love to cook and we are hard working and adventurous. I believe we are fast learners and we are definitely easy to get along with! We have current US passports and would be able to email you a copy of them so you can verify who we are. If this looks like it is a real possibility, maybe we can set up a Skype session so we can see each other face to face and make sure we would make a good team!

Please email me back at... hiromieh@gmail.com. I'd be happy to send you photos of us and would love to see a photo of you and the boat!

Thanks again for your interest!

Hiromi
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Old 08-05-2013, 17:04   #12
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Re: Advice Wanted

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post

And at the risk of jumping on a stereotype!, if I was in Colombia and a couple of folks wished to set sail for the USA my thoughts would turn to what sort of local export product they might be bringing with them.......and my risk management programme would very likely involve a long hard look at them and a thorough search! But I have trust issues!, partly based on previous experiance of folks in that game - albeit on the other side of the world. and with a different product.
My thoughts are same as David's sentiments. Although you might not be in the trade, your locale at present is known for such. If I were you, I would move to a different location that does not bring such thoughts to mind, then post for a spot. I am sure you will find options open up to you if your starting point is one of the Caribe Islands or Panama.
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Old 14-05-2013, 15:20   #13
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Re: Advice Wanted

I am in a same sort of situation.

tbodine88 mentioned other crewing sites.
I know:
The Float Plan Home Page

Anybody has other sites to share?
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