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Old 11-01-2009, 23:34   #1
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Can you sail?florida to central america...

Hey everyone,
I need to find someone who can sail and wants to go on a adventure.

Me and two friends decided we are going to buy a 27-32' sailboat this june and sail to mexico,belize,guatemala,honduras,costa rica, and panama.
We are all 22 and want to go on a adventure before we have to settle down.

The thing is we haven't sailed in years and nothing bigger than a 16.

My hopes are to find you.. a backpacker/expert sailor/adventure seeker 18-27ish that wants to hitch a ride and teach us how to sail. We really want someone who is laid back and can take the living conditions aboard a small boat for 4;

This job is unpaid, but all boat expenses and gas will be paid for.
We all like to fish, surf, dive,snorkel,girls,party,spearfish,travel, and are all all really laid back.

We leave the beginning of June. This will be for a month or even longer.

contact me at linkavitch69@yahoo.com
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Old 15-01-2009, 08:53   #2
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Well if I was 20 years younger and thinking with my smaller head, I would be there. I am not saying your idea is stupid but you might want to think about those destinations more. Be carefull of Pirates, yes they are a problem in those area's. Four 22 year olds looking for fun and adventure on a 30 ft boat sounds to me like someone will end up in a Central American jail after one to many and a bad hang over.

But good luck and live your dream, just be careful.

Cheers

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Old 15-01-2009, 10:31   #3
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Originally Posted by linkavitch View Post
We leave the beginning of June. This will be for a month or even longer.
This is a fairly common and popular route for cruisers and despite recent incidents in Rio Dulce, etc., I don't think it's a particularly dangerous part of the world.

And, for people in their 20s it's probably possible to go extended cruising with 4 of you you on a 32 footer and have a blast PROVIDED you are very good friends. But:

1. June is the beginning of hurricane season. Most Caribbean cruisers want to start getting far south about that time of year. And indeed that seems to be your plan, but:

2. A month is too short. There is no point in cruising those waters unless you are going to do so slowly and leisurely.
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Old 15-01-2009, 11:13   #4
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"Mexico,Belize,Guatemala,Honduras,Costa Rica, and Panama" in a month .

Here is the reality of such a voyage.

-30 days to prepare the boat (Minimum). I don't care what boat it is. It will take you a minimum of 30-days to get used to the boat and get it ready for sea. I would suggest at least a couple of sea trials in heavy weather to determine what needs to be done to get the vessel ready for such a voyage. It's not like buying a used car and taking off across country. There are no repair facilities at sea and you will need to be prepared for anything.

-10 days of sea time between destinations (approx) including waiting for weather etc. 7 destinations (incl return to FL).... 70 days.

-5 days in each destination.....30 days.

Trying to do that trip in less than 130 days just plain unrealistic and that would be pushing it. Not much fun in my book. A year would be fun.

You may want to consider flying to Belize or Costa Rica and chartering a boat for 30-days and having a blast.

As previously stated, June is the beginning of Hurricane season. However, hurricanes are rare in June but it is an absolute possibility that you could fly to one of those paces and not be able to get on a boat due to a forecasted storm, anywhere in the Caribbean.
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Old 15-01-2009, 11:33   #5
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A better plan?

From the east coast of Florida it's a one day sail to the Bahamas. You can explore them for as long or as short as you like. There are no volcanoes, mountains, Mayan ruins, etc. But, there are some good hurricane holes, plenty of snorkling and fishing, literally 100s of islands, everything from party towns to deserted islands you can have all to yourself, and the Bahamas are some of the most spectacular cruising waters in the world.
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Old 15-01-2009, 11:56   #6
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I am ready to crew locally near Bocas del Toro, Panama or to sail around the world as a crewman and teacher should you have children. Vast experience on LM 30 and some on Merrick 45. I will be in Bocas until March 1,2009.
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Old 15-01-2009, 11:56   #7
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From the east coast of Florida it's a one day sail to the Bahamas. You can explore them for as long or as short as you like. There are no volcanoes, mountains, Mayan ruins, etc. But, there are some good hurricane holes, plenty of snorkling and fishing, literally 100s of islands, everything from party towns to deserted islands you can have all to yourself, and the Bahamas are some of the most spectacular cruising waters in the world.
Very good suggestion......they have some pretty cool Iguanas on one of the islands too. The snorkeling isn't very good though IMO.
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Old 15-01-2009, 12:19   #8
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And, everyone's favorite! Swimming with the wild pigs at Big Major Spot:



Reportedly they are fond of bread soaked in beer - preferably served in an edible cardboard bucket.
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Old 15-01-2009, 13:01   #9
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This is a fairly common and popular route for cruisers and despite recent incidents in Rio Dulce, etc., I don't think it's a particularly dangerous part of the world.

And, for people in their 20s it's probably possible to go extended cruising with 4 of you you on a 32 footer and have a blast PROVIDED you are very good friends. But:

1. June is the beginning of hurricane season. Most Caribbean cruisers want to start getting far south about that time of year. And indeed that seems to be your plan, but:

2. A month is too short. There is no point in cruising those waters unless you are going to do so slowly and leisurely.

Thanks everyone for the advice.I know it sounds a little on the wild side, but I am determinded to do it.

I am actually planning on staying down in central america... to invest in land. A month is the minimum I want someone to sign on for.
One of my friends will be flying home in september, but the other will be staying with me in central america.

My plan is to get below the hurricane belt asap. thats why im leaving in june. i will be buying the boat in april and living on it until we sail out.
no charter will work. im a adventurer and whatever happens...happens.

all the advice i can get would be appreciated!


thanks
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Old 15-01-2009, 14:04   #10
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OK, the conventional route would be from the Keys or somewhere in west Florida to Isla Mujeres in the Yucatan Channel. This is a multi-day passage and you want a boat with basic systems in good condition and an experienced skipper. You also don’t just go - you want to wait for some reasonable expectation of good weather because you do not want to have to seek safe harbor in Cuba.

From IM you coastal sail/island hop south. For an example of why slow is good and maybe necessary, go here:

http://www.boatus.com/cruising/littl.../200505-19.asp

For an example of the kinds of things you will likely miss if you don’t go slow, go here:

http://www.boatus.com/cruising/littl.../200501-27.asp

Schedules and timetables are anathema to cruising and potentially dangerous. Having said all that - yes - you can more or less make your plan work provided you are prepared to be flexible. If the boat or the weather isn’t quite right, stay where you are.
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Old 15-01-2009, 15:15   #11
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Originally Posted by slomotion View Post
OK, the conventional route would be from the Keys or somewhere in west Florida to Isla Mujeres in the Yucatan Channel. This is a multi-day passage and you want a boat with basic systems in good condition and an experienced skipper. You also don’t just go - you want to wait for some reasonable expectation of good weather because you do not want to have to seek safe harbor in Cuba.

From IM you coastal sail/island hop south. For an example of why slow is good and maybe necessary, go here:

BoatUS Cruising Logs

For an example of the kinds of things you will likely miss if you don’t go slow, go here:

BoatUS Cruising Logs

Schedules and timetables are anathema to cruising and potentially dangerous. Having said all that - yes - you can more or less make your plan work provided you are prepared to be flexible. If the boat or the weather isn’t quite right, stay where you are.
OK......this makes a lot more sense.....sorry that I misunderstood your 1st post.

I don't knock spontaneity and lust for adventure....been there, done that. My planned 3 year adventure ended up taking 14 years to fulfill. Just be prepared to take your time and not get on any schedules.

Just one more piece of advice before I have to run.

Be very careful investing in anything (especially land) in foreign countries. Be sure to find a good lawyer (bad ones are easy to find) before you invest in land. Most countries don't recognize property ownership the way that America does. Hell....even in America the gvm't can confiscate your land. The problem that you could run into is very common in most other countries. You purchase land, develop the land and the old owner disputes the land ownership after you develop. Often times, the citizen of that country has far more power than a foreigner. Just be careful.
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Old 15-01-2009, 19:29   #12
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I think this is the same general way the that Ronnie started his request before he moved to the west coast for launch.
PLEASE read and ask (and listen) as much as you can before jump off on this 'adventure'.
search 'Ronnie Simpson' on this forum.
The people here are supportive and helpfull but you need to have some caution and understanding of the risks before you jump.
It is NOT day sailing in the bay.

Good luck to you,

John
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Old 15-01-2009, 20:26   #13
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Okay, my bias is to come down in favor of adventure. I did the Mexico/Guatemala portion of this trip on a motorcycle 20 years ago and it is still an important experience in my life. Knowing that the surest way to disaster when sailing is to be locked too tightly to a schedule or a plan may I suggest an alternative. Instead of buying a boat in an expensive place like Florida, why not look for a boat in Belize or Guatemala? The amount you could save by living in Guatemala as opposed to Florida for April and May would certainly pay for your plane ticket if not for a couple more. You can look for a simple shallow draft vessel (reefs) and coastal cruise/camp the area even go up the Rio Dulce. You will have a cultural headstart as well. The part of your plan that has the highest risk for discomfort and death is the crossing of the Gulf. The boat appropriate for that crossing will cost too much and limit you as to where you can sail because of draft. Just a friendly reminder- if your definition of partying includes recreational drugs you should research the laws of the countries. We complain about the U.S. legal system but....
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Old 22-01-2009, 23:44   #14
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When I was flying I had one sound rule. If I had three things go wrong (wrong charts, dead battery, questionable weather (and I'm instrument rated), late start, and alot more, I would wait until the next day. I plan on doing the same when cruising. While 30 ft cruisers can be great for blue water cruisers, your experience level dictates that you may want to actually learn how to sail before leaving the sight of land. If you go ahead with this plan, make sure that everyone has everything in place including your will, before leaving port. An itinery and contact places along the way. Keep in touch on HF SSB with the folks back home on a tight time sked. If your scheduled communications never takes place then someone can start looking for you. Everyone should have the name of the boat, names of the crew, color of the boat, type of boat, planned route, time for planned stops, emergency equipment and anything else you can think of. Then when things change, contact the folks back home. If your partying includes drugs or major drinking. you need to rethink what kind of partying your doing. Drugs, lots of booze and women on the boat is a receipe for disaster. Foriegn contries will keep you for many years and your boat also. You really should experience bad weather on the open seas with a crew that knows what they are doing before you start out on this questionable endeavor.

We would rather keep you around for a long time to come, than send you on your way with encouragement. Whatever you choose to do, keep in touch and let us know how things are going.
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Old 23-01-2009, 00:03   #15
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Quote:
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lots of booze and women on the boat is a receipe for disaster
Haha, tend to disagree with ya there

Sounds like a sweet trip to me. Just be smart about it.

Cheers

Bill
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