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Old 04-02-2009, 20:49   #1
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Crew Available: I'm a Woman. I Need to Be on the Water. You Should Read This.

Iím fascinated with anything that has to do with any kind of boat (particularly sailboats)
I find myself completely filled with a sort of uncontrollable excitement when I think about being in the middle of black water Ė the idea that I would lack land in the unknown is nothing short of astounding.

Iíve never been sailing, and I have no idea what I am doing on this website Ė but its all I can think about. I just want to be on the water. Desperately.

Iím female Ė apparently thatís a big deal. And I just donít give a damn. Iím intelligent, educated and I work hard. Knee deep in my degree of Philosophy and Psychology Ė I would willingly give it all up to help crew some sort of vessel. But as it may be clear now, I have no idea what the hell Iím doing.
I donít even know where this life long passion to be on the water came from. But I want it.

So I come to you fine sea-goers to inquire as to a direction I should travel. I would like at the very least suggestions in literature - and perhaps some idea as to how I can just get some sort of work on the sea.

As I have read posts on this site, I see plenty of women who would like to find some romantic sailor and trail off into the sunset. I do not want this, my passion lies with the sea Ė and there it will stay.

I am young Ė 23, and have the passion and drive any young student has. I anticipate working on the sea is difficult and strenuous. The challenge is incredible Ė I must experience it.



-Kris Aubrey
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Old 04-02-2009, 20:58   #2
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Kris,

Probably the best thing is to get out and try some first. You might like it better if you really took a short trip to start with. It feels different once you are out there. It may appeal to you or it may not. Often the idea of something is better than really doing it. Things we do for recreation may not suit you as a job. I really wouldn't want to work on a boat but I sure love sailing a lot. You need to explore it enough to find what might the best for you. There really are a lot of ways to sail.

There are a lot of ways to get out there and it depends on where you are and your access to water. I think trying it first and perhaps taking some basic lessons would get you more familiar with everything about it. It just helps to understand how things really work so you feel comfortable. A sailing vacation is not really a bad idea either. Many opportunities for chartering are out there.

While working at sea can be strenuous it also can be easier if you have some training and experience behind you. This is clearly a case where being smarter proves the advantage over strength alone.
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Old 04-02-2009, 20:59   #3
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I imagine this may sound ridiculous and that I may sound naive, I assume that is because it does and I am. I just don't know where to start.
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:02   #4
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Wow! What a 1st post

Since you're just 23 and so eager, I'm sure you'll get many offers and replies from this forum.

You go! I'm also female but alas not in my 20's...or 30's...or 40's...HAH, but I am buying a boat and sailing off (already have exp. under my belt tho) so I can understand your love of the sea.

Fair Sailing!
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:08   #5
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Hello Kris,

I know you think that you gave us a great deal of info but it seems a bit ...vague.
If you want to go sailing there are a number of directions you might look, if you want to work at sea, the directions may be a bit different. You are still young enough to look in both directions before making a final decision.

Lets just look at sailing. You don't give a geographic location in even general terms so it is a bit more difficult. Assuming you were anywhere in the U.S. there would be sailing schools to teach the fundamentals and even a bit beyond. Yacht club racers are almost always looking for pick up crew for their local weekend races. There are single's sailing groups as well and although you specifically state you do not want a sailing mate, there is still the sailing experience. Finally, and particularly if you have gained any experience through the above suggestions, there are always those looking for crew for longer passages. These need to be approached with the utmost caution. I don't think I'm being melodramatic in saying your very life is at stake. I'm not just referring to the rare sailor that has different ideas of what crew means. As importantly you need to determine if the boat is capable of the voyage and if the owner/captain also has the requisite skills to bring you to a safe landfall.

You can, of course, go solo or with someone you trust but then you will have the expense of the boat plus the voyage.

Finally, and I mean finally in the sense of this post because your question is good for hours of discussion, you can look into the marine academies for professional ratings. You would then be working but not likely on a sailboat.

I wish you well and can almost remember being your age, enjoy it while you can for the things that you will regret most in later years is that which you did not do.

Rich
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:14   #6
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Hi Kris,

Welcome Aboard!! I wouldn't give up the degree to go sailing off, just yet, you can do both! Where do you live? Are you near water? Clubs, Schools, Recreation Departments at Universities often have programs etc...

There's all kinds of things you can do to get on the water....for work or pleasure.
The work part will need some thought, planning and training. Pleasure boating is easier.

I don't think being a woman is a big deal. There's plenty of women working and playing on the water.

Reading?....hmm....you might want to read Tania Aebi...Maiden Voyage, Linda Greenlaw has several books out that are entertaining...She was portrayed in the movie...The Perfect Storm...she was a sword boat captain now turned lobster fisherman/author........Sailing alone around the world ...by Joshua Slocum...

Give us some more information regarding where you are there are people from all over the world here, who are happy to share their knowledge.

Welcome and Have Fun
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisAubrey View Post
I just don't know where to start.
Start by putting some more information in your profile -- don't have to give away the farm, but an approximate geographical location would certainly help. People who read your post and want to offer help in form of a day sail or crewing will know if you are close by or not. You might get a couple of PMs that way.

Michael
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:27   #8
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Wow! Thank you all, I'm surprised how quickly I received responses.
I live in Pittsburgh PA. I'm not entirely certain what geographical locations I would most be interested in, for now I suppose I am open to anything. Atlantic being the closest, I suppose that is a good place to start?

I have desire to be on the water now. But understand that I am young and much of this passion comes from it. I would be content finishing my degree with a bunch of books to read on sailing and perhaps lessons to gain experience. Maybe I can even treat myself to experience outside of lessons during the summer.

I will update my profile (I only just created it)

What other information would be helpful?
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:34   #9
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Originally Posted by KrisAubrey View Post
I imagine this may sound ridiculous and that I may sound naive, I assume that is because it does and I am. I just don't know where to start.
You can start by using the Yellow pages to locate a local yacht club. You'll discover that many boats have crew requirements for weekly regattas. You'll get some offers here, but I'd question their motives. Next, you buy your boat. Something small and trailerable. You'll soon discover if your desire matches reality.

If Donna Lange can single handedly circumnavigate in a 28' sailboat, without ever having sailed before the start of her trip, I guess being female isn't the liability you propose.

http://www.donnalange.com/

Just get out there and do it.
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisAubrey View Post
for now I suppose I am open to anything. Atlantic being the closest, I suppose that is a good place to start?
Well, it is an ocean -- so that's a good start. However, being on the West Coast, I am not sure if it encompasses the poetical term "black water" you used in your initial post.

I met this guy Yves Gťlinas at a boat show and talked to him about his self-steering mechanism for a sailboat. He produced an amazing 100 minute 16mm flim which he sells on DVD. It chronicles his journey around the world. The film is delightful and disturbing at times. You can order it from his website Awards received by the film.

Books are ok, but other than being on the sea, there is nothing like a homemade film to give you a feel for the sea. That film fired my imagination more than any book has done for me.

Michael
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Old 04-02-2009, 21:48   #11
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Kris,

Passion is ageless, I think you'll find that we are all passionate about sailing and boating here! No apologies for passion or youth required. Depending on your resources you can take lessons in all kinds of great locations, and many of them might offer livaboard while you learn options. Do you have any friends that share this passion with you? Maybe a group vacation?...

There are alot of east coast sailors here, who may offer you a lift...There are also Volunteer opportunities....check out, things like the Sloop Clearwater, Pete Seegers Hudson River Sloop....I think there are others like that. Google Clearwater Sloop.
Others here may know of Summer sailing Volunteer opportunities.

I teach Sailing part time at a New Jersey Shore School...pm me if you want more info
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Old 04-02-2009, 22:00   #12
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I live in Pittsburgh PA.
Oh, Jeez, wait 'til BadFish finds this thread . . .

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Old 04-02-2009, 23:03   #13
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Oh, Jeez, wait 'til BadFish finds this thread . . .
Tao, my ears were ringing.

What what what's this, another 'Burgher???? Someone else who resides in the city of Champions?????

Kris, the boat scene in Pittsburgh is an awesome time. It's no ocean, but people really do have a good time cruisin the three rivers. I myself am 26 and recently graduated college, and I live-aboard me boat on the beaver river, right off the ohio. However, I was too much of a wuss to live-aboard this winter, so she's outta the water till Apr. Anyway, you're welcome to come cruisin this spring/summer and check it out.

If you're looking to learn to sail, than ya look at Erie, Moraine, Chesapeake... I myself have plans to learn to sail with friends who have sailboats at Moaraine and Chesapeake.

I'm still working and saving to head to warmer climates, hopefully I'm gone by next winter. We got the same dream sister. I recommend ya finish school first, the degree will help on the hook.

BTW, mr. TaoJones, how'd ya make out on the big game, eh? You take the Cards and the points?

Cheers

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Old 04-02-2009, 23:07   #14
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Just like the others say above, you need to get out there first to see if it's your nitch.

Not to be a facetious, but most woman are pukers. If you can go out there on a sailboat on a rough windy day and not vomit your guts up, you'll have the FIRST step accomplished. After that the possibilities are endless.

I took my 100 ton course with a 26 YO lady who fish and crabs the the Alaska gulf. She had a little trouble with the navigation course (math) but she did very well otherwise, plus she had over a 1000 hours of sea time.

First get out there and find out. Charter a day sail if you have too. If your really serious you might want to consider a hitch in the Coast Guard. You'll get the best training and sea time as well. After 4 years you'll know whether it's your nitch. But do request boat duty (on paper) at the recruiter or they'll give you a clerical position.

Others may disagree with my last paragraph but for the money it can't be beat.

It has become more common in the last 15 years then any other time for woman to become sailors then I can (google up) find in history. There are so many guys here that cry wishing they could find a woman that is willing to go to sea and share the cruising experience.

Hope the best for ya!
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Old 04-02-2009, 23:43   #15
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Welcome Kris. Although you are not looking for a dweeb to sail off into the sunset with, I'm sure some sparkies in here will attempt to swoon you anyways. My suggestion is to join a sailing club who has small keel type boats. If you still have the passion after that...for goodness sakes, move somewhere warm!
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