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Old 02-08-2008, 16:51   #1
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Hello and Hola from Colombia

Hi, Im Jess and Im new to this forum and new to sailing in general.

I have a general question for all who are knowledgable and willing to take the time and answer.

Ive been travelling in South America and am in Colombia at the moment. At the end of my trip money has become an issue and Ive been told by a couple of different travellers who are keen sailors that it would be possible to catch a boat back to europe, if I was willing willing to work crew on the boat in exchange for my passage. This sounded to good to be true and Im trying to work out if it is.

My questions are these:

1) Is this as easy as it sounds? I have some very basic sailing experience from when I was in sailing club at school years ago, but other than that am a total newbie to it and have never spent a length of time out at sea. Im fit, smart and eager to learn, but is that enough to gain free passage across the atlantic?

2) Is this really the wrong time of year to try and get a lift from the Colombian carribean to Europe what with hurricanes and storms in the carribean and atlantic?

3) Do that many ships leave Colombia for europe, or is it possible to hop between boats and work my way eastward that way?

Thank you for reading this and for any and all advice that you can give someone who is very interested in starting to sail and really doesnt want to buy a plane ticket home. Yours hopefully, Jess
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Old 02-08-2008, 17:47   #2
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Jess, a few pointers. While most Captains are not unscrupulous individuals, a boat is a very small environment. I would recommend getting to know the crew of any vessel you intend to crew on. Check for references if you can find them. I would also make sure all of your papers are in order, and that you have personal and professional reference available. Get a signed contract with the Captain that outlines exactly what your responsibilities will be, as well as the destination, and any transportation that you work out at the end of the trip, or at stops along the way. Also include contingency plans in case you need to get off the boat before the final destination. Make sure you are clear on any provisions you are expected to supply, if any. Provisions on a boat are a very big issue, and if you are eating at someone Else's expense, your habits may lead to some very hungry days at sea. I can tell you if you are a vegetarian, you would be very hungry sharing food on my boat
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Old 02-08-2008, 18:02   #3
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Thanks Kai Nui. Just the kind of advice that I need.

If anyone has specific advice about sailing from the carribean to Europe during hurricane season that would also be appreciated. Will I find anything if I turn up at a port in the months of Sept through to end of Oct?
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:58   #4
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Most passages to Europe from this side of the Atlantic are begun in late April or May, from one of the Leeward Islands, or from the east coast of Florida. Some stop in Bermuda for a short time before continuing on.
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