Laura, you and and your friends should get some crewing
experience -- it doesn't have to be much, even a weekend "learn to crew" course, or a few weekends on a friendly boat would be useful (better yet, both). Find someone who will take you offshore
for a day or two.
is usually a two week passage
, less if the crew is really pushing the boat. Seasickness is probably the worst thing you will experience. Learn about that, through personal experience if possible.
You will need to stand watch, probably by yourself, for several hours each night. The skipper
needs to know that you will do your job and know when to wake someone up if you need help or advice. If you can't do this you shouldn't get on the boat. When you stand watch the entire crew is placing their lives in your hands.
So, it's serious business. It's also a lot of fun, and can be an experience you will treasure always. Prepare yourselves and do it if you can.
EDIT - I just noticed the plan is to go to Hawaii "this fall". Fall is not the typical season for a passage
to Hawaii, as this is the height of hurricane
season. Sure, it can usually be done with no problems, but there will be fewer boats heading west, and the conditions could be an issue. If it has to be in the fall, a jet plane might be the best way for you to get to Hawaii.