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Old 12-12-2011, 16:16   #1
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Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show - Advice ?

The plan was to fly down to Cali from Vancouver on January 3rd to shop for the boat, buy it, equip it, spend some time getting my sea legs back and then crew up and head out.

I'll be filming the adventure for a TV series I'm producing on spec. I'll be documenting the trip, but also doing a lifestyle series on sailing - interviewing yachters and touring their boats, doing travel/tourism pieces at each island, some reality spots of life on the boat using GoPro Hero HD's above and below and also a series of shows on the beautiful women, beaches, crazy parties, etc. Gonna do the travel show in French and in English.

I'm financing it myself so hopefully it works out and I can get the show(s) on the air. If not, I'll be broke when the trip is over but will have had a great time and youtube will be full of content on boats, equipment, inspirational stories, useful travel information and some good eye candy from the islands. Ideally though, this will be my way of generating an income while cruising so I can keep going indefinitely.

If anyone has any productive advice, I'd very much appreciate it. For instance, a suggested route from LA would be great. I's like to sail to PV if that's where everything starts so I can get some footage, but am not sure how long it will take to get there.

I'm also going to be looking for a couple of people (at least one with off shore experience) to help crew the boat, and who will also be willing to do some film crew tasks. Experience is not necessary with film/sound gear, but if you have any, that would be great. Someone who speaks French would also be great.

Since I'm doing this on spec, I can't pay for the positions, but if the show sells, there will be a deferred pay arrangement. Plus, you get to be involved with the show, get IMDB credit and be featured on the show(s).
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Old 12-12-2011, 16:22   #2
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

saw a post from tom1986---- these folks could do you well.... consider contacting them-- they are good souls--met them here in mazatlan.
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Old 12-12-2011, 16:31   #3
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

Thanks Zeehag
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Old 12-12-2011, 17:02   #4
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

Have you thought of starting in the Caribbean? There are more different places, closer together, so it might be easier to find interesting content. I love Mexico, but I have a feeling that there might be a bit of a "Groundhog Day" experience to filming there, since you could visit Cabo, La Paz, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatenejo, Acapulco (and on) and still be in the same country, with the same culture, and ... most of the cities kind of look the same (from a TV perspective) aside from a few landmarks. Consider that in less distance/time you could film from St. Maarten to Trinidad, hit more different cultures and cute types of architectures and touristy things, and meet people ashore that speak English or French (more accessible for your audience).

Also, the sailing community in Pacific Mexico is a bit homogenous. It is mostly Americans and Canadians from the West Coast, and most of the folks are not the more hard core voyagers you'd find, for example, on the choke points of the Coconut Milk Run. Which is completely fine and wonderful (I'm making no value judgement here), but from the perspective of filming, where you want to cherry pick among the people who are a bit more odd or interesting, I think you'd have a much easier time in other waters.
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Old 12-12-2011, 17:19   #5
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Thanks Zeehag
Good luck. Cool idea. Look fwd to seeing the video.
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Old 12-12-2011, 17:22   #6
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

Sorry, I didn't mean to question your assumptions so much.

Here's a typical route, but with some detours to neat places that makes for a bit more time at sea than usual:

Jan: Los Angeles, Turtle Bay, Cabo, Puerto Vallarta
Feb: Puerto Vallarta, Barra De Navidad, Zihuatenejo, Acapulco
Mar: Galapagos
Apr: Marquessas
May: Tuamotus
Jun: Tahiti, Moorea, Raitea, Bora Bora ...
Jul: Rarotonga, Vanuatu
Aug: Niue
Sep: Tonga
Oct: Fiji
Nov: New Zealand

This of course isn't the official "Pacific Puddle Jump" where folks go straight from PV to the Marquessas. I'm not sure if that's part of your idea.
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Old 12-12-2011, 17:41   #7
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

Hi msponer.

I appreciate your input.

I totally have thought about the Carribean, but I wasn't sure what would have more appeal footage wise. I picture crossing the pacific as a bit more adventurous than cruising around the Caribbean. Also, the allure of ending up in Australia/NZ was pretty attractive. Finally, having the opportunity to do some French episodes, or a whole series in French was a possibility. For instance, I could host in English, while a partner filmed me interviewing or narrating, then we swap, and I film, while my French partner does the whole thing again in French. We could have two shows and sell to French and English television back in Canada, but also in other countries.

I'm looking at a Cal 35 right now in Florida that would be perfect I think. Doing the Caribbean is tempting, and then there is also sailing through the canal to the Coconut Run. There is also budget. From what I understand, it is quite expensive to enter the waters of each island in the Caribbean and it's also quite expensive to go through the Canal.

This is why I was thinking since most of my contacts for the show are in LA anyway, it might be better to buy there and just get to PV as quickly as possible and start the filming there, other than some shooting on the boat buying process in LA of course. I think an episode or two of selecting boats for offshore cruising and making a trip like this would be good.

If I knew I could sail for longer, then it would be easy. I would probably do the Caribbean first, but unless it turns into something that generates income, I could end up blowing all of my money by the time I finish the first trip.

Oh and I would not leave until likely end of February either way. I'd want to do a lot of coastal sailing, upgrade some of the equipment, get the boat crewed up, try to presell the show a bit and maybe get some sponsors before we leave. I don't need the sponsors, but it would be nice to have some, and a ground crew that can try to arrange any permits and negotiate some filming ops at planned destinations while we are under sail.
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Old 12-12-2011, 18:23   #8
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Originally Posted by SS Little-Devil
Hi msponer.

I appreciate your input.

I totally have thought about the Carribean, but I wasn't sure what would have more appeal footage wise. I picture crossing the pacific as a bit more adventurous than cruising around the Caribbean. Also, the allure of ending up in Australia/NZ was pretty attractive. Finally, having the opportunity to do some French episodes, or a whole series in French was a possibility. For instance, I could host in English, while a partner filmed me interviewing or narrating, then we swap, and I film, while my French partner does the whole thing again in French. We could have two shows and sell to French and English television back in Canada, but also in other countries.

I'm looking at a Cal 35 right now in Florida that would be perfect I think. Doing the Caribbean is tempting, and then there is also sailing through the canal to the Coconut Run. There is also budget. From what I understand, it is quite expensive to enter the waters of each island in the Caribbean and it's also quite expensive to go through the Canal.

This is why I was thinking since most of my contacts for the show are in LA anyway, it might be better to buy there and just get to PV as quickly as possible and start the filming there, other than some shooting on the boat buying process in LA of course. I think an episode or two of selecting boats for offshore cruising and making a trip like this would be good.

If I knew I could sail for longer, then it would be easy. I would probably do the Caribbean first, but unless it turns into something that generates income, I could end up blowing all of my money by the time I finish the first trip.

Oh and I would not leave until likely end of February either way. I'd want to do a lot of coastal sailing, upgrade some of the equipment, get the boat crewed up, try to presell the show a bit and maybe get some sponsors before we leave. I don't need the sponsors, but it would be nice to have some, and a ground crew that can try to arrange any permits and negotiate some filming ops at planned destinations while we are under sail.
There was a Caribbean cruising series on Food Network called "Feasting on Waves" that Alton Brown hosted, and I enjoyed. There also was a circumnavigation by a fellow on Vimeo, Busco Gusto, which was excellent. In the Caribbean there is the French side of Saint Maarten. Bahamas clearance fee is $300. If you end up in South Florida, I have some video skills and might lend a hand.
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Old 12-12-2011, 18:25   #9
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

You know, with that kind of budget and short schedule... I'd look for a boat that's already in Mexico. There are a lot of seasonal cruisers, folks who use their boat as a winter home and then stick it on the hard during the summer. Many of these folks have a pretty good budget and tend to maintain their boats very well. Boats like this have benefited from a few rounds of cruising followed by tweaking to make them work better. This has a lot of value that is hard to see (little details in sail handling, or fuel tanks without guck in the bottom since the boat has been actively travelled, handholds, big leaks fixed....), in addition to the expensive details you can easily quantify (recent rigging or sails, watermaker, fancy battery system, fancy power generation systems (big alternator, solar panels, and etc)).

My last boat had never gone anywhere far, so an enormous amount of stuff broke on the first few long passages: for example, there were sharp corners on halyard leads, so two halyards chafed through to the Marquessas. There was guck in the tanks since the boat hadn't been moving very much for 15 years. A splice was done with electrical tape, so when we entered the tropics the electrical tape unwound and the wire shorted against a piece of metal... Most of these things are hard to see until they happen to you, so I feel there is value in a well traveled boat that has had these things worked out.

San Carlos would be a good spot, since you'd be starting in the Sea of Cortez (very pretty, and also a nice downwind ride to La Paz and then Puerto Vallarta).

Anyways, eventually these seasonal cruisers decide to stop coming down for the winter and put their boats up for sale. I'd much prefer a boat like this, that's been actively used, lived on for months at a time, and gone through a few "use-improve" iterations, than a boat that's been day sailed out of a marina.

Just a thought.
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Old 12-12-2011, 19:00   #10
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

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There was a Caribbean cruising series on Food Network called "Feasting on Waves" that Alton Brown hosted, and I enjoyed. There also was a circumnavigation by a fellow on Vimeo, Busco Gusto, which was excellent. In the Caribbean there is the French side of Saint Maarten. Bahamas clearance fee is $300. If you end up in South Florida, I have some video skills and might lend a hand.
Hi Richard.

There's a Cal 35 there right now that the owner has been cruising, and he's selling because of health reasons. It would include everything, and while I would get a survey, the broker assures me everything works and the sails are in excellent condition and it's ready to go. Only problem is it has a 6' draft so might be an issue mooring in some places in the Caribbean. Might be worth taking through the Canal though...

And for sure on the video experience possibility. We'll be filming with DSLR rigs, and maybe a Red Scarlet. Want to stay fairly guerrilla to avoid a lot of attention and hassles. We'll have a small shoulder rig, stix, slider, follow focus, small monitor, small matte box, Zoom H4n, mic and boom pole and one or two wireless mics. Maybe a small handheld steadicam like the Merlin. That's about it. Provided you can work a manual focus rig, it could work out.
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Old 12-12-2011, 19:03   #11
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

msponer.

I was looking in Mexico. There was something La Paz if I recall, but it needed a lot of work. I'll keep checking for sure, but I think the season is on and there are fewer people giving up their boats now. I'm definitely dialing in on boats that have been lived in and have done extensive and recent cruising. One I'm looking at also comes with everything including dinghy and motor, dive tanks, spear guns, etc. Basically turn key...at least as much as you can get.
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Old 12-12-2011, 20:28   #12
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

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Originally Posted by SS Little-Devil View Post


I'm also going to be looking for a couple of people (at least one with off shore experience) to help crew the boat, and who will also be willing to do some film crew tasks.


Since I'm doing this on spec, I can't pay for the positions, but if the show sells, there will be a deferred pay arrangement. Plus, you get to be involved with the show, get IMDB credit and be featured on the show(s).
Wow,
Deja vu.

This is pretty much exactly what Alby Mangels said to me about 35 years ago.


Anyway enjoy what you are setting off into

keep posting about it.
cheers
DC
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Old 12-12-2011, 21:11   #13
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

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I was looking in Mexico. There was something La Paz if I recall, but it needed a lot of work. I'll keep checking for sure, but I think the season is on and there are fewer people giving up their boats now.
Yes, La Paz isn't really a place where someone who 'cherishes' their boat would leave it on the hard. The yards there just aren't in the same class as San Carlos-- which takes someone who is a bit more high energy about their boat maintenance to go all the way up there to pull it out of the water.

Another way to look at it being December is that folks might get more desperate to sell, since once the "season" passes, then anyone who buys would be looking at either storage over the hurricane season and could then just wait, unless they are comfortable with the hurricane season (which is probably a smaller set of potential buyers).

I saw the boat in St.Maarten that you posted on the other thread. I think St.Maarten would be one of the better places to start-- it's a duty free port, and there's a big marine industry, so it's pretty easy to get parts there or import whatever you want from the US. It's also not insanely expensive or hard to fly back to a major US city. I also think it would be cool to go through the Panama Canal, then Galapagos, then Marquessas. And, logistically, I think there is a lot to say for having a ~1000nm of "shake down" before you get to Panama, so that if there's anything the boat really needs before it gets to New Zealand, you can add it in Panama before jumping off into the really rural parts of the Pacific (I paid something like $30 for a can opener in the South Pacific, but I really, really needed it ).

Well, good luck, I am excited for you. It sounds like a fantastic time.
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Old 13-12-2011, 01:15   #14
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

G'day, mate. Have you put any thought into starting in Auckland? Heaps of boats to choose from, cruise up to the islands and we even no a thing or two about making movies down here. Cheers.
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Old 13-12-2011, 01:43   #15
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Re: Sailing the Pacific Puddle Jump While Filming a TV Show. Advice?

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G'day, mate. Have you put any thought into starting in Auckland? Heaps of boats to choose from, cruise up to the islands and we even no a thing or two about making movies down here. Cheers.
Only problem is that boats and gear are super expensive out your way compared to the US or Caribbean. That said if you are interested in partnering up and have cash, equipment and talent, I'm open to ideas.
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