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Old 13-05-2011, 07:28   #1
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Suggestions for a Good Place to Start Hitchhiking in July - Hong Kong ?

Hi folks,

I've never done any serious sailing before but I'm thinking about trying to start crewing on yachts this summer. I'm in Beijing right now and thought I'd get started by heading down to Hong Kong in July and seeing where I can hitch a ride to. But reading through another thread in this forum, it sounds like anything in the South China Sea would not be a good route for a beginner, especially at this time of the year. Would that be an accurate assessment?

Does anyone have suggestions for a good starting point in Asia in July? Where am I most likely to find ships that will take on inexperienced crew? Hong Kong would be the most convenient starting point since I can just ride the train down to get there, but if my odds are slim I can head somewhere else first to start looking, or put this plan off until another date.

And while I'm at it, does anyone have other suggested reading material for beginners? I just ordered a copy of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Oceans" which I hope will help, and am trawling through threads on this forum. Any other places I should look?

Thanks very much for advice!

Joel
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Old 13-05-2011, 17:36   #2
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Re: Suggestions for a Good Place to Start Hitchhiking in July - Hong Kong ?

Actually, now is the time sail in South China Sea, unless typhoon develops of course. If you are quick and probably more than just a bit lucky, you could hitch a ride from HK to Kaohsiung on 21. May on a racing boat. Try contacting Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club who is a organizer of the race Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Perhaps one of the 7 boats will be lacking crew... If you are lucky, be ready for a purgatory
Otherwise not that many cruising boats go to Hong Kong. But right now there are two cruisers in Taiwan, one from NZ heading south to PI at the end of the month, one from Holland, I think, but haven't met them yet. If you'll be interested I will see the NZ boat probably next week so I can ask if they would like additional crew.
Then you will need to look more south, Philippines, Sabah... There you will find plenty of cruisers.
Good luck
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Old 13-05-2011, 20:33   #3
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Re: Suggestions for a Good Place to Start Hitchhiking in July - Hong Kong ?

Thanks klubko, unfortunately I won't be finished with my job until July so I won't be able to catch any of the rides you mentioned. So if I can't leave until July should I forget about Hong Kong and just look further south? Thanks,

Joel
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Old 13-05-2011, 20:59   #4
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Re: Suggestions for a Good Place to Start Hitchhiking in July - Hong Kong ?

Most boats setting off across the North Pacific are now prepping in Japan and will almost surely have set sail by July

The racing season begins soon in Japan and Korea. Last year we saw lots of opportunities to crew on Korean and foreign boats, mostly Russian.

If you can get to Phuket by the end of the year, boats will be looking for crew for the Indian crossing, either to the Red Sea or South Africa... Experience isn't so important, but being personable and clean is.

Good luck
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Old 14-05-2011, 01:59   #5
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Re: Suggestions for a Good Place to Start Hitchhiking in July - Hong Kong ?

Probably there won't be many boats leaving Hong Kong then. There are always cruisers in Malaysia that might take you. Unfortunatelly, most of them won't post on the internet and such, so you really need to be where they are. If you just have plenty of time on your hands, why not backpack through Malaysia, check marinas and check crew wanted posts from time to time. I believe there's also a rally in South China Sea in June/July...
And as jimbim says, you might be lucky to get on boat crossing from Japan. Good luck
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:50   #6
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Re: Suggestions for a Good Place to Start Hitchhiking in July - Hong Kong ?

Thanks for the advice. Some more basic questions:

So say I start looking for boats somewhere in SE Asia south of the equator in July... where am I likely to be able to get to? Will all longer distance boats be heading west toward the Red Sea and South Africa, or are there boats heading east as well? My idea was that I might be able to head down from somewhere like Bali to Australia or NZ, and then keep heading east across the Pacific if things are going well. But are boats likely to head east from there, and if so, at what time of year?

Sorry for asking such simple questions, but I've been reading through sources on where the boats depart from and when (like Hitchhiker's guide on sailing and cruising yachts across the oceans of the world. and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Oceans) and it's hard to get a sense for the specifics of how this works. Thanks again!

Joel
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