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Old 31-07-2013, 15:23   #1
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Joining -- Once Again

Hey there! I found this place about a year and a half ago, when I first realised I want to sail. With a bit of advice here I found a sailing school in Gibraltar (I was living in Zurich back then) and took a few RYA courses. Since then my life took several turns and, long story short, I now live in Berlin and didn't get to sail since I left Gibraltar.
I really want to sail more regularly and develop my skills, but I'm not sure how to do it here. There are several lakes around here and I know there are many sailing clubs, but here's the catch: my German isn't very good at all. Plus I don't know any other boaters. So, I guess my question is, does anyone have any ideas how I could practise sailing around here? (Within a modest budget, otherwise I would have just flown to the UK every weekend. ) Any suggestion would be welcome!
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Old 31-07-2013, 17:03   #2
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Re: Joining -- once again

This is, of course, the Cruisers Forum, so reading between the lines and assuming that you actually want to cruise someday may I suggest that you need:-
1) Money - sounds like you have some of that in hand already.
2) Navigation Skills - Most of this can be done from books. Get yourself up to speed, get a good handheld GPS, compass and a few orienteering charts and practise round where you live.
3) Meteorological training - Again most can be done from books. Do learn to read between the lines of local forecasts and maybe select a cruising area and get up to speed for it.
4) Diesel Mechanic - If you don't already have an old car get one and practise doing your own maintenance. If it's a diesel so much the better.

My opinion is that sailing skills can be learned fairly quickly, possibly during holidays as can skills like reading charts. This is especially true if you have done some serious homework

The big skill needed is the ability to assess conditions during an anticipated voyage and to keep ventures within your abilities.
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Old 31-07-2013, 23:37   #3
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Re: Joining -- once again

Aloha Yaront,

One of my friends learned to sail in Berlin through an American Red Cross course at a U.S. Military MWR offering. That was many, many years ago.

I too learned to sail on German Lake Chiemsee in the early 70s.

I think my only advice would be to try some of the sailing clubs and see if you can find someone who speaks a bit of your native language. There is no need to know completely what every word means. You can learn enough German to crew properly and you will probably be surprised at how many folks want to converse with you.

Good luck in finding the right crew position.

kind regards,
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Old 03-08-2013, 16:02   #4
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Re: Joining -- once again

You're right, Boracay, I do want to cruise! I'm less interested in living aboard or racing. Your suggestions about navigational and meteorological skills are very good -- thanks! I am mainly worried about the kind of things you can only learn from experience, which are generally what you need to safely complete longer passages, I suppose. My goal is to get to a sort of a "steady state" where I don't rust completely and can learn new things every time I get on the water, instead of relearning stuff I've already forgotten.

John, thanks, I will try your suggestion. Maybe I'm just worried about people's reaction to my limited language skills, but then again, you don't get far that way.
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Old 03-08-2013, 16:08   #5
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Re: Joining -- once again

Quote:
Originally Posted by yaront View Post
You're right, Boracay, I do want to cruise! I'm less interested in living aboard or racing. Your suggestions about navigational and meteorological skills are very good -- thanks! I am mainly worried about the kind of things you can only learn from experience, which are generally what you need to safely complete longer passages, I suppose. My goal is to get to a sort of a "steady state" where I don't rust completely and can learn new things every time I get on the water, instead of relearning stuff I've already forgotten.

John, thanks, I will try your suggestion. Maybe I'm just worried about people's reaction to my limited language skills, but then again, you don't get far that way.
Cruising is not exclusive of living aboard. Fact is most long distance cruisers live on their boats full time with an occasional trip home during the 'off season' for R&R. Friendly races occur occasionally and are part and parcel of rallies and social events often sponsored by marinas.
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Old 03-08-2013, 18:30   #6
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Re: Joining -- once again

Sure, it's not exclusive, I was just mentioning my (current) interests.
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Old 03-08-2013, 18:54   #7
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Re: Joining -- once again

I forgot who said It, but it's true, "experience is something you get, right after you needed it".

Did I get that right?

Don't worry about the language barrier.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:06   #8
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Re: Joining -- once again

“Do you know the difference between education and experience?
Education is what you get when you read the fine print.
Experience is what you get when you don't.”
~ Pete Seeger
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:33   #9
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Re: Joining -- once again

Haha true, to some extent! It's a question of whether you get up to par before someone/something gets hurt.
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Old 04-08-2013, 16:55   #10
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Re: Joining -- once again

At risk of being accused of blowing our own horn there are a few cautionary tales in Cruisers Forum. Careful reading may help to avoid the main traps of going past the suitability of the boat for the forecast and seasonal conditions and past your own abilities.

And of course there are the balancing posts by the overwhelming majority of our members who stay safe.
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