Take some lessons with the local sailing club. Even basic lessons are better than none.
Once you have the basics, you are more attractive to an owner than being totally green. Most clubs have some sort of placement program for students, where they are introduced to skippers for weekend races etc. Racing
will really hone your skills too.
All of this will introduce you to the local sailing communitee. Let it be known amoungst them what you are looking for and it shouldnt be to hard to find a long distance ride to anywhere.
Also. This is quite important. You cant rely on the teaching abilities of every sailboat owner. Some are good some are bad. I know some great sailors (even world class sailors) who make terrible teachers. So the more you learn before you go the better.