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Old 24-11-2010, 16:42   #1
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pirate College Grad Just Wanting to Sail Before Joining the Real World

Come this May I will have graduated from college and will possibly be heading off to grad school come September. But, it's always been a goal of mine to just go off sailing for a summer or at least a month or so. I fear that once I start grad school or get into the real world that I'll never have that opportunity again. The problem is that I don't know how to go about it.
I was just looking to see if anyone had information about programs for students my age that would be a great sailing opportunity or if there was anyone my age that was interested in the same thing.
I don't have a boat, just a little experience in sailing, and a great passion and love for the seas.

Let me know if you have any advice or suggestions
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Old 24-11-2010, 16:45   #2
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Would help if we know where you are located. Some areas have almost year round sailing weather if you can handle the extreme parts and you can actually go sail even during grad school.
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Old 24-11-2010, 16:47   #3
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You could look through this section of the forum Crew Positions: Wanted & Available - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
and even post a thread there. People often look for crew, if that sort of experience appeals to you.

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Old 24-11-2010, 16:57   #4
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This has seemed to work for people in a similar situation: Spend your summer on a 'backpack' style trip to a popular cruiser area (not charter). Mingle wherever the cruisers get together...it always somewhere cheap. A little experience is enough. Passion is key. As is a humble and happy personality. You'll have a ride somewhere in a week. Programs and schools are a useless waste of time and funds, IMHO.

Others on the forum may suggest locations crowded with real cruisers in the May-August time... Tonga, PNW, Turkey, Borneo....
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Old 24-11-2010, 17:18   #5
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This has seemed to work for people in a similar situation: Spend your summer on a 'backpack' style trip to a popular cruiser area (not charter). Mingle wherever the cruisers get together...it always somewhere cheap. A little experience is enough. Passion is key. As is a humble and happy personality. You'll have a ride somewhere in a week. Programs and schools are a useless waste of time and funds, IMHO.

Others on the forum may suggest locations crowded with real cruisers in the May-August time... Tonga, PNW, Turkey, Borneo....

Great suggestion. I wouldn't say that schools or programs are useless or a waste of time, but I would say that they aren't in any way, shape or form a substitute for the real thing. It's kind of like going to driver's ed. to learn the rules of the road, and getting safety tips along the way. You learn a lot about driving and safety, but driver's ed. is nothing like taking a road trip.
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Old 24-11-2010, 20:07   #6
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This all sounds fabulous. Thanks. I really didn't know where to start. I live in Maryland but I'm really willing to travel anywhere to get started, so long as I can afford it. I love the idea of backpacking. I suppose a little research would be needed but that plan sounds like the key to what I'm looking for.
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Old 25-11-2010, 10:30   #7
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My suggestion is, DO IT NOW!!!!! you'll never be ready enough, you'll never have just the right boat or just the right amount of free time, or enough money, just get out and go, things will work themselves out. You don't need to have an income or a pension and your body is not getting any younger, sail while your young strong and healthy, work when you need to and squeeze the marrow out of life. As long as you don't starve to death or drown you're doing it right.

Jobs are hard to come by these days, careers are overrated, you could work your ass off so that some banker can go sailing or you could go sailing. My advice is biased by my own opinions/experiences, I realized one day that my college education shouldn't be used to make someone else rich, working for 40 years to maybe someday go see the world (when my vision has gone, my body is worn out and my sense of adventure has waned) I'd rather go now.

you'll only experience this life once, make the most of it.
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Old 25-11-2010, 17:12   #8
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My suggestion is, DO IT NOW!!!!! you'll never be ready enough, you'll never have just the right boat or just the right amount of free time, or enough money, just get out and go, things will work themselves out. You don't need to have an income or a pension and your body is not getting any younger, sail while your young strong and healthy, work when you need to and squeeze the marrow out of life. As long as you don't starve to death or drown you're doing it right.

Jobs are hard to come by these days, careers are overrated, you could work your ass off so that some banker can go sailing or you could go sailing. My advice is biased by my own opinions/experiences, I realized one day that my college education shouldn't be used to make someone else rich, working for 40 years to maybe someday go see the world (when my vision has gone, my body is worn out and my sense of adventure has waned) I'd rather go now.

you'll only experience this life once, make the most of it.

I cannot echo this loudly enough.
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Old 04-02-2011, 21:01   #9
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Thumbs up DO IT!

Just found your post so I'm late to the party BUT I have to say from the vantage point of 70 years of age, just do it, find a boat and go, don't worry about grad school, see and experience the wider world NOW!

I finally have my boat, I just hope that I have time to see all those places I've dreamed about while my good health holds out.

You go girl!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:02   #10
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Others on the forum may suggest locations crowded with real cruisers in the May-August time... Tonga, PNW, Turkey, Borneo....
You can add Greece to the list. Less charters, more cruisers now. And the place is good for short time work on shore, while looking for a boat, at least on the islands, with lots of seasonal bars, coffee shops and so on.

Anyway - go for it
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:16   #11
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Come to Vava'U Tonga in May. There will be lots of cruisers there. My wife and I hopefully. Be careful who you crew with, there are many types out there, some with the Captain Bligh attitude, some want to take advantage of you financially or other. It's hard to get off a boat, once you start a passage it's impossible. Also the Puddle Jump leaves the west coast of the US/Mexico in late March. You can catch up with boats looking for crew in Tahiti around May. Most are headed for Tonga, the Cook Islands and NZ.
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Old 12-02-2011, 17:25   #12
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you can join me

I've got the same idea as you. I graduated last year. Moved to Corpus Christi, TX and now own a Catalina 27'. I'm hoping to sail it to the Caribbean whenever I'm ready. if you're interested let me know.
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Old 21-02-2011, 15:09   #13
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Re: College Grad Just Wanting to Sail Before Joining the Real World

I am in Md. also and I am working up a plan to sail to Europe this year. I am not all there yet but hope to head out in late spring or early summer for Bermuda>Azores>Ireland and will be in need of crew. I have a couple of maybes already, but am looking for others who might be interested in joining on my 40' ketch. Let me know if this is something you might want to pursue.
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Old 25-02-2011, 19:00   #14
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Re: College Grad Just Wanting to Sail Before Joining the Real World

Welcome.
I ran away at 19 y/o to find adventure unpon the sea...sounds so romantic when I put it that way !
Here are some lessons learned.
If you decide to crew, try to pick boats with a family aboard. Having the wife aboard keeps the husbands in line (in case they get ideas). Plus the family boats are usually well maintained and the safety equipment up to date. I always arranged so the captain included airfare home (if I asked for it ), that way if they changed their destination mid trip I wasnt stranded somewhere looking for a way to get home. Listen to your instincts, a little odd behavior in port makes for a very strange fellow offshore.
What is your major? do you think it can in any way be a selling tool for a crew postition (medical, computers, etc). I think a crew ad here at cf will get you plenty to choose from.
Cheers and good luck finding your adventure
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:38   #15
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Re: College Grad Just Wanting to Sail Before Joining the Real World

I've often had the space and time to take on crew I didn't previously know. The site that has proved most productive in that regard for me has been floatplan.com.

In terms of what kind of boat to join, I think that all depends on your comfort level and what you are looking for. I've had both men and women join me and four of the women I've sailed with returned for further cruises, so obviously many women can and do find a value in joining men. I think that really comes down to personal preference. I'd focus at least as much on the location, the difficulty and the expectations placed upon you as new crew. A relaxed pace with someone who wants to share the experience will probably be a better experience than being aboard with people who could really care less about you, but needs help sailing the boat.
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