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Old 24-02-2018, 16:34   #1
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Hello from New Zealand (to Sausalito, CA)

Kia ora,

My name is Alison. I'm an American--new to the group! --luv all things ocean (see: pacificurrent.com)

I'm currently in New Zealand, wishing to make my way back home to California. I'm super keen on crewing/cruising back to CA, or part of the way, from New Zealand. I've long been fascinated by the South Pacific, and I have not yet explored it.

If anyone has or knows of any such opportunities, I'd appreciate your feedback!

Many thanks,

Alison
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Old 25-02-2018, 01:29   #2
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Re: Hello from New Zealand (to Sausalito, CA)

Hello, alisonrae,

Welcome aboard CF.

Each year, a very few, mostly family, small sailboats do leave for the US from NZ, but there are some things you should know about it. First of all, it is quite a long trip, against the wind. Mostly, sailboaters prefer to go with the wind. A person can go East, some friends of ours went from Tasmania, to NZ, up to Hawaii, then on to WA. One night, they had 70 knots wind, leaving NZ. Mostly people prefer to not sail, even downwind, in over 35 knots: and wind strength increases geometrically with speed. The sea conditions generated by prolonged 70 kn. winds are moderately horrendous, which means, for you, so filled with unaccustomed motion that sleep may not be possible, even when you're drop down tired. Perhaps rate that route as difficult, although it has some advantages.

Another route, is the "equatorial" route: NZ to Fiji or Tonga, then try and catch the west setting current to help you gain your easting, and work your way to where you can crack off for Hawaii. That route, you need to reach HI in August. Then, all you have to do is the HI to SF leg, which involves as many days hard on the wind as it takes to get north of the Pacific High, (in our case it was 3 or 4 24 hr. days). Depending on what the Pacific High is doing, you may have gale force winds for much of the remaining journey. So, and interesting route, if the timing is right, and what you might like if you want to learn about Pacific Island cultures, but not a mai tais in the sunset sort of deal by any means; rate it moderate.

A third route doesn't get you through the Pacific, but going west around, there would be a variety of opportunities, and that one is a largely downwind (with the wind) trip.

There, I am sorry to say, is another difficulty: that is that many people on small boats are reluctant to take on crew, especially crew who are unfamiliar with small boat sailing. Why? Well, there's seasickness, and how the person reacts to it; there's some people who are terrified out of sight of land; there's the idea of not wanting to be responsible for the welfare of someone unaccustomed to sailing, to have to caretake them when one is needing to take care of the boat (for everyone's survival).

And for you, there is another side as well, sometimes women have signed on as crew and been taken grievous advantage of, we knew a skipper who wouldn't give a woman crew back her passport, so she couldn't leave the boat when she dearly wanted to, for instance. It can be dangerous to be crew for an unknown skipper for both men and women: what are his or her crisis handling skills? navigation? How will you screen the small number of potential skippers you might have? How can you, with little experience, evaluate theirs?

Anyhow, this project will need some serious evaluation from you, because it is pretty easy to fly to the US, from NZ, and a great deal of work to sail there.

Ann, with 40+ yrs. on the water of experience
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Old 25-02-2018, 03:13   #3
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Re: Hello from New Zealand (to Sausalito, CA)

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Alison.
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Old 25-02-2018, 14:22   #4
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Re: Hello from New Zealand (to Sausalito, CA)

Thank you Cate, very wise words, spoken from such deep experience! I agree with you. I may just be better off doing a leg or two between S.Pacific island groups. I've had a few experiences-gone-bad with male skippers out at sea. So I'd be careful to do my due diligence there. Aye, one must be very cautious out there. xx Alison
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Old 25-02-2018, 16:57   #5
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Re: Hello from New Zealand (to Sausalito, CA)

Incidentally, Alison, CF has a Crew Available/Crew Wanted section, should you want to look there.

Ann
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