Howdy and Welcome Aboard the Forum NevadaMike!
Sounds like you have a plan!
Since you are eager to get more sailing experience, I suggest getting over to SF Bay
to do some sailing there, when possible. I believe the summer (typically very windy) conditions there will be good preparation for your future cruising and should give you (as a new sailor) a lot of confidence. There will be thousands of boats going out, so very possible for you to line up to crew for folks there to gain more experience. You can also rent a boat from several places, once you have your ASA
cards in place.
I will post some of my favorite tips for new members below. They may not be what you expect, but I believe they will help you in the near term and in the long run if you intend to spend much time here on this forum and if you wish to gain the most from the knowledge available and shared here etc.
A Few of my Favorite Tips for New Members to this Forum:
Since you are new to this forum, let me mention a few things you might miss but that could help you more enjoy your time here:
There are also some "social groups" that are more focused on special interests, and as I saw, they can be fun for their members. I am not a member
of those groups, but you should be able to find them if you do some exploring of the forum website, look for "groups."
I would suggest sharing this with your wife too, as she might find some of the groups particularly interesting.
Cruisers & Sailing Forums - All Groups
It is for women
sailors and boat owners. It has 206 members. Cruisers & Sailing Forums - ~~Mermaids Group~~
My POV: The Forum Profile "About Me" Page Helps People Relate
Since a site like this is all about "sharing," the more sharing you and others do, the more interesting, fun, and potentially helpful this site becomes for all. It is what makes it a nice, more friendly, social community too.
I am an unofficial
advocate for posting
"About Me" information in a member's forum Profile "About Me" tab or page or section. You can also post photos (e.g. of your boat, etc.) and a description of your sailing goals or experiences or boat projects. I also think it is a good idea to include in your profile where you are located (country, region) and your type of boat if you own one now or had a boat in the past. If you did not put much information in your profile initially when you signed up as a member
, you can edit it later and add more.
As I see it, the "About Me" tab (page) within your forum profile is the most helpful part of the profile.
Many members will look at it, so it is a good idea to put something in there early in your membership
The About Me page/tab is always instantly accessible by any member in seconds.
You may click on a member's name (or avatar) to see their public profile and through that page you can also send them private messages if you wish. You can look at my profile for one example, and see I have written something in the About Me tab, and also posted some photos in an album (in this case showing my other passion; I am an artist and I am passionate about painting sailboats).
If you have posted relevant information in your "Meet & Greet" post (up above), simply copy some of that to you profile "About Me" page,
because the "Meet & Greet" introduction
you posted above will soon disappear into the archives
in a matter of days, whereas forum members may check to see your profile About Me page for years to come.
I also see the About Me tab/page as a good place to post any long-term requests you might have.
For example, I am an artist who likes to paint
sailboats. So I have an "evergreen" long-term request or appeal asking that any sailor who has taken a photo
or snapshot of a traditional, classic
, or special sailboat, to please contact me via a Private Message (PM) and let me see their photos of those boats, as I am always looking for new models (reference photos) to use in future paintings I might make. Other sailors may have other long-term requests (e.g. looking for some special boat part, looking to connect with owners of a type of boat, looking for information about their boat model, such as an owners manual etc.). The About Me page is a good place to keep that long-term
request visible, especially as owners of your brand of boat may look there, if you indicate your boat brand and model in your profile (so it shows up under your avatar and screen
name when you post).
I encourage you to complete the profile About Me page early in your membership in the forum,
so those people who would like to know something about a new member
can learn. I did not post a complete profile (only due to my ignorance about that feature of the site), until after I noticed that my empty profile page had already had 1,000 views by forum members. This meant I missed sharing information with those 1,000 folks who had some level of interest in who I am. I missed the chance to connect with others who have more shared interests, and I might have missed some possible friendships too. I was completely surprised at how many people look at member profiles, so it really is used and viewed and can be a good way of sharing information and connecting and relating. I firmly believe it can help a member (individual or couple) and a community in many ways.
You can, of course, maintain your privacy or use a pseudonym or "screen name" as you wish.
Not everyone does post any written "bio" or even a photo
of themselves. Some people are shy or reserved. I respect that too. But, I have seen the positive benefits of sharing some information and believe it is the best thing to do in most cases.
I also encourage the use of a photo (e.g. a "headshot") of the sailor (or couple) as the avatar.
Why? I think it adds to the human feeling of an online community to see a face and know a little about that person, and makes it more likely that people are treated with respect and courtesy. I have seen several members change their avatar from a generic one (e.g. a cartoon) to a personal one (a human face) and was pleased to see the face of the real person. Our human brains are wired to remember faces, it is natural. Later, it becomes nice to see the real human face of a friend, even if you have never met them in person.
Cruisers & Sailing Forums - FAQ: User Profile Features
Want to Post Photos?
Here is a FAQ page on how to post photos here.
Cruisers & Sailing Forums
- FAQ: Reading and Posting
Cruisers & Sailing Forums - FAQ: Reading and Posting Messages
Looking for Quick Answers?
This is the best and fastest method I have found to the answers I seek here.
Since you are relatively new to the forum, here is my favorite friendly forum search tip: Look at the green menu bar on the forum pages for the drop down "Search" menu. Click on that to drop down a list of search functions. From that drop down menu select the GOOGLE
CUSTOM search feature (the second box down) and then enter several different descriptive terms for your topic of interest. That will do a Custom google
search of ONLY this site and it is likely to find answers to your questions or results for you. Note: this is different from using the regular forum search box or field.
I hope these tips help you and others here.