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Old 02-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jflynn129 View Post
I am 49 and have been sailing for several years (since 1981) but I don’t have any certificates or documented experience. I have a boat myself (30’ C&C) which I sail in Puget Sound with the family mostly on day and weekend trips. Thus far, all my experience has been limited to calm water (the wife doesn’t like conditions too blustery) day sails or weekends. I would like to get some experience blue water sailing along the Pacific coast anywhere between Alaska and California, possibly Hawaii.

Some information I was hoping for feedback on:
1. Are there crew opportunities in these areas? The reason I ask is because I see a lot of people offering themselves as crew, a few postings for crew-needed, and no idea what the reality is.

Yes, both for paid and volunteer cruising. You'd need to start as a volunteer.

2. What is the average length of a Blue water crossing? What I am really thinking about is how long it takes to go from Hawaii to the West Cost as a yard stick as a longest case.

There is no adverage. It all depends on the boat and the course taking. You can often find one that will appeal to you.

3. Having a regular job, how are opportunities typically arranged; are they typically planned in advance or typically last minute opportunities

Both, most are planned in advance but then a crew member will duck out or a boat will need to be moved sooner then planned. Having a job will limit whats avalible to you, but won't eliminate the possibility.

4. Any other suggestions, insight, or education anyone is willing to share

Thanks for the education!
Check around your local marinas. There is nothing better then the local area traditions. Figure out how much time you can give. Not just for the cruise but for the fit out as well. If your going to crew it's better to help get the boat ready, you get a chance to get to know who your going to be sailing with. This can often be done on the weekends and evenimgs. So include this when your figuring out how much time you have. Most important, don't get caught up in the destination. The funnest crewing jobs I had where on boats and in places that were not my first choice. Ironicly, Hawaii was one of the least fun places I went, because the program was crappy. Since you have very little cruising expereince, any where will be new to you. Even a place you've vacationed before takes on a new feel when you come to it by boat. Good Luck
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