Dude, I'm in a similar boat as you (add 8 years of dotardism!) but I just want to say I like your style. Don't quit. Keep posting. Hit the docks. Do whatever it takes. My best experience was aboard the schooner Seaward. I had to pay them, but the transit from San Diego to San Francisco was the highlight of my life (is my wife reading this? I hope not!). At the helm I steered right between two whales so close you could see the pupils of their eyes. It ended with us sailing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge on Memorial Day. If you don't mind coughing up a TINY bit of dough (about $700 for a week on board) I recommend: Call of the Sea - Home
Fair winds, brother.