First of all Welcome. As one that has been here on Sailnet for awhile, this can be a great place to learn things big and small. I encourage you to use the search engine first if you have any questions. Over the years some great information from present and past members. However, you can always ask again, and an answer shall be provided. You can always ask me in private and I am sure Donna as well.
I might have missed where you live, but Paul's suggestion is a real good start. I too started out with a Tanzar 22 which I raced for 3 years before moving on to big boats. A person can learn more in one season racing that 10 years cruising in boat handling.
I would caution on crewing OTB (Other Peoples Boats) unless you know them or are recommended too.
I live on a Hunter 36 alone, sail her alone and go to the Bahamas on her. It is a good size boat and easy to sail. She is my escape away from the crazy world so I do understand.
Once again welcome here, and if you need to just ignore some of the more "forward" replies. I try to monitor them and if need too have them deleted from this forum.
Rhapsody in Blue