Re: Two birds with one boat: travel and learning in the Gulf
I know nothing about the areas you've inquired about. But with no experience but a willing adventurous attitude, I'd advise finding the yacht harbor areas (boatyards too) and just hang out and "be a friend to make a friend". There are no secrets on the waterfront" so if you get known favorably by a couple of sailors even if they don't have a spot for you, they'll know someone who does, or might.
In-person is the way to go, since on paper you aren't a qualified crew so it's unlikely you'll get a ride from long-distance correspondence.
Good luck, and hope those more area- knowledgeable will chime in.