Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Between Florida and the Caribbean
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Advice on Cancun...
Reading this reminded me of when I was a teenager spending summers at my gandparent's home on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, watching the sailboats go by wanting so much to be a part of that, and making all these plans to sail the Caribbean. I eventually did. Ok I will try to dispense my advice based on my own expereince and training. Here it goes...
1. Learn to sail... get a job aboard a sailboat if you can, if not read and go to a sailing camp. Volunteer to work aboard a sailing vessel, even if it is just to watch.
2. Read everything you can about sailboats, the types of rigs, wind, dangers, liveaboard books, etc..
3. Go get your captain's license. Many states offer the OUPV license course. Take it. It covers charts, navigation rules, basic vessel handling, nomenclatures, etc.
4. Once you get enough hands on, and you decide to purchase a vessel, purchase one that is right for you, easy to handle, and is not over your head in repair work. Boat maintenance is costly.
5. Slowly take you boat out. first just down the river on motors, then a little further, raise the sails out in the ocean on nice calm days, bring someone along with experience. Baby step your way into it. Never be to proud to ask questions, even if you think they are dumb.
6. Once you decide to go to Cancun, I would recommend lots of safety gear especially an EPIRB. Have alot of people know your sailing plan and keep a communications schedule with someone. Chart your course.. DO NOT just rely on your electronics.
7. As far as Cancun goes, I would acutally recommend Isla Mujeres. I have been there many times. It is just east of Cancun and has many small marinas, fairly cheap, and a boat yard with a haul out on the east side of the island. There is a ferry service that will take you to Cancun for a very small fee. The island in my opinion is just a better place to keep the boat once you get there. Before you make a big trip like that, fly there first and check it out, talk to the dockmasters, obtain what to expect from Customs, that way you get an idea of what to expect for yourself when you get there.
Well that is all I have on this. I hope some of this was helpful. Take care and good luck with your dream!
Capt. J.B., Marine Surveyor