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post #1 of 3 Old 01-13-2007 Thread Starter
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I am a small farmer on the east coast and I love what I do. A reason being that I get 3-4 months off each winter, after working my arse off, to shove off and do ridiculous adventuring. I am already looking to plan my next winter and specifically looking to leave the land I love so much and take to the water. Does anyone leave from the east coast(mid-atlantic) in November and head south or anywhere? Or is this a pipe dream? Another question being how likely is it that a complete sailing novice can get on a boat and gain passage somewhere? Does being a trained engineer, hard worker, a cook, and able to be comfortable with little in most outdoors conditions for extended expeditions, help at all? Can you just walk the docks and hop on somewhere?Any thoughts on this would be most helpful! Thanks!

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post #2 of 3 Old 01-13-2007
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Thousands of sailboats head south out of the Chesapeake and points north each October and November at the end of hurricane season to hea for warmer waters. Most head for the Keys or Bahamas and some go to FL west coast or further south in the Caribbean. That's the good news!
I think you will have a very difficult time hooking up for any sort of extended passagemaking given your lack of sea time but one never knows. It wouldn't hurt to take some courses or sailing lessons this winter to buff up your resume a bit.
There are CREW listing services on the net that you can list yourself with in the hope that someone will pick you up. Most folks are pretty leery about picking someone up off the docks. Another thought is to register with the Caribbean 1500 rally as available crew. They leave about 11/1 each year out of Norfolk and Bound for the Virgin Islands and many short handed couples need extra crew to round out the watchkeeping duties at sea...but generally look for someone with a bit more experience. No one attempts to Hope this helps...Good Luck!
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post #3 of 3 Old 02-07-2007
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Getting offshore

The first time I got offshore I "paid to play" for the experience, and it was well worth it for the experience under professionals. The Newport RI charter Swan Fleet would join up with the Carib 1500 fleet. They np longer leave from Newport but only Hampton VA. This operation is now run by Hank Schmidt of OPO, Offshore Passage Opportunities, he charges membership for an ongoing crew matching srvice. But does have the same type of pay for the passage on Swan or Benneteau. 2200 bucks and up, but that was the price when I first did it in 1998. I've never paid for a passage since, I've done ten Carib 1500's and 3 yrs ago skippered a 52 footer down myself with 2 crew. Steve Black runs the 1500 and there is no one better. You may pay for your first passage with OPO, but after that you're not a total rookie and will likely find rides in future 1500's. At the very least you'll find out quickly if offshore is for you. Good Luck
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