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Old 08-30-2002
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I need advice...

I am a 33 year old woman with some sailing experience (but long ago!). I have wanted to crew a long trip my whole life and have never gone after that dream. I am finally in a place where I can actually leave everything with little consequence. Should I take a course? Will anyone want someone who knows very little aboard their boat? Where do I find courses and boats? Are there any courses that lead to getting aboard a boat as a crew member? Are there any courses that aren''t nights and weekends, so I can get through this course stuff full time? Help, please! email me at kimgorelik@yahoo.com.
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Old 08-30-2002
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I need advice...

Hi, Kim...

You''ve got lots of choices so I''d suggest you refine your objective(s) a bit - IOW be picky and look more closely for what you really want out of a crewing experience. Prep for future offshore work? Just the one-time experience? So you can more comfortably crew in your local/regional waters as opportunities pop up? Refreshing your skills?Depending on what those goals look like, you''ll find options for any of those.

For a true ''cruising, offshore learning experience'' of the first caliber, check out John Neal/Amanda Swan''s ''real'' cruising berths - www.mahina.com. John is a true gentleman with 300,000+ offshore miles and a newer H-R 46 cutter. Amanda''s done it all, in the Big Leagues.

To be considered for a range of crewing opportunities (and the ability to respond on a moment''s notice will increase them greatly), visit Offshore Cruising Opportunities - http://www.sailopo.com/main.htm

There are many opportunities which are driven more by local circumstances, so where you are will shape them measureably. E.g. Orange Coast College operates a large coastal and offshore educational sailing program of first caliber...but it''s most convenient to folks living in So California, of course. Charter operations move boats between winter & summer cruising grounds twice a year, and crewing opportunities on those can be repeated multiple times. Manufacturers move boats routinely as driven by sales and, if a truck can''t get there, the boat will go on its own bottom 90% of the time. Many local/regional areas have sailing programs sponsored by local JC''s, by YC''s, by city/county Recreational Depts. and so on. You usually won''t find info on them here but rather by doing some local research. And finally, look for networking venues, e.g. by taking a refresher USCG basic seamanship or sailing course or U.S. Power Squadron course - good learning coupled with meeting others who may or may not be totally new to boating.

Good luck on finding a good berth!

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Old 09-12-2002
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I need advice...

Take two courses. Go learn how to sail a dinghie. Then go take a blue water course. The dinghie will teach you real seat of the pants sailing. The blue water course will teach you safety and tell you if you really want to take this on. I''m envious of your ability to swing this. Please go for it, I have the boat, but no time.
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