I'm brand-spanking-new; never set foot on a sail boat. For the last 5 months I've been hiking the Appalachian Trail, and had to get off recently for emergency medical issues that I'm nearly recovered from. While out hiking I decided that sailing would be my next adventure, and after discussing this with a fellow hiker, who has sailed for the last 25 years, I think I'm a cruiser at heart.
His recommendation was to get down to Florida around this time of year, hang out at the docks, and keep my ear to the deck for opportunities to get aboard. I think he's dead on, so I'm planning a blind trip to Florida. I'd be very thankful if folks could offer up some advice in general, but I do have a few specific questions:
- What part of Florida should I head to for the best shot at lots of learning? I'm open to any kind of experience, be it racing, deliveries, cruising crew, or others that I just don't know about. As is, I just don't know where the largest or most open sailing communities are. Since I'll be hitch hiking, or car-renting to get down there, I won't necessarily have the easiest time hitting lots of areas. If you had to pick the best spot for me, where would it be? Heck, maybe someone would even tell me Florida is the wrong state, and point me to a different one.
- What methods should I use to let folks know I'm looking help out so that I can learn and/or travel with them? Make a t-shirt, "will crew for the heck of it!" and walk around the docks? Make fliers and hang them around the docks? Use some websites (any recommendations beyond this forum?)?
With all that out there, if there's anyone out there that needs a hand and wouldn't mind teaching a hard working, quick study.... lemme know