So true ! Pat getting your general license is the easiest way. They do have many frequencies on HF for HAM operators that allow ship to ship and ship to land conversations. Some are designed to keep track and assist you underway, some are just for hanging out and chatting.
You are a technician, you have access to the 10 meter band using voice from 28.300 to 28.500 Mhz. Just a thought if were considering buying a HF radio, or you have one already.
14.300 Mhz is the most common daytime frequency. You can go to 14300.net
and listen to live audio streams to hear what goes on.