Hello! I'e decided to take a left turn out of nursing school and am not sure of my next moves. I sailed in high school and college and in this moment where i feel more free to do anything than i ever did before, i've been considering working on boats. I have a few questions/requests for advice from y'all knowledgable folks!
What is the best way to get started? I'm looking at maritime schools, but i'd like to get my feet wet before I make a decision to do something so long term. I've looked at oceancrewlink, but I'm just not sure about what I'm even looking for. What are the different roles or different type of excursions? I guess some of my examples would be working of a cruise ship, versus a huge container ship, versus a small sail boat, versus a fishing boat. What would i be looking at as far as training for the different roles? Should I pursue my able seaman? Should i jump right in and go for my captains? What could i do differently with each? I feel like i don't know how to talk about all this, which is getting me advice from different folks that either doesnt much help me, or just ends up adding confusion.
And, very importantly, where do y'all find jobs? And, lastly, how safe of a job is this for single women? Any thoughts on this?
Thanks so much!
ICU/ER nurse here for 23 years before being introduced to sailing at 42, I hope I can share my own experience and give you some nuggets to think about for your own journey.
I am based out of CA and the coast line here is dotted with many hospitals and medical centers that have marinas and berths. Which to me is the perfect mix of work and sailing. I've done an assignment in Oxnard and was living(a sneakaboard) on my first boat a 27 foot Lyle Hess designed Balboa and was just learning how to sail. It was a perfect situation, on my days off I'd be circling Anacapa, sail to Santa Barbara, MDR, Catalina, and all the way to SD and the stops that come with it. While I was there I hauled out and was in the hard for a couple of weeks and learned bottom painting, bright work, some electrical work, etc.
It's been 4 years now and the dream of cutting the lines is getting real with each passing day. Barring any life-threatening events, disease, etc. I hope and pray to make that tack very soon and sail wing on wing towards the South Pacific and SE Asia.
If I can humbly offer an opinion, I would stay in nursing and continue to perfect the craft and when your circumstances open up for that chance, hoist your sails and embrace the liveaboard life.