No boat, no much budget and no real sailing experience but a dream to make a big sailing trip!
Does that describe you? Join the club! Here’s a few waypoints that already help you tackle an Atlantic Ocean Crossing – as Crew.
I am was on a mission to turn all these no’s into a yes. As Walt Disney says “what can be dreamt, can be done!” so let’s do this.
Every year between October – february more than 1.500 sailboats are making the Atlantic Ocean crossing from Europe to the Caribbean. Another estimated 1.000 boat sail from the Caribbean to Europe. Crew spots enough for every determined person to make this passage!
I hitch-sailed the Atlantic three times now. Let’s say I figured out some things ;). Here’s some lessons learned and tips, to help you go across that ocean!
On ‘Eau Too’ the 3rd boat I hitch-sailed the Atlantic with
Tips to help you find (the right!) sailboat to cross the Atlantic Ocean
Willpower and determination
Believe that It’s gonna happen and tell everyone it’s gonna happen. Then it WILL happen. The law of attraction!
Start the investigations and communications early
The earlier you start searching, the more chances for success! For the Europe to Caribbean crossing, I started digging into it in July, in August I was all set. Since, I have received 10+ more serious and fun requests.
Read stories of people who made the crossing
It’s fun and it gives you a better idea what it’s like. Here you can find some more blogs about my boat hitchhiking adventures. A few more great stories and helpful blog posts:
I compiled all my (and 90 others) stories (&tips) from three Atlantic Stories in 400 page book
Ask sailors if they have any tips, links or connections
Via via you must know some sea farers. I had some connections from back in days. Everyone is willing to help. It’s a great community. From their responses I realised that making the trip larger, with some island hopping prior and after, than ‘just a crossing’ is way more fun and will teach me way more about sailing. I extend the Atlantic Ocean crossing dream with some island hopping in the Canary Islands and Caribbean archipelagos. So think about WHY you want to do this.
Sign up for the big crew websites
Sign up for the big crew websites. Here’s a list. I interviewed seven most important ones for the Atlantic so you can figure out which one is worth signing up for. Also, check out facebook groups. There’s dozens of them where you can connect with sailors. I created ‘Atlantic Ocean Crew’ on facebook to help in this department. You can find a list of hand-picked sailing crew opportunities here, of which sometimes Atlantic sailing crew opportunities.
What to put in your crew profile when you have no sailing experience?
Sailing experience is desired but a positive attitude and handy hands probably even more. So don’t worry about not having sailing experience. Put in your enthusiasm, your story and other skills (language, cooking, dive, kite, yoga, mechanic, fishing, medical, writing, photography, video, comedian, massage, electrician, dietist, heck if you’re good at fridge tetris you have a welcome skill) and you’ll come a long way! A skipper stumbled upon my travelblog and takes me on board because he liked my blog. Now I’m gonna be the reporter for this trip. A win win (left this boat!!)
As a girl who wants to cross the Atlantic you receive more crew invitations? While it may be ‘easier’ you still want to feel safe, secure and comfortable. There may be more opportunities but maybe less ‘matching’ ones. Tips for the women: Narrow down the selection to a boat with a minimum of 4 crew, Skype and check references before accepting anything.
You can check out my page on recommended travel resources for budget friendly / free accommodation platforms, making friends, and travel with a positive impact.
In the smaller harbours you may be the only person looking for a boat
When do boats sail across the Atlantic?
October/November/December/January is when most boats make the Atlantic ocean crossing from East to West, from Europe to the Caribbean. November/December is peak. 2nd half of December not many boats are leaving because of Christmas and Newyear. January has more constant trade-winds. Also In January new boats come in looking for crew. There are only half as many hitch-sailors as in November and December.
In Ocean Nomad, I wrote extensively on when it’s a good time to be where, which harbours to go to, and how it all works when you’re in the harbour.
The boat-hitchhiker advertisements in Las Palmas
Bingo! You got a crew spot on a boat
But is it the right boat? Check!:
Experience of the captain? Licenses and references
Last but not least, learn about the people! Will there be like-minded crew on board? You’re gonna be stuck with them for a while so get to know each other a bit before hand!! Feel comfortable with them.
Read Don’t be afraid to say no by Bob Fritz. A well written article of things to bear in mind, check and ask before committing to a boat.
Say NO! If it doesn’t feel right! On the ocean there is no way to go.
Ahoy! Enjoy the ride! Before you know it, you’re on the other side.
In the end, it’s common sense, follow your instinct and one big adventure!
Would you like to learn more what’s it like to sail across the Atlantic? How to find a boat (and how not)? How to figure out if it’s the right and safe boat? When to be where? What are the Atlantic sailing routes? Which crew websites are worth signing up for? What to pack for a sailing adventure? What’s expected of you as crew? And you probably have wayyy more questions! Great! It’s not a straightforward adventure and preparation and research is key!
“I was absolutely amazed: is it really possible to cross an ocean if you don’t have sailing experience!? Inspired by Suzanne’s adventures and her very well provided details and information on the subject, I felt totally ready to throw off the bowlines myself. And I did! To me, Suzanne is THE example of ‘if you put your mind to it, you can do it’. This book will inspire and inform many more adventurous around the world.” – Janneke Dijkhuis
“Suzanne has been a major source of inspiration and information! From the first moment I read her writing, I knew that I wanted to do the same! And it worked out! We sailed from Canary Islands to Cape Verde, and went from Cape Verde to Barbados. When we were full of doubts if it was the right thing to do, I returned to what she wrote and re-convinced myself that it was all for the best.” – Paulina on the Road
“At almost 400 pages, Ocean Nomad contains actionable information for anyone involved (or interested) in hitch-sailing. More than a simple adventure story, or even a personal memoir of what the author did right and wrong when hitch-sailing (3 times!) across the Atlantic, the book is a comprehensive look at all aspects of hitch-sailing, with interviews of 32 captains and 58 sailors for a wide perspective.” – Jennifer Dunne
“As someone who has no boat, no budget, and no sailing experience, but loves to travel and have a good adventure, this book provided everything the author promises and more. While readers can use this as “guide book” to get a boat and plot an adventure crossing an ocean, it also gives readers an in-depth look at the deteriorating state of our oceans and ways both boaters and sailors and the “landlocked” citizens of earth to improve the quality of our waters. I can only imagine the amount of work, preparation, research, and thought that went into this book. I can recommend this book to anyone who wants to go on an adventure on the ocean, plan out their own adventure, or learn about the health of our oceans and ways we can save them.” – Brian van Dongen
Don’t give up!
Ahoy! See you in the harbour!
How to boathitchhike the Atlantic Ocean? the hitchhikers guide by a 3-times ocean hitchhiker
No boat, no budget and no real sailing experience but a dream to make a big sailing trip! The hitchhikers guide to the Atlantic you've been waiting for. Here's a few waypoints to get you started...
http://theoceanpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Save-a-Tree.png315828Suzannehttp://theoceanpreneur.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Ocean_layout3_blue.pngSuzanne2014-11-30 17:47:232018-02-20 04:01:05How and when to sail across the Atlantic?