No boat, no much budget and no real sailing experience but a dream to make a big sailing trip!Here’s a few waypoints that already help you tackle an Atlantic Ocean Crossing – as Crew.
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 my 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 of what it’s like. Don’t underestimate this adventure! Please please inform yourself! Here you can find some more blogs about my boat hitchhiking adventures. A few more great stories and helpful blog posts from boat hitchhikers:
Ask sailors if they have any tips, links or connections
Via via you must know some seafarers. 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. Join the Ocean Nomads network to tap into the tips, knowledge and connections of those who are out there. Upcoming adventure gathering:
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“Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation” – Seneca One month ago I met Nathan @shepherd.stories After 3 hours in Las Palmas he found his ride to sail across the Atlantic 🍀💙🎉⛵️ 2 weeks later he arrived in Barbados and now he’s crossing South America on a motorbike. Good for you Nathan on making the dreams real! And so cool to hear that I’ve been able to help a little with my book Ocean Nomad. Priceless coconut present 🥥 💯👏🍀 Curious to the book? Link in bio! Posted @withregram • @shepherd.stories Just before we set sail for the Atlantic Ocean, Suzanne passes by to wave us farewell. Suzanne greatly contributed to me being successful in hitchhiking across the Atlantic Ocean by the book she wrote. I can recommend it to anyone that considers crossing the Ocean by sailboat. As a way of gratitude I gave her a coconut – her favorite fruit. Thanks again @_oceannomads!” #oceannomad #atlantic #sailing #atlanticocean #boathitchhiking #offshoresailing #sailingaroundtheworld #dreamitdoit
Sign up for the big crew websites
Sign up for the big crew websites. Here’s a list of seven crew websites to find a boat. Also, check out facebook groups. There are dozens of them where you can connect with sailors. I created ‘Atlantic Ocean Crew‘ on Facebook to help in this department. Whenever I know or hear about an Atlantic Ocean crewing opportunity I post it in the Ocean nomads member network. Lots of vessels already in there who occasionally need crew. Summer 2021 we’ll create a little member fleet, most likely in Galicia.
What to put in your crew profile when you have no sailing experience?
Show your value! 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. In any case, start learning as much as you can. NauticEd is well acknowledged online sailing course platform. Click here to get two free courses.
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.
Be at the right place, right time
If the crew websites don’t work out, just go to a harbour. Part of the fun! But also part of the costs. You’ll find a hostel in the Canary Islands as from 15 euro’s/night (Or go couchsurfing, housesitting, or boatsitting. Las Palmas has many couchsurf hosts. Airbnb has some nice options, including boats in the harbour.
Hostel recommendations for Las Palmas
Another nice hostel is Utopia and Big Fish in Las Canteras but it’s a +/- 20-minute walk to the marina from there.
Atlas in La Isleta is another option especially if you’re on a tide budget. Here you can also work in exchange for accommodation. It’s a little further from the harbour.
Book your hostels in advance. On the spot they charge more and they are often booked out in high season (November- January). I wrote another blog on boat hitchhiking and provisioning in Las Palmas.
You can check out my page on recommended travel resources for budget friendly / free accommodation platforms, making friends, and travel with a positive impact.
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.
Bingo! You got a crew spot on a boat
But is it the right boat? Check!:
- Experience of the captain? Licenses and references
- State of the boat?
- A competent crew on board?
- Insured boat?
- Does the boat have all the necessary equipment? Liferaft, lifejackets, harnesses? Satellite phone? EPIRB? Spares!!?
- 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.
- Considerations to asses safety and minimize risk.
- Find the full checklist in Ocean Nomad
Ahoy! Enjoy the ride! Before you know it, you’re on the other side.
Would you like to learn more about 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!
Here’s what some readers say:
“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
Ahoy! See you in the harbour!
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Time to catch a sailboat ride! 3 more weeks until we go sailing in Lanzarote!! I. Can't. Wait! 2 ecopirate spots left!!!! What? Connecting to nature! A rather spontaneous run multi-adventure ocean nomads lifestyle sailing trip with adventure and (aspiring) eco-minded pirates. The focus is on simplicity, health, local and veggie food, sports & action. We'll run the boat as ocean-friendly as possible and connect with citizen science projects to learn and contribute to a healthier sea. There'll be possibilities to surf, dive, and freedive. It doesn't matter if you are a seasoned sailor or have never sailed before. But you got to be up for adventure! Where? Lanzarote, Isla de Lobos, Isla Graciosa, Fuertventura When? 16-23 February, 2019! Who? So far we are 5 different nationalities on board : Brithish, Ukraine, Polish, Portuguese & me, Dutchy How cool is that? More info's and apply here: https://www.theoceanpreneur.com/lanzarotesailingadventure Now is the time! For more infos navigate to Oceanpreneur.co or click the link in the bio ⛵️⛵️⛵️⛵️🍀♻️💙⛵️🎉💃🕺🏼 #wanderlust #adventureseeker #goexplore #travelpreneur #nomadiclife #travelgood #slowtravel #earthlingmovement #travelauthentic #ethicaltravel, #responsibletravel #travellocal #shesailing #sustainabletravel #nomadlife #Zerowastetravel #wastelesstravel #WSEtravel #oceannomadlife #oceannomads #sailinglife #yachtlife #shecaptain #womenwhosail #girlswhofreedive #boatlife #cruising #sailboatlife #sailboating #socent