Connecting skippers and sailing crew and building a sailing community
I sail the windward and leeward islands, Grenada to St Martin and am willing to share my boat with interesting people, while I am hoping to find a cruising partner. I am looking for good company,…Continue
Another Caribbean cruising season in the windward and leeward islands, Grenada to St Martin, is about to begin. I am a 65 yo American , both my boat, a 38 foot catamaran, and I have circumnavigated,…Continue
15 Oct update I have had a cancellation for the Grenada to St Lucia passage 15 Dec to 6 Jan. Let me know if you have any interest and we can talk more.15 Sept update I find I still have an opening.…Continue
Another Caribbean cruising season in the windward and leeward islands is about to begin. I am a 64 yo American, along with a female companion of about the same age. Both my boat, a 38 foot…Continue
Thanks for the interest and request for more information. This should answer most of your questions, if not, please ask.
This is to inform you about me and the boat. Please read the whole thing to avoid misunderstandings later.
You should know that if you are looking for a job, I am not hiring, if you want a free vacation, I do not offer one, I have already raised my kids and do not intend to adopt anymore. I offer a ride on a sailing boat for those that want one and are willing to pay a small fee for that. My passages are for people wanting a tropical vacation, to improve their sailing skills and gain sea days or miles.
I am American, 65 y/o, 5' 11", 220#, divorced male. I began sailing as a hobby in 1987. During my first exposure to a large sail boat I was hooked. I spent 1997-2005 sailing once around the world, since 2005 I have been cruising the islands of the eastern Caribbean, Grenada to St Martin.
My boat is a 38' Pro Kennex catamaran, name RPhurst, pronounced 'our first' and is documented Minneapolis MN. She is very seaworthy and is holding up well to the stresses of the sea. She has 4 cabins, 1 of which is a garage. The hull containing the garage and my cabin is my side. Everyone else shares the other hull which has a cabin forward and one aft, with head between. All cabins and head have doors. Unless someone is a couple I avoid putting more than one person per cabin.
The bridgedeck holds the galley, saloon and navigation station. Navigation is done with GPS. Steering is done by Otto Pilot, hand steering is required for practice only and always when entering or leaving port. Water is provided by a watermaker. Safety equipment includes 1 parachute, safety harnesses, flares, EPIRB, VHF and SSB radios, 5 sails. As a catamaran is positively boayant I do not carry a life raft. I have now sailed once around the world without major incident. I am pretty easy going and deal with people in a fair and responsible way. Have questions? I will answer them as best I can.
What I expect of crew. Please read these carefully.
I welcome you for whatever period of time you can spare, room allowing. I try to not fill the boat with people. One permanent, to three or four if a couple, is about right. You do not need to have sailing experience, you will be shown what you will be asked to do. As this is a comfortable cruise/siteseeing adventure, the moves are usually short, there are only two overnights in the whole season, so I can single hand the boat while you learn.
Please use the boat as though it is your own, or better if you do not treat your own things with care. Do not scratch, chip, stain or break it in any way, do not lose its parts and put things back where you found them. If you spill and make a mess, please clean it up right away.
If you use recreational drugs, look for another boat.
You must first know that this is not a cruise ship and you should expect to be treated as a friend and not a charter guest. I am offering you a ride on a cruising sailboat, at a very small fee, what you make of that time is up to you. In the very least, arrive with a good attitude, keep your stuff contained while on deck or better yet, in your cabin, do not be a hindrance to the operation of the vessel, offer to do things that need to be done, keep your cabin and head clean, at least once per week, do your share of the cooking, remit your expense money, in advance, try to resist telling off the skipper.
In normal circumstance, in addition to the above. To avoid injury to yourself, damage to the boat and minimize the stress on the skipper, listen to the instructions given, there are many ways of doing everything on a boat, most of them are right, however this is the way we do it on this boat. I am willing to discuss a better way, however not while we are tying up to a concrete wall, do it the way you were shown. Practice the things you have been taught. Ask questions about anything you do not understand, please do not say, 'I have it' when you don't have a clue.
Please be considerate of other crew. If you have communicable diseases, athletes foot, hepatitis, body buddies, herpes, serious toe nail fungus, or any other that are transferred by casual contact or food handling, please find another boat. This is a confined space and your courtesy will be appreciated.
I have been doing this for many years, have had a hundred crew or so, those that arrive with the intention of blending in do very well and we get along, those that believe they are here to take over do not fair so well, be sure to think about your priorities. You are expected to assimilate into the crew, not modify everyone else to suit yourself. I have a list of former crew that have agreed to talk with you about any other questions you have, as well as assure you this is a safe boat.
If you wish to hear all of the stories from previous years, go to www.rphurst.blogspot.com, where you will find my annual letters back to 1999
Please read the following, make a copy to work from and reply with answers to the questions to brucea1997 at y**** dot com. Please do not add your reply in some other color to the questionnaire, I lose that when I transfer your reply to your file. I have already read the questions, so do not need those again.
I do not expect you to write a book on any of these and most are to make you think about what you are doing. A brief outline is sufficient for now. Few of these will have an influence on whether you will be selected, however they do assist me in selecting a harmonious crew. With many of you responding I need to ask most of these generically. Many of you have provided answers to some of these in your earlier email, however to have them all in the same format will make my job much easier. Sailing or boating experience is not necessary but helpful. You will be taught what you need to know, in a slow patient manner, it will be your job to listen and learn. The most important questions are 1, 3, 5, 12, 23 and 25, everyone please respond to those.
Provide your answers by number to the numbered question, in that order. I will advise soon who make the short list so you can make plans.
Because I have had so many people commit to time early, then cancel the week before arrival, I now must request a deposit, which is not refundable unless I can fill your spot, equal to one half of your expenses, be sent to my Pay Pal account. When I have that, you are on.
The plan is to leave Margarita Venezuela November 2013 for Grenada, one to five days, depending on weather, then spending three months moving north along the windward and leeward islands to St Martin, then three months back south again to arrive Grenada by mid June. Find the rough schedule at the end.
1. Describe yourself: name, age, gender, height, weight, fitness level, length of hair, in what city and country. What languages do you speak? You should be able to, walk an hour without stopping, swim, stay awake for a watch, unrestrained long hair plugs bilge pumps. A photo will be appreciated, but not required.
2. Please describe any boating experience. ie. never, some, overnight, out of sight of land, skipper. Describe any boating under sail experience. Of any of the other boats you have been on, have you left before your time was up, have you been asked to leave.
3. Describe your cooking ability. ie. make reservations, can opener, good cook, great cook, chef, baker. Are you a vegetarian/vegan, very important? If you are unable, unwilling or refuse to do your share in the galley, you will be responsible for reservations on shore, at your expense.
4. Describe any training or certificates you have. ie. first aid, CPR, lifeguard, nurse, doctor.
5. Describe your drinking, smoking habit. ie. none, light, regularly, party animal. If a liter of booze or a case of beer does not last you a week or if you become an insulting, abusive drunk, please do not reply, responsible, funny and happy drinkers are welcome. You will not be allowed to drink alcohol while underway.
6. Describe yourself. ie. Quiet, reader, talker, laid back, always on the go, hyper.
7. When awakened from a deep sleep, how long will it take for you to be alert. ie. immediate, a few minutes, a couple of hours?
8. From the time a decision has been made to go somewhere during the day, how long does it take you to be ready? ie. 5 minutes, 1 hour, tomorrow.
9. Describe the type and volume of music you enjoy. Do you have some to bring along? I have CD and DVD player.
10. Once corrected for doing something wrongly, how long does it take for you to get over it? ie. didn’t hear it, 5 minutes, all day, the rest of your life? Are you willing to accept guidance, even if you know how it is done.
11. Do you get car sick, front or back seat? How do you handle carnival, amusement park or fair rides? Do you enjoy all, enjoy the mild ones, the wilder the better? Are you afraid of heights?
12. Have you ever been seasick, motionsick? ie. headache, upset stomach, throwing up.
13. You will have a cabin to yourself, if a couple you will share, you are expected to keep your own cabin and head clean, at least once per week.
14. When traveling or backpacking can you carry all of your stuff? How much will you bring? All luggage must be soft sided and fully collapsible, at least down to one flat side.
15. How many hours of sleep do you normally require. Are you normally a morning or evening person? Will you stand a watch at any time of day or night? If you are an insomniac, are you considerate and quiet while you are roaming around.
16. Do you have other interests that will fit well on a boat? fishing, reading, swimming, scuba, photography, soaking up sun, walks on the beach, massage, writing a book.
17. Are you comfortable going into an unknown town, street, shop, bar, restaurant by yourself.
18. Can you sleep in a moving car, airplane, bus or in this case a boat?
19. Do you have a medical condition that could need treatment? allergy, insect bites, weak heart. Bring your own Epee pen, Scopolamine patches or any other meds you may need.
20. What, if any, mechanical, carpentry, electronic, sewing or computer skills do you have.
21. Which of these describes your desire of the time you will be on the boat. To me it does not matter which.
I want to have a ride on a sailboat operated by someone else.
I know little or nothing about sailing but want to learn.
I am very knowledgable about sailing, want to improve my skills and will participate in all work on the boat.
22. Which of these describes your desire to participate in the operation of the boat. To me it does not matter.
I want to do nothing.
I will do what is asked of me.
I want to be involved in everything that goes on.
23. Do you understand the need to, and methods for, conservation of the renewable resources on a boat. ie. battery power, fresh water, refrigerator temperature,
24. Give me some idea the kind of sailing you hope for during your stay, island hopping, staying on one island moving from anchorage to anchorage, use the boat as a hotel and spend most of your time onshore.
25. Do you accept that there is one skipper on board this boat. That person, me, is responsible for everything that happens, has the final say in all decisions, will decide your experience level and will instruct while you listen. I do not share those responsibilities with anyone. Please agree or disagree.
Any questions should be addressed to same email, different message please, I will answer as best I can.
I have asked for expense sharing crew. I do not want to make any money on this and try to keep the cost as low as possible. However, I do not wish to increase my expense with your presences. I provide all on boat expenses. This includes all food, fuel, fees, other than visa, most of the islands charge a departure tax for those that fly in for which you are responsible, insurance, bedding. The cost is the equivalent of US sixty five dollars, per person, per day, which is US$ 455. per week, there is a discount for two people sharing the same cabin or for anyone staying more than a month. This should be paid on arrival, up to one month at a time, or in full if less than a month, in US or local currency, my choice. Do not make me ask for it. I will ask for a fifty percent deposit for the time you request, sorry, there are just too many people who do not show up.
It is essential that if you have parents, siblings, friends that will be dying, getting married, giving birth, or any other reason that will require you to leave the boat early, get travel insurance. Do not expect me to refund money not used, because you have used it. When I promise you a cabin for a period of time, I am not able to let anyone else have it.
You must provide all of your own transportation to and away from the boat, visa and passport expenses, you pay the departure taxes from some of the islands when you fly in but leave on a boat, on-shore expenses, laundry, soft drinks and alcohol on the boat. I do not know if you will drink one can of soda or half a case of beer per day.
By requesting a time and place you are accepting these terms and conditions.
The 2013/14 rough plan is, all dates are aprox. please indicate your approximate dates, I have set the beginning and ending islands for those that want a passage and they have the best airport access.
Oct 1-Dec 8 leave Venezuela, arrive Grenada a few days later, airport code GNO
Dec 15 leave Grenada, three weeks
Jan 1 Bequia
Jan 5 arrive St Lucia Castries SLU, Vieux Fort UVF
Jan 5-19 hang around St Lucia
Jan 19 leave St Lucia, two weeks
Feb 2 arrive Antigua ANU
Feb 2-16 hang around Antigua
Feb 16 Leave Antigua, two weeks
Mar 2 arrive St Martin SMX
Mar 2-30 hang around St Martin
March 30 leave St Martin, one week
Apr 13 arrive Antigua
Apr 13- May 5 hang around Antigua
Classic week 18-23 April, Race week 28 April-3 May
May 4 leave Antigua, two weeks
May 18 arrive St Lucia
May 18-June 1 hang around St Lucia
June 1 leave St Lucia, two weeks
June 22 arrive Grenada
July 13 leave Grenada for Venezuela 3-5 days
Anyone can choose a length of time including any passage plus a week on each end. If you wish to have the more than one month you must have done a passage previously. Sorry, it is necessary to assure compatibility.
Passage dates are for sailing and should be for people with some experience, or want to gain some, and should be done for the dates specified. Anyone on a passage is advised to add time on either end to see those islands, if you can.
Passages usually include 6-8 stops along the way, we generally sail one day, sit for one, then move again.
Hang dates should be used for people wanting one week, or have no experience. During hang time, there will be minimal sailing, this is a time to do the island, kick back and spend some time in the water.
If you only have two weeks of vacation, all of these passages can be done in that two week period.