Over the last several years, I've been sailing around the western Caribbean, sometimes with crew, sometimes solo, sometimes buddy boating with other boats. A couple years back, I was introduced to Workaway, which has been a great way to find people who are interested in traveling for more than a day or two. After having great experiences with previous Workawayers, it's time to try again!
About the trip:
Currently back in Florida. In the planning stages for a late spring trip. Where to? One of my favorite sailing destinations in the past has been the Abacos, in the Bahamas. Last year, Hurricane Dorian devastated the area, spending a whole day stationary over them while blowing with Category 5 strength. So this year, after winter's cold fronts, and before hurricane season, is a good time to go. I envision some small rebuilding and/or clean up projects, while supporting the local businesses that have reopened. As well as fishing in some of the best areas in this part of the world, and visiting some prime beaches for bonfires... Overall I expect this to be about six weeks in duration.
What we do:
Sail from place to place. Shoot fish with spears. Drag fish behind the boat on hooks. Hang around bonfires on beaches. Watch and if we are lucky, swim with dolphins. Explore uninhabited islands. Visit fun locals. Enjoy sun-downer rum drinks, and anchor down beers. Just have general fun, with an occasional dash of terror (storms, sharks, or dodgy coral reef navigation).
What we also do:
Deal with bad weather, which happens. Work, because this is Workaway! What kind of work do you do on a boat? Three kinds! The first is work ON the boat - everything from changing the oil in a motor, to polishing stainless steel. The second is day to day stuff, such as cooking, and cleaning. Usually, I prefer breakfast and dinner to be group style, where everyone contributes according to culinary ability.
About the captain:
I am Dan, a mid-30's guy, escaping the rat race a month or two at a time. For the last seven years, I've been sailing on this vessel, and logged over 10k miles between the US East and Gulf coasts, the Mexican Caribe down to Guatemala, Cuba, and the Bahamas, and south to Panama.
About the boat:
It is a 37 foot Valiant Esprit, a sloop rigged monohull sailboat. She was built as a solid blue water ocean cruiser, and I have been maintaining her in the same way. This is a solid safe boat, not a ratty boat waiting to sink on us!
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
See the boating world, and hopefully have awesome sailing and water activities!
How this works:
The crew will be operating the sailboat during all day to day activities. This includes: cooking, cleaning, fishing, learning to sail - and then sailing - standing watches, helps with videography, and help with general boat maintenance.
I provide the boat and the training of how to do the above things you don't know how to do.
What I require of you: Must be able to swim, and be reasonably fit. Cool with eating fish. Lots of fish. Your relationship status with sea sickness can't be bad or worse. Passport, obviously. I prefer non-smokers, and no couples. You must play well with others. Pull your weight with ship duties. And you must follow orders.
What I don’t require of you: Sailing experience. In fact, I typically prefer if you have none. Its much easier to learn, than to unlearn!
Nice skills to have: Filming, photography, cooking, cleaning, webpage work, and musicians are always wonderful to have.
The boat has one private cabin, in the front, and accommodation for three others in other berths, and one bathroom. Plus hammocks on deck, but crew size is limited to interior berths. Ideally I want two crew.
We have more power than we need with 600 watts of solar feeding a big battery bank. Propane 3 burner stove, oven, and outdoor grill for cooking. Pressurized water inside - Not hot till I replace the water heater which isn't happening this trip - is made by a low capacity watermaker, so we don't have really strict rationing, but still don't waste it.
Money: I cover all expenses related to the boat and boat operations. If there are costs related to places we go, these are normally shared - i.e., marina fees, park fees, visas, etc. Food costs are shared. Due to the nature of living on the sea, we cannot accept vegans or vegetarians, or people with allergies to shellfish. When ashore, you pay for your own meals/drinks, but you are welcome to stay on the boat and cook your own meals for free. Also, alcohol is not included in normal boat operations. This is typically divided among those who drink.
Destination and time: I typically have a rough idea of where I want to get to, but that is subject to change at my discretion. You also have influence in the decision of where/when to go. Therefore, the time is always subject to change. Moreover, we may not ever reach where we intend to go. Therefore, you are welcome to get on or off at any time. However, I do not take crew with booked tickets, ie, the weather and tide predicts when we will he somewhere, not the calendar.
The boat is equipped with a full set of modern navigation equipment, including radar and satellite tracking. All required gear is aboard -things like life jackets, visual distress, fire extinguishers.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week