Looking for company/friendship, cruising Seattle to Alaska and then South to Central America
I've been cruising around the Pacific Northwest in the Salish Sea between Olympia, WA and Desolation Sound full-time for the last 15 months. Now I think I've got my skills, life, and boat ready to start covering some larger distances! My plan is to leave in March 2020 from Friday Harbor, WA and head up the Inside Passage to Glacier Bay in June and then come down the outside of Vancouver Island and continue on to San Francisco around October, then on to Mexico for the winter before heading west across the Pacific leaving in April 2021. After that, who knows!
About me. I'm 35, male, and an engineer by trade. As mentioned above, I've been cruising around for the last 15 months covering about 2000 NM here in the Pacific Northwest, and let's say I've definitely learned a thing or two over that time. ;) Before that I had about 5 years of day sailing to week long trips experience, mostly in the Puget Sound. I like to keep things rather low-key: I read A LOT, have been teaching myself to play the ukulele, and am normally a distance runner but it has been tough to keep up the miles while cruising. I prefer to stop in remote islands and parks and go for hikes/runs over stopping in towns and going to bars and restaurants. Speaking of bars, I don't allow drinking alcohol while underway, once at anchor in moderation is fine. I'm generally OK with responsible drug use, but do not want recreational drugs on the boat (cannabis while in Canadian waters is fine). I also keep a somewhat extreme diet: I don't eat any animal products and really try to stick with whole foods as much as possible. Additionally, I try my best to reduce my general environmental impact, living and traveling on a sailboat is definitely part of that goal. )'(
About the boat. She's an '89 Catalina 34. I think she's the pretties boat out there, but I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The last haul-out was a bit over a year ago, at which time I did new bottom paint and checked the usual suspects: shaft, cutlass bearing, through-hulls. Rigging is all in good shape, the mainsail is in Fair to Good condition, and I'm having a new genoa made to be delivered in February. I had some overheating issues about a year ago with the engine, but I traced that down to internal corrosion from old coolant and after replacing a couple of parts have had no issues with the engine since. There is some external surface corrosion on the engine that I intend to fix, probably in a year or so, but it's just something I'm keeping an eye on at this point. I'm setup pretty well for cruising: refrigerated icebox, 460 AH @ 12 V house batteries, 300 Watts of solar (basically power is not an issue between the equinoxes up here, October through February I have to run the engine every 3 to 7 days, depending on the weather, to charge the batteries), 75 gallons of fresh water tanks, pressurized hot/cold water (hot water is from the engine running though, so you'll need to time showers as I mostly sail), electric water maker, wheel auto-pilot, gps navigation with integrated depth sounder. I'm looking into adding AIS, but not sure when I'll get around to doing so.
About you. Someone in the vicinity of the same age would be preferred, so let's say ideally 25 to 45, mature younger people or young-at-heart older people encouraged to apply. A couple or two friends who don't mind sharing a cabin would be great also, probably even better when it comes to longer crossings. No sailing or boating experience necessary, I just ask that you have a good outlook on life, are a responsible worker, eager to learn, and are independent. If you enjoy backpacking, bike touring, or Van-life, I think those are reasonable analogues for the type of lifestyle I keep on the boat. As for food, I don't ask that you become a vegan of course, but I don't want meat or dairy cooked/refrigerated on the boat either. If you think you need meat on the boat, things like jerky are probably ok.
About our relationship. I'd like this to be more along the lines of friendship than hiring a crew. I would expect you to pay for your own stuff when in ports, chip in for your share of food/drinks on board, and help with some of the boat expenses along the way. Realistically, I would expect around $500 a month enough to cover food and boat expenditures, and what you spend at ports can be $0 to however much you want. If your situation in life is such that you can't afford this, don't let that stop you from reaching out, I can be flexible here.
I've been alternating with friends joining for a week or two and sailing by myself for the last year. I'm comfortable single handing her, and am not too worried about the northbound part of the trip. It's going south that is going to have some longer passages and I think having an extra set of hands or two would be nice.
So, I think that right now there are three distinct parts that I'm looking for crew to possibly join:
1. From Friday Harbor, WA to Juneau, AK, March 2020 to June 2020. This is going to be cold, wet, and (hopefully) have some real wind. The Inside Passage is also supposed to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world and I am super excited about this part of the trip. Winds are tough for sailing through this area, but this should be enough time that we would only need to average about 10 miles a day and we can wait out weather as needed.
2. Sitka, AK to San Francisco, CA, July 2020 to November 2020. The plan is to hop from Sitka down through some of the islands in SE Alaska, then inside Graham Island, outside Vancouver Island, then pushing offshore 50 miles or so and turning South for the trip to SF. This last part will actually be my first time sailing in true open water, so it will be a bit of a learning experience for me as well. Ideally I'll have three people for that last section so that we can cover lookout shifts a bit more comfortably.
3. After SF is the Channel Islands and San Diego, then Mexico and Central America for the winter, and from there turning west to the Marquesas and island hopping in the South Pacific.
The right person could sail away for all of it and longer!
Wow, this ended up so much more than I intended to write. If you made it this far and any of it sounds interesting to you please reach out! I'm going to be putting the boat in a slip (yeah, it's a bit sad to tie her up like that) and traveling south, mostly in the U.S., for the winter starting in a few days. That means I might not be super quick to respond, but also maybe we can meet up if I happen to be near you. Definitely reach out if you're in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tucson, Denver, Virginia Beach, Costa Rica, or Seattle as I'm going to be passing through all of those before returning to the boat in mid-February.