How to hitchhike a boat? This is one of many questions I asked Eve Idrissi. Eve Idrissi is French graduated nurse. When she was 24, she took a 9 months trip in the ocean to go to Brazil. She used few websites to find her first crew. Here are few tips she learned throughout her journey.
''To find boats, I wandered in harbours to meet people. In Europe, harbours are closed, so you need to know few tips. For example, most of these closed harbours work with electronic pass, so you can wait for someone to come in/out, and ask if you can enter the harbour. Keep in mind that there’s always a bar inside/next to the harbour, it’s the sailors’ meeting point. You can meet a lot of people there: most of the sailors are alone on their computers (checking on the weather mostly), so you can talk to them! I did that several times, I explained where I wanted to go if I had a vague destination in mind, and I was very honest with my sailing abilities (I had none), and I asked questions! I didn’t really know anything about how to hitchhike boats and what to expect from sailing, and it was quite fine for me. You really need to follow your intuition first, if you have a bad feeling about something or someone, it’s not worth taking the risk. Good tip could be to get to know the sailing vocabulary (how the parts of a boat are named, how boat manoeuvres are called). It can be good to just read few books about sailing to be more familiar with the sailing language. It can be very practical to show the captain that you have a little bit of knowledge in common, but it’s also a great way to check if the captain you’re talking to actually knows how to sail, because having a boat doesn’t mean you can sail! What I could really advise you is to really get to know the captain, to spend some time with him, sail a little bit with him if possible. Once I asked the captain to sail just a little bit before the long trip, and we got into a storm. That’s how I realized that the captain didn’t really know how to sail, and that the boat wasn’t in good conditions for such a trip. On the see when the sun is shining everything is great, but it can all turn really bad very quickly, you have to be aware of that.''