Originally Posted by brentbikes
In early January-April I'm pedaling off on my second low-budget long-distance tour. My first destination choice is (any combination of) the Carribean Islands via hitchiking on boats, but I can't find any info on people doing this before.
I'd like to work as an inexperienced crew member for my passage, and tour any islands (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, etc.) that I can get to.
The obstacles I see are:
*Finding a boat between Charleston, SC and Ft. Lauderdale, FL in January
*Having space on any boat for my loaded Trek 520
*The potential of getting stranded on a small island and not being able to get off.
I do have enough saved up to purchase a 1-way plane ticket if necessary, but would prefer the adventure of the open sea.
Has anyone done this before, or know of someone who has? Any help or resources are much appreciated. Thank you!
You might enjoy reading Lynette Chiang's book, The Handsomest Man in Cuba
. She hitchhiked on a sailboat with her Bike Friday.
A local guy has ridden his bike down to the SF Bay Area and gotten rides on ships. He is a young, likable, adventurous guy, kind of like Chris McCandless.
If you haven't seen it, the DVD Into the Wild
is worth seeing. This guy (Chris McCandless) spent a couple of years hitching and kayaking and traveling around the US and Mexico. The movie is very well done.
There are some tightened restrictions and liability issues on ships these days. I'm not saying it is impossible, but it isn't necessarily a cakewalk either.
If you can bring something attractive to the table -- great culinary skills, or something -- you would probably have a better chance.
Boat and ship environments are not always as pleasant or romantic as they are often portrayed. You might also check out Josie Dew's books, especially Saddled at Sea
and The Sun in My Eyes
, which involve hitching rides aboard ships with her bike.
In the book Paddle to the Amazon
, there is a description of getting a ride aboard a ship from the mouth of the Amazon River north to the U.S. There were some hitches and they had to work, and there were some insurance and red tape issues, but they got the ride, along with their canoe. Some people might help a fellow adventurer out -- there is no guarantee either way.
Kayaks can open up interesting travel opportunities that some people appreciate.
Baja is an island-like destination that some bike tourers like to visit.
Last edited by Niles H.; 10-24-09 at 06:23 PM.