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If a round-the-world ex­cur­sion sounds like fun, but the rac­ing sounds a bit too gnarly, con­sider join­ing the World Cruis­ing Club’s (WCC) At­lantic Rally for Cruis­ers (ARC). Each year, ap­prox­i­mately 300 boats car­ry­ing 1,500 sailors “race” from the Ca­nary Is­lands across the At­lantic to St. Lu­cia in the Caribbean. Be­cause th­ese are pri­mar­ily cruis­ers sail­ing their own boats, the pace is less hec­tic. Once in St. Lu­cia, par­tic­i­pants ei­ther head home or sail on as part of the World ARC, which con­tin­ues, in stages, the rest of the way around the globe: sail­ing as a group down to Colom­bia, through the Panama Canal to the South Pa­cific and Aus­tralia. A re­cently in­tro­duced “half rally,” also al­lows boats to leave the group in Aus­tralia and take a year off to cruise New Cale­do­nia, Pa­pua New Guinea and other idyl­lic is­lands on their own. They can then re­join the fol­low­ing year’s rally to com­plete the cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion.

The WCC doesn’t sell crew­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, but it does of­fer a web­site that puts prospective crew in con­tact with boat own­ers. For a fee of $10 for three months, crew mem­bers sign up, cre­ate a pro­file and then re­ceive up­dates via e-mail on new op­por­tu­ni­ties. Last year more than 100 crew found a place on the ARC via that site. Ex­penses and ex­pec­ta­tions are al­ways an agree­ment be­tween the crew and the boat owner. An­other way to do this on a pay-to-play ba­sis is via char­ter boats with a pro­fes­sional skip­per. Many of th­ese boats are peren­nial ARC par­tic­i­pants, of­fer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to learn along the way.

The WCC has a dozen ral­lies all around the world, so you don’t need to drop out of your life for a long time, but rather can choose from one of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s var­i­ous Euro­pean, Pa­cific or Caribbean ral­lies, which are shorter and less of a com­mit­ment. World Cruis­ing Club, world­cruis­

No boat? No prob­lem. You too can ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of an At­lantic cross­ing. Be­low: the fleet dressed up be­fore the start

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