I am pretty much a lurker simply trying to learn this whole mess. My true experience is with tall ships, specifically, the San Diego Maritime Museum.
A memer of the modelling community over at DryDock forums, Lukas, went out on the Lady Washington for their 2 weeks before the Mast program, he was pretty excited about the whole thing.
Close to home, Lukas is a friendly and frequent contributor over at DryDock forums whom I have spoken with several times about his trip.
67-foot fall from tall ship's mast injures crewman