After much deliberation I have decided to steal through the hawsepipe like a rat and hope to get onboard a ship. I just can't justify setting myself back $30,000 with a year of no work to attend the Seattle academy at this point in time. Pluse my dough is low because I'm sitting on an unsold spec home. I'm planning to take the STWC course somewhere in the gulf, preferably somewhere that provides accomodation for the 5-6 days of training. Will try to find a very cheap hotel and rent a car and start looking around in Louisiana and if no luck there, go to Texas. Will transfer from the cheap hotel to the much praised chateau if I don't get any bites and hope something will happen there. Don't want to spend more than 2 weeks looking if possible, it will get expensive. If you were me, would you head for Louisiana, Texas or both? Is the pay similar in both states and does one have a larger presence of offshore vessels than the other? Which one might I get more easily hired at? I want to pursue the engineering track but will take a deckhand position if none are available. If anyone out there wants to hire me, I'll work my ass off. You won't regret it. I'm ambitous and will work to get promoted.