Brown or Blue? Advice please!

I’m currently a brown water mate and recently obtained my steersman/apprentice mate license for Inland, Great Lakes and Western Rivers. After over a year of jumping through hoops, I have reason to believe that my company will soon put me in its steersman program.

BUT…I’ve been thinking about making a move to blue water–specifically the Great Lakes. I have enough time for an AB limited and have applied to test. I also plan to get my STCW training over the summer.

I’ll get to the question–should I stick with the brown water or start over on the deck in blue?

–Is is possible to make $60-70,000 as a new hire with an AB Limited, STCW certification but no experience in blue water?
–What are the best companies on the Great Lakes? So far, I’m interested in Andrie and Great Lakes Towing.
–How hard is it to “work up the hawsepipe” on the Great Lakes?

Thanks in advance for any advice/guidance.

To pick a nit, “blue water” refers to deep ocean (on ships) not great lakes, that’s just referred to as the Great Lakes (or maybe as The Lakes).

If you can get steersman time on great lakes/Inland and Western Rivers at your current company then stay there. Even better, get your 500 ton great lakes & inland license then you just need a Western Rivers TOAR and a Great Lakes & Inland TOAR and you’re set. No need to do any more time as a steersman than it takes to learn to steer.

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Thanks for the advice!!! I’m just getting a little anxious about my career. I’ve jumped through every hoop they’ve set up and now I’m just waiting–it’s driving me crazy.

I’ve decided to focus my nervous energy on getting my AB limited and STCW certification.

And thanks also for the clarification on brown vs blue vs Great Lakes. I suspected the blunder but was going for a catchy theme.

Totally possible to make 60-70k as an AB. Not too sure of it on the lakes. I worked up there as an AB but just as a relief for a few trips, didn’t really calculate it out but I know what my current company pays their ABs and it’s definitely over 60k and even more if you work 28/14.

Judging by the companies he named he’s looking at Great Lakes towing, not ships.

Good thing I work on “towing” not ships.

Good for you. I was making a general statement since one of the commenters was naming shipping companies.

Edit: now I don’t see the comment in question that mentioned Interlake and American Steamship.

Now that’s COOL!

Any recommendations with regard to Great Lakes companies?

Andrie for sure. Also check out genesis, they’ve got a few units operating up there and if you are willing to try ships then American steamship and Interlake are great. Everyone is fitting out this time of year for the season so I’d imagine they’re doing some hiring.

Did you get a notification that it had been removed by admins?

they didn’t notify me when they expunged my Ti Dee Bowl man

I thought there was a system notification for removal.