Crowley Western Alaska Marine Delivery

Looking to see if anyone has any experience with this division of Crowley. I could have a potential job with them for this upcoming summer season. I’m currently working as an AB at a well known company in New York City.

I’ve always wanted to work in Alaska at least just once in my lifetime to experience it and I’m still young enough/single to be able to go work up there for the 180-210 day season. The only thing holding me back is I do have a very nice position where I’m at now, the pay is almost exactly the same and I have a great schedule with 2 weeks on/off.

Not only am I interested in learning more about this part of the company, but advice and suggestions from old timers on here would be greatly appreciated for this situation.

I am speaking only from personal experience and may/may not represent the typical Alaskan mariner’s view. Other than a little taste of Puget Sound & the Bay area, coastal & river Alaska is all I know. I have not worked for Crowley, but know several folks that have & pass their boats/barges regularly. For the most part, there are two types of towboaters that work up here… line haul & shallow draft. There is some ship assist work in Dutch & Anchorage…a little in Southeast too. The linehaul boats bring the cargo (fuel/or general freight) up from the PNW & the shallow draft boats deliver it to the villages. My guess is you’re inquiring about the shallow draft, village deliveries. The weather drives a huge part of the work that gets done. Roughly half the villages are exposed to the sea, many of the others are up small rivers that require bar crossings in decent weather. I enjoy running the rivers the most because it is nice not to have to stress about sea state in a small boat towing a bigger one on a wire.
I’m not sure if Crowley allows their crew to hook up to boat internet…but if not, DO NOT forget your kindle & a deck of cards. You can spend days at a time crossing “dead spots” in coverage. Dig around a bit to find out which carrier is best for the region you’ll work. Bottom line is be ready to be disconnected. If you are a fit, hard worker with a solid sense of what is safe and what is not, (and have all the other personality traits that work well on a small boat) you’ll do well in Alaska. Also, if this is you, you won’t have any problem picking up work elsewhere if you decide the Alaska thing is not for you. It is true, good help is hard to find. There are several good, safely managed companies up here…there are just as many of the opposite. Crowley is certainly one of the favorable ones. I would also venture to guess work in Alaska is more challenging as an AB than elsewhere, but don’t take my word for it, I only know this place & am not trying to talk up Alaska as a “tough guy” environment. Discovery channel throws out enough of that BS. Every place brings unique challenges that require different skill sets.
I have no idea what your current employment situation is, but if you have decent pay, a good schedule, benefits, a solid training program…think twice about leaving it. I will say I sure have enjoyed long stretches of time off. I’ve taken some amazing trips with my family because of the schedule. Do your homework and compare your situation to others you’re thinking about. Good luck!

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Crowley Western Alaska Fuel Division has been shrinking and is a relatively small operation. Just a few boats left. There are a couple of newer boats, but most of the equipment is old.

The work is seasonal and intensive. The pay is relatively low. This is why they are always looking for people.

Good Morning, I crew the Western Alaska fleet and would be happy to answer your questions and/or refer you to other Western Alaska crew members, former and current. Here’s a good, short video that shows our crews and boats at work.

If you have already applied, you know how to reach out to me. If you haven’t applied, please do so on the Crowley careers web page.

Best,

Sarah

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