Gone how long at sea

Hello,

I am considering going to school to pursue a career as a merchant marine officer, but am not willing to spend more than 30 days away from home at a time. Is this an unrealistic expectation? I have read about those who work 2 weeks on/2 weeks off, 30 days on/30 days off, 6 months, 8 months, etc… How difficult is it to find positions with 2 week or 30 day shifts, and and what cost to pay? I would appreciate any insight. Thanks.

[QUOTE=fenderfreak72;40754]I am considering going to school to pursue a career as a merchant marine officer, but am not willing to spend more than 30 days away from home at a time. Is this an unrealistic expectation?[/QUOTE]

You might find more happiness doing something else for a living if that is how you really feel about working in this industry.

There are plenty of jobs around that provide 30 day or less rotations but they can be hard to find, don’t always pay well, and an entry level newbie will be competing against experienced guys who have paid their dues so to speak. And you may quickly get tired of the merry go round lifestyle of short turnarounds where a large part of your time off is spent traveling. Or you might find nirvana, who knows?

Exactly. If you want to really have a career at sea (since you are investing time, and I assume money, this isn’t just a summer job), you really need to be aware that some voyages can last months. Even when you can get a 30/30 coastwise rotation, it can often go the other way. I know that the last time I was working 30/30, I still ended up working over nine months a year. Often my relief wouldn’t show up until the “next” port, or the office would call and I would have to go back to work “just a couple of days early”. No matter, it was what I did, and I was happy to do it. To have a career at sea, you have to make some huge social sacrifices. When I got to the point where sailing work was more difficult to get and the pay not worth the hardships (translate as wife and kiddos), I came ashore.

[QUOTE=cmakin;40763]. When I got to the point where sailing work was more difficult to get and the pay not worth the hardships (translate as wife and kiddos), I came ashore.[/QUOTE]

I love my job, it’s the wife and kids I can’t take anymore.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;40772]I love my job, it’s the wife and kids I can’t take anymore.[/QUOTE]

To be honest, I was happy going to sea, even with the first kid coming along. Then I got laid off from the job that I had for over four years, so I had to start scrambling. One of the offers I had was working for Sabine Tankers (you know this was a while ago) for a 100 day shift. Well, that wasn’t going to happen with a very pregnant wife. It was just a matter of timing. Truth be told, I have no gripes about the way things have turned out. I know I have a much better perspective on the maritime industry now, having worked in more areas, than I ever would have had I stayed at sea, and I use that perspective almost every day in my current position. And that position is involved in both the maritime and offshore worlds, and some shore side ones, too.

Well, for the record I was joking about the wife and kids, I can’t truthfully say I love my job either. My career has taken a lot of twists and turns as well and I don’t regret the time I spend with harbor work or coastwise as I was closer to home. It’s rough sailing deep sea worldwide sometimes.