@Seago. I am going on my years of doing transits with the Virginia Pilots and some of the backgrounds and experience levels I’ve discovered doing so. I’ve had a former cadet who got in right out of school, an English Major, a competitive sailor from Georgetown University, etc. The common theme is very little actual commercial sailing experience but some pretty decent pilots on the whole. I know that it is a tough program to get through (lots of paying your dues, taking classes, and do or die tests).
I was mainly trying to give this young man an avenue that is open to him for a few more years that may get him where he wants to be in a shorter amount of time than his mid thirties.
Honestly. Florida is the only state on the East coast that I ship into that I’ve met a pilot that has come close to sitting in my seat as Master. I don’t agree with the US system of haphazard requirements to get the job and prefer the way it is in other parts of the world where you can find common ground with someone who has sailed up to Master to qualify for the gig but the economics are very different everywhere else. It’s a great job everywhere but it’s not the golden ticket like it is in the US.