"... it's the glory of the sea that's turned my head!"

I know, I know… a lot of guys out there seem to scoff at the whole “call of the sea” thing. I however, went into the business entirely because of it. I love my job. No matter how crabby the crew or rusty the boat, I just love being at sea. Even more so when it gets rough. Spray and wind in your face, deck pitching, and cold water crashing over the gunnels is my idea of a paradise. Frankly, if you dont find it at least somewhat thrilling you must really hate your job…

So, the point to this post is this: where’s the adventure in this industry?

I realize that the days of long port stays and shore leave are over. I realize that the days of tramping are done. That’s not what I’m after. Would I like shore leave in exotic locations? Sure. Who wouldn’t? But, like I said, it’s the sea itself I enjoy.

So what sectors of this industry put you in the rough spots and present the largest challenges? Salvage work? Any companies famous (infamous) for tough jobs and hard work? Like when that car carrier was listing on her side and adrift earlier this year. How do you get a job as the guy that goes out to get it?

I’m young and starting out here. Big paychecks are not my main concern at this time but instead, experiences and sea days. And I figure I might as well get them in an area I find exciting. Plus, I need stories to tell my grandkids once in my dotage…

Joking aside, it’s a serious question. Thoughts? Advice?

Look into long range ocean racing. Surfing 30 foot waves in 65 foot sailboats or blasting across the Southern Ocean at 35 knots in a 105 foot trimaran is how some guys get the adrenaline flowing.

http://www.volvooceanrace.com/

I’ve been following the Volvo race here and there and you’re right. It looks like a blast. Maybe someday but I get some satisfaction of doing a [I]job[/I] versus running a race. If you lose the race, you lose, plain and simple. When there is a vessel to assist or cargo to deliver however, it feels like there is more purpose to it.

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Cant right it off completely though seeing as I just started fixing up an old 1966 Soverel Morc racing sloop…

[QUOTE=farmerfalconer;194123]I know, I know… a lot of guys out there seem to scoff at the whole “call of the sea” thing. I however, went into the business entirely because of it. I love my job. No matter how crabby the crew or rusty the boat, I just love being at sea. Even more so when it gets rough. Spray and wind in your face, deck pitching, and cold water crashing over the gunnels is my idea of a paradise. Frankly, if you dont find it at least somewhat thrilling you must really hate your job…

So, the point to this post is this: where’s the adventure in this industry?

I realize that the days of long port stays and shore leave are over. I realize that the days of tramping are done. That’s not what I’m after. Would I like shore leave in exotic locations? Sure. Who wouldn’t? But, like I said, it’s the sea itself I enjoy.

So what sectors of this industry put you in the rough spots and present the largest challenges? Salvage work? Any companies famous (infamous) for tough jobs and hard work? Like when that car carrier was listing on her side and adrift earlier this year. How do you get a job as the guy that goes out to get it?

I’m young and starting out here. Big paychecks are not my main concern at this time but instead, experiences and sea days. And I figure I might as well get them in an area I find exciting. Plus, I need stories to tell my grandkids once in my dotage…

Joking aside, it’s a serious question. Thoughts? Advice?[/QUOTE]

RE:Rough spots and the largest challenges…
Easy. Coastal Transportation Inc. Operates Aleutian fish tenders between Seattle and the Aleutian Island and Pribilof Islands. Classified as fishing vessels. Operate as old time cargo carriers, mostly using yard-and-stay cargo ships, though the new boat uses a sideport elevator. The crew does the work of longshoremen, loading and unloading the cargo holds and deck. Think 1939. Physical labor for hours on end, moving dunnage, driving forklifts, etc. You can see videos of the crew working the holds at www.cticrew.com, under the “SHIP” and “VOYAGE” tabs. On the “Coastal Navigator Shilshole to CTI” video scroll ahead to minute 6:00 and you can see them offloading at the dock in Seattle. Imagine the scene in pouring rain, 36 degree temps and 40-knot winds and you’ve got an idea of Dutch Harbor, their major port.

Southbound from Alaska they carry palletized frozen seafood in the cargo holds, at -15 degrees. No hand-stacking the cargo holds with boxes, as they did in the Bad Old Days, but still lots of physical work, sometimes still shifting 50 lb. bags of fish.

Because they work closely with the Bering Sea fishing industry they have a whole different mindset about work from the rest of the maritime world. The U.S. fishing industry has no work hour restrictions, so hours can be very long. Aleutian weather is infamously bad. Winter gales and storms are the rule, and good weather the exception. So after all that hard work you get the joy of getting underway in 15 foot seas for a week long trip back to Seattle.
For mates it means navigating up and down the Inside Passage and Peninsula Inside Passage, which can get very adventurous if your navigation skills consist of going from Waypoint 32 to Waypoint 33 in open water.

So yes, the job’s an adventure, if hard physical labor past “Hour 12” in shitty conditions is your idea of adventure. Of course, everybody has their own idea of adventure. For many sailors the word “adventure” includes a bar in Thailand on their time off, and has nothing to do with tying-up a small ship in 80 knot winds.

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[QUOTE=farmerfalconer;194123]I know, I know… a lot of guys out there seem to scoff at the whole “call of the sea” thing. I however, went into the business entirely because of it. I love my job. No matter how crabby the crew or rusty the boat, I just love being at sea. Even more so when it gets rough. Spray and wind in your face, deck pitching, and cold water crashing over the gunnels is my idea of a paradise. Frankly, if you dont find it at least somewhat thrilling you must really hate your job…

So, the point to this post is this: where’s the adventure in this industry …

So what sectors of this industry put you in the rough spots and present the largest challenges? Salvage work? Any companies famous (infamous) for tough jobs and hard work?

Joking aside, it’s a serious question. Thoughts? Advice?[/QUOTE]

I’ve redacted your post above a bit for clarity so don’t freak out.

Good questions actually. Most seafarers are adventurers at heart.

  1. If you haven’t yet experienced thinking the sea was going to kill you at the moment, you don’t know what it is to challenge her. So don’t get too romantic about doing it. She will, without hesitation or mercy kill you.

  2. There is always lots of work and challenge in any maritime job. It is never “all” done. No, you can ALWAYS make another adjustment, take another turn, finish it a little better or just have to deal with shit coming at you faster than it possibly can be dealt with, so you have to prioritize. In ANY maritime sector or vessel type. Don’t worry … “challenge” will find you if you’re a duck boat driver, a tug hand or a SF Bay pilot.

  3. If you’re starting out, young and able to keep your shit together in socially acceptable manner, try mega or gigayachting. It’s frigging hard work, often brainless but pays ok - great if you are good at your job - loaded with adventure and adventurers, many of them attractive young women that are capable and seriously motivated travelers themselves. Some of these young folk are serious, others chuckleheads ( forget that Below Decks TV Show - any drama queens like those would be sent down on the first trip because they make more hassle than they solve issues).

  4. The developed skill levels needed to meet the schedules and requirements of yachts valued $5-500 million are pretty serious. I’ve seen a lot of very skilled and organized seafarers with lots of commercial, offshore and small boat experience.

It’s an option. Make some courses at MPT Ft Lauderdale and meet some of the kids, make friends and learn if it’s for you. you need the STCW stuff anyway …l

I’ve suggested exactly this to some family and kids of my friends. Some of em liked it, others went straight back to deep sea …

Have fun. My careers have all been adventure and adventuring. No point doing anything if it isn’t fun, and staying at home for 40 years ain’t my idea of fun.

Have you considered research ships? If you are not concerned with pay and would like days at sea. Might be a fit.

[QUOTE=farmerfalconer;194123]So, the point to this post is this: where’s the adventure in this industry?

Joking aside, it’s a serious question. Thoughts? Advice?[/QUOTE]

you want the REAL answer? there is NO adventure in this industry unless you are very simple minded and STOOPID!

//youtu.be/jhioeOeOHsA

phucking shitty audio

[QUOTE=+A465B;194183]I’ve redacted your post above a bit for clarity so don’t freak out.

Good questions actually. Most seafarers are adventurers at heart.

  1. If you haven’t yet experienced thinking the sea was going to kill you at the moment, you don’t know what it is to challenge her. So don’t get too romantic about doing it. She will, without hesitation or mercy kill you.

  2. There is always lots of work and challenge in any maritime job. It is never “all” done. No, you can ALWAYS make another adjustment, take another turn, finish it a little better or just have to deal with shit coming at you faster than it possibly can be dealt with, so you have to prioritize. In ANY maritime sector or vessel type. Don’t worry … “challenge” will find you if you’re a duck boat driver, a tug hand or a SF Bay pilot.

  3. If you’re starting out, young and able to keep your shit together in socially acceptable manner, try mega or gigayachting. It’s frigging hard work, often brainless but pays ok - great if you are good at your job - loaded with adventure and adventurers, many of them attractive young women that are capable and seriously motivated travelers themselves. Some of these young folk are serious, others chuckleheads ( forget that Below Decks TV Show - any drama queens like those would be sent down on the first trip because they make more hassle than they solve issues).

  4. The developed skill levels needed to meet the schedules and requirements of yachts valued $5-500 million are pretty serious. I’ve seen a lot of very skilled and organized seafarers with lots of commercial, offshore and small boat experience.

It’s an option. Make some courses at MPT Ft Lauderdale and meet some of the kids, make friends and learn if it’s for you. you need the STCW stuff anyway …l

I’ve suggested exactly this to some family and kids of my friends. Some of em liked it, others went straight back to deep sea …

Have fun. My careers have all been adventure and adventuring. No point doing anything if it isn’t fun, and staying at home for 40 years ain’t my idea of fun.[/QUOTE]

Definitely been on the table. I’ve spoken with a few yachties (captains and crew) at my STCW classes and I wouldn’t be averse to the job.

I plan on checking out one of the boat shows some day in the future to get a feel for it. Thanks.

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[QUOTE=KPChief;194185]Have you considered research ships? If you are not concerned with pay and would like days at sea. Might be a fit.[/QUOTE]

I have. I’ve seen quite a few openings at Scripps over the last year or so and did send out a resume before I got my current tug job.

Thanks for the replies guys. Even you C.Captain…

[QUOTE=farmerfalconer;194199]Even you C.Captain…[/QUOTE]

shouldn’t that read “Especially you C.Captain”?

The only real life is the life of the travelling man
As free as the smoke are folk of the travelling band
At peace with breeze, the sea and the birds on the pond
As we wander the track that leads to the back of beyond

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;194210]As free as the smoke are folk of the travelling band[/QUOTE]

Good FUCKING Lord!..are you really serious?

[QUOTE=c.captain;194206]shouldn’t that read “Especially you C.Captain”?[/QUOTE]

I’m just going to blame spell check.

[QUOTE=c.captain;194212]Good FUCKING Lord!..are you really serious?[/QUOTE]

You are obviously not gifted with the gypsy spirit, [U]especially[/U] for a guy nicknamed Scooter.

PS - Full disclosure: I am not the author of this little ditty. It was floating in cyber space and I snagged it. Please address any future correspondence to : Col. Alonzo Mutumba , RR 1, Nigeria.

why do they call him scooter?

I tried to get on with NOAA several years ago but never got so much as an acknowledgement although their want ads ran continuously. Some kind of inside Federal HR joke, I suppose.
Maybe some political nudge from your congressman would help. Write him and tell him what a great job he’s doing.
Avoid deep sea boxships and tankers if you don’t want your kids to end up in gangs.

[QUOTE=knothead;194216]why do they call him scooter?[/QUOTE]

DAMN IT ALL…he’s back

will have to give this stuff a try…

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;194214]You are obviously not gifted with the gypsy spirit, [/QUOTE]

nor am I a golfer but once I was young and STOOPID and sought adventure at sea…however when I realized it was all just a crock of BULLSHIT I turned into the irascible nasty (but lovable) cynic you have all come to tolerate here these many years and I ain’t gonna get any nicer so you’d better learn to deal with it

[U]especially[/U] for a guy nicknamed Scooter.

I prefer Captain Scooter…SIR!

PS - Full disclosure: I am not the author of this little ditty. It was floating in cyber space and I snagged it.

a likely excuse I am sure…you posted that bilge without attribution so you must have written it but WHY?

Please address any future correspondence to : Col. Alonzo Mutumba , RR 1, Nigeria.

I am glad you contacted me Colonel for I have heard you are a man who can be trusted…my dilemma is that I have $20M in mistakenly appropriated government funds I must get out of the US as soon as possible so if you can provide me a small sum to cover the usual Customs “fees”, I am prepared to transfer all the funds to Nigeria for safekeeping until I can join you to split the amount 50/50…whattya say my good friend?

Dear Captain Scooter,
I am very pleased to do business with a good American friend. My agent will meet you under the freeway overpass behind the bus station in downtown Seattle. You will recognize him easily, he is very large and always carries a big stick. Bring your $20M in cash in a suitcase, along with a signed transfer of ownership for the Dauntless as security and he will present you with a certified check from the Federal Bank of Nigeria to cover your Customs fees. Come alone.

[QUOTE=KPChief;194185]Have you considered research ships? If you are not concerned with pay and would like days at sea. Might be a fit.[/QUOTE]

Seconded. I work on them. It’s not bad.

You will have tough time getting into government at this point, since a Federal hiring freeze is in the works, so if you decide to go this route, stick with the universities.

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[QUOTE=c.captain;194219]DAMN IT ALL…he’s back

will have to give this stuff a try…

[/QUOTE]

Not strong enough for chemical resistant pests. You’ll need a small thermonuclear device.

I agree with the original post. I’ve been sailing for over 40 years. The reason I’m still out here (or trying my best to stay) is because I love being out there! What really made me decide to make a career out of it WAS the adventure. I loved the freedom of a seaman’s life- that I could dress like I liked, say what I wanted to, BE how I wanted to be- all that mattered was that I did my job. That part is pretty much over with. I regret it daily.
I loved the chance to travel the world, learn about new people and places. The money and the benefits were pretty good when I started (better than they are now when you consider ALL of it- and the effects of inflation). That part is also pretty much gone.
Personally, I stay out there now (or try to) because I just can’t find anything else I’d rather do for a job. I’ve been trying, believe me! After spending my life at sea, apparently I am only qualified for the lowest of the low shore side ‘opportunities’. After working my way up to Master Mariner. A decent job! I just can’t find it in myself to take a job as a ‘safety attendant’ for $14/hour being treated like shit and dealing with the brain dead for 12 hours a day. Plus wasting 2-3 hours on the road to get to/fro.
I would take a job as a galley hand over that! I’ve applied, but they’re not even hiring for galley hands!
I recommend fishing if you’re really looking for adventure. Excitement. All those things you mentioned in the original post. Last time I did it was mid 2010. It was still pretty wild. Can’t guarantee it still is, but you might want to check into it. Not sure how the pay is, I think it depends on where. My brother is still fishing in FL and barely surviving. I was in AK and did pretty good. I was also tuna fishing in the S Pacific and did OK there. It does get pretty dangerous, lots more than the oilfield now a days.
Good luck with finding some adventure. If you find some, let me know!