Maine Pilots interesting op eds

Saw these recently in the Portland Press Herald:

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Capt Strong’s argument that a pilot is needed as a check on the captain’s authority is very weak to say the least.


Bay Ferries should be able to employ their own in-house pilots that remain onboard as part of the crew through out the voyage, same as most other ferries do. The USCG should specify the required federal pilot on the COI.

The State Pilotage Board and the Portland Pilots should be told to “go to hell.” Maine Governor Paul LaPage is just the right man to tell them to “go to hell.”

The US Attorney should prosecute the members of the state pilotage board and the Portland pilots for what they are, organized crime, under the criminal RICO statute.

Bay Ferries should amend their complaint to add civil RICO claims against the pilots and the pilotage board members. It’s a matter of principle, so no settlement. Take it to a jury trial, and if necessary up on appeal.

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As I understand it, the vessel is owned by the US Navy, flies the US flag, is crewed by US Mariners, and is chartered to (presumably a US subsidiary) of Bay Ferries. This ferry service is not an independent profit making operation. I do not know the details, but it is a public service that is supported by the Province of Nova Scotia, the State of Maine, and probably by the US and Canadain federal governments. It’s we taxpayers who are going to end up paying the pilotage fees.

The ferry probably spends $2400 a trip on toilet paper. The $2400 pilot fee is not so much of a monetary issue as it is a government sanctioned white collar crime and public corruption issue. A band of thugs is using the power of government to shakedown a subsidized public service. This cannot be tolerated.

The US attorney should make a priority of prosecuting this blatant public corruption.

I not saying good arguments for pilotage don’t exist. I am saying that this particular one is weak,

The vessel is owned by the navy and under charter, the entire run is government subsidized

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Do they take a pilot on the other end of the trip?

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It’s been a few years, but my recollection is something like this: the Hawaii Governor waived the state environmental impact statement about how it might affect the whales to get the ferry going. Green groups sued. The ferry went into operation, but did not do very well financially. Ultimately the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that the Governor did not have authority to waive the environmental impact statement. Rather than do the Environmental impact statement the ferry went bankrupt. Maybe Austal reposed them. They got sold to the Navy. My recollection is pretty hazy, but that’s about how I think it went.

under Title XI, MarAd had guaranteed the mortgages for the two so when the operation folded, the US Goobermint became the owners. At some point afterwards, the USN ended up with them to be used as fast transports but never put either into service hence their availability to be chartered for the Portland to Yarmouth run

Last time around, Portland screwed the Prince of Fundy (large slow but reliable ferry) in favor of The CAT. Then the Province of Nova Scotia pulled The CATS subsidies. The CAT stopped running. Yarmouth and the South Shore was economically devistated. The only jobs were working out in Fort Mac. Then that went to hell when the price of oil collapsed.

So the subsidies were restored and The CAT ferry service to Yarmouth was restarted. It’s mostly Canadian money. I’m not sure how much the US, Maine, and Portland are putting into it, but probably some money.

The CAT does not make sense to me. They need a ferry like the Prince of Fundy that carries a lot of trucks and cars. For most passengers it would make a lot more sense to subsidize flights. It’s damn near impossible to fly in or out of Nova Scotia for less than it costs to Fly to Europe.

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I rode a Cat to Yarmouth from Bar Harbor as a passenger many years ago. Different ship? They had been ordered to reduce their speed after allegedly running over a fishing boat in fog. It was still impressive to sit in a casino or restaurant with your car safely tucked away down below, watching the screens with GPS displays showing our position as we scooted along at 45 knots.
I also rode on the Nova Star as a passenger and it sucked. The crew was from eastern Europe and had not concept of service to passengers. They were the only ones dancing to 80’s disco tunes in the disco lounge like a Saturday Night Live skit to the amusements of curious passengers .
They announced our arrival to Yarmouth two hours ahead of time by banging on the cabin doors and yelling for everybody to get up. I thought the ship was on fire or we were sinking.
The Nova Scotia government had set aside something like ten million dollars to help support the Nova Star throughout a ten year contract. The Nova Star burned through it in one year. Is this going to be a repeat?

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Wow. Yeah, that’s very unprofessional.

Off topic but still funny. One time I was staying at a small hotel near Whitehall, NY (Lock 12 on the NYS Champlain Barge Canal and asked for a wake up call.

As I was passed out and sleeping really hard, I woke to someone holding the door up and YELLING Wake Up! This is your wake up call.

Some things you never forget. LOL

I believe that one was the 91-metre Incat hull 049, presently named Fjord Cat. I liked it better in the earlier livery.

Apologies, it was Incat 046. Same 91-metre class.

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OP should have posted the back story?
Au contraire, mon frere.

You should have done a little research before spouting off on shit you don’t know much about.