I’m with another fed agency and I am about as close to working like a commercial seafarer as you can get without actually being one. I relieve people when there’s a vacancy for any reason. I am dispatched directly from my home. The way it works for us is that when home, you use annual leave or LWOP. I work four or five months a year and make enough to do fine because I grab all the OT I can get. Normally, we don’t get much OT in port so I make most of my OT at sea. It has been a challenge to keep my time straight for leave and retirement.
Right now, most of us are home with skeleton crews on each of our ships. They are working toward getting us back to work, but I’m not yet clear on how they intend to do that. We fly commercial on major carriers under contract, so it’ll be risky because to be honest I fully expect another big spike in Covid 19 infections after seeing all the Covidiots this weekend. We’ve been smart about things thus far and I hope we don’t blow it in the eagerness to get back to work. Many of us relief mariners work other jobs at home or go to school or do volunteer work.
Most of the people at home get base wages with a few exceptions.