Wow, good info to digest. Is there actually something called an OS to Mate program at MSC? All I can do is try, but just getting a Mates license is my 1st goal. As far as unions, does MSC allow you to be a full MMP union member? I'm just psyched to get out there and learn, accumulate sea time, and enjoy being out on the ocean again. I read the American Merchant Seaman's Manual, I'm reading Dutton's right now to get back in the swing of things with respect to rudimentary navigation (never mind celestial), at the same time looking at COLREGS to have some situational awareness as to what's going on when steering the ship, etc.... Crenshaw's Naval Shiphandling seems really good too, although some of it is over my head right now (just plain old lack of experience)--but maybe I should try to plow through it? Any recommendations or ideas for things to read/do?
Best Regards, and thanks for being honest,