I’m kind of at a crossroads. SIU Paul Hall Center, or go with bare minimum: 40 hour Deckhand Orientation with 8 hour First Aid/ CPR, MMC and TWIC which I’ve had for 3 years. Do I need STCW courses? or am I ready to network? If so, where in Hampton Roads do Mariners (including Captains) hang out? I want to MEET those who can answer a head full of questions. In advance, Thanks to all mariners who can help…

Depends on what you want to do. If you want to sail union, pay dues, sit in the union hall and wait on a job, I would say go to Piney Pt. / S.I.U. School. As far as where the Captains hangout, there really isn’t a particular place. Ask questions here, this is about the best networking place there is. If you have a question about the Hampton Roads area shoot me a PM, I will be glad to help you best I can.

I’m thinking of going the siu route. The guys I kno who went don’t seem to be broke after paying union dues, and they are never get desperate for a job at the hall. Maybe there is a lot of jobs where I’m at though?

I’m moving to Hampton Roads Aug 1, and I’m thinking network in person after the move. Although, GCaptain does seem like an EXCELLENT place, as I have found. As far as Paul Hall Center, or more classes, I’ll wait to see what kind of bind I’m in, if what I do have is not enough. Timing is a big deal, I may have to pick up other work in the meanwhile after the move. Other than tugs, what kind of other jobs could I look at, as a Deckhand/ OS- until I can get on board with a tug company, to bridge the gap? I want to utilize what I have, until I can get to where I want to go.

Since you’re moving to Hampton Roads, you might consider MSC. Should be fairly easy to get on as an O/S or in the Steward Dept. Two sailor hangouts come to mind, the Thirsty Camel on OceanView Ave and Dockside on Hampton Blvd.

MSC is one option that I haven’t considered, though it is at the back of my mind. Dockside must be near ODU…I’ll drive down Ocean Viiew sometime during the daytime!

Last time i was in that area most of the activity was in Newport News, Hampton Roads was mostly Commercial Fishing Vessels which is why i was there.

I don’t know much about the peninsula, when it comes to this industry, though I have seen Mcallister’s Tugs a lot, C&P Tug Company a few times, and always fishing vessels docked at Oyster Point, I believe - just before going in the 664 tunnel. I am looking to find work anywhere on the East Coast, the closer the better, local is best. I’m trying to find out what I can, and yes, I need help. I will start where I can, beit a Cruise ship.