Pacific Basin Shipping, Berhard Schulte Shipmgmt, PACNAV.....anybody sail foreign?

Just was curious if anybody has ever sailed aboard a foreign-flagged vessel. I live near Portsmouth, New Hampshire and many foreign-flagged vessels visit the port regularly to offload road salt and load scrap metal. Many of the scrap metal ships are Pacific Basin Shipping Company ships. And, some of the ships that come in and offload salt are painted with ‘PACNAV’ letters on both sides, which is part of Pacific Carriers, Ltd. I’ve noticed some of the Pacific Basin ships are Hong Kong-registered. Similarly, I’ve noticed some of the ‘PACNAV’ ships have been Singapore-registered.

I’m in the process of renewing my 3/M license. The last time I sailed was on tankers on the U.S. West Coast. So, for the life of me, I do not remember how to do celestial navigation. This time around, I’ll need to take the open book 3/M exam, so, I’m hoping this will sufficiently refresh me, but I know that I’d have to do a lot of reading to brush up on simple things like fairleads, bowlines, capstans, windlasses, etc.

I’ve scoured the Internet to try to find out how to go about obtaining a foreign license…from what I understand it’s a CoE or Certificate of Equivalency, that I would need. And, for example, if the vessel is Singapore-registered, then you need to get a Singapore seafarer’s license. I visited the Singapore Martime Authority website recently and from mere observation it looks like it would be a pretty simple process to obtain a Singapore license. Looks like I can get a Marshall Islands license as well as a Panama license…maybe a Hong Kong license?

Anyway, has anybody ever sailed aboard foreign ships with any big companies like Pacific Basin, Pacific Carriers, Teekay, Bernhard Schulte, Mitsui O.S.K Lines, etc.? How long are their tours? I’ve heard it’s like 4 months.

Most importantly, do they eat good food? Another thing that I’m curious about is cultural differences.

I know they make less pay, but I’m just curious about the adventurous aspect of it. To be honest, I sailed with Americans and I didn’t particularly like it. Got teased by a few captains. I’m the type of guy who likes to just get on board, do my job, learn something, do the best that I can and then go home.

I’m just wondering if the environment or the culture is different on foreign ships. I mean, many of them are from all different countries, different religions, etc., which, in my opinion is very interesting.

P.S. I’ve been aboard some foreign ships when they were visiting the U.S. Some of the them seemed pretty clean, food didn’t too bad either. I’ve been aboard a Heidmar tanker, Vroon tanker, Tsakos tanker and an Eletson Maritime tanker.

Been on a few Pacific Basin ships for jobs we have done. The Capts. Have mostly been Russian and Filipino crews or Koreans. Nice crews always some of the deck guys had been on the ship for 10+months. But they so get port calls and pallets of beer loaded on the ships. Never seen a us mariner so I’m guessing you are S-o-L

Are you serious?

Onboard for 10+ months? What? Holy cow.

Yes, it is possible to sail with non US based firms on foriegn ships, but terms and conditions will likely be “local” and you will be pushing a rope to get a berth as an American.

As for German companies, the feeder container sector is a little tight right now, with some really nice German owned container ships laid up off hire right here in front my house. Another one came in Thursday. A business friend advertised for a deck position and got 60 applications from qualified Germans alone.

It could be great fun, I’ve a friend who long ago sailed foriegn flag in deck department and enjoyed every bit of it. Take it from there …

Oh yes. I meet them all the time in my present shore job. 10 month contracts are quite common.

Especially with Filipinos and Indians but also many Europeans.