Sea time credit

Thanks everyone for the quick response to my unusual sea time problem. As soon as I can figure out exactly how to do it, I’ll speak to Bob? Joel? Which? about the observer time. For now, here are four more problems:

  1. 4 months deckhand/shotcharger time on a 104gt F/V chartered to a Geophysical company for seismic work on Cook Inlet. I have a 46 year old letter from the office on faded company stationery. It specifies the duties and time and is signed by the guy who hired me. No Captain’s signiture, however, so how will the Coast Guard look at this? The Captain had nothing whatsoever to do with my hiring. With respect to the Charter, he was as much the company’s employee as I was.

  2. Much time over a four year period in the 60s on my own 29’ gillnetter,
    time both Inland (Puget Sound, Grenville Channel, etc.) and Near Coastal
    (Pacific Coast down to Southern California. I have the original Alaskan
    registration in my name for this boat. Can any of this time count toward an Unlimited AB document? Can any of it count toward an Unlimited Third Mate? I already have an AB Any Waters 12 Months for which all of the time is over 1000gt. Is that a consideration for the Coast Guard?

  3. For the 100 ton Masters, I read on the internet two apparently contrary
    statements regarding recency. One says that the recency is 90 days of the required total–with no mention of tonnage. The other version is that tonnage limitations on the license are determined by recency tonnage, not by the tonnage of the remainder time. Which version is correct?

  4. For three months in 83 I taught Seamanship at Seattle OIC down at Pier 91, Seattle. Most of it to disadvantaged, some of whom were sleeping downtown in doorways. It was a good, strong course with lots of towing theory, knot work–even lifeboat training. We went out regularly on the School tug to jump barges over by harbor island, in several cases to make some 600 foot tows. It was generally Crowley barges that we moved around, with Crowley’s permission. On the tug I was always Acting Mate, although I only had the AB 12 Months Any Waters. And I took them aboard the Japanese apple freighters that berthed near my classroom. They got to see how the davits worked, and I explained to them the yard and stay method the Japanese were still using, with winch head stuff and fairled topping lifts. And we took a tour on the Bureau of Indian Affairs Victory, North Star. Captain Clyde Holcomb was my superior on the tug. He was the one who selected me, and he was always in the process of getting the Coast Guard to grant OS documents to the students. The School had an engine room side, and those guys did get regular CG documents at varying levels. When the class wanted to know whether it was all right to go aboard the Japanese ships, a old giant of a longshoreman said, “Boys, in this world you can do anything you’re man enough to do.” Of course, that made their day, sleeping as they were in doorways. I don’t know what the status of the deck side was at the time I left. The school folded not long after. The head of the company, a preacher supposedly, ran off with the money. The twenty two story building they had went vacant, windows broken. I don’t know what happened to the three million dollar gym they had on the top floor for the instructors (I never used it.) Holcomb died from another of his heart attacks about that time. I have a letter from his supervisor attesting to my duties on company stationery, with my tug time approximate. But…no signiture of Captain Holcomb. So. Any opinions out there as to how the CG will view the letter of my service?


I can help you with # 2
You can use your time for your own vessel, towards AB unlimited…I did

But you only get credit for the time that you owned it ,that you can prove…What I mean is, if you owned the boat for 5 years for example… but only have copies the registration for two of those years, then you can only prove two years of time…You your self will fill in the actual days that you sailed…Based on your own sources, old log books or very good memories…lol…

#3 Is something that I will be dealing with very soon…I have a master 50 NC …The way I understand it is that I need 90 days recency on larger vessels, even though I have the required over all sea time…That sounds like you are in the same situation.

Shellback, thanks much. It’s a tricky situation, agreed. In fact, I really don’t see how the Coast Guard deals with it. Fish boats sometimes sit in
Fishermen’s terminals for years without ever going out. Some are out all the time, but no records are kept except for fishing records, assuming the boat is fished. In my case, all I have is the original Alaska boat registration card, a little thing of plastic, but official. That was 1963. At that time, Alaska drivers licenses were just little pieces of thick paper. The registration was good through 1967, and I was out on that boat very often, often making long, perilous, jouneys-- over a four year period. When I bought it in AK it had already been deck-shipped from Bristol Bay down to Seattle, thereby inadvertently saving it from the 64 quake/tsunami. I left AK the end of December, returned just after the earthquake, then returned to Seattle, where I wound up buying another boat with a friend merely because he had some money and the boat, 27 feet, came with so much gear that in our simplicity we thought we were getting a good deal. And then, there was all the advice of Albertsen, the seller and, presumably, the owner. Leaving my 29 foot gillnetter, a very good boat that had once been a sprit-sailed double-ender, in Ballard, We took that 27 foot boat, filled with fish gear, most of which was illegal in California waters, though we didn’t know that, all the way down to California, only lose the thing in Half Moon Bay, unnable even with fishermen and Abalone diver help and a bulldozer to kedge the boat off the beach. We abandoned it there and stored all the gear at Larson’s Crab Cottage. We never looked back, so I don’t know what happened to the gear, which included four hundred yards of ready to go longline gear for Soupfin Shark, which unknown to our expert fishermen selves hadn’t been fished commercially since 1937, when the bottom fell out of the market because of the synthesis of vitamin A–Albertsen had promised us that we would get rich, and, anyway, the boat insurance that we needed to fulfill the contract was much cheaper down there; a fully hung, brand-new King Salmon net, hung by Palmer Albertsen himself, “An old-country Norwegian, my word is as good as my right arm” on the lawn at Gordy’s Cabinet Shop on Nickerson Street, Seattle; a danforth anchor; several hundred pounds of caulking materials; a water puppy; and a compass in gimbals that a temporary girl friend had filched from a marine supply in Anchorage. At the bar in King Salmon in 70, after the sockeye fishing, I was told by one of Albertsen’s victims that the boat had been stolen. “Fishermen are looking for Albertsen with guns up and down the coast.” Albertsen had, while my friend and I were in California, swindled Gordy, the old cabinet shop owner, out of all his cabinet shop tools.
And as for my gillnetter, I used it much, along with my life, and it finally just died a slow, sad, but painless death. I didn’t inform the CG of that; they weren’t invited to the funeral.

Yup, we’re in the same situation as regards recency. My maritime life has been such a scattered, sporadic hodgepodge that I’ve always failed by a month or so to satisfy recency requirements, not willing to step back down the ladder a rung or two to do it, burning all my bridges, covering my tracks in the proper escapist manner, thus ensuring that I will never have a license and so will not be among the immortals. Fact is, I don’t even see my way through the necessary character references.