Should I stay or should I go?

Here’s my dilemma: before COVID exploded in everyone’s face, NOAA was in the process of hiring me as an AB, which has been one of my dream jobs for a long while. Now everything is in limbo, and there’s no telling when my application process will start to move forward again. As it stands now, I have a tentative job offer with them. But, it’s been a little over a month, no word, and a guy’s gotta work, so naturally I’ve been applying elsewhere. The other day I interviewed for a position as a deckhand aboard a tendering vessel in the fisheries, and I have every reason to suspect I’ll be offered the job. So, my question is this: do I go ahead and accept the job on the tender, knowing full well that by doing so, I’m committing myself to work with them through September, and risk the possibility that NOAA calls me in July, and says, “Get out here, Dano, we need you,”? If that happened, can anyone give me an educated guess as to whether NOAA would wait for me to fulfill my obligations aboard the tender, and afterwards go start work with them? Or would they just go with another candidate, someone who had been sitting by the phone this whole time?

Bird in the hand, especially in the maritime industry, if you have a firm offer, take it.
Way back when, in my non-Union days I had a steady gig with the old Sunmar Shipping in Seattle, this was just when they had started going to Russia, but I was a stupid, young idiot, so I passed up a sure berth. You see I was getting hired by an outfit named San Joaquin Delta Grain, they had three large bulkers, and were going to be big, and I was “hired” in the headhunters office.

All I had to do was get my ass to San Juan PR and take the first bottom out of lay up, then sail it back to Stockton CA. where we would load and sail West.

I get to San Juan, on my own dime mind you, and the company was gone, they’d gone bankrupt, and left me and some other guys stranded in PR.

After a couple of lean weeks I got a berth with the old Boston Ocean (anyone else here ever sail with them?) anyway I took it on the wing for Singapore, and haven’t turned down a berth since and I’m now smart enough to sail Union and have my full book.

The moral of my tale of woe is: IF YOU HAVE A JOB ON THE TABLE, TAKE IT!

NOAA will still be hiring next fall, and if not them MSC, or SUP will need AB’s.


Considering whats going on in the world, i would go for the sure thing. Gotta worry about yourself first, because they won’t.


Fish ain’t selling too good right now. Many eateries are not buying, most are closed. Until this virus shit is calmed down, it will continue . Not to dismay you by any means, but that job may or may not last until September. Fisheries are suffering almost as much as the oil patch. Not sure what to tell you, everything sucks right now. Keep your phone close.

Pollock/hake and cod fisheries are booming. Don’t know where you heard all this.

Glad they are booming.Many other fisheries than that are served in eateries are being hammered. Fewer buyers because they are shut down, and prices are low at the dock. An article I read recently was particularly focused on west coast. A bird in the hand is a good thing, OP has a tough choice. Noaa is a decent gig. I don’t envy him.

Yes because those fish can be frozen. Mmm love Fish and Chip.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I leave day after tomorrow to start getting the boat ready for salmon season. Made contact with my HR person at NOAA who said that there’s a chance they’ll give me a little leeway w/r/t the hiring pipeline if/when things get started up soon. So, there’s a chance I can have my cake and eat it, too. I love it when that happens!

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Don’t know what has happened since your last post, but NOAA is back and hiring people now and training them. If you’re still interested, it might be worth giving your contact a ring.