Summer Cruise 2008

Hello my name is John from California Maritime Academy in Vallejo California. Im not sure if what im doing here is right but I am asking for advice and information on summer commercial cruise. I am scheduled to go with Edison Chouest Offshore from Louisiana. I am curious as to know how the company operates and what to expect. Thanks for the help. ~John

Casual Cal…oh my lord…next thing you know, dogs will be sleeping with cats!<br><br>Well, as to whether you’re right or not…well, you’ve decided to go to sea for a living, so I suppose that answers that. As to whether we can help you or not…are you a decky, or a snipe? And no, we can’t cure your malady, but I can tell you that it’s a hell of a ride.<br><br>ECO is a good company, diverse, they have a lot going on in a lot of different arenas, but that bieng said it’s not your run of the mill shipping company. You’ll get a lot of “hands on”, so be ready to get with the program as soon as you hit the gangway. Ask all the questions you want, there’s enough of us around here that have worked there, or work there to answer most anything you can come up with.<br><br>As for the Casual Cal part…hmmmm…The Captain on the Nathaniel B. Palmer, ECO’s Icebreaker in Antarctica, is a CMA grad (class of 85 I think), and a good friend of mine, so you have a lot to live up to.<br><br>Good Luck, and we look forward to your posts!

I am a decky. Im down with hands on work, I learn better that way. What are some of the more “desired” duties or boat jobs that people like with ECO? Im down for anything. I was thhinking crew boats. There are at least three other cadets going to ECO this summer. We are the first from CMA to go on Commercial with them. So I’ve heard. I will ask about the Captain from the Palmer. Thanks for the info so far. Any little bit helps.

Why are you thinking crewboats? Just curious. I myself started out on crewboats and utility boats but I am surprised to hear it come out of your mouth. The only good thing about working on a crewboat is “IF” you are allowed at the wheel, you get a lot of boat handling experience on there. The good stops right there. They are uncomfortable, loud, some stink, food is fend for yourself, did I mention they ride like crap. <br><br>The supply boats are more comfortable. They are more structured. The anchor handling boats are even more comfortable and have a few more perks like your own bathroom, four meals a day and the work is a little more interesting. A lot of the supply boats and almost all of the anchor boats have some sort of internet access and sattelite TV. I am guessing you have an AB and an AB rigger makes top pay. Let me know if you have any specific questions. If you are wanting to get dirty you should definitely go on an anchor boat. If you want to lay out the summer and share one head with 5-7 guys go on the crewboat. Good Luck!

What is the typical cargo that supply boats carry? What is the work shift like? I have heard that ECO crew can go for 28 days on and 14 dayss off or 7and 7. Also I have heard that there is a training week that all new crew have to go to before they get onto the boats. I like hard hands on work so it sounds like anchor boats would be better? Also as a cadet what would possibly be my job? I know we have to wear our kaki uniforms every day. Is this a type of job working the boats that supply rigs that could potentially be a career? My goal is to work on smaller boats not the big tankers and container ships. This is why Im going to ECO to get the experience and see if it is something I might like to do after college.

Dickinson - Supply boats carry everything. From apples, to zinc anodes, along with a whole plethora of stuff in between. Pipe, cement, fluids, drill equipment, casing, and the list goes on.<br><br>Don’t get too carried away with packing all your khakis. You’ll most likely wear them twice - signing on, and signing off, maybe three times if there’s a special occasion. Bring lots of coveralls, and work clothes, plus a set of comfortable clothes to wear in your off time (this means like your favorite set of sweats, or worn in pair of jeans). Don’t forget your steel toe shoes/boots.<br><br>What will you be doing? I suppose the list may be a bit shorter of the things that you won’t be doing. Be ready for anything, and everything. <br><br>Who is your POC at ECO? Are they giving you a short list of vessels to choose from? I’m with Capt. Lee on this one. Go out on a crewboat for a few days to get a feel, and you’ll know what he’s talking about. If the under 450’ crowd is where you want to be, then I would imagine that you’ll see the whole variety at ECO. I would imagine that if you wanted to, you could work a different type, or class of vessel every year for 20 years, and never do the same thing twice. You want boat handling, and living at the edge, that’s where you need to go. If you want sea buoy to sea buoy, and “can I get you another cup of coffee, Mr. Pilot”, go to the big boys.<br><br>Give the crowd some more details about your upcoming ECO gig, and see if they can hook you up…names, dates, how long, etc.<br><br>Cheers…

28 days on and 14 days off is the normal schedule, but you can work over as much as you like. Work schedule is 12 hrs. Normally midnight to noon or noon to midnight. Sometimes 0600-1800. You will more than likely be doing deckhand work, rigging, grinding, prepping, painting, sanitation inside the vessel, maybe some underway watchkeeping. It all depends on the vessel you wind up on. I would not suggest going to a crewboat. There are things to be learned there, but it is only a 165’ boat. 2 people to keep the thing spot shined and still have time to spare so I think it would bore you after a week. Bring a good attitude. I haven’t had the pleasure of a cadet yet, but I have heard good things about most that come out here. Yes it is working the rigs that is a possible career for you and many others. Chouest is Building new boats and the opportunities are many. If you really wanted you could work the whole summer.

John,<br>The following is from my personal experience of many years ago and the scuttlebutt from recent grads I’ve worked with over the last several years.<br>1. Edison Chouest is an offshore oil industry company. Many of the things you are learning in school or have learned will not apply to the offshore industry especially as far as regs are concerned. <br> 2. The OSV industry is different from the maritime industry involved in international trade.<br> 3. Some of the best boat handlers in the world come from the OSV industry and you may learn a thing or two that may not be applicable to ships but it will be a very valuable experience.<br> 4. The OSV industry has their own way of doing things, live with it.<br> 5. Let the coon asses do the cooking, be quiet and stay out of the way. You’ll gain weight along with an education.<br> Enjoy !

Hey john,<br>I sailed with you on cal last summer and from what I remember you will do really well with ECO (becasue of that bosun stuff you do) . We actually had a presentation from ECO they came out and met with our cadets going with them for commercial. We have 18 cadets going. Having talked to some people who went with them last year they said and I quote “they work you to death.” This was even said to one of the presenters and he laughed and said yeah your gonna get worked if your not ready to work then do not go commercial with us. Your are mainly going to be doing deck work painting chipping grinding and all the fun stuff that goes along with that. And alot of people down here are going to be working on OSV’s anyways when they graduate a good amount of those cadets being from Louisiana anyways He also mentioned that they are glad to have the cadets but they want people who are at least interested in working brown water and on those OSV’s because essentially it is a three month interview. Good Luck<br>Bye the way he did say repeatedly that the jobs that they have are 28 on 14 off. The man who is going to be the POC with you was the guy doing the presenting he is a good guy they tell you like it is and are very realistic no bullshit. I Liked that aspect very much I dont remember his name though im sorry if you ask another person from texas that you know from last summer they might be able to tell you if you do not know already. I know they havnt given us our POC yet so Im assuming you might be in the same boat.<br>

Wow! Sounds like ECO is the place to go!!.. Or not.<br><br>Look…a lot of companies offer summer training for cadets. I know for sure that ECO and Hornbeck both do it. And you’ll earn a decent wage while learning something. The point here is that whoever you end up with, make it your mission in life to learn the way they do things and to adapt yourself. Work hard and dilligently to prove your worth, not only to the crew of the vessel but, by extension, to the company. If you can earn a good reputation, then maybe you can secure a future for yourself in the business. Since the lawmakers of this country have seen fit to create an environment that forces most companies to foreign-flag their vessels, the brownwater sector has become more and more attractive to individuals who once would have sailed the deep blue sea. Just take a look at the skyrocketing price of petroleum products and you might have a glimmer of insight into the rapidly expanding oil field and oil field support work going on in the Gulf of Mexico and other locals. With all of the newbuild hulls hitting the water in the next couple of years, demand for mariners is going to increase. Put yourself in a place that will allow you to take advantage of that fact.<br><br>Yea, verily…so endeth the sermon.<br>

I would like to say thanks to those who have provided insight into what ECO and the OSV industry is like. Im still waiting for my contact information which I should be getting Monday. I am deffinatly looking forward to this job. I think it sounds like a good fit for what I like to do. I will post my dates of cruise when I receive them. Another few questions I have are: What are the main periods of work? in that sense I mean is there a particular season for example that ECO has more work than others? Do cadets have to find housing or does ECO provide rooms? Do cadets have a say in the time peirod that they want to work or are they assigned dates? Thanks again and I most likely come up with more questions over the following days.

<span style="font-family: Arial; line-height: 19px; ]As for the Casual Cal part…hmmmm…The Captain on the Nathaniel B. Palmer, ECO’s Icebreaker in Antarctica, is a CMA grad (class of 85 I think), and a good friend of mine, so you have a lot to live up to.</span><div><span style="line-height: 19px;]> When I was in McMurdo, Antartica, we heard that the capt and ice capt got into a fist fight at the bar or something and one of them got fired. I hope it wasn’t your buddy</span></div>

No it wasn’t his buddy. The guy that got fired was retired Coast Guard. He was the Chief Mate.

Thanks for the help guys. I would like to let you all know that I will be leaving for New Orleans on April 27th. MY cruise is 60 days but I hope I can go longer. I will up date this forum about my expierences when I can. Again thanks for all the help.

Capt. Lee,<br>Wasn’t there captain on the Palmer by the name of Russel at one time?<br>I met him once, he was a character ! <br>

Yeah he is still here. He is the head guy for ISM in the office and you are right he is a character. Very funny guy. I don’t know him well, but I have been around him quite a bit the last ten years with vessel audits and just meeting him at the office occasionally.