I have worked the Lakes, Northern rivers, and the GOM.
I have always had to travel South to get the most bucks.
I understand the decline of shipping on the Great Lakes but it seems that a lack of qualified mariners in relation to this would take our pay up instead of less than the industry standard.
Day rates on the Lakes are usually at least $1-200/day less than what you can get in the GOM for the same job or license.
This has always baffled me because the Lakes can be just as challenging if not more so than the GOM.
And the Northern rivers can be and in many places are far trickier than any stretch of river I have navigated down South.
Why then are the companies offering me a couple hundred bucks a day less to run a Yankee boat than a coonass boat.
I understand the oil industry has a large influence on how much scratch you can pull in on an OSV compared to a wire tug on the Lakes but “splain” to me why towboat companies always send their crappiest trash can boats up North and then want to screw you out of some hard earned pay to run them up North dealing with icy decks, snow, pancake ice, tight locks, aging infrastructure, solid rock bottoms and shore lines, the shit ditch, low bridges, tricky turns, Lake Michigan crossings, and so on.