I have been in this business since 1984, as a matter of fact i quit college to pursue this carrer. I can’t complain as it has treated me pretty well other than all the time away from home, but hey, isn’t that one of the trade offs for the pay???
Anyway my son is about to turn 18, he is planning to go to college but I can see he is somewhat like me when it comes to formal education. So, I am making plan B contingency plans. One option is the merchant marine.
How about the rest of you? Would you want your child following in your footsteps?
At 18, if he has a girlfriend, it might be an impossible sell.
I would not “WANT” my son to come out here or follow my footsteps. I want him to be better than me, which won’t be too tough. I think it all depends on the situation. “IF” he absolutely wanted to come out here, I would at the very least want him to come out here with a Degree, an education. There are a lot of worse options to consider. Working offshore can be a lot of fun and rewarding if you get the right group of people together. At some point I don’t think it will matter what we want anyway. All we will be able to do is sit back and watch them go.
I want my kids to follow their passions. If that means college and career, great. If that means being a wanderer, great. Just keep it legal. So far one of them has a passion for operating anything to do with machinery, he loves driving boats, flying airplanes, driving cars, he even loves the riding mower! But when asked if he wants to follow my career path he just laughs. Who knows what they’ll do. But they both know they don’t have to stay stuck in a career they hate.
Well I followed my Dad out here, but it this was no were near my first carrier choice. Hell growing up I said this was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I went to school for network engineering, but when I graduated I couldn’t find a job, really wasn’t interested in working with computers for the rest of my life, the money sucks, and youre always on call.
My parents really didn’t care about what I did as long as I enjoyed what I did. The plus side to this is that after my first hitch as an OS I understood my dad a whole lot better. Also being able to bitch about work to somebody who understands what’s going on and being able to ask for advice that directly relates from someone in the family is nice.
Now if my future progeny decide to follow me out here, I’m going to try and encourage them to go to a maritime academia. They’ve already experienced the worst part of the job with me being away from home so they know what’s in store. But at the end all I care about is that there happy in whatever they do.
My step dads name is Knutson. The GOM has Cajuns. The PNW has Sweeds and Norwiegians. Both very a proud and skilled group of mariners. After he got out of the Navy in WW2 he shipped out as a merchant sailor. A few years later he started commercial fishing in Oregon. I worked on his boat a in the summers. He ALWAYS said working on the sea is a hard life and even harder on a family man.
He always told me to go to college and if I still wanted to work on the water only after gettign a college degree then go to sea. He stressed a guy has to have a plan B or somthing you can always fall back on.
I followed his advice. More or less.
my father has been running a 100ft headboat/party boat for over 20 years…for the longest time he has pushed me away from his carreer in fishing and boats but resently realized my passion was to strong for him to sway…luckly hes pushed me in the maritime industry versus the fishing industry…hopefully i well have the oppurtunity to overcede his expectations and make him proud. i also hope im makeing the right carreer choice…captaining vessels if my passion and hope to find the start in the GOM…what do you guys think good choice or…
yeah Bob i know what you mean this is my plan b
My dads advice to me was get were you want to carrer wise before getting married and starting a family. My moms was wait till your 30. At this rate I’ll have my 1600 ton master before I’m 30 so I’ll follow her advice.
My dad said I should be a dentist. I can’t say there haven’t been times I wish I took his advice.
My Dad always said “You’ll never amount to anything with your loud guitar and your pot smoking”. I still have my guitars and amps and am looking forward to retirement and my last piss test.
I told my dad that I was thinking about joining the Navy. He said son, “I rather have a daughter in a whorehouse than a son in the Navy”. He was in the army for over thirty years and retired Division Sergeant Major of the 5th Infantry in '95.
I too followed my father offshore. I do not regret it. I just think I could have done something else with equal success. Hopefully he will have the opportunity.
cheers! to all fathers!
You love um, You hate um…
But you couldnt be here without um!
My dad worked on a dredge in the Columbia River for over 20 years…When he worked on Saturdays, I would go out with him…It was usually raining and cold but it was also really cool to see what he did for us…
I joined the Navy after highshool, to see the world, that part I would recommend to most kids that don’t have a plan A…But when it comes to my son ,I encourage him all the time that an education is first…Once you have that it’s up to you…May it be driving trucks or boats or none of the above…just be happy at what you do and it won’t seem like work.
Both my kids followed me, my brother, my father, my uncle, my grandfather and my great grandfather into a maritime carreer.
Son, 24, (AB Unlimited) quit 3 months ago and is now a full time college student. Already talking about going back to the boats.
Daughter, 22, (AB Limited, Limited Master) has been sailing on square riggers for the last year.
I never encouraged them to do this, but I did calm their mother with the observation that college kids have so little supervision you don’t know what they’re up to.
At least as a crewmember someone will notice if you didn’t come home, or you get sick. If you blow your paycheck you still have a rack and chow.
My 2 cents.
I’m with everyone who says they’d be supportive but encourage getting an education as well as answering the call of the sea.
If we’re going to remain a competetive country then our sons and daughters need to have real educations (science and engineering, or professional like medicine or law), and/or real SKILLS (like engineering or seamanship). All of that plus the experience of being at sea, you against the ocean, make for a well
rounded (and marketable) person.
I am ,or was as it seems now, a third generation commercial fisherman. Now retired from that industry. I was not allowed to go fishing, according to my father,until I had a college education. My wife and I have (4) two boys and two girls. We told all four of them when they were young that school was their job and if they did good in school they would be able to pick what they wanted to do for a life time. Both of the boy liked being on the boats but they didn’t want to do it for a living. The girls said they did but in the end they didn’t. We told them to try to find a job that was there passion. I worked for 2 out of 4.One is a chef and loves it. The other is a character modeler for an up and comming video game company, something he told me in 7th grade he wanted to do. My only regret is that after 3 generations and, 32 years for me, the tradition has ended.
When I read your comment,
"All of that plus the experience of being at sea, you against the ocean, make for a well rounded (and marketable) person.“
Iv had a long conversation with a buddy about “you aginst the ocean.” I was raised by an old school Sweed who said, never fight the sea. Youll lose.” I grew up beliving the sea was not my opponent to over come rather a wonderful thing to learn about. Humm, maybe this is best left for a thread titled philosopy talk.
You’re right! I’ve gotten my $&@*(@ kicked by the ocean several times and she was kind enough to let me get home…
There’s a better (more philosophical) way of putting it I’m sure…