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Old 14-06-2013, 19:11   #16
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

Gosh, I'm sure I'm blushing from all of the praise...!

Thank you all for the support and kind words.

-M.
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Old 14-06-2013, 19:23   #17
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

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@deckofficer: So VERY interested! What better way to learn all of those things, when they're what I want to learn any way I can??! I think it's almost time to talk to Dad...
I don't want to discourage you but think you should know, my class size was around 500, only 1/2 made it to their senior year, and out of that, less than 1/2 passed finals and the USCG exams for graduation for that year. If your over 30, you will need to be humble enough to take orders from upperclassmen that are a decade your junior. At my age, I received demerits for a belt buckle that wasn't shiny enough from a guy younger than my nieces and nephews. Oh yes, you wear uniforms, stand watch on the ship and front gate, have to assemble in formation each morning at 0700 even if you don't have a class till 1000. I locked up my home because you are required to live in the dorms due to watchstanding that adds to your needed hours for your 3rd Mates license. You will be a AB your freshman year, and one of the girls during break used her AB ticket to sail on a Matson container ship to Hawaii to surf.

If I haven't discouraged you, if your young enough and graduated with honors in HS with some impressive SAT, ACT scores, you could get into King's Point and that is free, run by the government. I went to CMA, the only facility on the West Coast and is part of the CSU system for the state of California. There is also Mass, Maine, NY, and Texas maritime academies.

I figure if any suggestion I make could lead to such a pivotal decision, need to give as full a picture as I can, but I would hope you would to go to the web sites of those academies.

Do you have any other questions? My route to the Academy came after I sold my boat in Mexico and drove my motorhome to Alaska to be a tourist for a year or so. I had my HAM radio with me and based myself in Valdez. Talked to the radio officers (they are no longer required today) on the radio as they brought their tankers into Valdez, then picked them up for some time in town. I got my letter of introduction from one of these officers to apply to the academy. Got my foot in the door but CMA required me (because of the time frame of my last classes) to retake physics, geometry, and algebra 2, reminding me to get B or A's as they don't recognize a C as a passing grade.

I said I didn't want to discourage you but after rereading I think I even discouraged me. It isn't so bad if your adaptable, a good student, and can take orders, and later give orders.
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Old 14-06-2013, 19:53   #18
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

@deckofficer: Thanks for the warnings, honestly. I'm going to look into it more and see how it suits me. I'm 38, would be 39 by the time I started; I don't mind taking orders and don't have an ego problem, so I don't foresee that being an issue. What I do have issues with is wasting my time... and that's why I dropped out of university in the first place, years ago, and never returned.

There's something to be said for learning what one needs while doing it; I've done well that way, and have been quite happy.

But there's also something to be said for learning technical skills from professionals. Which is what I consider this to be.
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Old 14-06-2013, 20:10   #19
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

It is not unusual to study for a career, work in it and then decide maybe it is time to try something else. My first career lasted about 15 years as a Chemist, up to and including management; it was not challenging enough. Went back to school and became an Electrical Engineer. Another 15 years in a new career; a lot of challenges. Added board pharmacy certification to it; more studies. Very pleased with what I have accomplished and what I can do, so I took up early retirement.

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Old 15-06-2013, 06:02   #20
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

Thanks so much to you all for your encouragement. On account of last night, I feel free to write again (was feeling pretty stopped-up for a couple of weeks), and I've started my sailing blog, "Travel Into The Void," where I'll discuss my sailing experiences.

I've started by posting the beginning of this thread, complete with photos from my journeys.

Fondly and gratefully,
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Old 15-06-2013, 07:43   #21
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeredithMcGuire View Post
but he suggests looking for work on a charter in the northeast, since there are more "professional" crews there and I've had some... "disagreeable" encounters with sailors seeking crew out of the Caribbean.
Professional crews in the Caribbean doing the Mediterranean circuit are the top of the field in the world. Take a reassessment of your opinion.

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Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
many doors will open if you graduate from a 4 year maritime academy, but that would be on ships, Unlimited Tonnage and may not be your cup of tea.


Thats the advice you need.
Even to get the good jobs on super yachts you will want a proper maritime degree. Otherwise you will be a glorified cleaner for life: Inside cleaners are called stewards/ess; exterior cleaners are called deckhands.

Now something about Dreams and Dreamers. And I will say this showing much less support than pervious posters. If you dream you lose! Get rid of the dreams: Get a plan; set some goals and get on the path to achieving the goals.
In your original post you indicate you have spent years dreaming. Thats wasted years because all you have done are a few races when you want a professional career/ life at sea.


This is St Martin in the Caribbean.
Who do you think drives these boats? Who are the navigators? The Watch Commanders? They are responsable for a $50 Millon to $100 Million super yachts. They will be bright, intelligent, well educated people! They are not the deck hands or the Stewards/esses.


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Old 15-06-2013, 08:02   #22
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This isn't true Mark , most super yacht skippers were for many years completely without any certification or degrees or any type. Many simply moved up the experience ladder. When the MCA introduced standards for manning , their was a rush to get various tickets. ( the most common was a commercially endorsed RYA YM) MCA manning and operating rules being the most commonly adhered to in the world , even by non-British ( or ex British ) registries for super yachts today.

While there is some crossover of personal from the merchant marine , its limited , often to officers from well respected cruise lines , mainly for their status bragging of the owners. ( on the larger boats )

The entry into super yachting , which is predominantly motor yachts is commercially endorsed RYA YM, followed by the relevant STCW95 tickets. This is the route most deckhands -> :3/2/1 officiers -> captains now take. Its also an industry where word of mouth places a huge part in the selection of senior crew. ( the owners chef will be paid more then any of them)

The other route is super yacht engineer , very very highly paid , for that you need degrees and most importantly senior certifications from companies like MAN and MTU. ( also a lot of experience )


Its also an " zero error " career at senior levels.


If you want a career on the bridge of a bulk tanker or container ship , then go the college route .

OP. I'd forget about looking at a career in merchant shipping , maybe super yacht crewing ( if you like cleaning , while being paid a shed load)

If you want to sail, consider sailing instruction, lousy money but stacks of sailing , that's something you could get into even at your age. It will take about 5 years , but you'll do an awful lot of sailing.

Otherwise just get any job, that funds the dream , in what ever way you can


I agree with Mark , have a dream , but execute a plan , cause you need to make sacrifices. Anything is possible if you want it enough.

Dave

Ps no sailer would call the sea a " void" its anything but a void. !
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Old 15-06-2013, 09:52   #23
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

Thanks for the opinions, boys, but I don't recall ever saying I wanted a "career" in sailing - or in yachting. If I did, I'd go that route... but I don't.

I'm just looking for the best way to learn all I can about sailing, so I can SAIL. And making money while sailing wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

As for the definition of "void":


void /void/
Adjective: Not valid or legally binding.
Noun: A completely empty space: "the black void of space".
Verb: Declare that (something) is not valid or legally binding: "the Supreme Court voided the statute".
Synonyms
adjective. vacant - empty - invalid - unoccupied - vacuous - null
noun. emptiness - vacuum - vacancy - blank - gap - vacuity
verb. annul - nullify - cancel - empty - invalidate - quash

(All italics and bold are mine.)

Thanks also, but I'm a writer first, and a sailor second (considering that I've been writing for my entire life, and just got into sailing last year). Creative license and all are allowed with writers, y'know? So I'll even take that first definition of "not valid or legally binding," and could give you lots of ways the definition works with sailing - and I think I'd not be the first, even of sailors, to use it in such ways - and I bet I could find some ways in which you'd even agree.

So, don't you fret; I'll find my way. I may be a girl, and new to sailing...

I'm just looking for what I'm looking for. And I'll take it when I find it.



P.S. Thanks for the def, Google.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:08   #24
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

Mer,

I did forget to mention some of the perks of CMA, like a fleet of sailboats ranging from 22' to 45' for your off time. SF bay has some fine sailing.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:21   #25
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

@deckofficer: You know, you've been awfully thorough - and objective; I appreciate that more than you probably realize. I figured the school would have perks like you mentioned, which is why I'd consider it. Those perks, plus the perks of being around mariners all the time.

But, being the kind of girl I am, I don't have much tolerance for jerks; I kind of take it as a sign that I'm moving in a wrong direction - especially if I feel it's uncertain-leaning-against-what-I-want, to begin with.

I haven't completely dismissed the idea, but my scales are tipping against it.

The tipping point (for me) is: I'm not sure I want to waste 4 years in school (and the money it'll cost, plus whatever I'll not be earning during that time) for a potential job.

Money is NOT a driver for me, except to drive me away from doing something where money is the biggest reward.

Whereas I'm quite happy with my life, and I'm moving towards my goals - and dreams.

All information is useful, though; so, again, thank you.

-M.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:25   #26
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

Hiya M! It would be nice if you'd start a project in publishing a sailor's guide book on the facilities available in frequently sailed waters such as the Caribbean, the Mediteranean and the South Pacific, among others. This would include: Marinas, WiFi availability, laundry facility, grocery stores/fresh food markets, restaurants, hardware and marine hardware stores, dinghy access, post office, hospitals/clinics, repairs shops, bed & breakfast places, just to name a few. Every island would have a few pages listing "the stuff" most sailors need; same platform search. It would be a major undertaking, but it would also be a best seller with lots of ads to subsidize the cost of publishing; it can also be available on the web with a yearly subscription/quartely updates. "A Sailor's Guide Book To The Caribbean", for example, would probably sell for about $50 USD a copy; currently, there's nothing like it on the market. Having a guide book like that is priceless.

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Old 15-06-2013, 10:38   #27
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

Great idea, especially if I happen to be traveling around that way, anyway.

Unfortunately, without a boat, without yet knowing how to manage sailing (even if I had a boat), it's a task that would take me, quite literally, a lifetime, unless I was dedicated to it for a certain period of time.

However... if you know of anyone making such a pointless meandering from island-to-island, to gather such info...

Then again, it might be easier to gather the info from those already sailing, somewhat like the Waze app, but for sailors.

Now THAT would be COOL.

-M.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:44   #28
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

Mer,

I did waste 4 years in school the first time, but that was because I didn't know what I wanted other than a student deferment to keep me out of the Viet Nam conflict. The 2nd time at school some 25 years later I did have a goal and graduated 3rd in my class. Most all the classes were relevant.

Mauritz has a good point. You are a good writer and an all inclusive guide for cruising the Caribbean is marketable. Provisioning tips, clearing in, pristine anchorages, all up to date would be popular and he is right, it would take a lot of research on your part to put it all together. Crew with others and get as many landfalls as you can cram into two years, organize it into what Mauritz suggests and hope for good sales.
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Old 15-06-2013, 10:56   #29
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

@deckofficer, @Teknav: Yep, I like it. Any joiners (with a boat, able to be a gentleman, willing to teach a girl to sail) for half of the profits? If you guys are serious, I can be, too.
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Old 15-06-2013, 11:10   #30
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Re: Add Another Dreamer to The List

Mer,

Look up the CF member Zeehag, she is currently single handing her Formosa on the Pacific side of Mexico enroute to the Caribbean. There is also Margo who is solo on her boat in the same area. If you are single, Zee has a FB group for single solo sailors who are always looking for crew for a passage but most the time wind up making the passage solo. There are plenty of sailors going it alone that would love to have company. The Facebook group is called SSSSM, but disregard what it stands for, it is a good place to get some sailing. It stands for Single Sailors Seeking Soul Mates, but like I said, disregard that and join us if you would like. Tell Zeehag I sent you.

Have fun.
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