As for me, today is the final completion of my certification as a Master of 50 Ton Motor or Steam Vessels. The Coast Guard took a bit more than three weeks to review my submission and they said that my sea time was on vessels that did not qualify for the 100 Ton rating. I guess I didn't drive big enough boats. Being short on cash will have its effects, won't it?
I got the email yesterday confirming issuance of the Merchant Marine Documents (Sent via First Class Mail!) and today I was able to print out a faux certificate. Apparently, the only document a mariner is issued is a passport type document listing qualifications which must be carried when operating a vessel. The old Certificates (which were actually quite lovely) have gone the way of silver certificates (and unbroken Indian Treaties), but recognizing that most of us only complete the skipper thing JUST for the certificate, the Coast Guard allows us to print one at our own expense.
|I feel as giddy as a little girl! (With two pairs of Glasses)|
So now I can call my self Captain Id-iot-a in public, and be completely kosher/halal in doing so. Next up is the silly calling cards describing what services I imagine myself doing:
Qualified Quaffer of fine ales and spirits
Damsels Rescued from Distress/Boredom
Storytelling (Truthful/Not so truthful)
And so forth... Feel free to add what ever service you think of in the comments. They will all be given close scrutiny and consideration for inclusion on my card.
So this is a short list of accomplishments which separate me from most other boaters:
Owned six sailboats and three power vessels over twenty years.
Lived aboard for five years.
Lived in Foreign Port onboard sailboat for over three years. Without proper heat and air!
Sailed West Coast of Europe in my own boat, using paper charts.
Sailed across Atlantic in privately owned boat, without any experience in doing so in the past. Cruised Caribbean without money and lived to tell about it!
Of the thousands of people who choose sailing, only a fraction will ever cross an ocean. For some it is merely because of time constraints/family obligations. For others it is being purely sensible about the whole boating thing and staying safely at home.
My Reason for boating? I had no other way of getting our Hundred Thousand dollar investment home after retiring from 20 plus years of (mainly undetected crime) while serving our Navy. The Navy certainly wasn't interested in paying for my folly.
That's how I always get involved in these big projects with my piss-poor-prior planning, which results in my needing urgent help because I have made the situation an emergency!
Now; go vote!