When you spend as much time on board as I do, you start wondering what would be the next step? What would be the ultimate goal that separates the recreational boater and a professional? Well, Captain comes to mind...CAPTAIN...hmmm, it's like trying on a new last name or a royal status...Captain Victoria, Captain V...that has a nice ring to it!
But can I do this? Can I really become a captain? Do I have what it takes? And what does it really take?
Well, it took a little research, but the steps seemed pretty straight forward:
- go to Captain School
- pass the US Coast Guard exam
- get a TWIC card
- get First Aid and CPR Certified
- pass a Medical exam
- pass the drug test
- collect and organize all of your Sea Time
- fill out an application
- turn it all in to the Coast Guard
and Vuala! Captain you are!
Well, not so fast...
Since my goal was not to just get a cute-red-passport-looking-booklet in my hand and I actually wanted to learn and expand my horizons per se, I have spent the next few days researching my options for a Captain School: I read, I called...In Los Angeles Area the options were actually very limited, only a couple of schools...no one returned my calls, so I had to expand my search radius: San Diego, Newport Beach... After finally speaking to a few schools on the phone, I felt like a piece gum on a conveyor belt...everybody wanted me...to chew me up and spit me out! None really stood out: some were too far away, some were way too expensive, some had an impossible schedule and some did not seem to care about my needs what-so-ever...I pretty much gave up!And then I got a call back from Robert with Advanced Maritime Education. Robert was like a breath of fresh air: he cared, answered all of my silly questions and actually made me feel excited about this whole thing.
Advanced Maritime Education is based in San Francisco and a few times a year the school is available in Long Beach (Los Angeles Area). It's definitely very affordable and the Fri-Sun schedule worked great for my busy life. Check and check!
So I signed up. My husband told me that the Coast Guard Exam is really hard, and I should prepare to put my life and the blog on hold for the next month because all I'm gonna do is study. Blah, blah, blah...He did it, I'm smart too...I'm good at tests! How hard can it be, right?
WRONG! to be continued...