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Old 2 Jul 2006
smitty's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bayou Vista, Texas, u.s.a.
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Shipboard work and motorcycle transport

I'm not saying it can't be done but neither is "time travel" impossible. I've noticed some inquiries regarding this topic. First of all, shipping is a business and shipping companies regardless of nationality are not interested in what they would consider your fantasy. Never bring up the "Motorcycle" thing if you call any shipping companies applying for work in an "entry rating" capacity. Never say I have to get a ship going here or there. Most companies will want some kind of resume. Most companies require some form of seamans documents or book. If they are willing to assist you in getting them, your background will be thoroughly scrutinized in most cases. International shipping is regulated by the IMO(International Maritime Organization) in Switzerland but each party state(vessel registry) has laws regarding hiring practices. Many "third world" shipping companies hire at bare wages with two or three year contracts before the company supplies repatriation. Failure to fulfill your contract can cause a breach. Your motorcycle and your earnings can become a proxy by an unscrupulous Captain to retain you on board. Basically, between the paperwork, the luck of the draw where your ship might be going, possible problems with crewmembers who may be working to feed their families and not simpathetic with the "rich guy with the motorcycle" traveling around the world might constitute deterants to the idea. We used a "Daughter Vessel" to lighter a ship in East Africa. When they came alongside, six crewmembers jumped the rail and ran back to our galley and started stuffing their faces with food before anyone realized what was going on. They said they had not received food stores in two months and nor were they paid in four. They were netting fish and fishing with hand lines when they went to anchor to survive. Their ship had not been alongside a dock in two months and that was for bunkers and a few pallets of food. Not uncommon. Your other option is to join a maritime union. Then again, the paperwork gauntlet will be massive. If you have any "skeletons" in your closet so to speak, you will be denied papers. One longshot you may try is that many ports have seaman services such as the "Apostleship of the Sea" or the International seamans services. They help stranded seamen get home and vist ships in port. You may talk with the director, explain what you are trying to do and he in turn can talk to the captains of the ships he vists. Do to the security issues, most Captains today will not be interested in the hassle but you can try. If they are desperately in need of a crewmember, who knows. Good luck and smooth sailing. Smitty
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