No, I didn’t move out. Still here, still having to step over passed out whores in the morning to get to the fridge. Nope, something else is over. As of today, I am no longer a licensed Captain. My 5 year reign of terror on the highs seas has come to quiet end. No more official captain license, no more charters. Just plain ole’ Capt. Fritter now. (That’s the cool thing about the inter webs, you can be anyone.)
In the end, I saw no need to renew the license. Partly because of finances, but mostly because I have no real use for it anymore. I’m not going to do charters, I can still own and run a boat if I want, and probably will again someday. So what’s the point?
Age has factored in a bit. I’ll be 61 in a few months, and while there are older captains out there, I just don’t have the energy to deal with it anymore. I also questioned if I would be able to pass the physical. While said physical is not that strenuous, my hearing is not real good. I had a notation on my last physical which stated I may need hearing aids if my tinnitus gets worse. It has. My knees are giving me troubles, I can’t keep the weight off, sitting on a bed typing on a computer doesn’t help, and generally, I ain’t as fit as I used to be.
When I originally got the rating I sort of considered some plans. Maybe charter out a sailboat, do some occasion filling in as needed for the watesports companies whom I had built websites for. I also got it for the knowledge it gave me about boating. That part I will never lose. I did make a few bucks here and there with some charters. When they went right, and they mostly did, it was easy money. But, if something were to go wrong now, I would not feel prepared to take care of it. Plus there is the whole dealing with people thing. I’m really getting to be quite the hermit in my old age.
So, a captain in name only from now on. No more license, no more charters, just Capt. Fritter.
However, if any of you have an idea to obtain such a rating, and if you enjoy working on the water be it fishing, diving, or just boating, I highly recommend you take the course. Many local communities located near the water offer the course but if you can’t find one, go where I went: Mariner’s Learning System. They have all the online courses for most any rating and can help you through the entire process. It took me about 2 months and less than $1000 to complete the course and finish all the other requirements. In addition to the course, you will need to pass the physical, drug test, get a security card from Homeland Security, fingerprints, at least a year of sea service logged, three letters of recommendation, and probably a few other details I forgot about. But, if you can pass all those hurdles, and it’s not too difficult if you have a history and love of being on the water, you can get your rating in no time and from there, it’s up to you where you want to take it. A good captain in the right set up can make a pretty good living if they know what they are doing. Or, get it for the knowledge you can gain about all things nautical.
Who knows, perhaps things will change and I may try again to get the rating, but it’s doubtful at this point. I’ll be happy with what I did before, and move on.