The chief mate’s job onboard consists of standing watch and navigating the Inside Passage and the Gulf of Alaska. During cargo operations, the mate supervises and participates in the loading and unloading of cargo.
On the Inside Passage, the second mate stands watch under the tutelage of the captain or chief mate, learning the details of the route. On the open sea, the second mate is in charge of his or her own watch. In port, a second mate participates in the physical work of cargo operations.
Two thirds of the trip is underway time and standing watches. One third of the 24-day trip is spent in cargo operations. Cargo operations are rough physical work in an extreme environment. You must be able to lift heavy weights, up to 100 pounds. The main duties of cargo operation are driving yard and stay cargo gear; operating lift trucks; slinging loads; working with lashing chain, chain binders, and dunnage; and sweeping and cleaning cargo holds. This is a fast-paced job, best suited to high-energy go-getters.
The MINIMUM LICENSE REQUIREMENT is USCG uninspected coastwise 500 tons, fishing.
Most mates work one voyage on and one voyage off. A voyage is usually 25 days long. Between voyages, the crew generally gets one to five days off in Seattle.
READ CAREFULLY: IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE NOT UP TO THIS KIND OF WORK DO NOT APPLY.
Individuals go out on 25-day voyages in what could be rough waters on a vessel making random and severe motions. Mates may be sedentary for the first nine days and then perform extreme physical labor.
Mates must be able to lift 100lbs to shoulder height and 100lbs overhead by partially resting it on another object, often for many hours.
They also need to be able to stand, suitably clothed, exposed to arctic conditions for long periods of time. They must be able to breath in a freezer hold with an air temperature of -10°F
Mates stay on their feet for long periods. Due to rough seas en route, mates must be able to move about a cluttered engine room without an unusual chance of stumbling. The individual must be relatively insensitive to vertigo.
All crew undergo rigorous fire fighting and respiratory protection training throughout their employment. People with respiratory problems or anyone who experiences claustrophobia while wearing respirators should keep this in mind when applying.