I’m still trying to post twice so I don’t lose all my old followers who somehow didn’t get automatically transferred to my new site (www.captainjillsjourneys.com). Please follow me over there. I’m not sure how long this situation or this blog will last.
I was at the Workboat Show in New Orleans last week. I spent most of my time this year talking to recruiters, crewing agencies and training providers. One of the more interesting ones was the Son of a Sea Cook workboat cooking school. It’s a new program of the Sea School based in St. Petersburg, FL.
If things weren’t so totally dead offshore right now, I would heartily recommend it for anyone who wants an ‘in’ to get started working offshore. As things are, I would still say it’s a good idea. It helps if you like to cook, but most small boats require everyone to cook sometimes. It really doesn’t matter if you like it or not.
It’ll be dead offshore til the price of oil goes back up, but there were still plenty of inland companies hiring at the show. It’s still an advantage when you’re looking for work to have a skill like cooking to add to your application. Companies know that a good cook will help keep a happy crew and that’s always good for business.
Knowing how to cook is a good skill to have even for your OWN benefit. It’s sure nice to know how to cook up a good meal instead of living on TV dinners and baloney sandwiches. I know, when I got my 1st apartment, I lived on Campbells cream of tomato soup and baloney sandwiches.
I never learned how to cook til I HAD to, when they took our cooks away the last time the oil price took a dive back in the 80’s. We lived on TV dinners and sandwiches for months. Thank goodness my crew was willing to let me learn to cook! I made them a deal, I would (try) to cook, they could clean up. It took me a while, but I did eventually learn. Now I can cook pretty good, and I even enjoy it.
The Son of a Sea Cook school is a 28 day course, includes free room and board in Bayou La Batre, AL, and will get you set up to find a job as a boat cook. They’ll help you get your US Coast Guard documents if you need them. They have companies that look for graduates of their training programs to hire on. They even have tuition assistance and job placement help.
“Important elements of this training include soup stock, sauce, starch, sauces, roux, salads, menu planning, nutrition, basic food purchasing & production, costing, regional cuisine, cajun cooking, safe meat cutting & poultry handling, galley management, food-service sanitation, storeroom operations and introduction to baking.”
If I had to start all over again, I would seriously consider signing up myself. I’m SURE it would have been much easier for me to get on board as a cook then as any other position (as a female). Once you’re on board, it’s MUCH easier to work your way into another position if you decide you don’t like the galley.
If you’re looking for something fun and interesting to do, give them a call (1-800-237-8663) to find out prices, the website doesn’t list them. You can also check out their other courses if you’re interested in working on a boat (but not as a cook).