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Old July 31st, 2008, 12:31 PM
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Default I want to be a harbor pilot when I grow up!

These guys want a raise! The article mentions the difficulties of getting from the Port of Tampa to the Skyway and out the main shipping channel. Part of the problem is that it is 42 miles!! No other cruise port in Florida has this issue or a bridge. Miami, PC and Ft Lauderdale are right near the ocean.

I have been out of Tampa only twice. The channel is narrow and a long one. This is the Inspiration heading out.



Harbor pilots seek raise

By Steve Huettel, Times Staff Writer
In print: Thursday, July 31, 2008

State pilots who direct mammoth ships through Tampa Bay traditionally command handsome six-figure salaries. This year's projected annual take per pilot: $262,392.

But that's down sharply from 2006, so now pilots are asking state regulators to raise the rates they charge to shippers by 27 percent over the next three years.

Tampa port officials, shipping companies and businesses that rely on the sea trade are abuzz over the request. The proposal comes as cargo shippers and cruise lines struggle with high fuel prices and fallout from the weak U.S. economy.

Pilot rates already are 90 to 150 percent higher in Tampa Bay than any other Florida port where Carnival Cruise Lines operates, said Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher. If the proposed increase passes, Carnival will reconsider keeping two ships in Tampa, he said.

"We'd have to take a very hard look at our operations in Tampa and see if there is a less expensive opportunity not only in Florida but at other home ports,'' said Gallagher. Carnival carried three-quarters of the port's 782,000 cruise passengers for the year ending Sept. 30. The company pays $1.6-million annually in local pilot fees.

The rate proposal also complicates talks the port is having with another major cruise line to bring a new ship to Tampa in the fall of 2009, said port director Richard Wainio. "They're also looking at other ports,'' he said. "This is going to make it much more difficult to get it done.''

Pilots say they need higher rates to offset increased costs and a decline in the number of ships calling on ports along Tampa Bay. Their average pay of $336,292 in 2006 is expected to be 28 percent lower this year.

Local pilot rates are the highest in Florida in part because of geography, says Allen Thompson, a retired U.S. Coast Guard captain and executive director of the Tampa Bay Pilots Association. Unlike the short distances into other Florida ports, Tampa Bay's main shipping channel runs 42 miles from Tampa's port to just west of the Sunshine Skyway.

The transit takes as long as seven hours in any weather, day or night. "It is important to keep compensation commensurate with the risk,'' says Thompson.

Tampa Bay pilots work 14 days on, followed by 14 days off. They take what income is left after expenses — office space, staff salaries, running small boats to pick up and drop off pilots — and split it evenly.

If the state-run Pilotage Rate Review Board approves the request later this year, pilot salaries should jump from $262,392 this year to $333,422 by 2011, according to the pilot association's application. A board committee will hold a hearing on the proposal Wednesday at Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel.

Officials from the Port of Tampa, Port Manatee, the Port of Tampa Maritime Industries Association and various businesses will attend. One question opponents will raise: If there are fewer ships to handle, why not increase salaries by reducing the number of pilots?

Wainio doesn't begrudge pilots a pay increase. But not so much and not at a time when companies are searching hard for ways to cut costs.

"Both the timing and the magnitude of this are of great concern to businesses and the community,'' he said.


http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/article749553.ece
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Old July 31st, 2008, 01:02 PM
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Holy crap, what do you have to do to become one?
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Old July 31st, 2008, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackieb
Holy crap, what do you have to do to become one?
I think you just fill out an application and say you like boats. I think I qualify.

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Old July 31st, 2008, 01:33 PM
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Sign me up, too!
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Old July 31st, 2008, 11:28 PM
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Nothing like pricing yourself out of business if the cruiselines move.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:47 PM
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Actually, Port Manatee just to the south is much closer to the bridge. I went out of there on the Regal Empress a few years ago. They should develope that port more.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 04:54 PM
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Dave,

I don't know what they make today (or if they're even used any more) but I do know that as far back as the early seventies that if you wanted your son to become a Sandy Hook pilot out of the Port of New York, you would have been well served to put his name on the list the day he was born......and his father better have been a pilot himself!

With today's geo-positioning systems and ever more developed computers that can measure tide and currents and although I hope not if only for the sake of tradition, I think pilots may be a slowly vanishing breed.

Todd
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Old August 1st, 2008, 05:52 PM
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Well I have spent alot of hours drinking on the water in the "Minnow of the Seas" so I think I should qualify.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave the Wave
Actually, Port Manatee just to the south is much closer to the bridge. I went out of there on the Regal Empress a few years ago. They should develope that port more.
I agree Dave. I certainly hope that if Carnival and RCI (and HAL) decide that it's too expensive, and too far to get out of the bay from Tampa, that they consider Port Manatee. I too have sailed out of there, many years ago, but as you stated, it's a lot closer to the Gulf. They'd probably have to do a bit of dredging to open up the channel to the main one, but I'd think it's worth looking at for them.

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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave the Wave
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackieb
Holy crap, what do you have to do to become one?
I think you just fill out an application and say you like boats. I think I qualify.

What a harbor pilot! So professional looking
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Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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Old August 2nd, 2008, 06:58 AM
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Yes, Mehawk. I was piloting Minnow of the Seas through the treacherous waters of John's Pass into the intracoastal waterway on the way to port.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 08:34 AM
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Dave, you look like a member of that famous Indian Tribe,,,,
Whereinthefugarewe's.

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Old August 2nd, 2008, 09:19 AM
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I used to be in the YMCA Indian Guides when I was a kid. We were the Commanchees though.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 10:26 AM
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Me too Dave, how do ya become a pilot anyway? do they go to school?

I have an idea for Carnival or other cruiselines that may want to leave Tampa ...
they could send those ships to Galveston or Houston when it opens.
HA-HA!

have a great day thanks for the article
debbyedoops
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:08 AM
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School
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:38 AM
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DTW..the pilots in Louisiana make in excess of $360K per year and you have to be related to an existing pilot

do you have any river pilots in your family or are you starting the tradition for your sons
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice
DTW..the pilots in Louisiana make in excess of $360K per year and you have to be related to an existing pilot

do you have any river pilots in your family or are you starting the tradition for your sons
I am starting the tradition. They get to live on an island Egmont Key at the west of the shipping channel, hop aboard the ship to get it into port. They work two weeks and off two weeks. Then I would have time to take cruises and the money in my off time. Dream job!
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 12:51 PM
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don't they have a uniform dress code..based upon your pictures, you might be overdressed
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Old August 9th, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice
DTW..the pilots in Louisiana make in excess of $360K per year and you have to be related to an existing pilot

do you have any river pilots in your family or are you starting the tradition for your sons
Hey, this is getting interesting! I once co-wrote a song with John Hartford who was a river pilot. Does that count?
Can't much blame Carnival for their attitude about this. It was a port pilot who ran the Mardi Gras aground on Carnival's first cruise.
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