We're very fortunate in the fact that being out and about we get to meet some of the truly unique people who have specialties to offer that you won't find anywhere else. I mean, let's say you are in Dekalb Iowa....think you're going to find an instructor that can train you on being a ship captain? Nu-uh. They can teach you how to drive a giant farm implement or a train, but ships are probably not on the course list. In Muskegon however, we've got plenty of them and YOU, yes YOU can learn how to sail the big ships and hit the high seas!
Ellen Sease is one of those remarkable people we've encountered along the way with our work with the Aquastar Cruises in Muskegon. She's a Captain of the ship and while she might not be at the help for every trip her knowledge and ability to handle a ship. She grew up right here on Muskegon Lake, got her sea legs in the US Navy and has been with the Aquastar since 1995. It's a love of the trade as well as people that makes Ellen want to share her wealth of knowledge and help others learn the craft. It's also her accreditation through True North Maritime Academy in Wisconsin that helps you get your license upon completing the course.
It's a big difference between a pleasure boat and a ship. So much to think about from the way you look at the water to the way you set down an anchor. Fire protocols, blind spots, navigation, first aid, charts and more. You need knowledge of it all to take the test to get the license from the US Coast Guard to operate a machine the size of something like the Aquastar or bigger. Even if you are a serious pleasure boater and consider a trip across Lake Michigan or one of the other Great Lakes part of your summer fun, heading out all willy nilly just to do it, probably isn't the best idea without some education under your belt.
I invited Ellen to tell us her story and learn a little more about the classes she offers. They happen in a space on board the LST 393 which is another amazing asset to have as it's a hands on learning experience to visit the bridge, maybe get down in to some areas of the ship no one else can see to learn....it's an amazing offering you'll find right here in Muskegon! Take a listen.
We've had some stories on before about how you can launch a maritime career from right here in Muskegon. They have even had maritime job fairs down at the Mart Dock where the LST and the Aquastar are moored. This is another chance to showcase just what incredible things are there for those who wish to take advantage of them in a small town on the West Coast of Michigan that is FILLED with people who have a story to tell, skills to share and ways to help you attain a dream you never thought possible. Our thanks to Ellen not only for the hospitality she shows on the Aquastar, but for taking her passion to the next level and sharing what she knows with anyone who wants to learn. Contacting Ellen is easy, 231-830-4887 or you can visit the website of the school below and find your way to her classes through there! See you on the high seas soon!