For a week and a half (since Monday last week), my application has been marked on the NMC Website as “being evaluated PQEB”. Since I’m not currently at sea, I check the website daily to see if any progress is being made. Yesterday I called to see “WTF”. They said they were waiting for my legacy file so they could review it and I should call back in 2 or 3 days. Later in the afternoon, I recieved an email stating that further information was needed and that I have 90 days to respond (I have been expecting this). I called as soon as I got the email, trying to get someone to email or fax whatever information they were requesting, so that I didn’t have to wait for the letter to come in the mail. The lady on the phone said that the email I recieved was auto generated and there had not been a letter issued to me and there was nothing for me to respond to. OK, I will have to wait.
This morning I called again, just to be sure, and they said there was a letter issued to me yesterday (wtf?) and to hold on while they located it and read it to me.
My application was approved for AB and for 100T N.C., however, I am being required to take a test (module #221) at the USCG before my license can be issued. With a few phone calls I was able to find out that going from Inland to Near Coastal is the reason for the added module. So I spent a few hours tracking down exactly what is involved in #221 and for what reason I need this test. Turns out that I have already taken and passed this module with my first license in 2009 and most of #221 was covered in the AB class I took a month and a half ago. The module covers deck general, deck safety and environmental. I feel like I could take the test cold turkey and do just fine, but will study over the weekend to be sure. I don’t want to go downtown any more than needed.
I then went through a couple of rounds of email with the NMC to get a letter to test. You can’t just show up and expect to take a test. First you need an approval letter, then an appointment, then a test. At least I hope it works like that – I haven’t been there to test yet, so I’m not sure what else might happen.
As I get started on this career path, I do sense a pattern regarding the CG. It seems that redunant testing of subjects comes up quite often (see my earlier post regarding RFNPW). If any of you mariners out there, can confirm this for me or set me straight, please do.
Hopefully, with a little luck, this will all be completed next week (my part at least) and the thing will get approved to print, printed, approved to put in an envelope, put in an envelope, approved for postage, postage added, approved to mail, and mailed to me. (They should hire me to build some really wicked flow charts for there website).
I would like to thank Capt. Richard Rodriguez at the Bitterend Blog for his quick and accurate answers. In addittion to providing license training for mariners in Washington State through Zenith Maritime, Capt. Rodriguez also publishes his blog daily.