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    Re: Course Changing in the Navy
    From: Jeremy C
    Date: 2009 Dec 10, 16:18 EST
    As far as the pilot requirements, we are the same way in the merchant fleet.  I quiz the junior officers and cadets as to the two circumstances where the pilot has legal control of the vessel and can over-ride the master.  They can usually remember the Panama Canal pilot, but few remember the one about the drydock.
    The regulations for the Navy are much stricter than in the merchant fleet and it goes a long way in helping me understand the "particular" watch standing habits of a former submarine/sub tender officer who served as 2nd mate under me.  He would call the Captain at all hours of the day and night for the smallest thing while on watch.  While the captain could never directly call him out for his inability to act without first calling the Captain; I caught quite and earful.  He insisted on being micro-managed which won't get you far in the Merchant Marine.  His watchstanding was a big part of the reason that was not asked to return.
    We, as Merchant watch officers, are given much wider leeway on watch, and I routinely make course changes and even speed changes for both navigation and traffic without calling the captain.  The over-riding concern reason to call the captain is either direct orders or if there is "doubt."  At all other times, we are expected to safely navigate the vessel safely on our own.

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