What a day yesterday! I spent the morning blasting around St. Augustine on a Vespa. That little guy could run! Got it up to 40mph coming down off the Bridge of Lyons. It felt dangerous, I'd be happy to ride that fast for a couple hours, but full time at that speed, it would only be a matter of time before someone pulled out in front of me or something. Pushing the limits of my comfort zone on that scooter was a friggin blast though.
Upon my return to the boat I received a temporary promotion from deckhand to Engine Room Assistant (ERA), which will likely be offered to me upon completion of my deckhand contract if I do a good job. The ERA receives essentially the same pay rate ($10 per day extra), but if you hold the position for six months and pass a Coast Guard exam, you become a licensed QMED which has a starting pay rate of $250 a day in most marine industries. One more license and another $50 to $100 per day can be made. Not too shabby!
I could see working as a QMED for a couple years. Maybe six months a year at sea, which would pull in $52,000 and allow for six months a year off. Then if I ever wanted to settle down, I could go back, redo those core classes (anatomy, micro etc.) and become a Physician Assistant.