In late June, Zhen Zhu approached the sea buoy marking the entrance to the Lower Mississippi River, where it was boarded by a bar pilot from Associated Branch Pilots
. From the sea buoy, the bar pilot guided the ship 20 miles up to the Head of Passes and Mile Zero on the Mississippi River, where the pilot handed it over to a member of the Crescent River Port Pilots Association.
He was a seaman for a year, then he became an apprentice, and in June 2001, he was inducted into the Associated Branch Pilots
. There are 47 pilots, one of whom is the superintendent who negotiates contracts and handles all association business.