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Question about C1/D visa post OPT

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  • Question about C1/D visa post OPT

    I am a Canadian citizen who attended and graduated from a US University with an F1 Visa. Immediately upon graduation I began a contract with a Cruise Line with my OPT. This contract is till mid Sept. 2017. I have been offered an additional contract that would run from the end of September 2017 till the end of June 2018. My OPT expires on May 15, 2018. I understand that I will need to obtain a C1/D crew-member visa to fulfill this second contract. I have a 2 week period between the contracts. I will return to my US address, and will then need to return to Toronto to just to have a Visa interview (which I understand I can book on line to coordinate with my 2 weeks off between the contracts).
    My question is : Can I apply for this Visa to take effect as of May 15, 2018 even though I would be applying for it in Sept. 2017?
    Once on board the ship I cannot leave to return home for a Visa interview and I believe this process has to be done from my home country, Canada.
    If I am not correct please advise me on how I should proceed with obtaining my C1/D Visa.
    I would like to retain my OPT until its completion because if there are any changes in regards to working on a boat, I can still work in my field of study until May 15 2018.
    Looking forward to your response.