Labour Day tribute to housewives, not mariners

Today, the 1st of May, is Labour Day in many countries. I thought I would pay tribute to housewives instead of seamen and seawomen. Housewives are not considered part of the working class since they do not receive wages. The tools of their ‘trade’ (see ‘Household Utensils‘ above by the 18th-century Italian artist, Giovanni Battista Piranesi) are not as sophisticated […]

Read more

A cat on the environment, EU and other matters

It has been several months since Marine Café Blog last had a chat with Frankie the Philosopher Cat. Although he didn’t have his favourite smoked oysters for lunch today, he was not, thankfully, more grumpy than usual. He was lounging about in the garden, looking a bit contemplative. Here’s how our conversation went: Total Share: 6113100

Read more

Filipino officers on EU ships: a question of arithmetic

You can perish the thought of the European Commission withdrawing recognition of Philippine ship officers’ certificates. No, it is not because the Filipino seaman factory is now in tip-top shape. The 28 European Union member states represented by the Commission have little or no desire to dump Filipino officers. The fact that the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) made another […]

Read more

The silliness of some maritime awards

Corporations as well as persons thirst for recognition. So it should not surprise anyone that maritime awards have become as common — and as cheap — as Starbucks coffee. The thirst needs quenching. But what business does the maritime press have giving awards to entities it is obliged to write about objectively, indeed with a critical eye? It all seems […]

Read more

Art and thoughts of abandoned crews

The International Labor Organization’s (ILO) database of abandoned crews makes for some interesting reading. However, it paints a rather incomplete picture. What hardships and anguish do mariners suffer when they are left by shipowners to fend for themselves, unpaid and often without provisions? I hope the following works of art, together with my ruminations on the subject, will give readers […]

Read more

The maritime blogger as industry critic

The maritime establishment — the groups that exercise power and influence over industry policy and opinion — is not only as resistant to change as the rock in Ivan Aivazovsky‘s 1885 painting ‘Rocky Island’ (pictured above). It is also often regarded as sacrosanct. As a result, any criticism of the system is likely to draw disdain and anger from those […]

Read more

Abandoned crews: all’s well that ends well?

The press release issued by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) last 13th of March was understandably jubilant: 17 crew members of the Panama-flagged Sea Honest had all finally returned home. The Indian and Turkish seamen were abandoned in Algeria, unpaid and without provisions, in July 2016. The nightmare is over. Justice has been done, according to the ITF. I […]

Read more

Maritime training videos are underrated

I find it interesting that instructional videos are rarely, if ever, used in maritime schools and training centres in the Philippines, the world’s top crew-supplying nation. When I first explored the world of coffee, I learned plenty by watching films about how coffee is harvested and roasted, the proper way to store coffee beans and the different methods of brewing. […]

Read more
1 2 3 65