Celebrating 10 years of Marine Café Blog


50% OFF
Price: $9.00
Now only $4.50

The beauty and humanity of shipping

Marine Café Blog serves it with a distinct flavour

The marvellous marine art of Willem van de Velde II

The marvellous marine art of Willem van de Velde II

Willem van de Velde II (1633–1707) was one of the leading Dutch marine painters of the 17th century, if not indeed the best amongst them. He was a consummate artist. He depicted fishing boats and naval ships with remarkable precision and artistic discipline — both of which he learned early in life from his father, a sailor and himself a gifted naval artist. Particularly noteworthy was Van de Velde II’s sensitivity to atmospheric changes and the subtle movement of clouds over calm or rough seas. Beyond the technical aspect, however, one gleans from his works the Dutch people’s special connection with the sea and deep pride in their maritime heritage.

Fanciful seascapes by five photographic artists

Fanciful seascapes by five photographic artists

Early this February, I invited photographers on Facebook to submit their photographic artworks depicting the sea for a special Marine Café Blog feature. The idea was to show how one can use digital technology to extend the boundaries of the imagination and create memorable images. Here, in no particular order, are the most striking of the works submitted:

Puzzle: Is there ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ in EMSA inspections?

Puzzle: Is there ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ in EMSA inspections?

Does a country pass or fail the inspections conducted by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to review its compliance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) ?
It may seem strange for Marine Café Blog to raise the question. After all, everyone has been talking of the Philippines having “failed” the string of EMSA audits since 2006. Filipino maritime officials are expressing optimism that the country will “pass” the next one in March 2020. In turn, the two terms are bandied about by the press, which has done a great deal of sloppy reporting on the subject.

Recent Posts

Love in the life of a sailor (through artists’ eyes)

Love in the life of a sailor (through artists’ eyes)

A girl in every port. The expression sums up the popular image of the sailor: an inveterate womaniser and skirt-chaser. The reputation, I think, is not wholly undeserved. With their pockets filled with dollars, seafarers get to meet women in all shapes and colours around the world. The temptation to have a fling can be too great to resist.
Some maritime Casanovas never change. They go on with their merry ways long after they have grown older and quit sailing. On the other hand, there are seamen who may have sown their wild oaths but eventually settled down and remained faithful to their wives. I have known both types. Many seafarers, I am sure, can identify themselves with the following artworks:

read more
Unusual marine art that will grab your attention

Unusual marine art that will grab your attention

“That which is not slightly distorted,” wrote the French poet Charles Baudelaire, “lacks sensible appeal; from which it follows that irregularity — that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment, are an essential part and characteristic of beauty.”
The following works of marine art grab one’s attention precisely because they contain, in varying degrees, the distortion and irregularity that Baudelaire spoke of. They are not an imitation of reality. They are mirrors created by the artist to reflect that reality as much as their own inner thoughts and feelings.

read more
Ten talented photographers celebrate life on the waterfront

Ten talented photographers celebrate life on the waterfront

In mid-January, I issued a call on social media for outstanding waterfront photographs. This was not a contest with prizes for the winners, but a simple celebration of life on the waterfront. A good number of entries came in, all of them meritorous. However, ten pictures stood out because of their composition, content and overall impact.

read more
To be or not to be a seafarer, that is the question

To be or not to be a seafarer, that is the question

In developing countries, it is poverty and lack of decent-paying jobs on shore that drive young men and women to become seafarers. It is the siren call of the dollar, not the joy of being at sea and sailing which British poet John Masefield eloquently expressed in ‘Sea-Fever’: I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide/ Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; / And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, / And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

read more
In Manila, even doctors can prey on seafarers

In Manila, even doctors can prey on seafarers

It is easy to be jaded when it comes to the exploitation of seafarers. The tales of woe never seem to end, and one tends to grow tired of hearing them. My unjaded eyes, however, have not ceased to be surprised by the myriad ways in which Filipino seafarers are taken advantage of. Even medical doctors may connive with unscrupulous manning agencies to prey on seafarers.

read more
10 questions the maritime press is not asking but should

10 questions the maritime press is not asking but should

Well, today’s maritime press seems to be doing a good job of turning out more chaff than wheat. Every story, as journalists learned in school., should be able to answer the Five W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why. The first four are easy enough to handle. The last is more challenging. It requires an inquisitive mind and a certain amount of cynicism on the part of journalists. Here are some questions the maritime press has not been asking:

read more

Support Marine Cafe Blog

Ads

John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University

Categories