A French Sailor — oil on canvas, 1897, by Norwegian painter Christian Krohg (1852–1925)Photo courtesy of Nasjonalmuseet, Norway The maritime Establishment never runs out of tributes to mariners and clichéd words about how hard and dangerous their work is....
“The sea did what it liked,” wrote Charles Dickens in his 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, “and what it liked was destruction. It thundered at the town, and thundered at the cliffs, and brought the coast down, madly.” Such stunning prose is testimony, not...
For many years, I was contributing to leading international shipping and port journals until I quit in 2009 to become a blogger. You can say I am battle-scarred. I saw the culture in the maritime press up-close and witnessed its sad, downward trajectory...
“A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day,” wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem, The Lighthouse. There is something magical about lighthouses that has fascinated writers and artists alike. Just visit the website of Fine Art America. At last count, this...read more
Readers of Marine Café Blog should be familiar by now with Frankie. He's one smart cat. I used to call him "the Philosopher Cat". However, he requested that I change the appellation to "Sage Cat", since, according to him, a philosopher is not necessarily wise. Frankie...read more
Harmony in blue and silver: Trouville — oil on canvas, 1865, by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) Nine years after its launch, Marine Café Blog is undergoing a sea change. I have decided to shift its focus to marine art, photography literature...read more
Filipino mariners risk life and limb whilst working at sea. In the meantime, many crewing agents in Manila merrily help themselves to the dollars they send home every month. These white-collar thieves do not feel guilty in the least. They seem as contented as the...read more
In the profit-crazed world of shipping, who cares about poems of the sea? Not many for sure. Poetry serves no practical purpose, and it won't fill one's pockets. But, as English writer Robert Graves said in his 1963 lecture at the London School of Economics, “If...read more
By Captain Ardeshir Yousefi NOTE: The sea is one vast cemetery, as the above photo of the RMS Titanic wreck from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US reminds us. More than a century has passed since the sinking of the British passenger...read more
Who would dare criticise the International Maritime Organization (IMO)? It is a leviathan — immense, powerful and rich. To assail its actions, one would have to be as intrepid as Musashi, the legendary Japanese swordsman shown battling a whale in Utagawa Kuniyoshi's...read more
The past is never dead. It's not even past. ~ William Faulkner (from 'Requiem for a Nun') Of late I have been enamoured with maritime photos dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is not only the long gone social milieu they depict that fascinates me. It...read more
The world's ship manning capital has such a unique, albeit impaired, culture that it inspired me to publish my second e-book, 'Close Encounters in Maritime Manila', in April 2018. The following are brief excerpts from the volume. I hope this smattering of quotes will...read more
There must be something strangely sacred in salt. It is in our tears and in the sea. ~ Kahlil Gibran (from ‘Sand and Foam’) The sea is perilous and unforgiving. Yet, fisherfolk from generation to generation wrestle with its power to earn a living and feed humanity....read more