Celebrating 10 years of Marine Café Blog


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The beauty and humanity of shipping

Marine Café Blog serves it with a distinct flavour

Why join the ‘wellness at sea’ and other bandwagons?

Why join the ‘wellness at sea’ and other bandwagons?

There is nothing wrong with bandwagons per se. In fact, they are often necessary in bringing about change as the whole world is witnessing in the case of women’s rights and climate action. The problem arises when people are swayed by rhetoric, not reason, and unthinkingly hop onto the wagon just because it is fashionable to do so. Unfortunately, this is happening with the bandwagon that carries the banners “Wellness at Sea” and “Seafarer Mental Health”.

Promoting art in a shipping world crazed by money

Promoting art in a shipping world crazed by money

Corporate offices cannot be expected to serve as small art galleries. But why should shipping and manning companies display only ISM and MLC certificates on their lobby walls? Why not also marine paintings, even if they are only repros works by famous artists? Some art would help give the premises a more pleasant atmosphere. It would also send a subtle message to visitors that the CEO knows how to appreciate art and is not a certified philistine.

Recent Posts

Drumming up the abuse of cadets in a deaf world

Drumming up the abuse of cadets in a deaf world

Who gives a hoot in Manila about maritime cadet exploitation?… In this part of the planet, manning agencies and some unions consider it perfectly normal to use cadets as unpaid labour, in many cases for months on end. The seafarer charities are aware of the practice, but none has come out to publicly condemn it. As for local maritime journalists, many would rather kiss ass than take up the cudgels for the cadets who are exploited in such blatant manner

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Life on the waterfront: an invitation to photographers

Life on the waterfront: an invitation to photographers

There are few places in a town or city that are more interesting than the waterfront. Shopping malls certainly do not have the same kind of energy and atmosphere one finds on wharves and piers, on boardwalks and esplanades. With this in mind, Marine Café Blog is inviting all photographers to submit their photos for an upcoming special feature.

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Coping with seafarer exploitation and writer’s fatigue

Coping with seafarer exploitation and writer’s fatigue

After writing about seafarers’ rights for almost a decade, I felt drained and defeated. The abuses against seamen were continuing. It was as if ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (the so-called “bill of rights” of seafarers) had never existed… I began to realise that writers who speak candidly on seafarer issues would never receive popular support.

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Why stealing dollars from Filipino seafarers is so easy

Why stealing dollars from Filipino seafarers is so easy

In June of 2018 Marine Café Blog exposed the rampant practice in Manila of shortchanging seafarers in the conversion of their dollar remittances to pesos. Uncrupulous manning agents are still at it in 2020. All told, they rake in millions annually without getting even a slap on the wrist for their financial mischief. Why this deplorable state of affairs continues is not hard to understand: the system facilitates the stealing.

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Appreciating miniature marine art in motley objects

Appreciating miniature marine art in motley objects

Generally speaking, people tend be more impressed by things that are large than by similar things of smaller scale. Thus, a mansion is likely to draw more attention and plaudits than a bungalow; a limousine more than a compact car; and a cruise ship more than a catamaran. Yet, size does not — or should not — matter when it comes to art.

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2019: Marine Café Blog’s fierce takes on seafarer issues

2019: Marine Café Blog’s fierce takes on seafarer issues

In 2019 the shipping industry almost went crazy over wellness training and the issue of seafarer mental health. The noise from the charities was so loud that it seemed like depression at sea was some kind of an epidemic worse than the Ebola plague. It did not help that the conformist maritime press amplified their frantic messages and slogans. Marine Café Blog refused to be suck in by all that frenzy.

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