Money makes the world go round, the song goes. As far as shipping is concerned, it can make the world go up and down and even sideways. Money or the love of it is what fuels the expansion of shipping fleets and port facilities and the development of new...
As a break from things maritime, I am inviting all and sundry to share their photographs for an upcoming Marine Café Blog coffee special. The best picture on the subject of coffee will be awarded a cash prize of US$100 and featured in the blog along with other...
Why do officials of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) talk of seafarers being invisible? It's downright silly. How could they be invisible when the English language itself has been enriched because of them? Consider some of the words used to...
The sea has been Judith in den Bosch's muse since she was a little child. ”When I am there, I start making poems,” says the photographic artist from Alkmaar, The Netherlands. “I love the power...the feeling of being small, a part of the whole." Her work...read more
I recently invited Facebook members to share their seascape photographs (a maximum of three per person) for this special Marine Café Blog feature. I should like to thank all those who answered my call despite there being no prize at stake. Choosing a dozen...read more
The shipping industry is rich in platitudes, buzzwords and rhetoric. They shoot out like water and steam from a geyser on World Maritime Day and the Day of the Seafarer, two annual events during which the organiser, the International Maritime Organization...read more
A French Sailor — oil on canvas, 1897, by Norwegian painter Christian Krohg (1852–1925)Photo courtesy of Nasjonalmuseet, NorwayThe maritime Establishment never runs out of tributes to mariners and clichéd words about how hard and dangerous their work is....read more
“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...read more
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...read more
“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