There is one lesson I've learned after spending years as an international maritime journalist. And that is, one does not need any special talent to be successful in the business. News writing is not like writing a treatise or a serious novel. It does not require a...
It is January, so I thought I would share some paintings which depict sunrise at sea. The first month of the year derives its name from the Latin word for door, ianua, and is often associated with the Roman god Janus, who presided over doors and beginnings. I hope the...
It's too bad there are no fairies in the shipping world like the one depicted in John Atkinson Grimshaw's 1879 painting, Spirit of the Night (pictured above). Otherwise, I would summon their help to make the following maritime-related wishes for the new year, 2019,...
I recently invited photography enthusiasts to share their pictures for a special Marine Café Blog feature on coffee. It's a hectic holiday season. What better time to take a respite from the workaday maritime world? Of the nearly 50 photos submitted, six stood out...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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