Like the birth of a child, ship launchings are a time of joy and celebration. Such events In the past were public spectacles that drew huge crowds (over 100,000 spectators came to the launch of the Titanic). Some were graced by members of the royalty and dignitaries.
Slogans are indispensable in any campaign. They are intended to drive home an important message and goad people into action. To achieve this end, the slogan has to be catchy and original, not clichéd. Alas, some maritime campaign slogans are dull and unimaginative.
The following quotes, all from women, deal with the general subject of men. The authors do so with such frankness that the less enlightened males might feel offended. But given the fact that the world of shipping is still very much dominated by men and haunted by machismo, these quotes make for interesting reading — for men as well as for women.
What is a genuine seaman (or seafarer)? More than 1.6 million men and women are said to be employed on the world merchant fleet. How many fit the description? The bureaucrats at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the entire shipping industry keep talking about competency. Surely, there is more to being a true seaman than just knowledge and skills.
Marine Café Blog will be featuring the best photos on the theme ‘Water Reflections’. I am inviting photographers, amateur or professional, to take part and submit their favourite shots. I hope to select at least 12 outstanding photos and even more, depending on the response from photographers.
Old song recordings are a delight to listen to. They have a certain charm, a character, like vintage wine. They can bring back memories of one’s childhood… of grandparents who are no longer around… and of family phonographs that have long fallen silent.
The years I’ve spent as an international maritime journalist and subsequently as a blogger have taught me many things. The world of shipping is beautiful, and there is no shortage of decent, respectable maritime folks. But this world that we all love has its bad side, which some may not see or try not to see. The truth hurts, as the saying goes.
The American realist painter Edward Hopper (1882–1967) is best known for his works depicting 20th-century urban life. However, he also produced a good deal of marine art that is just as haunting. In the following paintings, Hopper rendered sunlight in a way that adds an air of mystery and subtle symbolism to the works.
There are certain words and phrases that one does not get to read in the maritime press. They are not polite to use, to say the least. Yet, they aptly describe some folks in the shipping community. It is language that goes beyond appearances and indicates who an individual really is, not what he or she purports to be. Take the following for instance:
This is my last blog post about the decades-old scam involving the theft of dollars sent home by Filipino seafarers. No, the problem has not gone away. On the contrary, dishonest manning agents continue to skim money from the remittances of the men and woman who toil at sea.
Of the many songs recorded by the English rock band The Beatles, only two had a nautical theme: Yellow Submarine and Octopus’ Garden. This fact is interesting and perhaps a bit odd. After all, the group had its beginnings in Liverpool, a maritime hub and port of registry of the Titanic. All four of its members — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — were born there. At any rate, the two songs are quite memorable. The melodies are charming; the lyrics, endearing.
A painting of Venice in radiant colours is captivating. But an etching that shows the fabled city filed with shadows can be more powerful. It may transfix the viewer and set loose one’s imagination
America’s Flagship. A national icon. An American original…
The list of accolades to the SS United States is long and each one is well-deserved. She is the largest ocean liner to be built in the United States and the fastest ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Alas, she has been slowly rusting away since being laid up in Philadelphia in 1996. Various attempts to restore and/or repurpose her have met with failure. Still, the SS United States Conservancy, the ship’s present owner, is hopeful that the latest redevelopment plans of New York-based RXR Realty will give her a new lease of life.