Not believing in one’s self and one’s abilities can be a problem especially for Third World ship officers and crews. Many are too diffident to assert their rights, and they often display a slavish attitude towards foreign senior officers. But even those who seem so sure of themselves may see their self-confidence eroded in the face of danger or extreme difficulties.
Marine Café Blog had a post-Thanksgiving Day chat with Frankie the Sage Cat. As expected, he said a mouthful about maritime conferences, seafarer charities and other matters. For those not familiar with Frankie, he’s a real cat who understands humans in an uncanny way. He must be at least 12 years old now, but he still has a sharp mind.
I ran across a poem which I thought would be good to share with readers of Marine Café Blog, especially those who work at sea. ‘Thanksgiving Day at Sea’ was written by L. H. Sigourney (1791—1865), an American poet and schoolteacher. The poem is included in her 1850 book, Poems for the Sea. Although not particularly striking, it is worth reading because of its message and the prayer-like sincerity of the words.
Marine Café Blog is happy to greet its American readers a cordial Thanksgiving Day. In celebration of this event, which is observed every fourth Thursday of November in the United States, I’d like to share the following works of art from the 19th century. I hope that this limited selection will open for all the blog’s readers a window to American history and culture.
Marine Café Blog will be coming out with a special feature spotlighting the best photographs of bridges by its readers. I invite all photographers, amateur of professional, to submit their pictures for inclusion in the gallery. — BU
I have always objected to the use of the term “the human element” to refer to seafarers. It not only sounds as cold as the periodic table of elements invented by the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev. More important, it objectifies seafarers and detracts from their humanity. The following works of art show just how human they are — no less driven by love and libido than the maritime bureaucrats and pedants who label them “the human element”.
It has been 17 years since the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) made its inspection visit to Turkey — the first of many it would conduct to verify compliace with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Yet, many still have a foggy idea about the real nature and goal of these inspections.
Marine Café Blog spotlights the marine drawings of Claude Monet in celebration of his 182nd birth anniversary.
Monet, a leading light of French Impressionism, was born in Paris on 14 November 1840. His countless oil paintings continue to bedazzle the world long after he passed away on 5 December 1926. Unfortunately, they have also diverted attention away from an important part of Monet’s creative output: his drawings.
Life is short and perilous — and not only for seafarers. The rich and the mighty may seem to live it up, but life is no less complicated for them. William Shakespeare undertood this truth all too well.
Most people fear death. Yet, they are, at the same time, fascinated by the subject. The following are four of the most captivating — albeit frightening — works of art that depict death on the water.
A stormy seascape is dramatic enough. Put in a lighthouse standing against an ominous sky as giant waves swirl all around, and you have a spectacle that induces a sense of awe. The following works of art showing lighthouses in a storm are some of the most smashing from the world of 19th-century marine art.
The photographic art of Judith in den Bosch from the Netherlands is hard to ignore.
The images she captures and digitally transforms on her mobile phone are often surrealistic. Sometimes they can be described as mystical. Always, the pictures usher the viewer into the photogapher’s inner world of moods and feelings. Although distinct from the real world, they are, at the same time, a reflection of it.
Charity is a great thing. It uplifts the human spirit and acts as an antidote to greed. Unfortunately, charity in the shipping world has descended to the level of propaganda, corporate almsgiving and media spectacle. The maritime charities drum up a particular issue (e.g., depression at sea), and large corporations, their conscience pricked, donate money to the cause. The whole cycle is attended by publicity.