10 great quotes about self-confidence for seafarers

10 great quotes about self-confidence for seafarers

Everyone talks about competency for seafarers. What about self-confidence, without which knowledge and skills are for naught?

 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.

Our doubts are traitors
And makes us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.

— William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure (about 1603–04)

Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings (1854)

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.

— Marie Curie, as quoted in Madame Curie: A Biography by Eve Curie; translated by Vincent Sheean (1938)

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being.

— Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Self-Reliance (1841)

Life for both sexes—and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement— is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion as we are, it calls for confidence in oneself. Without self-confidence we are as babes in the cradle.

— Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1935)

I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others… So much more respect have we to what our neighbors shall think of us than to what we shall think of ourselves.

— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antonius; translated by George Long (1876)

When you see a man of worth, think how to rise to his level. When you see an unworthy man, then look within and examine yourself.

— Confucius, The Analects of Confucius by William Edward Soothill (1910)

When I look around, I always learn something: to be always yourself, and to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.

— Bruce Lee, radio interview with Ted Thomas (1972)

Walk free from the long shadows cast by small people.

— Fennel Hudson, A Writer’s Year – Fennel’s Journal – No. 3 (2008, 2017)

Those who spread their sails in the right way to the winds of the earth will always find themselves borne by a current towards the open seas. The more nobly a man wills and acts, the more avid he becomes for great and sublime aims to pursue. He will no longer be content with family, country and the remunerative aspect of his work. He will want wider organisations to create, new paths to blaze, causes to uphold, truths to discover, an ideal to cherish and defend. So, gradually, the worker no longer belongs to himself. Little by little the great breath of the universe has insinuated itself into him through the fissure of his humble but faithful action, has broadened him, raised him up, borne him on.

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Divine Milieu: An Essay on the Interior Life; with Preface by Bernard Hall, General Editor of the Works of Teilhard de Chardin (2010)

~ Barista Uno

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Maritime matters: A chat with Frankie the Sage Cat

Maritime matters: A chat with Frankie the Sage Cat

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.

Marine Café Blog: Hey, did you know that there was an international crewing conference in Manila recently?
Frankie: How could anyone not know? The speakers and delegates went on a social media photo binge after it ended. They all bragged about being present at the event.

MCB: Don’t you think that these two-day conferences help enlighten the participants about certain issues?
Frankie: Tell that to the marines. The wisest, most informed maritime professionals I know are not into attending conventions. Instead of listening to speeches, they read!

MCB: I’ll bet you’d enjoy the food they served to the conference delegates.
Frankie: Hotel food…no, thanks. I will settle for canned tuna at home and have some peace and quiet.

MCB: I think you should be happy that they held an international conference in Manila. That means the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, and people are travelling again.
Frankie: It ain’t over till the fat lady sings. You know the old saying.

MCB: But, surely, things are getting better. The conference participants were not wearing masks.
Frankie: Crowded places are always a source of infections. Crews and passengers of cruise ships are still going down with COVID.

MCB: You’re being paranoid.
Frankie: Better a living coward than a dead hero.

The wisest, most informed maritime professionals…are not into attending conventions. Instead of listening to speeches, they read! — Frankie

MCB: So much for the virus. How would you describe the maritime scene this year
Frankie: Same old same old.

MCB: What do you mean?
Frankie: Maritime awards are still being handed out. Shipping reporters are still doing their cut-and-paste thing. Seafarers are still cheated by manning agents. Piracy at sea is still alive and kicking. And so on and so forth.

MCB: Surely, there have been some positive developments.
Frankie: Yes, there is at least one. The maritime charities are making much less noise about depression at sea.

MCB: Why do you think that’s a good thing?
Frankie: As Marine Café Blog has pointed out, the maritime charities have created “an image of 21st-century seafarers as weak and vulnerable creatures who are prey to the meanderings of their own minds”. Your exact words. I should add that photos of seafarers on social media all show them happy and smiling. So what depression at sea are the charities talking about?

MCB: You sound very sceptical about the work done by the charity workers.
Frankie: What work are you talking about? They make ship visits, hand out token gifts to the crew, and post pictures of themselves online.

MCB: Well, they need to show the corporate donors that they’re doing something for seafarers.
Frankie: Exactly. I wonder what issue they’ll drum up next after seafarers’ mental health.

MCB: Is there any change you’d like to see happen in 2023?
Frankie: Just one. For the shipping world to treat seafarers as people would their housecats—with genuine love. Hey, when do I get KFC for lunch?

~ Barista Uno

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‘Thanksgiving Day at Sea’: An old poem for modern times

‘Thanksgiving Day at Sea’: An old poem for modern times

‘Thanksgiving Day at Sea’: An old poem for modern times

Morning at Sea, 1849, by Ivan Aivazovsky (1817– 1900)

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.

Thanksgiving Day at Sea

by L.H. Sigourney

Sons of the boisterous sea,
   With joyous hearts we share
The blessings of this happy land,
   Which heaven hath made its care;

Whose glorious flag is borne
   High o’er the ocean’s breast,
Whose strong-winged eagle proudly makes
   Among the stars his nest.

Not with the cup that drains
   Our best resolves away,
And leaves its poison in our veins,
  We keep the feast this day,

But from the fearful cloud
   Of dark intemperance free,
We thank the Giver of our joys,
   The God of earth and sea;

And if in faithful love
   His precepts we obey,
The whole of life’s short voyage may prove
   Like this Thanksgiving day.

~ Barista Uno

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A serving of art to celebrate U.S. Thanksgiving Day

A serving of art to celebrate U.S. Thanksgiving Day

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.

Click here to learn about the history behind Thanksgiving Day.

The First Thanksgiving, 1895
Brush and ink, ink wash, graphite, white chalk and scraping on board
William Ladd Taylor (American, 1854–1926)
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Thanksgiving in Camp, from Harper’s Weekly, 29 November 1862
Wood engraving on paper
Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910)
Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The First Thanksgiving Dinner, 1868
Wood engraving on paper
William S.L. Jewett (American, 1834–1876)
Courtesy of The Clark Art Institute, Massachusetts 

Thanksgiving for the Homeless—In a City Restaurant, 1872
Wood engraving on paper
Thomas Worth (American, 1839–1917)
Courtesy of The Clark Art Institute, Massachussetts
(digitally enhanced by Marine Café Blog)

Home to Thanksgiving, 1867
Hand-coloured lithograph
Currier & Ives (American, active 1834–1907) after George Henry Durrie (American, 1820–1863)
Courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery

~Barista Uno

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The beauty of bridges: An invitation to photographers

The beauty of bridges: An invitation to photographers

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


Guidelines for participants


1. The photo/s should depict a bridge over a body of water (bay, river, canal or stream).

2. All photos should have a minimum width of 1200 pixels. Email them to marinecafeblog@gmail.com or post them on Facebook as comments on the announcements.

3. You may submit a maximum of four (4) photos in colour, black & white or sepia. More than one of your photos could be included in the feature gallery. Kindly indicate the name of the bridge and/or its location.

4. Photos will be selected according to the following criteria:

a/ Originality

b/ Composition

c/ Handling of light

d/ Overall impact

5. Deadline for submission of entries is 10th December 2022, 12 PM (GMT)

PLEASE NOTE: All photos selected will remain the property of their authors. They will be designated by the copyyright symbol © followed by the photographer’s name.

Check out the previous gallery of photos from Marine Café Blog readers:

Water reflections: Superb photos by Marine Café readers

~ Barista Uno

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