Photographers of the 19th century did not have an easy time of it. They had to put up with the limitations of the existing camera technologies. At the same time, they felt a need to express themselves and their individual take on reality.
When I look at old and derelict boats, I cannot help but wonder at how much they have in common with people. Both are subject to the inexorable pattern of youth, middle age and old age. What the Buddha said on the matter is also true for boats:
Who better to write about the sea and sailors than a man of letters who had been a ship captain? Joseph Conrad, a Polish author who wrote in English, is regarded as one of the greatest writers in the English language. He served for 16 years in the British merchant marine, assuming his first command in 1888 at the age of 31 — the three-masted iron barque Otago.
It’s the Year of the Dragon from 10 February 2024 to 28 January 2024 according to Chinese astrology. Shall we see some major changes in the shipping industry? No, not innovations in technology or marketing, but a shift in the values and outlooks of those who deal with ships and the men and women who man them.
Born in Paris to British parents, Alfred Sisley belonged to the group of artists that started French Impressionism in the 19th century. His work, however, has not received the universal attention that it deserves. The New York Times dubbed him in a 1999 article “The Invisible Man of Impressionism”.
No, I am not about to lay up the ship. Although maintaining it entails time and money, I am determined to keep the blog going. The words of John Steinbeck, the distinguished American author and winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, emboldens me. “The writer,” said he, “must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.“
Last November, I was forced to take a leave from writing and other normal activities after I accidentally twisted my left foot. It came like a sudden squall. The shooting pain in my big toe was soon followed by inflammation around the ankle and numbness on the sole of the foot. I wanted to cry out and curse my fate. But then I remembered what Captain MacWhirr, the chief protagonist in Joseph Conrad‘s 1902 novella Typhoon, said to a young seaman…
A tonne of certificates does not equate to a good maritime trainer. Nor is a Quality Management System any guarantee that a training institution won’t have bad instructors. It all comes down to the individual – his knowledge and experience as much as his personal traits and general outlook in life.
I have journeyed long enough in the maritime world as a writer to know that things are not always as they seem. Appearances can deceive.
The world at large is full of dishonesty, and the world of shipping has its fair share of it. I have seen and heard enough over the years to say without hesitation that dishonesty in the maritime sphere is commonplace. It comes in many forms, in both words and deeds....
Rain has a special significance for the Japanese, so much so that they have at least 50 words for it. Rain also features in many Japanese woodblock prints and paintings. Such works not only celebrate the beauty of rain. They reflect the way the Japanese regard nature and everything in the universe.
According to scientists, the sound you hear when you place a seashell next to your ear is not the sound of the ocean. It is the ambient noise from the immediate surroundings which is amplified in the cavity of the shell. No matter, listening to the sound is a delightful experience for many. It has even inspired some poets…