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A maritime writer’s credo

The samurai had their bushido, a code of conduct that guided the way they thought and acted. If one considers writing a noble profession, why shouldn’t writers have one, too? After years of wielding pen and pounding keyboards, I finally got down to crafting my personal credo as a maritime writer.

Restarting and refocusing Marine Café Blog

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.“

The expression ‘the docks’ re-examined

British English has a certain flavour that can make it quite pleasant to hear. The plural noun “docks”, for example, means the man-made structures for the mooring and loading/unloading of boats and ships. But when Brits say “I’m going down to the docks,” they refer to the area of water where the docks (quay walls, piers or wharves) are located and the offices and warehouses around them.

The word ‘empathy’ and the battle for seafarers’ rights

The APA (Amercian Pschological Association) Dictionary of Psychology defines empathy as “understanding a person from his or her frame of reference rather than one’s own, or vicariously experiencing that person’s feelings, perceptions, and thoughts.” Clearly, there should be empathy if seafarers are to be treated more kindly by those who profit from them. So why is this word not used more often by advocates of seafarers’ rights?

A major misconception about EMSA audits still persists

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.

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