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Goodbye, old sea dogs. Hello, decaf ship captains.

Old sea dogs fascinate me. They are such interesting characters that writers and artists made them the centrepiece of their works. They even inspired the humorous circa-1905 photograph (shown above) from the defunct Detroit Publishing Company. Alas, these hardy...

A ship captain’s disillusionment with working at sea

My recent blog post, Why the hell would a Filipino still want to be a seafarer?, drew an interesting reaction from a reader, Captain Jill Friedman of Texas. “The question is, why the hell would anyone still want to be a seafarer?” said she. “With STCW destroying our...

IMOcafe: imagining a new coffeehouse on the block

Imagine for a moment that the International Maritime Organization is a coffeehouse. The name is too long, so it will have to be called IMOcafe, IMOcha or something similar, a short and catchy name. Enter, and you immediately realise that this is no ordinary...

IMO raking it in from STCW and other publications

In contrast to the ILO's policy, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) does not provide free online access to the full texts of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and other IMO...