It amazes me that a whole industry has been built on the simple question of how to become a good manager. Conferences, workshops, books, videos — self-styled management gurus are raking it in. It's a neat racket, if you ask me. There is more wisdom, I would like to...
“Like your body, your mind also gets tired so refresh it by wise sayings,” according to the caliph Ali bin Abi Talib. My mind is not tired, but I thought I would share some quotations about sailors and the sea. Except for two quotes (from the Japanese writer Yukio...
Seafarers have had the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) fighting for their rights since its founding in 1896. ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, aims to advance the same rights. And lest anyone forget, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights...
Jill Friedman of Lake Jackson, Texas, is an old salt who holds United States Coast Guard licences for Unlimited Master and DPO (Dynamic Positioning Operator) Unlimited. It is not only her professional credentials, however, that make her stand out. Captain Jill is an...read more
Some old photographs are not merely old. They are vintage, a word one would use to describe quality wine which gets even better with age. I have assembled six such photographs to make the following essay on a popular subject: people at the beach. They were taken...read more
Marine Café Blog has always been unorthodox and, in many cases, even irreverent. Its aim is simple and has not changed since its launch in August 2009: to share ideas and information in the hope that readers will see things in a new light. That light could be...read more
The problem with today's maritime press is not fake news. It is the deluge of press releases churned out almost daily by PR firms. The wave is massive like the tidal surge in Hokusai's iconic woodblock print (pictured above) entitled Under the Wave off Kanagawa, also...read more
Marine Café Blog has been running for more than nine years now. That is a long time, certainly long enough for me to discover or validate certain truths about the shipping industry and its various players. Not ordinary facts, but fundamental truths — not glossed over...read more
Countless artists have painted or made drawings of fishermen. However, Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) did so with unusual passion. Viewing his works, one is left feeling that the artist, not only possessed great talent, but had a genuine...read more
The problem with buzzwords is that they tend to oversimplify and in effect give a false picture of reality. The latest to hit the shipping world — wellness training — is particularly problematic. The phrase is bandied about by seafarer charities and the maritime press...read more
To tell Filipinos to rethink what has been their main maritime activity could be asking for the moon. Ship manning has become as addictive to them as alcohol. It is their opiate — inducing the kind of foggy and false sense of contentment that French artist Michel Ange...read more
Few themes in art are as enduring and inspiring as that of mother and child. Throughout the centuries, the subject has seen many iterations, either religious or secular. Its fascination to artists and humanity as a whole is not at all surprising. Works of art...read more
The UK-based Sailors' Society has harnessed social media to clamor for the amendment of ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, to make wellness training mandatory for seafarers. So why not do the same to counter the whole silly idea? As a follow-up to Marine Café...read more