It's too bad there are no fairies in the shipping world like the one depicted in John Atkinson Grimshaw's 1879 painting, Spirit of the Night (pictured above). Otherwise, I would summon their help to make the following maritime-related wishes for the new year, 2019,...
I recently invited photography enthusiasts to share their pictures for a special Marine Café Blog feature on coffee. It's a hectic holiday season. What better time to take a respite from the workaday maritime world? Of the nearly 50 photos submitted, six stood out...
Money makes the world go round, the song goes. As far as shipping is concerned, it can make the world go up and down and even sideways. Money or the love of it is what fuels the expansion of shipping fleets and port facilities and the development of new...
For many years, I was contributing to leading international shipping and port journals until I quit in 2009 to become a blogger. You can say I am battle-scarred. I saw the culture in the maritime press up-close and witnessed its sad, downward trajectory...read more
“A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day,” wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem, The Lighthouse. There is something magical about lighthouses that has fascinated writers and artists alike. Just visit the website of Fine Art America. At last count, this...read more
Readers of Marine Café Blog should be familiar by now with Frankie. He's one smart cat. I used to call him "the Philosopher Cat". However, he requested that I change the appellation to "Sage Cat", since, according to him, a philosopher is not necessarily wise. Frankie...read more
Harmony in blue and silver: Trouville — oil on canvas, 1865, by James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) Nine years after its launch, Marine Café Blog is undergoing a sea change. I have decided to shift its focus to marine art, photography...read more
Filipino mariners risk life and limb whilst working at sea. In the meantime, many crewing agents in Manila merrily help themselves to the dollars they send home every month. These white-collar thieves do not feel guilty in the least. They seem as contented as the...read more
In the profit-crazed world of shipping, who cares about poems of the sea? Not many for sure. Poetry serves no practical purpose, and it won't fill one's pockets. But, as English writer Robert Graves said in his 1963 lecture at the London School of Economics, “If...read more
By Captain Ardeshir Yousefi NOTE: The sea is one vast cemetery, as the above photo of the RMS Titanic wreck from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US reminds us. More than a century has passed since the sinking of the British passenger...read more
Who would dare criticise the International Maritime Organization (IMO)? It is a leviathan — immense, powerful and rich. To assail its actions, one would have to be as intrepid as Musashi, the legendary Japanese swordsman shown battling a whale in Utagawa Kuniyoshi's...read more
The past is never dead. It's not even past. ~ William Faulkner (from 'Requiem for a Nun') Of late I have been enamoured with maritime photos dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is not only the long gone social milieu they depict that fascinates...read more
The world's ship manning capital has such a unique, albeit impaired, culture that it inspired me to publish my second e-book, 'Close Encounters in Maritime Manila', in April 2018. The following are brief excerpts from the volume. I hope this smattering of quotes will...read more