A lighthouse is more than what the Cambridge Dictionary says it is: “a tall structure by the sea with a flashing light that warns ships of dangerous rocks or shows them the way into a port.” It serves to inspire writers, painters, photographers and anybody whose mind...
What is the difference between a boat and a ship? I am posing this old question again because, try hard as I may, I cannot find a satisfactory answer that would put the matter to rest. If the conundrum can befuddle seafarers and other maritime professionals, what more...
How dumb and foolish can some people be? The use of maritime cadets as unpaid labour by Philippine manning agencies is a clear case of exploitation. I would even call it a form of modern-day slavery. Yet, many Filipinos think it is perfectly normal. The arguments they...
My article, How to steal millions from seafarers and get away with it, stirred so much interest that I thought I should follow it up with some quotes about stealing. Maritime thievery is not limited to dishonest manning agents. The shipping world is peopled by all...read more
How can one steal from seafarers big time and not be held accountable? In Manila, it is surprisingly easy. Many have been doing it for decades, not secretly but right before the eyes of seafarers and their families. You just have do three things. One, own a manning...read more
The seascapes of Ivan Aivazovsky or J.M.W. Turner, both Romantic painters from the 19th century, are unquestionably beautiful. They captivate and mesmerise the viewer. However, they fail to portray the true beauty and character of the sea, which lie deep under the...read more
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has visited what I call the Filipino seafarer factory seven times from 2006 to 2017. Those following the visits must be growing tired by now. Will the inspections go on ad infinitum? When will the European Commission, on...read more
Dear Friends and Followers, Marine Café Blog will turn 10 years old this August. It is one of the most popular maritime blogs around with a broad–based readership. The blog continues to be guided by the belief that the greatest challenge faced by the shippiing world...read more
The sea — this truth must be confessed — has no generosity. No display of manly qualities — courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness — has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power. Thus wrote the Polish-born author and merchant ship...read more
The maritime world is abuzz with talk about depression at sea and wellness training. Although the latter is a load of baloney, I thought I'd weigh in with some great quotes about depression. In some cases, the authors used the term “melancholy” (or melancholia, a...read more
Long-time readers of Marine Café Blog are familiar with Frankie. I call him the Sage Cat — known for his snooty self-assurance and sardonic remarks, yet endearing in some ways. Frankie has been featured several times in this blog. This is my first interview with him...read more
The establishment, according to the Oxford Learner's Dictionary, is “the people in a society or a profession who have influence and power and who usually do not support change”. The last part of the definition is significant. The establishment is rightly seen as slow...read more
The sailing ships in days of yore were so splendid that they inspired countless paintings, including The Return to Amsterdam of the Second Expedition to the East Indies (pictured above) by Dutch Golden Age artist Hendrik Cornelisz Vroom (c.1562–1640). Those who built...read more