Who gives a hoot in Manila about maritime cadet exploitation?… In this part of the planet, manning agencies and some unions consider it perfectly normal to use cadets as unpaid labour, in many cases for months on end. The seafarer charities are aware of the practice, but none has come out to publicly condemn it. As for local maritime journalists, many would rather kiss ass than take up the cudgels for the cadets who are exploited in such blatant manner
There are few places in a town or city that are more interesting than the waterfront. Shopping malls certainly do not have the same kind of energy and atmosphere one finds on wharves and piers, on boardwalks and esplanades. With this in mind, Marine Café Blog is inviting all photographers to submit their photos for an upcoming special feature.
After writing about seafarers’ rights for almost a decade, I felt drained and defeated. The abuses against seamen were continuing. It was as if ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (the so-called “bill of rights” of seafarers) had never existed… I began to realise that writers who speak candidly on seafarer issues would never receive popular support.
The end of 2019 is more than a fortnight away. But as the old saying goes, time and tide wait for no man. So I thought I would try to get ahead of the sweeping tide (impossible as that may seem) and share some quotations about time. I trust that these will serve as food for thought and a source of inspiration for all ye readers of Marine Café Blog.
Frankly speaking, I am amused at how much attention the Latin phrase “quid pro quo” has been receiving of late in the US political scene. The expression can be traced back to the 16th century. It literally means “something for something”. In some cases, those who engage in quid pro quo could cross a legal red line as when a boss promises an employee a pay raise in exchange for sex. But what person — or nation — has not been guilty of the practice at one time or another?
No applause for them from the shipping press. Nor glowing tributes at fancy awards dinners. Yet, maritime pilots quietly perform work that is nothing short of heroic.
There are those — the Type A personalities usually— who cannot be satisfied with tranquility. They need and crave for action. Some even thrive in conflict. But surely, most humans long for some moment of peace and calmness. The following works of art, I hope, will soothe the spirit of those who seek such moments.
Manning agents in Manila may not be living in palaces. But they have servants at their beck and call just like Tsar Nicholas II and his family. And the servants are all young, too — maritime cadets who work as unpaid flunkeys (aka “utility”) and domestic servants in the offices and homes of the agents.
The beach held a strong attraction for the French Impressionist painter, Claude Monet. In 1868 he wrote to his friend Frédéric Bazille from Étretat, a coastal town in northern France: “I pass my time in the open air on the beach when it is really heavy weather or when the boats go out fishing…” Beaches in times of war are something else, however.
Wouldn’t it be great to see some marine art by Michelangelo? Alas, the man who is held to be one of the greatest artists of all time (pictured above in a portrait by his contemporary, Daniele da Volterra) did not paint seascapes.
I have never quite understood why Filipinos keep saying they are the top crew-supplying nation. The line is repeated so often by manning agents, journalists and academics that it has become a mantra. Those who say it do so with unconcealed pride — as if manning other...
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; ~ John Masefield, ‘Sea Fever’ Like the speaker in John Masefield's famous poem, Eugene Rutter (pictured above) has found the “call of the running...
Why an alternative maritime dictionary? Firstly because language is a living organism, constantly evolving and adapting to the times. Secondly because existing definitions of certain words and phrases may not exactly correspond to reality. In fact, they sometimes...