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The beauty and humanity of shipping

Marine Café Blog serves it with a distinct flavour

Drumming up the abuse of cadets in a deaf world

Drumming up the abuse of cadets in a deaf world

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

Life on the waterfront: an invitation to photographers

Life on the waterfront: an invitation to photographers

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.

Coping with seafarer exploitation and writer’s fatigue

Coping with seafarer exploitation and writer’s fatigue

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.

Recent Posts

Quid Pro Quo: a look at the Filipino maritime version

Quid Pro Quo: a look at the Filipino maritime version

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?

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Calm seas in art: 7 seascapes to soothe the spirit

Calm seas in art: 7 seascapes to soothe the spirit

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.

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When beautiful beaches are made ugly by war

When beautiful beaches are made ugly by war

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.

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