Archive of: A Mariner's Notebook

Title Issue

Put accent on respect, courtesy for effective communication at sea

I was working on a gasoline tanker running between Tampa, Fla., Lake Charles, La., and Corpus Christi, Texas, when a new third mate joined our ship.

October/November 2019

Vulnerable sea mammals deserve our respect and protection

It was the end of January, and I was the 4-8 watch officer on an oceanographic ship working near the Hawaiian islands of Kahoolawe and Maui.

September 2019

In age of seagoing specialists, plan now — later may be too late

It was Saturday, graduation day at California Maritime Academy (CMA), and a warm spring haze was just burning off the Carquinez Strait as we assembled for the ceremony.

August 2019

Time to make nation’s shipyards, merchant marine great again

For almost 50 years, beginning in the late 1930s, our government actually helped get U.S.-flag merchant ships built, utilizing the Construction Differential Subsidy (CDS) program.

June/July 2019

Hurdles abound, but merchant marine can pay off as second career

It was a sunny Southern California day, and I had been invited to speak at the Newport Beach Yacht Club, one of a number of engagements scheduled during my two-week visit to the area.

May 2019

Nautical terms pepper discourse of old salts and landlubbers alike

It was the English cleric and author Charles C. Colton who wrote, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

April 2019

School of hard knocks delivers painful lessons in fall prevention

Anyone who has worked on a commercial vessel will tell you how easy it can be to slip and fall while on board.

March 2019

‘Don’t let the bedbugs bite’ tall order on an unsanitary ship

After a long day of flying to Tampa, Fla., from Seattle, I paid the cab driver and grabbed my gear, having finally arrived at the shipyard where the 890-foot crude oil tanker to which the company had assigned me was finishing up a nearly two-month yard period.

February 2019

Toasts of New Year’s past: Ship horns, sky fire and a bit of ‘bubbly’

In a few short days, New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world will take place, with different cultures noting the turn of the year in their own unique ways.

December/January 2019

Missouri disaster should be end of the line for duck boats

After having spent most of my seagoing career working in the oil industry and on tugs, I took a job working as a mate on board high-speed passenger vessels one summer.

October/November 2018
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