Archive of: A Mariner's Notebook

Title Issue

Sitting down on watch? Tradition aside, it’s the smart option

I remember the day my letter of acceptance to the California Maritime Academy (CMA) arrived at my apartment in Spokane, Wash.

May 2020

Upgrading your license? Check the CFR to get what you’ve earned

I had been working as an ordinary seaman with a large West Coast towing company out of Long Beach, Calif., my first job after graduating from the California Maritime Academy.

April 2020

Mariners pay the price for being independent contractors at sea

I had agreed to take the mate’s position on a 350-foot ship transiting from a shipyard in Bellingham, Wash., to the destination port of Bath, Maine.

March 2020

To save the Jones Act, know your enemies — and fight back

Just before graduation from California Maritime Academy, I had the chance to be in the audience for a debate on the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Jones Act) held during an industry symposium at the school.

February 2020

A Christmas sea story: Lessons from the past, present and future

I was a senior at the California Maritime Academy and one of only 10 cadets in my class who were chosen to go on a commercial ship for their senior cruise.

December/January 2020

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
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