Archive of: A Mariner's Notebook

Title Issue

Mariners need time, proper facilities to maintain hygiene at sea

I was a young mate working on a crude oil tanker connected to the single-point mooring at Barbers Point, Hawaii.

October/November 2016

Working inland waters comes with payoff in good times or bad

My wife and I had been enjoying our vacation at Lake Chelan, Wash., on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. On Saturday morning, as we were waiting to get a table for breakfast at the Apple Cup restaurant, I struck up a conversation with a young couple next to us.

September 2016

Embrace technology to take care of your shoreside business

My dad was from Minnesota, and he began his career as a coal passer on the Great Lakes, later sailing as an able seaman and boatswain on oceangoing commercial vessels in the 1950s and 1960s.

August 2016

Don’t be shortsighted — use eye protection while on the job

I was the cadet on a containership running between Anchorage, Alaska, and Seattle’s Terminal 5, assigned to the second mate’s watch.

June/July 2016

It’s time to reconsider the value of radar observer renewal

The red glow from the radar simulator console illuminated the darkness ethereally as I put down the grease pencil and clear plastic ruler at the end of the test for my original unlimited radar observer certificate.

May 2016

Lifting the oil export ban will mean bad news for US mariners

In retaliation for assisting Israel militarily after it was attacked, in 1973 the oil-producing countries of the Middle East imposed an oil embargo against the United States.

April 2016

Laid off? Flexibility and license upgrades can brighten your future

For longer than I have been in the business, the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has been “boom or bust.”

March 2016

US must invest in Arctic maritime facilities, new icebreakers

After getting an urgent phone call for an emergency relief position, I was making an unexpected airplane trip to catch a fish-processing ship working in the Bering Sea near the Arctic Circle.

February 2016

Flags of convenience are a disgrace to the maritime industry

I had completed the academic requirements for graduation from California Maritime Academy and passed my third mate’s exam, so all I had to do was make sure there were no library fines and wait a week until the official graduation ceremony.

December/January 2016

Regulators should simplify medical certificate requirements

It was a cold, clear February day in 2014, and my wife and I were picking up our mail at the local post office.

October/November 2015
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