Archive of: A Mariner's Notebook

Title Issue

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

IMO noise rules aren’t enough to protect mariners’ hearing

I had just finished a four-day temporary job as a deck hand on a combination towing vessel/landing craft, working for a large West Coast company out of Long Beach, Calif.

September 2015
Plan ahead for next year’s STCW gap-closing deadline

Plan ahead for next year’s STCW gap-closing deadline

It was the autumn of 1999, and I had been filling in for one of the permanent mates for a 45-day work tour on an oceanographic ship.

August 2015

Be sure to keep up with changes to national endorsements

Tom, a deck hand/cook I sailed with on a tug years ago, called me awhile back out of the blue.

June/July 2015

At sea, stress management is now a critical part of the job

I was working on a crude oil tanker, running between Valdez, Alaska, and the West Coast.

May 2015

Crewmates with bad attitude require thoughtful response

There’s no avoiding it. Living, working and eating meals with the same crewmembers day in and day out for weeks or months at a time is part of life aboard ship.

April 2015

New technologies should assist seafarers, not eliminate them

Whenever he’s not working, it’s almost a sure bet that our friend Phil will be standing in an open field somewhere guiding his radio-controlled helicopters and planes through the air. A roofer by trade, Phil was having dinner with my wife and I recently and told us he wanted to take his hobby to the next level — operating a personal drone.

February 2015

Our industry needs to protect mariners’ paid vacation time

By law, every worker in the 28-country European Union, Australia and New Zealand is legally mandated to receive at least a month of paid vacation each year — with six weeks the norm in many of those countries.

December/January 2015

US must provide funds for Arctic nautical charts, icebreaking

Twenty-nine years ago, my wife and I spent our honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies at Banff and Jasper national parks. On a sunny July day, we took a tour of the Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefield, going on the glacier in a special “ice bus.”

October/November 2014

Greater workload means ships need to have more crew

My dad sailed on commercial vessels as an able seaman and boatswain in the 1950s and 1960s, including several T2 tankers.

September 2014
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