Archive of: A Mariner's Notebook

Title Issue

Maritime-themed movies, TV shows can inspire new seafarers

Pirates! German U-boats trying to torpedo the convoy! Passengers and crew held captive! The captain gets washed overboard in a typhoon! The hazards of being at sea on a commercial vessel, in peace and during war, have been the basis for some great movies and television series.

March 2014

New STCW security endorsements required on U.S. vessels

As I write this there are 64 commercial mariners facing the same hell that Capt. Richard Phillips survived during the Maersk Alabama incident in 2009 — being held hostage by Somali pirates. In the past year there have been nearly 250 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against commercial vessels reported worldwide.

February 2014

A wish for happy, healthy holidays: hand-washing, sanitizer, garlic

I had taken a job on an oceanographic ship over the holidays, to give the permanent mate the opportunity to be with his wife and young son.

December/January 2014

Stowaway rats, modern biohazards point to need for health inspections aboard ships

My first year as a cadet on California Maritime Academy’s training ship Golden Bear, we were moored during a port stay in Pago Pago, American Samoa. After a long day of swimming and sightseeing ashore, I was making my way down the dock toward the gangway.

October/November 2013

Five years later, a smoother trip through the TWIC process

Anyone who holds a U.S. Coast Guard-issued Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) must have a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card.

September 2013

Shorter training programs at public colleges are viable alternative

Before entering the industry, I looked at different ways to begin my career. Back then working my way up from the bottom, “coming up the hawsepipe,” or attending a four-year academy were essentially the only two choices available to me. I decided on the academy route after visiting a couple of those four-year public institutions.

August 2013

Investing in sensible shoes puts a mariner on solid footing

After paying my way through California Maritime Academy, I entered the industry as a deck hand for a large West Coast towing company. I was over $20,000 in debt and had no money for new work shoes.

June/July 2013

To stay healthy, mariners need exercise, and a place to do it

While attending California Maritime Academy, I spent part of each day exercising.

May 2013

U.S., Canada need to be proactive in tracking tsunami debris

On March 11, 2011, a devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan, killing nearly 16,000 people and generating a deadly 20-foot tsunami wave that hit the Tohoku region fiercely.

April 2013

Document renewals: Stay alert to changes or pay the price

March 2013
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