Archive of: A Mariner's Notebook

Title Issue

In electronic age, license consultant only way to go for credentials

It was a few minutes before they opened the doors of the U.S. Coast Guard Regional Exam Center (REC) at Seattle’s Pier 36, and I waited anxiously.

May 2017

Cruise line’s Arctic gamble could leave mariners holding the bag

Last August, the 820-foot Bahamas-registered cruise ship Crystal Serenity began its trip through the Arctic’s famed Northwest Passage above the United States and Canada, the melting ice and continued warming temperatures freeing up open water for much of the voyage.

April 2017

NMC tips save time, money when renewing medical certificate

In accordance with 46 CFR 10.209(d), it was time to renew my U.S. Coast Guard-issued medical certificate.

March 2017
Merchant Marine flag raises recognition of vital work in peace and war

Merchant Marine flag raises recognition of vital work in peace and war

One night last fall my wife and I were attending a local Audubon Society meeting with a group of friends, looking forward to a talk by an expert on pileated woodpeckers.

February 2017

Giving thanks for resolve that has made the sea safer for all

One of my favorite holidays, at sea and ashore, has always been Thanksgiving.

December/January 2017

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
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