Friends at Sea

June 25, 2017

Here’s a video I recently posted on my YouTube channel from a recent stint at sea. Filmed in June 2017, about 100 miles from Cape Hatteras, off the US east coast, we encountered many pod of dolphins (to be honest they may be purposes, I have no idea). This one pod was spotted far away coming towards the ship, not sure what they are attracted to in particular, but it’s…

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Is Transport Canada going Plaid?

June 18, 2017

When I made up this graphic from a Jaws movie poster, it was to sort of characterize the coming of STCW2010; I knew it was a provocative, but as it turns out, quite accurate. The new requirements for retraining are significant, but hit every seafarer around the world equally. In addition to these new requirements, Transport Canada (TC) looks set to bring about some major changes to the Marine Engineering…

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Marine Engineering wages – Part 2 of 2

June 14, 2017

In part one of this thread, I theorized that the Canadian marine industry did not have an effective workforce succession plan, and therefore relies for its survival on what should be, the “fringe” groups within the make-up of the workforce. Without a larger, younger, but more experienced core to the workforce, the people who should be on the edges – the new entrants, and the soon to retire members of…

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How a hamburger affects your wage – Part 1 of 2

June 9, 2017

I was asked some time ago by a crewing manager, what a proper wage for a seagoing Marine Engineer should be. An answer was given, one that I detail in Part Two of this post, but in general, I could not answer her adequately, and it took me quite some time to mull it over; here’s what I think. As far as wages for Canadian certified Marine Engineers are concerned,…

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A pain in my… arm

May 14, 2017

We were in a maintenance period at the company’s dock in Quebec City, doing a fair bit of heavy stuff, things were moving fast and the pieces were big.  The pain started just before ten in the morning, in my right elbow, not quite at the tip, but very near it; I could feel the exact spot where the pain emanated from, deep within my arm, in the bone almost,…

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Official start of the end of Canadian seafaring

February 14, 2017

Attached is a press release by the European Ship Owners, gloating about the exciting new opportunity that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will represent to their businesses. Meaning this is the official start of the end of Canadian Seafaring. Specifically mentioned in CETA, and boasted in the owners’ press release, is dredging activities. I am a Chief Engineer on one of the few dredging ships working in Canada,…

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Immigration adrenaline

February 9, 2017

Several years ago, in the project Blue Riband, I proposed many new ideas to address a shortage of marine professionals on ships and ashore. The project was meant to highlight shortcomings that I observed in the Canadian marine industry (but worldwide too), propose solutions, and mostly start a conversation. I needed to get those ideas out of my head, so from that perspective it was a success, but otherwise did…

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Making shipping great again (?)

November 24, 2016

GCaptain and others media sources are reporting that Wilbur Ross Jr. , a “78-year-old contrarian (who) has made a fortune betting on troubled banks and distressed assets in industries such as steel, coal and textiles” (from G&M), is being considered for the post of Secretary of Commerce (aka Minister of Trade). Some highlights of his Wikipedia page, include 24 years with “Rothschild” in NYC, “textile manufacturing”, “Mittal” union busting, “miners…

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