A sea of garbage

October 1, 2016

When we are out for a walk around the neighborhood, I feel dismay sometimes at the amount of litter I see. Once in a while the boys and I will grab garbage bags and go clean up around the neighborhood and its community mailbox, a high traffic area that seems to attract litter. It is important for me to reinforce to my children that we should respect our home and…

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Dealing with Transport Canada: bring patience and cash

June 21, 2016

Over the course of my 20 year career as a professional mariner in Canada, I routinely deal with Transport Canada, the certification authority in Canada. Some of my peers find these interactions akin to going to the dentist, sure they are useful, but not that pleasant. This post is about one of my recent interaction with Transport Canada Marine Safety (TCMS); you can be the judge of what its akin…

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Is the neighbor’s green grass lacking morality?

March 28, 2016

Some time ago, I received an interesting email, using the term “morality”, or the lack thereof, in describing the offshore oil and gas industry. Morality is not often used in shipping, but maybe it ought to. I thought it was in interesting wording by a young professional, and in itself provided some insight in our maritime industry in general and its future. Here are parts of his emails, and my…

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CTA Review – my comments to Canada’s Minister of Transport

March 15, 2016

Dear Minister Garneau, I am writing to you, to express my disappointment in the recent submission of recommendations under the Marine Section of the Canada Transportation Act Review (CTA), submitted to you, in December 2015, by the review panel’s chair, Hon. David Emerson. A little about me; I am a Transport Canada Marine Safety certified Marine Engineer; I completed a Marine Engineering apprenticeship at BCIT in Vancouver, and I have…

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Canadian transportation review: painting a target on Canadian seafarers

March 12, 2016

In December 2015, the Hon. David Emerson submitted his report to the Minister of Transportation on the state of transportation affairs in Canada – well, mostly rail and air, and some other stuff, like shipping. Some may recall Mr. Emerson, Vancouver based, Economist by trade, elected as a Liberal MP, only to cross the floor shortly after the election, to the Conservative Party, under Harper, back in 2006. The report…

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Western Maritime Institute in expansion mode… again

WMI courtyard
March 8, 2016

You would think Capt. Kitching would be enjoying the good life after passing on the bulk of his responsibility to the new owners of Western Maritime Institute (WMI), but you would be wrong. With no parking spot available the other day, when I visited, I quickly realized, there was obviously big things going on at Western Maritime. The Parking lot was full; on campus housing full; which meant the classrooms…

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The Monitor gets an extensive refit

Screenshot of The Monitor, Oct 2015
March 6, 2016

It may have seen like I abandon the blog portion of my website, as it was neglected for the past year, the reasons are numerous – family demands, health concerns, tough work environment, but probably a fair bit of burn out was involved. The blog area – The Monitor, online since late 2005, explores the business of being a seafarer. In Feb 2016 there was over 600 blog entries made,…

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Karma is nice

July 4, 2015

Charles Leeuwenburg wears many hats, being charitable to visiting sailors is just one more. (Picture by CL) Some people think I make a fortune off my marine engineering website. I don’t get that comment so much these days, but back when I started in 2000, there was this expectation that everybody with a website was a millionaire. No, far from it. It’s actually quite a bit of an expense in…

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