Survey says…

August 6, 2012

Apparently there is a shortage of experienced ship staff and operators. Specialized head hunting firms seemed to be popping up everywhere, while established, but non marine specialized ones, focus on to the high bounty paid as a result of a successful placement. However, I field inquiries suggesting that these established “land firms” have trouble understanding the challenges of “headhunting” in the seafaring world. This has resulted in some benefits to…

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The hammer drops (on Canadian cabotage)

July 25, 2012

McCleary’s Spirit, loaded, in Quebec My gut is big, and not necessarily pretty, but its usually accurate when it comes to intuition. I felt that any day now we would have work for our ship, a product tanker, or something drastic would happen. Well, as it turns out, the latter happened. If you follow this blog, you’ll recalled that the ship I sail on was recently been laid up in…

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Warning to the world (Thanks Mr. Harper)

July 11, 2012

All my shipmates, except myself and the Captains, have been given lay off notices; for us its just a matter of time before we get ours as well. It seems that the vessel is unable to find work in these parts. Our usual cargo was clean petroleum products, and we moved it around the St Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. Some guys were working aboard for ten years, a…

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Where does the time go…

February 14, 2012

I’ve been in the shipyard for the last three weeks, in Port Weller, to be exact. Our tug and barge are up for their surveys. Nothing too major, well except for that expensive steel repair bill. I’ve kept my head down, trying to get as much done as possible with the aim, like most engineers, to make sure things don’t break down later, when you really need them. Of course…

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2012 part 3 – Big plans

February 6, 2012

Continued from 2012 part 2 – From sea to sea to sea The big news of the 2011 was probably the National Ship Procurement Strategy. The much heralded NSPS is a great step forward, in the fact that the government recognized, after decades of neglect, that they need to build ships; then went on to try to figure out how to do it. A major accomplishment, but at the end…

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2012 part 2- From sea to sea to sea

February 3, 2012

Continue from 2012 part 1 of 3- Got Skills? Although trade numbers were generally up around the ports and seaways in 2011, there is a generalized unease about life across Canada, and in particular around the world. We are seeing lots of “established” ideas turn on their heads. This will continue to put strain on our “mental” comfort levels, but the marine industry I think, will continue a sure footed…

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2012 part 1 – Got Skills?

February 1, 2012

I get the feeling that the Marine industry is, has been, under the constant strain of “noise”, “heat” and “pressure”. Its kind of comforting for us engineer aboard, since this is our career, our kind of environment. We thrive in these conditions, and we are well position to weather the continuous “economic lows” on the prognosticator’s radar screens. Well figuratively speaking anyways. As I have done for a couple of…

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Desgagnes Officers on strike… sort of

December 7, 2011

MV Sarah Desgagnes in Montreal Desgagnes Tanker division is under strike action by it’s shipboard officers, engineers and navigators. Desgagnes is a well known Canadian shipping company, based out of Quebec City. They operate a mix fleet of bulkers, roros, general cargo, heavy lift and tankers in the Eastern Arctic trade, down into the Great Lakes, and all point in between. The tankers division, known as Petronav, and based out…

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