Bob might finally retire; WMI changes ownership

March 16, 2015

Captain Robert CE Kitching, President, Western Maritime Institute Western Maritime Institute’s parking lot was full to the brim last week when I went to visit. The institute’s founder, Capt. Bob Kitching states that he’s even had to find parking out on the road on some days. Capt Kitching founded Western Maritime Institute (WMI) back in 2000, on the site of a surplus elementary school, in a semi rural area, south…


So, how was your holiday season?

January 15, 2015

…from interwebs I’m still alive! You wouldn’t know it by the posts on this site but I am. Last year was just super busy personally and professionally, which left me little time to dedicate to the blog. Generally, each original post usually takes about 5-6 hrs to produce, believe it or not, which has been a challenge to fit into my schedule, already in perpetual flux. The constant bouncing around…


Sixes, a quick way to a deep six

September 2, 2014

from the interwebs Is there anything worse than working “sixes”? I would submit that there is not. “Sixes” is a watch standing routine common to Canada. It is a brutal watch system where two people share the oversight responsibility amongst themselves, in particular on smaller vessels, like tugs. In the engine room the Chief Engineer stands the 6-12 watch, while the Second Engineer stands the 12-6 watch. These watches last…


Insulting and repulsive

July 28, 2014

Silja Festival – from interwebs Last week, the operators of the Delta Spirit Lodge, through a Vancouver based Law Firm specializing in Commercial Law, put advertisements on the BC Government’s taxpayer funded WorkBC website. The advertisement was looking for all ranks of seafarers, including marine professionals holding a Transport Canada engineering Certificate of Competency of Second and First Class. The Delta Spirit Lodge is actually the 28 year old MV…


Don’t mention P.M.S.

July 11, 2014

Funny things happen when I leave home.  For one, the Domestic Operations Control Unit (my spouse) is probably happier, to a certain extent anyways. It’s really tough being married with children and going to sea. It is not realistic to have her work outside the home, as the costs outweigh the benefits. So she ends up being, by necessity, the Alpha in the home.  Of course being a Chief Engineer,…


The CTA refuses a Waiver – Pinch me !

March 12, 2014

Actual Cdn. content may vary Stunned, amazed – “pinch me”, the Canada Transportation Agency has surprised me! You see, I started watching more closely the application and decision process of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), several years ago, after my previous vessel was “displaced” by foreign tankers operating between Canadian ports. For whatever reason, our vessel, its entire crew, and its management lost the work we had been doing for…


Regular Sex

February 24, 2014

NYC: March 2003 As it turns out, my latest hitch aboard another old tug, has taken me clear across the country, to Newfoundland. Unfortunately, as many in Eastern North America have experienced, the weather is brutal, and not conducive to many maritime operations.  With no civilization nearby, and with no other entertainment options, we’ve been passing the time watching quite a few movies, now well into my “second choice” library,…


Escape from the Engine Room

February 19, 2014

Just watched Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s latest movie, Escape Plan. Stallone is some expert in maximum security prison – a breakout artist – and he gets to test out the latest “alphabet soup” secret super max prison. I had to laugh at the irony of it all, because as it turns out, the prison is actually a ship, or more correctly, on a ship. What do you think being a seafarer…