Square peg in a round hole

December 5, 2022

Transport Canada Marine Safety (TCMS), is the ubiquitous part of my, and many other’s marine career in Canada. A common aspect of the interactions I get, relating to TCMS, is the bewildered head shaking that goes with them. Admittedly, I am critical of the department’s apparent lack of technical leadership, skill or action on files. On this platform I have often highlighted these shortfalls in hopes things will change, but…

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Working at sea; its so “romantic”

August 5, 2022

I made a Facebook post for my family and friends, to illustrate a bit of the living conditions while working at sea. For the active seafarers that frequent this site, this is very typical, but I thought it would be a good post to share here as well. —— Allot of people don’t really know what working at sea means. I often get the feeling from comments I hear, of…

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TC greases sqeaky wheel

July 24, 2022

11 dead, 70 injured, USD8 million in damage, almost USD90 million in legal settlements was the result of the Staten Island ferry Andrew J Barberi, slamming into a pier, on October  15th, 2003. On the list of major maritime accidents it was pretty significant, but for seafarers around the world, it was the match that lit the “crack down” on seafarer medicals. As for the cause, the National Transportation Safety…

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How long or many CTA waivers are enough?

June 7, 2022

CTA, oh my CTA, you are never far from my mind – cuz you keep sawing my legs off. The Canada Coasting Trade Act and the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) that administers it, are on the front line of our survival as professional seafarers in Canada. The quasi legal board of appointed “lawyers types” rules on whether or not, non Canadian (non tax paying) ships and their crews, to a…

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Crossing the bar: Claude Leduc

April 19, 2022

This post is a small and personal tribute to my father, Claude Leduc, who passed away in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, on Sunday, April 03, 2022. He was a most loving and supportive father; always eager, engaged, and interested in hearing all my sea stories, career developments and gripes. A constant grounding force and voice of compassion and reason, he was a champion of my causes. Thank you dad, I…

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TC to issue CoR to Ukrainians CoC

March 31, 2022

Canadian ship owners are facing some serious crewing troubles! Decades of cajoling and bullying labour has resulted in a pointed lack of Canadian seafarers, which is starting to have significant effect on operations. Trying to get young people in the industry is a difficult endeavour, but even retaining crew has become a challenge, with many looking to move away from the industry. My younger peers over at the Loose Lips…

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Lessons from Zim Kingston

March 11, 2022

On October 21, 2021, near the completion of its journey from South Korea to Vancouver, the container ship Zim Kingston reported to Canada’s Vessel Traffic Service Prince Rupert Radio, that it had lost part of its cargo of containers. Originally, the ship reported losing 40 containers, which was revised to 109 a few days later. US and Canadian authorities dropped locating beacons to track the movement of the containers; the…

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Mystery of the missing engineer(s)

January 27, 2022

In the mid-nineties, I was in Diesel Engine mechanic training program at Camosun College, in Victoria BC. The instructor, Don Wilson, a legend in the diesel mechanic world of these parts, approached me with an interesting career prospect. He was in contact with Ian Smart, Director at the Marine Branch of the BC Ministry of Transportation, which oversaw the “fresh water” ferries in the province. They actually had only three…

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