Michael Grey

Michael Grey

Maritime industry legend, and former long-term editor of Lloyds List, Michael Grey kicks off each issue of Work Boat World with topical issues affecting the maritime world at large.

REMINISCENCES | Two wheels around the world

It was the alleged misdemeanours of an aircraft carrier’s captain that reminded me of my bicycle. It was in all the newspapers in this northern hemisphere – the captain of the Royal Navy’s biggest warship being relieved of his command on account of his personal use of the ship’s car.

COLUMN | Smile, you're on camera! [Grey Power]

There is just no hiding your most embarrassing moments, in these days of Facebook, when every man and his dog are equipped with a movie-camera. Most professional mariners would have squirmed in their seats watching the incident in Venice when the cruise ship MSC Opera went out of control and squashed an excursion boat. The scary moments were captured, complete with sound tracks, from half a dozen different angles, as the ship careered towards the side of the canal and the moored excursion craft.

  • Published in Cruise

REMINISCENCES | Ice, isn’t that nice

In our Commonwealth liners, we were blue water sailors, accustomed to the odd storm and occasional monsoon, but largely unprepared for anything too extreme. Ice was something you read about in seamanship text books and accounts of the loss of the Titanic. I saw my first iceberg on a voyage into the St. Lawrence, and although it wasn’t a very big one, it was the source of huge excitement, all hands crowding the rails while the Master looked terribly worried, even though it was several miles off.

COLUMN | Delivering cleaner shipping [Grey Power]

There is not a lot of maritime news in the mainstream media. I went to the funeral of the last shipping correspondent who worked for a daily broadsheet nearly forty years ago and he, poor chap, was never replaced. Shipping is like the water supply or sewage system, somebody said; you never think about it until it goes wrong, when there is hell to pay.

COLUMN | Convert with care [Grey Power]

It seemed a good idea at the time to get hold of some very large crude carriers when values of these ships were low, and convert them speedily into ore carriers, for this was what the market clearly required.

REMINISCENCES | Carefully to carry

It was a photograph of one of these monster container ships that made me sorry for those who have to sail in them. It was probably a maiden voyage of a CMA-CGM new delivery, because every one of the 18,000TEU that festooned this colossal ship was identical and advertising the company brand. Whatever amazing treasures were contained in the cargo carried in this big ship, its crew would have remained in ignorance about it all. Isn’t that sad?

COLUMN | Too many eggs in the basket [Grey Power]

You should, as the song instructs us, always look on the bright side of life. I’m afraid, when I saw the news that the German carmaker Porsche was having to restart its limited edition, top-of-the-range production line, because nearly 40 of its most expensive vehicles had been lost aboard the sunken Con-Ro Grande America, my reaction was not entirely negative.

REMINISCENCES | Oiling the wheels of industry

These days, when corruption has gone inter-continental and there is so much money laundering, you don’t wonder why the banknotes are dirty, I sometimes recall the corrupt practices of the past. It wasn’t exactly an age of innocence, but it all seems to have been on a smaller and more comprehensible scale, when there was less transparency about what was being given to whom to ..er..“facilitate trade”.

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