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 | 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.

COLUMN | Global sulphur cap 2020 – Don't panic! (Part 2) [The Boroscope]

There’s no better way to sell newspapers to an unsuspecting public than to instill a bit of fear and panic into their lives. Yet the world’s press hasn’t cottoned on to the latest big event which will change our way of life forever. The 2020 Sulphur Cap will be implemented on January 1 next year and the world will feel the immediate effects of the increased costs of shipped goods.

REMINISCENCES | Shipbuilding on the Clyde

The river Clyde – though a very muddy little stream – is known to most people throughout the world as a place that has a great deal to do in the building of ships. Doubtless, most young engineers have at some time or another observed that familiar brass plate which adorns the engine-room bulkhead, “Built on the Clyde."

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.

COLUMN | Global sulphur cap 2020 – Don't panic! (Part 1) [The Boroscope]

We are only months away from an event which will not only change world shipping forever but possibly the world’s economy as well. On January 1, 2020, the IMO will enforce the reduction of global sulphur cap for ships heavy fuel from 3.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent. The implications of this regulation change are far reaching and the impact has yet to be fully appreciated.

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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