Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Sweet & Sour – with some ginger as well !
As the social backgrounds of the serving merchant-seafarers changed, so did a lot more too!
A modern day sailor ….
  • Well educated
  • well informed
  • well provided with high tech ships
  • well provided with high standards of shore supports
  • well trained
  • well rested
  • well protected
  • well recognized socially
  • well-connected in real time
  • well paid
  • in good health
  • high in safety
  • saves the environment
  • saves the undue expenses
  • saves well for himself
  • under the constant threat of sea-pirates
  • under the constant threat of criminalization
    But (indeed no one likes a ‘but’ interrupting the list …)
  • not able to command the crew in emergencies (see some of the recent marine accidents)
  • not able to verify effectively
  • not able to tie a knot with expertise
  • not able to splice well
  • not able to swim well (is it…? there are so many ..)
  • not able to interrupt a wrong practice with self-initiative
  • not believing in ‘command & control’ to run a unit that is designed for just that
  • too many stories of Captains abandoning the crews and passengers and escaping themselves
  • not knowing what is a seaman’s proverbs to predict the weather at sea (‘red sky at night sailor's delight ….’) !!
  • not knowing the sea-creatures unless he sees the documentary
  • can not describe the sea and swell
  • doesn’t bother to top up the wet bulb thermometer
  • doesn’t really check the time error
  • can not predict the weather ahead  
Do the pros have to be countered by the ‘cons’ is it..?!!
Whatever – as long as the cargoes are shipped safely and timely, seas & environment are kept clean & lovely, freight earnings are plenty, the world doesn’t really mind how the man at the sea commands! 'Command' is old fashioned anyway!!  

What are the far reaching effects of this change already happening at sea? In part we can anticipate and in part it will be what we do not foresee now ... the time will tell .....unless of course the 'command' is ashore by men & women in shifts controlling the futuristic unmanned ships !!
Safe sailings!

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