Archive for November, 2009

Ways to stay connected on-line while onboard

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Imagine yourself connected on-line, surfing the web, checking your emails, and chatting or making a video call to your friends and family. All of this you can do while you’re onboard the ship. It can either be through a wifi connection, a usb broadband connection, or a dial-up connection using your mobile phone.

Communication plays a role on modern shipping. “Marianne Schulte”, the first containership built and works at a regular service between the Caribbean and UK or Rotterdam adopted the FleetBroadband service of the Inmarsat. It provides the ship and crew the same standard of voice and data connectivity as they expect ashore. Great news for every seafarer but not all ship has this.

How to connect…

Let’s not compare all the ship with the same equipment as with “Marianne Schulte”, let’s just find our own way to connect on-line.

With the following tips you can connect on-line wherever port your ship arrives:

    • Buy a local simcard

By using the local simcard, you lessen the risk of having to pay a lot compared to using an international simcard. Attached the simcard on your mobile phone, activate your mobile phone Bluetooth to synchronize with your laptop. In short you will use your mobile phone as a dial-up connection to connect on-line. You can also install your mobile phone “PC suite” if you’re having difficulty with your Bluetooth connection.

    • Scout for a free Wi-Fi signal

Some ports generously share their Wi-Fi connection free. During our recent call at New York, the ship remained at anchor for a week awaiting availability of the tanker terminal. They have a free Wi-Fi connection, which we luckily caught and were able to connect to it.

You can also go to a seaman’s club and use this service. Most of the seaman’s club think of the seafarer’s welfare and they know our needs especially when it comes to communication.

    • Buy a local usb broadband connection

If your ship trades on the same ports always, I can advise that you buy a local usb broadband connection. You can connect on-line in a jiffy.

“A word of advice, keep your wireless connection on. You might luckily found a connection.”

Your resources.

The agent and pilots knows their country better than us. Ask them about this. Try to convince them to help you. I often ask them to help transport or buy for me some items that are difficult to buy. If you’re lucky and you talk to a kind agent or pilot, they’ll be willing to help you.

Be careful.

Most seafarers carry their own laptops onboard. Even the messboys have their own laptop. But few of them know the importance of installing antivirus software. Whenever you plan to connect on-line, make sure the virus definition of your antivirus software is updated. Otherwise your computer may suffer some of this virus attacks or even worse.

Conclusion.

Being able to connect on-line while onboard can help relieve a little of your stress. You can communicate to your family through the internet or simply surf the net to pass the time. Try to learn as much as you can from your friends onboard for new and better ways to connect on-line. Other people may know a lot more about it, so share with us your thought, post your comments and be heard.

How to plan your City Tour

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

The first that will make an impression to you about a place are its people. I’ve travelled around the world, most of the time and Filipino hospitality is still the best. A place can be so wonderful whenever you see people that are wholeheartedly welcoming you in their place.

People that are friendly, hospitable and full of pride at their natural heritage are noble indeed. Walking on a safe street creates a feeling of security for tourist. A clean street makes a great impression too. It’s a great escape from the city, especially if you’ve spend your entire life living in a crowded place.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
– (1 Peter 4:8-9)

When we’re talking about city, you wouldn’t want to miss your city tour. But before you start your tour of the city, you might want to list down some items. These must have are compulsory for you.

You must have these.

    • Backpacks

It’s good to have a handy backpack with you. Just the right size will do. Having all of your important items in one bag and keeping both of your hands free. You’ll probably buy some souvenir items along the way, so it’s better to have a bag for storage.

    • Water

Walking up and down, even crossing bridges and hopping on big rocks can surely make you thirsty. You can just imagine yourself perspiring and losing all those liquids of your body. It’s better to have bottled water inside your bag all the time.

    • Camera

This is the most important gadget that you should have. I’m not talking about built-in camera of your mobile phone. I’m talking about any digital camera that would make your picture stunningly great.

If you’re a DSLR person, I bet you already know some pointers in taking picture. But if you want to improve your photo shots, or a newbie who wants to know more about taking pictures, I suggest you read this photography book. It will help you a lot in improving your photo shots.

    • Caps

Caps are good to cover that extra sunlight creeping to your face. Whatever size and design you like, as long as it serves its purpose, it’s a must have for you. I would suggest a fishing hat or bucket hat, it gives you that shade that you need.

    • Shades

This comes with your caps. This item surely is a must have for you. It’s handy to carry; it doesn’t need too much space in your bag. It’s a good protection for your eye against UV Rays.

    • Money

This surely is the most important. Keep with you small bills of money so you won’t have problem buying. Credit cards are handy especially if you’re a frequent traveler. Remember that carrying many cash has its disadvantage too. Just bring the right number of money and you’ll do just fine.

This is just a few that you should have when you’re planning for your city tour. You can add a lot more to this list. Simply place your comment on the comment box provided and we’ll talk about it on-line. Don’t forget to bookmark this post for your future reference.

You may want to read “The beautiful city of Puerto Prinsesa”.

Voice from across the deep blue sea

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Far across the deep blue sea
Your smile lighted my way
Your watchful eyes guided me
To where I supposed to sail

I wished to write a diary
In every corner of the seven seas
To let the oceans and seas testify
How much you meant to me

You are my only love, my only life
You’re an inspiration in every bit of my heart
Even if the fury of wind will cross our line
But this love would always remain alive

Reflecting the first time I saw you
Those puzzled eyes and beautiful smile
You’re like a princess and I’m a stranger
In your simple and colorful paradise

I hold your hands so cold like an Alaskan breeze
Like a gusty wind across the deep blue seas
The serenity of the seas conquered my trembling body
But words were unspoken how much you mean to me

Remembering the day when we kissed
Your warm lips engulfed my whole body
Like the horizon and calm sea
Dreaming our love will never fade away

The dolphins jump in the rhythmic way
The sea gulls sing the undying melody
Cumulus clouds rolls and dance in the air
Testifying your inspiring words in my ear

In your side every moment is worthy for man
Like a ship secured in the helm man hands
Like a spring leaves in the century tree
Feeling the world is only for you and me

Yet, you had been so restless
You bade goodbye making my world so lifeless
Night was so dark and the buoys lost its lights
Feeling the agony and pain in my heart

You set your sails toward another sea
Leaving me in a harbor with beautiful memories
Those unwritten and undying promises
Spilled out in white horses of the cruel waves

The harbor was so dark when you cast off the lines
But my shadow was there with tears in the eyes
I’m holding the rosary facing the red sky
Praying to hold you back in my waiting arms

The wide seas have kept as apart
And gusty wind whistled the dark clouds
Covering my voice a thousand miles
Never to hear my whispering heart

You may anchor into another arm
Venture to another love with out looking back
Kissing another lips warm than mine
But my love is still yours …my only love

I will always share your pain and success
Today and forever to the fullest
Heaven I swear could attest
This love will be in every corner of the seven seas

The memories you have left may be untold
Pages of this books would be unfold
Today and tomorrow the sweet music remain afloat
Still my heart is yours like a ship on a steady course

Today, I’m stranger in your paradise
To the land you wished to arrive
Tears are useless in my eyes
Wishing to secure your love again in my side

Loving you is more than the eyes could see
More than words to define
Deeper than unfathomable oceans
Never to be erased in my heart and mind

The diary of our love will remain forever
Even if the words are completely unfilled
Written in total pain and despair
But the happiness we shared is always there

You will always remain in the heart
You will always be part of my life
Even if the ocean and seas would keep us apart
Still, you will always be my love… my only love

The beautiful city of Puerto Princesa

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Having a vacation after a tiring contract on-board the ship is relaxing. When you’re thinking of vacation, I suggest Puerto Princesa as one of your destination. Few of us may know that Puerto Princesa’s name originated from Princess Eulalia of Spain, born in 1864 to Queen Isabel II. When the princess died, the Queen changed the name to Puerto de la Princesa. Later, the name was lessened to Puerto Princesa which is widely known today.

Puerto Princesa’s “Underground River” is still on the top ten of the “New7Wonders” of the world. Once you’ve experience the journey inside the river, you’ll never forget it. Apart from the river, you can go on different location that you would surely enjoy. Before I forget, Puerto Princesa is popular for being a clean city. So don’t even try to throw any garbage on the street or you’ll get caught.

Places to go to?

  1. Honda Bay – consists of several islets with shallow reefs and beaches which are the favorite swimming, snorkeling, and diving destinations of local residents and tourists. These islets consists of:
    • Cannon (Cowrie) Island,
    • Bat Island,
    • Lu-li Island (got from the word “lulubog-lilitaw”, meaning floating and sinking island, is visible only during low tide),
    • Starfish Island (known for its fine white sand and clear water that teems with starfish),
    • Snake Island (an island with a long stretch of time white sand shaped like a snake),
    • Pandan Island, and
    • Señorita Island (the breeding site of Lapu-Lapu fish).
  2. St. Paul Subterranean River National Park – the river flows within a deep cavern under rugged limestone and marble cliffs. Nominated and one of the finalist of the new Seven Wonders of the World (www.vote7.com). It stretches eight kilometers deep into an underground lagoon with crystalline waters within the hallowed recesses. You’ll travel through the tunnel aboard paddle boat outriggers, and at every turn you’ll see stalactite pillars, rock formations and domed amphitheaters.
  3. Irawan Crocodile Farming Institute – its goal is to preserve and further research studies on endangered species of crocodiles. The place also keeps a MiniZoo that features some of Palawan’s endemic animals.
  4. Iwahig Penal Farm – the colony has a 37 hectare scenic farm planted with coconut palm
    Trees, rice and other crops cultivated by the prisoners and their families. The prison has about 4,000 population and many inmates live with their families in so-called rehabilitation areas. Iwahig is like a picture of a modern farm rather than a prison. At iwahig prisoners toil their farms unguarded and are allowed to earn an income by working in the many shops which produces various handicrafts, they are also popular with their hand carved items made from Mahogany wood. The farm is a good tourist destination.
  5. Dos Palmas Island Resort and Spa – Dos Palmas Island Resort and Spa takes the environment seriously. You’ll have a great island experience during your stay at Dos Palmas. The foods are excellent and the accommodation is great.

These are just a few of the places you can enjoy during your stay at Palawan. If you haven’t vote yet, visit (www.vote7.com). Sign up and vote for “Underground River Puerto Prinsesa”.

Write a comment.

Your comment is much appreciated by the author. If you have an experience related to this topic. Share it with us, and let us talk about it on-line. By the way don’t forget to add this to your bookmark; you may like to read it again.

You may want to read “How to plan your City Tour”.

USCG, its goal… Its purpose…

Monday, November 9th, 2009

The USCG (United States Coastguard) is one of the five armed service of the US. How does it connect to the maritime industry? What are there purpose and mission? Born Ready! That’s what it takes to be a USCG. It takes much courage being a guardian.

Hurricane is popular to all mariners. We know how devastating a hurricane can be and the readiness of a group like the USCG is needed. Guarding the coast of a country? It’s one of the most difficult duties of a coastguard. Knowing every movement within countries territorial waters takes much dedication.

Why they decide to be a Guardian?

Being a guardian isn’t as easy as it looks. You have to undergo certain trainings that will test you physically and mentally. It’s both challenging and rewarding. Apart from that, you have several opportunities after you’ve completed your training as a guardian.

The “Honor Concept”, the foundation of all coastguard cadets. Every cadet lives by it, and passes it on from generation to generation. It’s a way of life inside the USCG academy. After completing their training, Coastguard Officers have several careers waiting for them. This includes…

  • Aviation
  • Engineering
  • Afloat Operations
  • Marine Environmental Safety and Environmental Protection
  • Law Enforcement
  • Homeland Security
  • Finance
  • Intergovernmental Operation
  • Personnel and Training
  • Port Operations and Waterways Management
  • Intelligence
  • Communication

If you ask me, it’s one of the most adventurous jobs. A honorable and successful career, once you become a Coastguard officer.

“The existence of the Honor Concept as a fundamental basis for cadet relationships carries with it the implication that any person whose conduct demeans or offends this concept has offended the entire Corps of Cadets. Who lives within the walls of the Cadet Barracks reveres honor; honor is our duty!”
…US Coastguard

They employ civilians.

If you’re thinking that it’s all about military service, we’ll your wrong. The USCG academy employs around 250 civilians in various positions. This includes:

  • Educators
  • Athletic Coaches
  • Administrative Support
  • Laborers
  • Instructional System Specialist and a lot more.

Do you have a personal experience being a USCG? Have you undergone an inspection by a USCG Officer? Every seafarer whose port of call is the United States undergoes an inspection by the USCG. We’ve seen it, experienced it, and know how they do it. To describe it, they know their job, and they’re professionals.

If you have any experience or anything you’d like to share about the USCG, feel free to post a comment. You are free to share your ideas here…