Seaman Memories

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Identifying Ship’s Lights, Shapes, and Sound Signals

While many ships today upgrade their navigational tools to the latest technology, knowing the lights, shapes, and sound signals is as important as ever. You will find detailed explanations in Parts C and D of COLREGS or the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions...

I Wrote a Message In a Bottle & Released It in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean

I actually wrote three. But I don't know if the bottles or the messages inside survived. The bottle probably broke and sank under the sea after getting rammed by some boats. Or maybe the cap gave in, allowing water inside the glass and eventually burying it underwater before...

What is an Automatic Identification System (AIS)? Best Explanation

An Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a maritime communication technology that enables the automatic exchange of navigational information between ship-to-ship and shore stations, enhancing situational awareness and promoting safety at sea. As the name says, you don't...

Seaman’s Notes

Mariner’s Handbook

Components of Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

GMDSS revolutionized the way seafarers navigate the seven seas. Before its invention, a ship can not leave the port if its Radio Officer is absent. Since every communication was sent and received via Morse Code, Radio Officers were responsible for decoding the dots...

24 Seafarer Tips for Job Hunting, Life On Board, Signing Off, & Vacation

These seafarer tips I'm about to show you may be a little old-school or overly simple by today's standards. But they work and have greatly helped my career since I started sailing in 2009. Over the years, I refined them and saved which ones are working and timeless...

ECDIS Overview: Performance Standards, Components, Regulations, Brands

Seventeen years ago, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) released its second resolution, Resolution MSC.232(82), outlining ECDIS performance standards. At that time, many of us were skeptical about how this technology could revolutionize or ultimately become...

What is a Gyro Compass? Parts, How it Works, Limitations

I still remember how I got deeply fascinated by the workings of a gyro compass on board. We were making a sharp alteration, and I pointed out that the compass card was spinning fast. Of course, it was not the compass card spinning but the whole vessel itself! The...