News and Blog

February 18th, 2017 - Posted by The Mariner
Fast approaching 10 years in my career at sea, I’ve seen a fair bit of sea life in that time! Plenty that has taken my breath away that’s for sure! But today I saw something I’ve never seen before and it really ignited in me a rejuvenation for my love of sea life! I’...
February 17th, 2017 - Posted by The Mariner
Today made it official! I have been to 75 countries, on 7 continents. All in a grand total of 29 years, 10 months, 1 week and 3 days! New ambition… another 75 by the time I’m 60! 🐳🌎🌍🌏🌊⛴🛫🛩✈️🇦🇶🇬🇧😀 Most of you on here have had a huge part ...
February 14th, 2017 - Posted by The Mariner
There are two main questions we Mariners get asked most frequently…   When do you go back? This is usually asked hours after you have only just come home and Whether we find it difficult being away from home, away from family and friends?   Of course, it can be hard, sailor...
February 13th, 2017 - Posted by The Mariner
This one is a tough one to write…   Firstly, I will start with an apology, missing in action for three years with no explanation, that was bad form. I am sorry for abandoning you all. I’m grateful for every like, follow and comment, they have always meant the world to me and I hav...
January 15th, 2017 - Posted by The Mariner
After a busy festive season of overindulgence and gluttony it is now time to look a little closer at health and fitness, well for me at least. This year I was fortunate enough to be at home for Christmas, my second official one at home in a decade and as such I ate and drank […]...
March 14th, 2016 - Posted by The Mariner
With a relatively quiet winter I’m quite certain that I wasn’t the only sailor onboard that was itching to get back their sea-legs!   As spring was fast approaching we were contacted by a company that none of us onboard had heard of and it was requested that we meet with a...
January 3rd, 2016 - Posted by The Mariner
Here on the Mærsk Recorder we are currently working on a wind farm project off the coast of Germany. It’s interesting work and can often be quite a delicate process; the cables we are laying are very easily damaged and extremely costly. As such we have very strict weather limits, th...
May 14th, 2015 - Posted by The Mariner
2015 hasn’t really gotten off to a great start for the shipping industry. Unfortunately we’ve had a number of incidences that have been quite horrifying leading to the loss of life, with often unexplained circumstances, which kind of brings about the question… Why do seam...
February 14th, 2015 - Posted by The Mariner
As America endures a polar vortex, the North Sea rages with storms, daily news reports of ships with 20 metre cracks, containers lost at sea, etc. I couldn’t help but feel like it was a bad time to be joining a new ship. I’m quite susceptible to sea sickness and I’m reall...
December 24th, 2014 - Posted by The Mariner
With December quickly approaching I thought that I might help shed a bit of light on life at sea over the festive season and what it’s like to be away from home during the holidays, I’ve also dug out a few pictures of Christmases I’ve had over the years.   Since I started workin...
October 14th, 2014 - Posted by The Mariner
I’ve recently joined the Cable Vessel Maersk Recorder and we are currently carrying out cable repairs in the North Sea at the Egmond wind farm just off of Ijmuiden, Holland 52° 33.0’N 004° 27.9’E. The North Sea this time of year is notorious for being pretty horrific an...
August 11th, 2014 - Posted by The Mariner
A month or two ago I was contacted by a friend who advised me his colleague had put together an excellent film about his work on the Cable Enterprise and  thought it might be of interest to you guys… I contacted the video owner; Scott, and asked if it was ok to share with you [&hell...
May 14th, 2014 - Posted by The Mariner
Changing ships can be an exciting and interesting time, quite often you have become restless on your previous vessel and are itching to get your teeth into something new, but then sometimes…you dread the prospect of it all. I served two years on my previous ship the Maersk Laser, had...
February 14th, 2014 - Posted by The Mariner
A mariner’s first trip is a love affair, a privilege, an experience for sure! Although no stranger to a ships gangway having sailed on TS Royalist and TS John Jerwood with the Sea Cadets the gangway leading onboard the P&O Nedlloyd Hudson felt like a tower. I still remember being dri...
August 11th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
As some of you will have noticed I didn’t post at all through May, June and July and for that I apologise, it was intentional and here is a quick run down as to why… One day into my leave, 12 weeks ago now, I was made redundant. I shan’t go into detail about the […...
April 11th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
I warn you now this post isn’t for the faint hearted, it’s gruesome in nature but also tackles the circle of life, but perhaps not explained as well as Mufasa the king of lions. Two days ago I came on watch and had my usual handover consisting of checklists, position verificati...
April 11th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
My followers on twitter and instagram will all be very well aware that I’m a loyal Starbucks customer and I like to take Starbucks via (instant) ground coffee for a machine away to sea with me but I have a confession to make… But first indulge me and allow me to tell you the hi...
April 9th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
Whilst researching the best web developer for the site upgrade I found a few that offered half assed blogs (like mine) but found one in particular that maintained a blog that was informative, interesting and professional, whilst browsing this blog I came upon a post about how to get a job ...
April 8th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
Hey Everyone, This is the follow up post to my last one full of excuses, well, this one is slightly different because it’s all about the up coming transition from blogsite to website, why I thought it was necessary, what will be new on the website and what I’ve been doing inste...
April 8th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
Hello again everyone, Once again I must apologise for my absence, I’m back onboard the Maersk Laser now and we have a new project working for British petroleum BP working heading control for the FPSO Schiehallion West of Shetland whilst several vessels work in the vicinity, the 500m ...
February 19th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
So, that’s it, no more heading control charter… it’s been emotional. This is just a short post to thank everyone involved for a successful few months and to post a final few pictures, unfortunately I didnt have my SLR with me until this last trip so I don’t have pic...
February 19th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
So, I’m coming to the end of my trip and also the end of the heading control operation here at Gryphon Alpha. I’ve enjoyed this job in many ways and easily the best thing about it is that is has afforded me the opportunity to start this blog and leap both feet forward into the ...
February 9th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
Operation Mail Bag began after what can only be described as a stunning night, mirror seas, not even one knot of wind, clear skies, stars all out in force, the works! Sunrise was as you’d expect in this kind of weather, nothing short of breathtaking! At around 1030 the Gryphon was jo...
February 8th, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
So I realised that I have not been very forthcoming with my ‘Pic of the Day’ tab, this is for two reasons, the first is that internet speeds/ connections are often intermittent causing upload times to take a long time and impossible in storms. The second is that I’m looki...
February 1st, 2013 - Posted by The Mariner
Most mariners are no stranger to bad weather; referred to as ‘heavy weather’ it really is an occupational hazard that we just have to take in our stride. The North Sea is a cruel mistress this time of year and has presented us with some big seas lately which has been most inter...
December 12th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Today’s forecast is brought to you by The Mariner; we have received our horoscopes and the outlook looks pretty grim. The Beast from the East, a violent weather system is heading our way and shows no sign of relenting. Winds of 80kts and waves of 15metres high are predicted to reach ...
December 11th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Christmas is a touchy subject for many mariners, many of us spend it thousands of miles away from our friends and families, which is fine, we know what we signed up for but I’ve met mariners that have not had a Christmas in home in 3 decades and never once sharing a christmas with th...
December 10th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
When working for the British Antarctic Survey I saw many incredible things and this indeed was one of them, the following pictures were taken by the serving Chief Officer and very good friend of mine Euan as my camera had run out of juice and to be fair wasn’t as good as Euan’s...
December 8th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Today’s post is my top ten travel tips, it is written for mariners and travellers alike and who knows it right might help you out one day, at least I hope so. I will be interested in hearing your thoughts and additions to these so please do comment at the end and who knows maybe [&he...
December 6th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Today I thought I’d post quite a few pictures of what the view from the bridge has been like, we have had some amazing weather, both good and bad. We’ve had mirror seas, that are amazing especially for this time of year. We have also had big winds, gusts of 60 knots that had us...
December 1st, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Today is yet another beautiful day here in the North Sea and it has me increasingly worried. Those of you that have sailed up here before won’t believe this is actually taken up here at 59 North on December the 1st. My apologises for such a short post, I am currently working on my to...
November 30th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Just a quick picture of the day post, the North Sea is worryingly calm and beautiful at the moment, I’m convinced  we are going to take a battering on the way to Aberdeen to payoff in 2 weeks!! Wish us luck… Spence  ...
November 30th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Through the power of social media (my twitter account) I recently found out about an exciting new blog being written from the RRS James Clark Ross. The blog in question is written by a PHd student called Louise Biddle who has a keen passion for exploration and of course there are few place...
November 29th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
After an unfortunate internet outage, rendering me twitching with withdrawal I was unable to post yesterday, my apologies. Today I’m going to cover king penguins, a type of penguin we would often see whilst South. Today’s pictures are all taken on the beautiful and famous islan...
November 27th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Considering the time of year we have had 2 full days of really really nice weather and personally it’s got me worrying… the calm before the storm maybe? one can certainly hope not. I took this picture today, I really am in the North Sea I promise! Spence  ...
November 27th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Whilst the title of this post is not an actual type of penguin I certainly feel it is quite fitting considering the nickname for this penguin is the bearded penguin and I very much enjoy sporting a beard. They are more commonly known as chinstrap penguins, I wont explain why. The first tim...
November 26th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Day two of penguin week here on the blog and today I’m going to talk about my second favourite type of penguin, the emperor, I know nothing of the history of these extraordinary birds but I’m happy to guess that they are known as emperors simply because of their posture, size, ...
November 25th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
November not only see’s about the most impressive month of the year for facial hair and exquisite moustaches but it also marks the start of the penguin breeding season and in celebration of this fact I’ve decided that this week is penguin week on the blog, I will of course po...
November 24th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
The following was written by a 10- year old British school boy, a boy who was clearly wise beyond his years, I really did have a chuckle to myself when I read it, I hope you enjoy it too…. “I want to be a captain when I grow up because it’s a cool job that […]...
November 22nd, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Today has brought about some rather awful weather, something I’m never really a fan of! It’s actually very difficult to get a picture of rough seas, but here are two pictures that give some idea about how it can be. Sorry this is a short one, the internet is never good when we ...
November 21st, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
A sailors leave generally consists of a tipple or two and this post is for the drinkers or those with a keen interest in pirates or history. Coming from a town with a brewery situated directly in the middle, a student life and also having the privilege of sailing on some of the few remaini...
November 20th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Well here we are again and time really did fly whilst on leave. My apologies for irregular postings and generally not making a better effort whilst at home. I’m back to sea now and already hooked up to the tow line and carrying out heading control once again for the FPSO Gryphon Alph...
November 11th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
I have updated my youtube channel with 3 more videos today, one in particular is my favourite of being at work. It is a timelapse of our transit north through the La Mare channel in Antarctica, it is my favourite purely and simply because of its beauty, mere metres from touching the sides ...
November 11th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Today is a day of remembrance around the world, and as this is a Merchant Navy themed blog the following poem is a reminder of the Merchant Seamen who laid down their lives for us.   Don’t speak to me of heroes until you’ve heard the tale, of all those merchant seamen who sailed...
November 1st, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
When I was away with the container ships I would try my best to send postcards from everywhere I went and there are a fair few still on my mothers notice board. Nowadays I just use facebook, email and  text messages, halfway through a long trip approaching christmas I used to make DVDs an...
November 1st, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
I like to keep in contact with Cadets I have sailed with for a number of reasons, mostly to follow their progress and help provide additional information and advice should they need it, also because by the time you have spent many months training with them they quickly become friends. Keep...
October 22nd, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Today’s picture I took in flat calm sea off of Elephant Island. Such calm seas are rare down south so I took the chance to take some snaps. This is the only time i’ve seen such deep purples in the sky whilst at sea. I hope you agree that its quite a sight!! Spence  ...
October 20th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Todays picture of the day is of a sign post randomly placed on a tiny little island in the South Atlantic, The Falkland Islands. To give you an idea of how far away that is try and find a place name that you recognise and you will get a fair idea! It was a glorious […]...
October 17th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Today’s picture of the day (the first in awhile) is a bit of an action shot of me whilst we were are arriving alongside some fast ice at Halley IV. In this picture I’m watching the tension of our mooring lines closely as they are secured by ‘dead men’ which are leng...
October 17th, 2012 - Posted by The Mariner
Today I have spent some time making a youtube channel and uploading a few short videos for you all to see. Some are of recent work that I have been doing on the anchor handling ships, and others are from the time I spent down south. It’s a work in progress but I aim to […]...