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Veterans' Groups Advocate for U.S. Coast Guard Pay
by The Maritime Executive
Monday, January 14, 2019

As the government shutdown continues with no end in sight, veterans' advocacy groups are calling on Congress and the White House to fund the U.S. Coast Guard, which is set to miss payroll for 42,000 active-duty servicemembers tomorrow. 

“The military is unaffected by the current shutdown because their fiscal year 2019 spending bill was approved already, but America’s fifth service — the U.S. Coast Guard — and the rest of the Department of Homeland Security are very much impacted," said B.J. Lawrence, head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, in a statement. “Our country needs this Congress and this White House to push through the rhetoric and take care of those who are on the front lines protecting our country."

Brett P. Reistad, the head of the American Legion, echoed Lawrence's warning. “Just because a Washington flow chart structures the Coast Guard under Homeland Security does not mean they should not be paid," said Reistad. "Members of the Coast Guard regularly perform heroic and lifesaving tasks on our behalf. They should not have to worry about bills and living expenses just because Congress and the White House cannot agree on a budget.”

The effort extends to direct aid and fundraising as well. The American Legion's Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program is prioritizing grant requests from active-duty Coast Guard families, and  the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) board has approved an interest-free loan program for lower paygrades. 

Local groups are also getting involved. In Boston, the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation has opened a new food pantry with support from other local organizations, and it has served about 400 Coast Guard families in its first few days in operation. In Washington, D.C., American Legion Post #8 is holding a fundraiser concert for CGMA, with a goal of raising at least $2,500 for the cause. 

In a message to Coast Guard families, Coast Guard Vice Adm. Karl Schultz said that the agency itself will make every effort on their behalf. "Please know that we are doing everything we can to support and advocate for you while your loved one stands the watch. You have not, and will not, be forgotten," Schultz wrote. 

Cable Layer Star Centurion Sinking After T-Boned by Tanker Off Singapore
by Reuters
Monday, January 14, 2019
By Fergus Jensen JAKARTA, Jan 14 (Reuters) – An undersea cable and pipe-laying ship, the Vanuatu-flagged MV Star Centurion, capsized in the Indonesian waters of the Singapore Straits after a collision with a tanker on Sunday, with no fatalities, authorities said on Monday. The Singapore Straits are one of the world’s busiest shipping zones with hundreds […]

OCM Eyes Expansion with New Space in Singapore
by Ship Bunker
Monday, January 14, 2019

"Singapore will be the hub of our Asian operation," says OCM Global Managing Director S.I. Shim.

The Case for Regulatory-Driven Diversification in Ship Finance
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 13, 2019

A decade ago, we all knew of at least one shipping company that felt safe receiving its debt financing from a single source (a behavior that was, unfortunately, encouraged by some bankers), and eventually experienced immense pain when some key-lenders abruptly withdrew from ship financing. 

Back at that time, sourcing finance from a handful of different - typically European - banks (as opposed to, from a single one), was considered a sound approach to funding diversification, since the key driver for a Bank’s approach to lending was its own business policies and individual circumstances.

That was then. Next, the banking crisis happened. And then the shipping one followed… Both led to (a) an increased regulatory attention to bank-lending towards the shipping industry; and (b) the regulatory framework being the dominant parameter shaping each Bank’s business activity.

One unsurprising consequence of the above was that (European) bank lending, when it came to shipping, became much less abundant. A second, and initially less anticipated, change was that the approach of lenders, regulated by the same regulator, became significantly more homogeneous. A shipowner friend recently confided to me - half-seriously, half-jokingly - that “if I remove the bank logos from the termsheets I receive, I cannot really tell which-one sent me which.” This is mostly the result of the tighter regulatory framework under which European banks are operating and, jokes aside, highlights the need for regulatory diversification.

Given the importance that debt capital has for an industry as capital-intensive as shipping is, no shipping company can afford all of its lenders to operate under the same regulatory framework. Were it to do so, the result might be that next time something important happened, its lenders would be highly likely to change their views about their shipping exposure at the same time and in the same way. It is like operating a VLCC in high-seas, with no internal bulkheads limiting cargo shifting around: you don’t want to be on it when the wind starts blowing hard…

Thankfully, the alternative financiers, who flocked-in during the last few years, are a crowd made-up by highly different animals. We can hence observe “blocks” of lenders, each defined by the main regulator they operate under, with their respective members behaving in a correlated way. European banks are such a block, with a couple of sub-blocks, defined by the risk-rating model each bank uses to rate its obligors. 

Another block are the Chinese financial institutions, another are the Japanese, each having different local regulatory frameworks and/or adopting global ones (like Basel IV) at a different speed than their European counterparts. An additional regulatory diversification bonus comes from the different local central banks’ monetary policies and the impact these have on respective lenders’ balance sheets and capacity to lend. 

There is, of course, the block of lenders that are completely untouched by lending regulatory frameworks, such as the various credit funds: their activity is, of course, also contingent on market realities, views, models and limitations but - and this is the key issue here - these are different from the ones traditional financiers have.

The optimal mix of funding sources is a moving target, given the constantly changing finance scene, and also it differs from company to company, depending on parameters such as fleet size, corporate structure, or employment profile (but also some more nuanced ones like specific industrial relationships). A ship-finance specialist, whether internal or external to the company, can be the key for keeping this mix as-close-as-possible to optimal at all times.

Some might argue that the above approach is an expensive one: “I have a financier who provides me with a very competitively priced product, and I feel comfortable with him” or “Why start a new relationship with a geographically/culturally distant and/or more expensive lender?” are comments sometimes made. 

In a nutshell, the answer is that diversification, even at some cost, works like an insurance policy. For an industry that has grown up having insurance at its heart (who can imagine shipping without it…) the concept of paying what could appear to be a ‘premium’ to hedge against a known and accepted risk (that of lack of financing), but which could pay-off in multiples later on, should not be that strange.

The ship financing scene is trying to find again its balance, while overall volatility in the finance world is increasing. Seeking regulatory diversification of funding sources might prove to be an efficient way to avoid “déjà vu all over again” as dear old Yogi Berra would have put it… 

Dimitri G. Vassilacos is a Partner at Ship Finance Solutions (SFS), a boutique financial consulting firm specializing in the shipping sector. Prior to that he had assumed a variety of positions during a 20-year-long career in the banking sector, including Head of Greek Shipping at Citibank and Manager of the Shipping Division at National Bank of Greece.

Ducted Propellers Could Boost Marine Wildlife Safety
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 13, 2019

Environmentalists and animal rights activists have for long sounded the alarm about boat propellers inflicting injuries on aquatic mammals and marine wildlife. To protect people, life guards at public beaches use powered watercraft built with inboard propellers and water-jet propulsion, while recent advances have occurred in boat propulsion system layouts that install the propeller inside a duct. Canada is one of the nations to have recently enacted legislation aimed at protecting marine wildlife from injuries inflicted by powered watercraft.

Legal Action

In recent years, some jurisdictions urged by animal rights activists, have expanded the scope of the authority of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Their influence has expanded into governments that have enacted various forms of animal protection laws.  

In many regions of the world, collisions occur between the bows of ships and certain varieties of whales, the result of too high a ship speed and whales not quickly responding to approaching ships. Canada’s national department of transportation has set a maximum sailing speed for ships sailing in Eastern Canadian waters including across the Gulf of St. Lawrence and into the eastern end of the Lower St. Lawrence River where whales swim. Ship captains face steep fines should their ship bow collide with a whale. Canada has set the legal precedent for other governments internationally.

The Hidden Propeller

The design profile of small personal watercraft are heavily based on the design layout of snow mobiles, with the same manufacturers producing both types of vehicles during different times of the year using on the same production lines in the same factories. Both personal vehicles share common engines, common seat layout and the same basic profile. Perhaps realizing the potential for such small watercraft to be used at public beaches, the manufactures hid the propeller inside the lower portion of the watercraft to eliminate possible contact between people and propellers. A water jet provides propulsive thrust. 

In North America’s modern legal environment, any threat of injurious interaction between propeller and beach goer in the water would have attracted the attention of litigation lawyers who would have made the manufacturer liable. Many product manufacturers have faced lawsuits and class-action lawsuits over perceived defects in the design of their products that resulted in people being injured. 

Manufacturers of small personal powered watercraft protect themselves from lawsuits by eliminating any chance of contact between watercraft propellers and people who are in the water. Over time, the threat of lawsuits has the potential to influence the future of boat propulsion systems.


Tests have been undertaken comparing the thrust performance of open propellers to propellers enclosed inside ducts at rotational speeds up to 1,000 RPM. At 500 RPM, no measurable difference occurred while at speeds below 500 RPM, the enclosed propeller delivered slightly higher thrust. However at high rotational speeds well in excess of 500 RPM, the open propeller delivered higher measurable thrust. There are two configurations of enclosed propeller with one layout including a rotating rim to which propeller blade tips were secured and another layout that involved a stationary duct. A third configuration combined rotating rim housed inside a stationary duct. 

The idea of the enclosed propeller is gaining support from numerous people who are researching and designing various designs of enclosed propeller, including a design that applied power to a rotating rim to which tips of propeller blades are attached. Some tug boats use enclosed propellers that achieve peak thrust efficiency at below 250 RPM, while some ship propellers achieve peak thrust efficiency at 75 to 90 RPM. Given the weight and size of ship propellers, a design that delivers higher thrust efficiency while combining rotating rim secured to propeller blade tips with stationary duct could gain market acceptance.

Efficiency Gain Versus Legislation

An enclosed design of propeller that delivers higher thrust and higher thrust efficiency could offer savings in ship fuel consumption. Shipowners would also want ease of maintenance and repair should they choose to switch to an enclosed propeller. A design that includes roller bearings between rotating rim and stationary duct could offer greater structural strength in the stern area, perhaps requiring a lighter weight of drive shaft to transmit power from engine to propeller. The design of the ship stern area would need to prevent large marine wildlife from coming into contact with the propeller.

Legislation represents an alternative method by which to eliminate contact between marine wildlife and ship/boat propellers. Canada’s national department of transportation has already established the legal precedent of government acting to protect the well-being of marine wildlife by enforcing severe speed restrictions for vessels sailing in waters where whales are likely to be present. Animal rights activists now have the option to use that legal precedent as a stepping stone to have legislation enacted that further protects marine wildlife, including protecting such wildlife from injury inflicted by ship or boat propellers through the use of enclosed propellers.


In the future and as a result of Canada enacting legislation on the maritime sector to protect whales from being injured as a result of collisions with ships, it is perhaps a forgone conclusion that in the future, legislation will be enacted seeking to protect marine wildlife from injury inflicted by boat and ship propellers. 

Number of Ships with Selektope Antifouling Set to Double in 2019
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 13, 2019

The largest single volume order received for the barnacle-repelling antifouling ingredient Selektope® coupled with strong commercial developments in late 2018 will see the number of ships using Selektope®-containing antifouling coatings more than double in 2019.
Placed by one of the industry’s leading marine coating manufacturers Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP) in December 2018, this follow up order fulfils CMP’s previous minimum commitments contained in supply agreements signed in early 2018. The order will be delivered during 2019 for use in CMP’s range of existing coating products containing Selektope® that target both new building and dry-docking demands.
Selektope® is an organic, non-metal compound that works to prevent barnacle fouling by temporarily activating the swimming behavior of barnacle cyprid larvae, making it impossible for them to settle on the hull. The unique antifouling ingredient is characterized by its first-of-its-kind bio-repellent mode of action which has a non-fatal effect on the target organism. It offers paint manufacturers an alternative active agent for antifouling coatings that demonstrates high efficacy at extremely low concentrations, is ultra-low leaching and can deliver superior static performance against hard fouling.
Hundreds of ships have been coated with antifouling paints containing Selektope® since the launch of the technology into the marine market. Large volume orders received by I-Tech AB for Selektope® from global paint manufacturers not only confirm the increasing demand for the technology, but also the mainstream position of Selektope® within the antifouling coatings market. 
“Positive indications of the superior antifouling performance of antifouling coatings including Selektope® on a wide range of ship types is driving the demand for our technology in the market. Performance results continue to demonstrate that Selektope®-powered coatings can save fuel, cut emissions and reduce the risk of transferring invasive aquatic species; for all these reasons, confidence is increasing in our technology as a very attractive investment,” says Philip Chaabane, I-Tech CEO.
In addition to the antifouling coating products offered by CMP, ship owners can also purchase antifouling paints containing Selektope® from other global paint manufacturers.

Over 500 Sick; Cruise Ship Returns to Port
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 13, 2019

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 561 people have reported ill on Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas. The vessel's itinerary has been cut short, and she has returned to Port Canaveral in Florida.

The number of passengers reported ill and vomiting is 8.91 percent of the 6,285 on board. The number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage is 31 of 2,169 (1.45 percent). As yet, the causative agent is unknown.

The vessel departed January 6 on a tour of the Caribbean. Some passengers reporting sick shortly afterward departure and she returned to port and docked on Saturday. The cruise line has announced a full refund for passengers. The crew will disinfect the vessel before new passengers embark on January 13.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that traveling on cruise ships exposes people to new environments and high volumes of people, including other travelers. This exposure can create the risk for illness from contaminated food, or water or, more commonly, through person-to-person contact.

The Center recommends:

If you’re sick, report your illness.
Before your voyage:

Ask your cruise line if there are alternative cruising options. 
Consult a doctor to find out whether it is safe for you to sail.

During your voyage: 

Call the ship’s medical facility and follow the medical staff’s recommendations.

Wash your hands often!
Why: Avoid exposing yourself and others to anything that may cause illnesses and spread germs.
When: Wash your hands often but especially after using the toilet and before eating or smoking.

Take care of yourself.
Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. Why: Resting helps rebuild your immune system. Drinking water helps prevent dehydration.

Leave the area if you see someone get sick (vomiting or diarrhea).
Report it to cruise staff if they are not already aware.

Magnetic North Pole Shifting Rapidly and Unpredicatably
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Earth’s north magnetic pole is shifting so rapidly that steps are being taken to ensure it doesn't impact navigation in the Arctic.

Compass needles point towards the north magnetic pole, a point that has moved from Canada to the middle of the Arctic Ocean over the last century. It is currently moving towards Siberia at about 50 kilometers (30 miles) a year.

The World Magnetic Model predicts the Earth's geomagnetic field for the next five years, and it is normally produced every five years. Scientists have now recognized that the 2015 World Magnetic Model needs updating earlier than planned, but the update has been postponed from January 15 to January 30 due to the ongoing U.S. government shutdown.

Since late 2014, the core field has varied in a currently unpredictable manner. This led to the World Magnetic Model becoming less accurate, particularly at high northern latitudes, much faster than normal. The variations have been attributed to an abrupt unpredictable change in 2014/2015 and an acceleration of flow in the core in the northern hemisphere. 

The Model is produced by the British Geological Survey and NOAA, on behalf of the U.K. Defence Geographic Centre and the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. It is a model of the primary component of the geomagnetic field: the Earth’s core. The core field is generated by dynamic action in the swirling iron-rich fluid of the outer core, roughly 3,500 kilometers below the Earth's surface. The ever-changing flow of the outer core leads to an ever-changing magnetic field. 

“The magnetic poles drift, the field strengthens and weakens, and the immense magnetic field of the Sun, carried by the solar wind, constantly batters at it from the outside,” says British Geological Survey blogger, Will Brown. “The World Magnetic Model is the standard magnetic model used for navigation by organizations such as NATO, the Ministry of Defence, and the U.S.’ Department of Defense, and also by smartphone operating systems such as Android and iOS. When you open your smartphone’s map app, you may see an arrow pointing which way you’re facing, and there’s something quite clever going on underneath. Your phone contains a magnetometer that is measuring the Earth’s magnetic field. In order to make sense of this information a reference model like the World Magnetic Model is needed to correct the measurements of magnetic north made by your phone to True North.”

The next scheduled update to the World Magnetic Model is expected in December 2019.

Oil and Gas in 2019 – A time of Transition
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 13, 2019

During 2018, volatility marked the global oil and gas sector. Dramatic swings in oil price - from 2015-level highs to vast one-day drops, combined with geopolitical maneuvers, changing global supply and demand trends and mountain budget pressures feed instability in the sector. 

And yet, market conditions served as a catalyst for the industry’s continued evolution and transformation, and there is now a sense of cautious optimism moving into 2019. Operators are working to adapt to major foundational shifts: the decline of hydrocarbons and the rise of renewables, the advance of digitalisation and what this means for workers and processes and new technologies to streamline operations and boost efficiency. 

Offshore operators and service providers must be aware of the key trends and opportunities to continue to successfully navigate the challenges and ensure profitability:

1. Outsourcing

Current market conditions have created an environment more keenly focused on price than ever before. Due to tightening margins, oil and gas players are under greater pressure to reduce expenditures. 

The industry is increasingly outsourcing projects and tasks that historically were managed in-house in a bid to reduce headcount and related costs and to refocus on their core competencies. 

So, they need service providers who they can rely on to provide key value-added services in support of their day-to-day operations. Not only must they have the operational maturity and capacity to handle projects, they need in-depth local knowledge of the offshore market as well as their partners’ and clients’ businesses. 

2. An industry in transition / Short-term contracts

The recent tough times for the oil and gas industry meant many big offshore infrastructure projects were not signed-off, there was a fall in maintenance calls and more rigs and other equipment was laid-up, either in warm lay-ups (better suitable for the short-term but with continued staff and maintenance costs) or cold lay-ups (more suitable for the long-term, but with higher reactivation outlay). 

The choice of lay-up location also influences how much work is needed to bring a vessel back into service. Service providers must be ready, willing and able to adapt to unpredictable and turbulent conditions whether it might be for crewing, resupply, repair or any other job for which they are called upon.

In the current market, many offshore operators are unwilling to plan for the long-term, so a new trend is emerging for short-term contracts over three to six months to mitigate the perceived risks. 

3. Demonstrating value-add 

More than 350,000 jobs have been lost worldwide in the sector. Operators’ resources have shrunk in parallel, with a direct impact on the entire supply chain, with operators demand greater service provision for less outlay. 

That’s why it is more important than ever before to demonstrate added value. Service partners must expect a more complex and demanding tendering process to show off what extra value they offer, as well cost efficiency, coverage, experience and added solutions. 

4. Technology

Increasingly, digitalization is a driver for business change in oil and gas. Embracing the digital revolution can be the factor that makes the difference between thriving or floundering for companies serving the sector, as offshore operators seek ways to transform their operating models to achieve greater efficiency and faster turnaround. 

The benefits are clear - increased productivity, safer operations, improvements in collaborations and maintenance, and cost savings - and they’re now being increasingly recognized. Data has become a commercial driver and a commodity for the sector in its own right. For example, upstream companies are leveraging data insights to discover new oil fields or improve and optimize their processes. 

As a result, operators expect higher levels of technology adoption than ever before from their service partners. And with the focus on transparency and visibility, providers must be able to adapt to the demands of the industry in the digital space to match or surpass in-house capabilities. 

Cautious optimism for 2019

As we head into 2019, there is a growing sense of optimism in the sector, with headlines talking about slow, steady growth and stability in the market. That cautiously upbeat mood was further reflected in a recently published KPMG report which noted that 85 percent of oil and gas CEOs had confidence in the industry’s growth. 

Moody’s 2019 outlook for the sector sounds a similarly optimistic note, reporting that upstream operators are starting to increase production, in turn helping midstream businesses and service providers. Overall, Moody predicts relative stability for the integrated oil and business over the next 12-18 months. 

According to Rystad Energy, the outlook for offshore oilfield service contractors is strong. The consultancy notes that more than 100 new offshore projects are aiming for 2019 sanctions, and an expected $210 billion will be spent on offshore oilfield services globally in the coming year. 

Real differentiation will be marked by those who are able to adapt, whether on the operational or supply side. As the oil and gas industry seek different approaches to recovering their bottom line, service providers who can remain flexible and work with pace will be the ones that stand out from the competition and thrive in the years to come. 

William Hill is Executive Vice President – Oil & Gas, GAC Group.

Air Force Veteran Inspired by Moby-Dick
by The Maritime Executive
Saturday, January 12, 2019

“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas...” ? Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

In 2014, Ger Tysk of Houston, Texas, was recently out of the U.S. Air Force and ready to take on a new career. An avid reader, she picked up a copy of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by the American writer Herman Melville. This story of a notoriously elusive white whale that sinks the whaling ship, Pequod, pivoted Tysk's imagination towards a career at sea. Tysk was glued to the pages, yearning to see whales and wildlife while sailing the open ocean.

Soon after finishing Moby Dick, Tysk was determined to sail the high seas, so she signed up to join the crew of a tall ship. Her first sailing vessel was the last wooden whaling vessel in the world, Mystic Seaport Museum's Charles W. Morgan, built in 1841.

Tysk joined the crew of the 106-foot long Charles W. Morgan for a short trip up the East Coast. Fully-rigged, the Charles W. Morgan transited up the coastline with 7,134 square feet of sail. Down below, Tysk observed the huge try-pots used for converting blubber into whale oil and cramped quarters in which the crew lived. It was as if she had stepped into the pages of Moby Dick and on board the Pequod.

Known as a "lucky ship," the Charles W. Morgan's rich history spans every corner of the globe in the pursuit of whales. An 80-year whaling career consisted of 37 voyages, most lasting three years or more and filled with countless sea stories of crushing Arctic ice, rounding Cape Horn and surviving hurricanes.

Beyond the sea stories, Tysk was also surprised to hear that she too could sail on tall ships for a living. Tysk recalls that trip with excitement, noting how she was influenced by the female crew members, "I was especially inspired by all the female sailors I met on board who were working at what was for centuries seen as a man's job. Seeing women climbing the rigging, hauling on lines and navigating the vessel was really inspiring to me."

Since that first trip on board the Charles W. Morgan, Tysk has continued to sail on tall ships out of Mystic Seaport, working as a deckhand and cook. For the past four years she has acquired enough sea time to earn a USCG mate license for working on near coastal, auxiliary sailing vessels of 200 gross tons and a USCG master's license of 100 gross tons for working on auxiliary sailing vessels on inland waters and the Great Lakes.

Tysk spent the last few summers aboard the schooner Brilliant, owned and operated by Mystic Seaport Museum. Designed by legendary yacht designer Olin Stephens and built in 1932 as a private yacht by Nevins Shipyard in New York, Brilliant is a 62-foot, wooden traditional schooner.

Brilliant's history is unique, playing a large role in the local economy during the Great Depression. The legend states that she was built to sail around the world, so no expense was spared in her construction. Brilliant’s construction kept the shipyard open, employing many during this hard time in American history.

A traditional gaff topsail schooner with a bright white hull and gold lettering that graces her transom, Brilliant was built for beauty and speed. She was launched on April 23, 1932, and shortly after, set sail in the Bermuda Race.

On the first night, she lost her Genoa jib, a type of large sail that extends from the bow past the mast. Brilliant finished just behind Highland Light, a vessel that broke the course record, a loss for Brilliant that may have been a record-breaking win if it was not for losing the jib.

Brilliant also raced across oceans with record speed. In 1933, she left Nantucket Lightship to sail to Bishop Rock Light, England. She achieved the unimaginable at the time by arriving at Bishop Rock in 15 days, one hour, and 23 minutes.

In 1953, Brilliant was donated to Mystic Seaport Museum to operate as a training vessel for youth. Hosting 284,000 visitors annually, Mystic Seaport Museum is the nation’s leading maritime museum that was founded in 1929 with the intent to gather and preserve artifacts of America’s seafaring past. Since its founding, the Museum has flourished as a center for research and education. Its mission is to “inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience.”

During the summer months on the waters of Southern New England, Brilliant's crew takes nine teenagers per week sailing to learn seamanship, navigation and life at sea. At the end of each weekly voyage, the youth walk away with skills in teamwork, as well as a new-found discipline on the water.

At Brilliant's helm for a trip last fall stood Captain Hadley Neale, a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy. Neale filled in as a relief captain and was only the second female to take this role. The mate was Madeleine Weisman, who was finishing her second season aboard as mate. High school students with an an interest in maritime careers from the Sound School, a vocational aquaculture school based in New Haven, Connecticut, were on board for a four-day trip.

This was the first voyage for Brilliant to set sail in the hands of an all-female team. For Tysk, it was a surprise to think that Brilliant, built in 1932, had never seen a crew entirely of female sailors. A first generation American with a heritage in Hong Kong, this voyage represented even more than the disruption of gender norms. Tysk adds, “As a person of color working on the water, I think it was extra special for us to show the students, especially the minority and female students, that it is possible to break barriers in any industry.”

Since joining the fleet at Mystic Seaport Museum in 1953, 10,000 students have set sail and steered Brilliant on a course that is equivalent to circumnavigating the globe five times. This remarkable vessel is in excellent condition. Brilliant is a testament to the designers and craftsmen of Nevins' yard in 1932, as well as the maintenance and care by Mystic Seaport Museum.

Communicating with Tysk, she has immense pride for Brilliant and the vessel’s history. This pride fuels Tysk’s career to seek more adventures beyond the summer months in Long Island Sound. Recently, she packed up her sea bag to head offshore again. This time, she flew to the Caribbean to join the crew of a more modern vessel, the Corwith Cramer, a brigantine built in 1987 and owned by the Sea Education Association (SEA) sailing school, commonly known as SEA Semester.

Tysk will spend several months on board, working as a senior steward. While her main duties include managing galley operations, provisions and waste management, she still gains immense satisfaction each time her vessel starts making way. Beaming, she shares, "Sailing has been the most rewarding thing I've done as a career.... the physical act of setting the sails and then seeing the instant feedback as the wind propels the ship through the water brings me immense satisfaction."

The intrinsic reward of working at sea, once found on the pages of Moby Dick, has become a permanent part of Tysk's life. It is an unconventional career this U.S. Air Force veteran once thought she could only dream about.

Ally Cedeno is Founder of

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Clipper Oil is a worldwide wholesaler of marine fuels and lubricant oils specializing in supplying vessels throughout the Pacific Ocean. Operating internationally from our headquarters in San Diego, California, USA, we serve the bunkering needs of all sectors of the marine market. This includes fishing fleets, ocean-going yachts, cruise ships, cargo ships, military/government/research vessels, and power plants.

Clipper Oil’s predecessor, Tuna Clipper Marine, was founded in 1956 by George Alameda and Lou Brito, two pioneers in the tuna fishing industry. Tuna Clipper Marine’s first supply location was in San Diego, California, USA where they serviced the local fishing fleet.

Established in 1985, Clipper Oil was formed to serve the needs of marine customers in the Western Pacific as vessels shifted their operations from San Diego. Clipper Oil has been a proven supplier of quality marine fuels, lubricants, and services to the maritime community for over 35 years, serving many ports throughout the Pacific Ocean. We maintain warehouses in Pago Pago, American Samoa; Majuro, Marshall Islands; and Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. We also have operations in the Eastern Pacific in Balboa/Rodman, Panama and Manta, Ecuador. We supply marine vessels and service stations with fuel, lubricant oil, salt, and ammonia. We also supply our customer’s vessels with bunkers at high-seas through various high-seas fuel tankers in all areas of the Pacific Ocean.

then Then The Tuna Clipper Marine Pier in San Diego Bay (1980).
now Now Clipper Oil supplying the USCGC Kimball ex. pipeline at the fuel dock in Pago Pago, American Samoa (2020).

Throughout the years, Clipper Oil has grown from a small marine distributor in San Diego to a worldwide supplier of marine fuels and lubricants. Clipper Oil offers a broad diversity of products and services and are active buyers and suppliers of petroleum products. It is this combination that gives us the edge in market intelligence needed to develop the best possible pricing for our clients.

Our daily monitoring of both the current and future oil market enables our customers to take advantage of market pricing on an immediate basis. This enables Clipper Oil to provide the best current and long term pricing for our customers.

Clipper Oil offers the following to our customers:

  • Extensive network of refueling locations throughout the Pacific Ocean
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All of the products we supply meet international specifications and conform to all local regulations.

With our many years of experience in the marine sector, Clipper Oil understands the attention to detail and operational performance vessels require during each port of call.

As a proven reliable and reputable supplier of marine fuel and lubricants, we welcome the opportunity to meet your vessel's needs.

Please contact us for all of your marine energy, petroleum and lubricant needs.

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