Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Breakdown in communication

I was talking to the second mate of a tanker recently. This was a person of thoughtful demeanour and was a very modern mariner, unlike us old salts who like to reminisce about the days when there were eighty souls aboard a 10,000 ton deep sea ship and a pretty jolly life. Continue reading

Why mentoring matters

Bully for the Nautical Institute, which is making a pitch for the value of mentoring, with a new book soon to be launched and a worldwide push through its branches.

We didn’t actually call it that, but during my apprenticeship, like all my compatriots, I was a “mentee”, imbibing the “company way” of doing things correctly, from officers who had learned their business in exactly this fashion.

And of course it didn’t end with the first certificates – whatever rank you subsequently held, you would be mentored by your superiors, and in turn, you would take responsibility for those coming along astern.

It was a good system, even though you sometimes learned how NOT to do things from the occasional hopeless teacher. It mostly came out in… Continue reading