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Good Company

Thursday of last week we were honored to be included on gCaptain’s list of seven of the Best Maritime Blogs of 2009 That You (Maybe) Aren’t Reading. Many thanks, gCaptain! We we will continue to strive hard to meet our goals of offering towing industry coverage that is “rough around the edges” and “controversial” in the hopes that it will provoke people into thinking just a little more than they otherwise might.

The especially distinguished company we keep includes Mr. Dennis Bryant. I’ve been a big fan of his for a few years since I discovered his Maritime News Spotlight on the Holland & Knight’s site. I’ve had a link to it in our blogroll since launching this site last September, but Mr. Bryant, a former Coast Guard captain, has gone his own blogging way very recently and launched  bryant’s maritime blog. There is no better source for regulatory and general maritime news than he, period, and if you don’t follow it you’re missing out big time. His sly, wry sense of humor is a bonus. Rock on, Capt. Bryant!

Also included was Kennebec Captain, a working captain of a pure car truck carrier whose clearly expressed opinions on operational safety and training deserve to be widely read, no matter what sector of the maritime industry you are involved in. His blog is on my personal “favorites” list and I’ve also had the pleasure of collaborating with him to establish the Wikipedia entry for the sinking of the Tug Valour. Kennebec Captain is da’ man!

Other honorees include Peter Mello’s new seaz me, “a blog about social media and collaborative tools for maritime and non-profit organizations.” His Sea Fever blog is another favorite of mine. Social media is exactly what blogging is, and it has become a powerful tool for the masses to communicate and share ideas outside of the confines of the printing press, radio and television, and you wouldn’t be reading this without it. Be inspired and start your own blog. A tug captain I know, who occasional contributes to the Towmaster’s Forum, did and the maritime blogosphere’s better off for it. Although it didn’t make the gCaptain list this time, NY Tugmaster’s Weblog is essential reading.

The others are the Unofficial Coast Guard Blog, the AMVER blog, and Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen’s  iCommandant. Don’t think that because you’re not in the Coast Guard means that they’re not relevant to you. What goes on within the CG can profoundly affect us, so check ’em out.

Finally, in an act of completely shameless pandering, I must say that if you aren’t reading gCaptain’s Daily Blog then you are out of the loop, and quite possibly some kind of loser. All kidding aside, the design and functionality of the site is fantastic, Fred Fry’s Maritime Monday is a great way to catch up on all manner of interesting news, and the forums are one of the very best resources a mariner can ever hope to get their eyeballs on. Top notch contributors and an excellent tools section round out the arsenal. That’s why I’ve linked to gCaptain from the get go.

Our own blogroll and links sections are extensive and much thought was put into them. If it’s there then it’s probably worth a look. Avail yourselves of these resources and become more informed. If you think you have something to say, start your own blog. If it’s worth a damn, sooner or later it’ll be found and linked to and read. If you can’t manage that then read and comment on the writings of others. More ideas and dialogue are better than less.

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