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Bow Wave Issue 669--Plenty of Pirates Edition

news and views on trade, insurance and risk

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(c)2013 Issue No 669 02 May 13
Published free of charge to Readers
Editor: Sam Ignarski

In this issue:

1. Welcome
2. Recalling the Hydra
3. Launch of theBridge
4. Oil Around 2013 Conference
5. Piracy--Where Are We Now?
6. And Finally...

1. Welcome

Poem of the Week

RG Langenhan,CPCU who is retired, writes:-

My marine insurance career goes back to 1970 in San Francisco mainly as a broker for Johnson & Higgins and later reaching U/W Manager for Pacific Mutual Marine Office for the John Blackman, et al organization. One of my colleagues with INA was Dick Yerian who has recently retired. He was active with our local insurance education process and contributed to the American Institute for Property and Liability Underwriters with exam questions and syllabus for the AMIM course of study.

When Dick turned 50 in 1997, I penned the attached poem to be read at his party.

You Donít Know Dick: 50 Hard Years

Heís walked hotel lobbies by day and by night,
Deafened ballroom walls with his microphone might, Heíll tell you a story that will sometimes sound sick, If you know not whom I speak of, you donít know Dick.

Heís donated his time to many a cause,
Our Industry is better educated in spite of its flaws, Many have called upon his brain just to pick,
But if you havenít his phone number, you donít know Dick.

His trips near and far bring a story to tell,
Street vendors all glisten with watches to sell,
Fake Rolexes at a price that will stick,
He got one for my son, and he donít know Dick.

Let loose the thunder of his quotations and rates, Manuscript wordings with endorsements and dates,
Confusion sets in with the Brokers-how slick!
After 2 or 3 phone calls, we gather, they donít know Dick.

His birthday has come during a time of market awareness, Companies are merging with speed and with quick,
We talk of a market-is it hard or is it soft?
If you have to ask, you donít know Dick.

I spoke of his deeds and his devotion to duty,
His family and friends are his greatest security, His wit and his stare may shock you real quick,
I am not a Mormon, but at least I know Dick.

Bob Langenhan !997

New Readers this week include:-

Andrew Tulloch of Colin Biggers & Paisley
Frans Hoorweg of Amlin Europe
Nicole Edwards of Maersk
Lucy Luo

FOB-The Network for Marine, Transport, Trade and Insurance Professionals

Registration is gratis for individuals. Businesses can take out a page for a small supporting contribution and we welcome firms prepared to sponsor Group pages or advertise with us. This helps to keep FOB a going concern and puts a smile on the face of our programmers and accountants..

FOB is a project designed to adapt the new ways of using the internet for the sorts of people who read Bow Wave.

You are welcome to join

Note from the Editor

Plenty of response to our last edition which dealt with the gamekeeper and poacher issue in shipping journalism and pirates aplenty.


2. Recalling the Hydra

Our item in Issue 668 produced a lively response:-

From Sino Ship's Sam Chambers:-

Bravo to your shipping PR maven (Beware the Shipping Hydra) on shipping's curious acceptance of journalists who are in fact spin doctors. He or she hits the nail on the head with the following comment: "It would be inconceivable for the editor of Computer Week to double up as a paid advocate for Apple products. It would be impossible for the editor of the Financial Times to be a media advisor to the Bank of England. But in shipping, this conflicted behaviour occurs every day."

The one thing missing from the article was the even more pernicious effects of PR folk also being PUBLISHERS of shipping titles, rather than merely journos. This is now all too commonplace and hugely misleading to many a readership.

From Freelancer David Hughes:-

Interesting article. I did try doing both but decided a long time ago that you can't serve two masters - and I wasn't very successful at PR. Mind you some of the stuff I still do bears a considerable imprint of the advertisers!
Overall though you are on the right track. I am not quite sure how the situation ahas arisen in shipping and not elsewhere.

From Bill Thomson:-

The ĎShipping Hydraí article was a breath of fresh air to me. For too long the maritime media has been characterised by bodies with too many heads. Such as media buying agencies who took fees from clients while placing their advertising with the publications for which they acted as sales agencies (generally favouring the publishers who gave them the biggest percentage). Now we have PR companies who are also media agencies and magazine publishers, albeit in the most prominent case under different names, in different premises, but under the same ownership. Itís not hard to see how clients of the media agencies can be advised to place their advertising in particular publications.

At The Motorship, which admittedly is a technical magazine rather than shipping, our sales people often get the story that companies would like to advertise with us but have been advised against it by their agents because we donít have technical-enough coverage, or we donít write about large ship machinery, or even that our carefully-targeted ABC -audited circulation is inferior to other magazines with a larger, non-requested circulation (never mind the fact that our issues are passed on to an average of three senior people in ship owning and management companies, making our actual readership far higher). The title has been around since 1920, so we value its reputation highly. Mercator Media, one of the few truly independent British (and international) maritime publishers, has a policy of only paying for articles that are not written by companies or their PR agents. Anything not written by our own staff is clearly by-lined so that readers can make their own judgements. And we will only accept industry-generated articles in the form of case studies or similar, certainly not PR-puff or regenerated press releases. Even releases used on our online news sites are rewritten by us, to our standards and style.

Iím pleased to see that somebody else feels the same as we do about the current state of maritime PR. There are plenty of good, honest PR people in the industry, but unfortunately things are not always as they seem, and this is not apparent to the lay person.

Ian Matheson begs to differ:-

Methinks the shipping PR maven writes a load of tosh. I think I know who the author is as I've often heard him (if my guess is correct, it is a he) whining on about why PR people should not publish magazines.

I run a PR company and publish a magazine. I don't use the latter as a mouthpiece for the former. The magazine would soon wither and die if we did that.

The author writes:
"So in a separate but equal sense both an independent trade and technical shipping media and specialist shipping public affairs advisors should both be right at the centre of the current industry debates, stimulating and provoking the conversation."

I say no, we've got far too many public affairs advisors in all sectors of business, spinning their wheels. The media needs to speak to the organ grinders, not their monkeys. But sadly those organ grinders increasingly hide behind the 'shareholder disclosure' excuse to avoid speaking to the press.

Does the author honestly believe that it is only within the shipping industry that a journalist/reporter who doubles up as a public relations guru is tolerated? I think that is highly unlikely.

The author needs to do a little more research if he or she believes that a significant proportion of any publication is written independently by journalists seeking and disseminating information truthfully without fear or favour. I guess that 50% of any title is PR-driven.

Does the author honestly believe his/her statement: "After all, the Journo-PR guru will always pull the ultimate PR client hook line stunt - "Of course the newspaper will cover your story--because I will write the story." Most of the journalist-cum-pr gurus I have come across publish one or two magazines; which are actually pretty well put together and have filled a gap left by the poor quality or closure of the magazines produced by the larger publishing groups within the maritime sector - we all know who I am referring to!

Sam, it's great that you have aired this issue, but I really think that the author should have been prepared to put his name to the piece.

3. Launch of theBridge

The editors of Shiptalk and SAMI, the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, have launched a new online publication

Read theBRIDGE online at:

If you would like to sign-up directly to receive future issues go to:

4. Oil Around 2013 Conference

Alexander WŲstmann writes:-

This is to inform you about and invite you to participate in OIL-AROUND 2013, a Conference/Master-class/Think-Tank that will take place May 21-23, 2013 at an attractive location near Frankfurt, Germany, bringing together the subjects of Global Oil & Gas (incl. unconventionals and shale), Biofuels, Global Economic & Financial Developments, Global Geo-Political Developments and Global Climate Developments, rounding off with an integrational Think-Tank.
To address these very interrelated and interdependent subjects in a comprehensive way, we have gathered a small group of top-experts, much time for Questions and Answers and a highly advanced method to allow deepening and at the same time elevation of these subjects towards a multi-dimensional perception of global developments and where these may lead to.

This three-day international gathering will be for senior functionaries, investors, consultants and executives concerned with energy-related planning, and all others interested in these subject-matters.

Day 1: May 21, 2013
Introduction; The 5 Intelligences
Oil & Gas, Unconventionals, Shale

Day 2: May 22, 2013
The Global Financial & Economic Developments and their future Global Geo-Political Developments and Background Considerations
Day 3: May 23, 2013
Global Climate Developments
Integrational Think-Tank

More information can be found at:-

See for a more extensive description:-
Registration and accommodation-bookings:-

5. Piracy--Where Are We Now?

Here is a link to allaboutshipping's report on a recent meeting held by the IMIF, which we esteem, at the offices of lawyers Stephenson Harwood.

6. And Finally...

Wedded Bliss

Randy Cassingham's latest JumboJoke.Com mailing contains some fighting talk on the marital front. Dear oh dear.

1. Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, have a little beverage, then comes good food and companionship. She goes on Tuesdays, I go on Fridays.

2. We also sleep in separate beds. Hers is in Ontario and mine is in Tucson.

3. I take my wife everywhere, but she keeps finding her way back.

4. I asked my wife where she wanted to go for our anniversary. "Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!" she said. So I suggested the kitchen.

5. We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.

6. She has an electric blender, electric toaster and electric bread maker. Then she said "There are too many gadgets and no place to sit down!" So I bought her an electric chair.

7. My wife told me the car wasn't running well because there was water in the carburetor. I asked where the car was, she told me "In the Lake."

8. She got a mudpack and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.

9. She ran after the garbage truck, yelling "Am I too late for the garbage?" The driver said "No, jump in!"

10. Remember. Marriage is the number one cause of divorce.

11. Statistically, 100% of all divorces start with marriage.

12. I married Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was Always.

13. I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months. She told me never to interrupt her.

14. The last fight was my fault. My wife asked "What's on the TV?" And I said "Dust!"

The Power of Faith

As told by Paul Dixon:-

The Pope met with his Cardinals to discuss a proposal from Ariel Sharon, the Ex Prime Minister of Israel.

"Your Holiness", said one of his Cardinals, Mr. Sharon wants to challenge you to a game of golf to show the friendship and ecumenical spirit shared by the Jewish and Catholic faiths."

The Pope thought this was a good idea, but he had never held a golf club in his hand.

"Don't we have a Cardinal to represent me?" he asked. "None that plays very well," a Cardinal replied. "But he added,"there is a man named Jack Nicklaus, an American golfer who is a devout Catholic. We can offer to make him a Cardinal,then ask him to play Mr. Sharon as your personal representative. In addition to showing our spirit of cooperation, we'll also win the match."

Everyone agreed it was a good idea. The call was made. Of course,Nicklaus was honored and agreed to play. The day after the match, Nicklaus reported to the Vatican to inform the Pope of the result. "I have some good news and some bad news, your Holiness," said Nicklaus.

"Tell me the good news first, Cardinal Nicklaus," said the Pope.

"Well, your Holiness, I don't like to brag, but even though I've played some pretty terrific rounds of golf in my life, this was the best I have ever played, by far. I must have been inspired from above. My drives were long and true, my irons were accurate and purposeful, and my putting was perfect. With all due respect, my play was truly miraculous."

"There's bad news?", the Pope asked. "Yes," Nicklaus sighed. "I lost to Rabbi Tiger Woods by seven strokes...."

This long posting comes to us courtesy of Richard Mulcahy:-

The Darwins

It is always a magical time of year when the Darwin Awards are bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us.

Here is a glorious winner:

1. When his 38 calibre revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.

And now, the honorable mentions:

2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger... The chef's claim was approved.

3. A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.

4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his
incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies... The deception
wasn't discovered for 3 days.

5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.

6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer... $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]

7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The w hole event was caught on videotape...

8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID . To which he replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."

9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5 A.M. , flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast.... The man, frustrated, walked away.


10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street by sucking on a hose, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

In the interest of bettering mankind, please share these with friends and family....unless of course one of these individuals by chance is a distant relative or long lost friend. In that case, be glad they are distant and hope they remain lost.

*** Remember.... They walk among us, they can reproduce..

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