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A Growing Cause for Concern...(2)
Posted: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 8:57 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 392

I received this email from a concerned reader and, with his permission, decided to post it to see if there is anyone else in the same boat.

I have worked in this funny old industry for nearly eleven years. I was part of it when Europe had an array of currencies. I was here when we need not have had STCW '95. I'm still here, with a greater concern than any, ever.
I am South African, born and bred and kind of proud. However, political reason aside. I have lived in Palma, Mallorca for ten years, five of them with my fiance Zoe, who is British.
   I was recently called by a friend who runs a crew agency, offering me an interview with a well known boat. I had my interview and all went well.  The Captain was perceivably interested and the crew came across as 'easy to like'. The call back from my friend informed me that I had not been offered the job, which was disappointing, but the reason was even more so.
The reason was because I am South African and travel on a South African passport. Fair and fine, but I'm not in love with anyone but Zoe and I'm not at war with anyone, not yet.
   I have applied for more than fifteen Schengen Visas, Varoius African Visas, New Zealand and Australian. Including a few British visas. However it seems that we South Africans are pigeon holed - "He can't get a visa, he is too dangerous he might get deported".
   I really don't understand, I just don't. I have a Seaman's Discharge Book, which entitles me to free access in any port in Europe, possibly the America's but I do not know about that, I'm a Med boy. I have travelled freely for thirteen years since leaving school. I have longevity on my CV and still I hear about this niggly rumour "He can't get a visa".
Can we, you, Dockwalk please help? There as many Australians and Kiwis in this industry as us, if not more, and they too must apply for visas. Where is the line drawn.
This is one of many cases of good crew losing good jobs to underqualified young people simply because they have a different colour passport.

Best Regards

Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 3:56 PM
It is up to us all in the yachting industry to ensure that we  avoid making value judgements about people based on any form of prejudice.  The legality of immigration and international travel mean that there will always be times when the prudence of employing one nationality over another will be justifiable.  However it is vital not to misinterpret "what the owner likes" as a licence to act with ignorance when employing crew.  The  law is  very clear about racism and  sexual discrimination and our subjective views or interpretation is irrelevant. 

Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2008 2:34 AM
Joined: 17/10/2008
Posts: 3

My simpathy to you...Im born american, raised in the caribean and have serve the US NAVY, and Army. I have been  living in the states and US territory all my life; I have understanding of the Yachting culture and US  Navy demands when in a vessell...Many people, when I go looking for jobs tell me they only hire Americans" So what Im  Mr? Just because of my accent? ...So I feel discriminated because of my accent and olive skin looks.Even, agencies they prefer someone in the 20 rather than 30`s or early 40`s  if you are not a captain.It was my observation while taking my STCW 95 Cert. Im in better shape and more experience than some of my juniors in class. I do feel 2ble discrimination.Maybe, I have not spend a year in Yacht, but I have worked for Marine Max and the US. Navy and now how to keep a vessel inmacualate . I can see whats the differences between both Industries, not much beside steel and fiberglass. You still have to practice customer service with your officers, keeping the brass shinning, and all those premaintenance task compile with hard work at sea. Still, a recruiter who had barely seen the world told me that I was not qualify enough because is not a luxury Yacht. Let me tell you. Navy ships interiors are kept as clean as a luxury yachts for those who had never been in a real NAVY ... Same objective and treatment of the vessels; how to serve the Elite wealthy`s, is as hight as serving your superior Officers. Except they do not serve alcohol.Meanwhile, I have to take a boring butler job in beach Manssion til a fair soul can value what I can offer.
Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2008 7:05 PM
This post has been removed by the forum moderator.

Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2008 7:33 PM
You should spend some time learning how to spell and how to use proper sentence structure. Please be aware that people read these things and you are showing everyone how STUPID Americans are!

Posted: Friday, November 21, 2008 8:01 PM
If it wasn't for those STUPID Americans, there is a high likelyhood you would not be speaking English.  Remember that before expressing your freedom of speech.
Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2008 5:16 AM
Joined: 15/08/2008
Posts: 5

Are you kidding me? What I find worse than his spelling is the fact that you have to hide behind an anonymous posting after writing such a sophomoric remark.
Posted: Saturday, December 6, 2008 5:46 PM

Takes all kinds of people to be stupid.  Word to the wiseless.

As far as American pride goes, I had my "Michelle Obama" moment after joining this sometimes seedy industry. I never realized how fortunate I was to be from the States..not really anyway.  Sure- there are some obnoxious folks all around, and I wish some young Americans out there would wise up and stop being so crass and's pretty ignorant to act  like that whether in your own country or elsewhere, especially elsewhere. 

 There seems to be a lot of riff raff in this industry as it is, but then again, it's not primarily Americans based on what I've seen for three years.

All in all, Americans should be proud that this country has demonstrated amazing qualities in diversity, patriotism, personality, brotherly/sisterly love, etc.  Maybe some of you folks should realize this, whether you "like" us or not.

 I can't help but say that I just don't have the same feelings towards Brits, SAs, Kiwis, sometimes Aussies.  I've met some very nice Europeans all in all, and I've almost always found delight in meeting Latinos and Latin Americans. But I can not say the same about Brits, SAs, and's just been my experience...even a friend from Canada once told me that she couldn't stand their accents because they seemed so unwarm and unintelligent even if it's basically the same language.  I'm sure we ALL have our stereotypes or naive reasons as to why we "don't like" each other so much.  [Yep] There is an underlying reason why I'm posting this message..for what it's worth.

And to: American and international yachties, RECRUITERS, captains, owners, DOCKWALK  [many Americans do subscribe to your zine btw], you all should recognize that America is inhabitated by many of the most talented maritime men and women on both sides of the country.

The constant rhetoric you may here about Brits, Aussies, SAs, etc as being specially talented sea farers or having more talent than others can be baseless.  Btw,  is it really  hard to detail and maintaine a yacht or drive one?  Maybe it's hard for someone like me to be captain a yacht based on my experience, ahem. 

 One of the main problems this industry seems to be facing is the influx of low skilled, under educated candidates...usually coming from outside the states.  I believe this is an issue that will only hurt yacht owner's pockets and nerves more so than ever before...especially in an economy like this.

Should  I even mention illegal immigration?

Posted: Sunday, December 7, 2008 7:29 PM

C2C inc  San Diego

Here at C2C we are active in processing South African and other controlled nationality crew visas for Mexico, Canada and French Polynesia.  I agree with your comments but the facts of needing to obtain a visa for specific countries is an issue which some Captains are not willing to take on.  For the past 2 years we have experienced no problems with applications for SA crew for which we have done the visa application.



Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2009 4:31 PM
Joined: 17/10/2008
Posts: 3

Stupid? Listen, Most people speak more than one language and possibly english was not the language I grew up speaking like you had Mr perfect english speaker? I bet you are one of those Australian or British that discriminate people like me wiyhout finding the reason...So, who is the stupid now....Like yourself who probably cannt learn or try to learn a second language and come to America to take American jobs...
Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:50 AM

I am an American and I too have worked with people from all over the world. I think it is a shame that there is such dislike between countries, especially when we are all here for the same reason.  Traveling, meeting great people, eating great food and most importantly making a decent living.

 I've heard comments from past and recent crew members who express their dislikes for Aussies, Kiwi, Brits, SAs, etc...and it amazes me that for having such ill feelings towards those from other countries, they continue to work on vessels that have just the ones they say they can't stand. Go Figure! I say to all those who have a problem working with people from other countries. "Your working in the wrong industry".  So Leave!!

I know personally that SAs are discriminated against and still today I do not understand why. I've worked with many SAs and have always thought there work ethics were great, very friendly, and appreciative for what they were given. My only comment to SAs would be relax and take a breather. One day people will see your great people!!

To all you guys coming here to America. I am sorry if you are mistreated here in my country. Especially SAs. I love being an American, and I am very proud of my country, but if I had to choose who I would rather work with, it would definitely be a Kiwi, SAs, Aussie, Brits, etc...With your no worries attitudes, your stamina to get the job done, and doing it all without complaining it just a few reasons. 

As for the Visa problem, I sure do wish I had the answer for you. Good luck!

Posted: Monday, December 7, 2009 8:21 AM
Joined: 24/11/2009
Posts: 10

Jahanny YOU WROTE: "Stupid? Listen, Most people speak more than one language and possibly english was not the language I grew up speaking like you had Mr perfect english speaker? I bet you are one of those Australian or British that discriminate people like me wiyhout finding the reason...So, who is the stupid now....Like yourself who probably cannt learn or try to learn a second language and come to America to take American jobs..." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I am also an American and I understand your frustration, but please haven't you ever heard of writing the message 1st in MS Word, then spell checking, after that cutting and pasting your message to the forum. That way your writing won't be horrible, giving the American haters more ammo to say we are stupid. Plus you have no excuse of English not being your first language, as I am fluent in two languages. Please a little common sense and attention to detail goes a long way.
Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010 1:49 AM

I am a Brit in the USA, with an American girlfriend. We both have the odd moment when we don't understand each other, but it gets easier over time.

I guess though you haven't met many different people from the UK as just like the USA accents vary greatly depeneding on where you come from. Some are irritating and some lovely to listen to but fail to see how you can judge a whole race from their accent... indeed many Americans think my accent is Australian.

Everyone I have met in 14 years travelling to and living in the US has been welcoming, albeit I found NY to be rather more 'unfriendly' and like London!

Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 2:29 PM
Americans aren't stupid, only the anti-American people that generalize are the stupid ones! So why don't you go back to your yacht and scrub the deck or something because that's probably all you are capable of. Can you tie a reef knot?
Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 3:31 PM
Joined: 28/02/2010
Posts: 18

Ha ha. I wonder what some people would consider my true accent? Let's see, born in Scotland (grew up the first six years in freezing Stornoway, Western Isles, then lived in Jamaica for eleven years, (bliss, during the halcyon years) then the UK for three, then the entire Caribbean (on a schooner or the like) then South of France, then Malta and entire Med. (for almost two years) then based in London for two, and then out of a suitcase for several years global documentary filming as a cameraman, then British Virgin Islands and Caribbean again, then two back in the UK (ultra boring Norfolk) and then here for the past twenty including eighteen months in The Abacos, Bahamas, and Caribbean again, never mind having driven to every State here in the USA and witnessed an extraordinary and at times challenging to understand the myriad of American dialects... need I go on!? As for the problem you face being South African. Geez, back in the late 1970's when I applied for (from London) and granted a job with SABC as a cameraman only then to be turned down after your moronic government deemed that due to my international background and having lived in Jamaica, having a mahogany tan thaa I would not blend too well within your society where some like to call the locals the derogatory name 'Kaffir'. So please, stop bleating. There are ways to get round anything with persistence and determination. See, besides earlier posts: BTW, my uncle lived in George, just up the coast from Cape Town. He wanted me to work on his farm back in the 1980's - I declined!
Posted: Monday, October 17, 2011 5:24 PM
I have never seen so many insensitive comments because of where someone was from. Language, accents, culture, skin color or TYPOS should never be fuel to fire any argument. Maturity is the real issue here
Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 11:35 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

The problem is actually quite obvious. Those involved in the industry fail to keep themselves educated. Captains, crew and owners alike are thoroughly ignorant of much of what they should really know.

Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 11:56 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

Anonymous wrote:
You should spend some time learning how to spell and how to use proper sentence structure. Please be aware that people read these things and you are showing everyone how STUPID Americans are!

Look, He IS an American. That's what America is and always has been. It's where America's true strength comes from because we have everybody. You still got Coonasses can't speak English, but you gotta love it when they invite you to a crawfish boil down in the Bayou. I was born German and naturalized a US citizen when I was 18. I grew up and went to school in St Louis. I have traveled all of America and most of the world, and let me tell you, "we've got it good." Whatever topography and climate you want to live in from Tropical to Arctic Tundra, you can just move there without asking anybody or signing in and out of the town you live in. There is no industry or endeavor that you may aspire to that you can not gain opportunity to given perseverance of 10 years. Even fat ugly people earn a living in TV and Movie work if they keep at it for 10 years. No place else in the world I have ever been to including my native Germany, could have offered me the life I have lived being an American. We are that way because of him and those coonasses and all the different cultures that make up America. Not everyone is brilliant nor is everyone a great orator. That does not mean they should not be allowed a voice.

Don't knock him for being who he is. I've been handed illiterate 18 year old green deck hands in the oil fields and turned them into proficient ABs in 3 months and got em a raise. His ability to communicate does nothing to reflect badly upon you, so why do you take offense?

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