At TMS we’re proud of the work we do, both with our clients and vendors and also to support our community. Each year the TMS team participates and supports a number of local community activities. Here’s just a taste of how we are involved:
If you’ve worked with TMS for any length of time you probably know about our association with the U.S. Chapter of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association. With Alex Anagnostis- Irons serving as the Association’s U.S. president the TMS team is active and happy to volunteer at many WISTA events around the country. We’re proud to sponsor educational industry events and networking opportunities as part of our support of WISTA.
TMS’s Alex Anagnostis- Irons is proud to serve on the Board of Directors of Seafarers’ House, a non-profit seafarer’s welfare organization located at Port Everglades. The TMS Team volunteers their time and energy in support of Seafarers’ House at a number of their events throughout the year, raising awareness and increasing opportunities to support mariners who come into Port Everglades.
Fleet Week Port Everglades
For the last several years TMS has been proud to sponsor the Salute to Women in the Military Luncheon as part of Fleet Week Port Everglades. We love sponsoring an event that connects women in the military to private sector mentors and gives them the opportunity to build relationships with military leaders who are dedicated to advancing the opportunities for women in the military. In the past TMS has also sponsored the Legion of Honor ceremony at Fleet Week as well as military receptions and events.
Coast Guard Foundation
TMS is proud to support the Coast Guard Foundation and honor the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard. It has been our pleasure to sponsor events on behalf of the Coast Guard Foundation as well as volunteer at local events and activities to raise money for our guardsmen and women.
Marine Industry Cares Foundation
TMS’ Sprockets are proud to support of the Marine Industry Cares Foundation at its annual Spin-A-Thon. For the last several years we’ve helped spin to raise money for local organizations. In the past eight years, this event has raised over $750,000 for organizations like the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center and Kids In Distress.
Did you know that we’ve been celebrating Mother’s Day in the United States for more than 100 years? First celebrated in 1908, Anna Jarvis held the first Mother’s Day as a memorial for her mother in West Virginia honoring the work her mother did in the Civil War caring for wounded soldiers. Although rejected as a holiday by the U.S. Congress in 1908, all U.S. states observed the holiday by 1911 and it was designated a holiday by Woodrow Wilson in 1914. Today Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries across the world.
The rapid acceptance and recognition of this holiday underscores the most important lesson a child can learn – never back away from a challenge!
This Mother’s Day TMS honors all of the mothers who have supported, nurtured, and helped us become the people we are today. Whether you are able to spend time with your Mother this Mother’s Day in person or only in your heart we hope you find a way to cherish the memories, moments and love you received from your mother.
There’s something about the mystery of the sea that brings along myths, legends and superstitions! Here are five maritime superstitions you’ve probably never heard before, just don’t ask us if they are true!
Whistling Summons Storms!
It seems like whistling would go hand in hand with cheerfully going about one’s duties on the ship but it is actually an old superstition that it’s really bad luck! The idea is that when the wind picks up the sounds of whistling or singing, you’re actually calling a storm to brew.
Dolphins Bring Good Luck.
If you see dolphins swimming along with a ship, it’s believed to be a good omen. This is a superstition we can get behind because who doesn’t love to catch a view of dolphins at sea?!
Many Days Are Bad Luck for Sailing.
If everyone followed these superstitions, the global economy would look a lot different today! Old superstitions indicate Sunday as the only good day to set off on a voyage. What’s more, superstitious bad luck days include Thursdays, Fridays and two Mondays of the year – the first Monday in April and the second Monday of the month in August. The roots of these superstitions are very interesting, mostly having to do with religious beliefs. Fridays have been believed to be bad luck days for a very long time, on and off of the sea. Thursday is the day of Thor, representative of the god of storms. The unlucky Monday in April is the day Cain killed his brother Abel and the bad luck Monday in August is the day the sinful locales of Sodom and Gomorrah were obliterated.
Cigarettes Must Be Lit by the Proper Protocol.
…and we thought cigarette smoking was harmful enough! According to an old superstition, if a sailor lights his or her cigarette with a candle’s flame, they can be sealing their fate to soon die or experience some type of awful event. It’s interesting to note that lighting a cigarette with a candle’s flame is considered to be bad luck in various regions of the world – on dry land as well.
Want to Change Your Vessel’s Name? Do This First!
It’s considered bad luck to change the name of a boat unless you officially take away it’s original name, give it the new name and christen it all over again. There’s also a superstition against naming vessels with words that end in the letter “A”!
The regulatory environment can be a bit confusing – many clients ask us about the different regulatory bodies and what they govern. While we can’t cover everything in a blog post, we’ll outline the main framework for the regulatory environment.
Where Does Maritime Environmental Regulation Come From?
Environmental regulations on the water come from a number of sources, many of which have different jurisdiction. You’ll need to get familiar with all of them in order to ensure you’re always operating within compliance. The top of the hierarchy is the International Maritime Organization (IMO), followed by regional regulation (such as the European Union), followed by federal regulation coming from a country (such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency – EPA), then the state (such as Florida Department of Environmental Protection) and finally local regulation (such as Broward County’s Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department).
As a boater, it is your duty to ensure you’re always within compliance for every one of these regulators. Environmental regulations exist for good reason – to minimize the negative impact on our marine environments. In most cases it is punishable by law to act against these environmental safeguards – not knowing is not a valid excuse in the eyes of the law.
We understand that staying compliant can still be a little tricky due to the nature of regulations. Regulations change often as new legislation is made and new research and data point to new needs requiring attention. This is part of what we do here at Total Marine Solutions. We take care of all of the research and stay on top of all new regulations so you don’t have to spend time figuring everything out. We can provide you with up-to-the-minute details on both environmental and safety regulations to keep you comfortably compliant! Our aim is to help the environment while helping ship owners and operates meet regulations in ways the most efficient ways for their businesses.
Whenever we usher in a new year, our thoughts are focused on the future as a whole. And it’s impossible to think about the future without thinking about the environmental impact we’re making on the planet – especially today. With various environmental concerns increasing, one way to enter 2017 with hope, positivity and an effort in the name of the greater good is to make a few moves to make a lighter ecological impact in the new year.
The best way to make a difference is to start with your own actions… like our favorite quote from Mahatma Gandhi – “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Switch to Eco-Friendly Paint.
It may not be something you’ve thought of before, but the paint you use on your hull becomes a part of the marine environment. In fact, any part of your boat that lies beneath the surface interacts with the marine ecosystem. Harmful substances can damage aquatic plants, animals and entire ecosystems.
The good news is there are healthy alternatives! The EPA did a study and found the best (read: least toxic) bottom hull paints for your vessel are Hempasil X3 (87500) by Hempel USA and Intersleek Pro by Interlux. Not only are they less taxing on the environment but they also last much longer than those harmful copper-based paints. They will save you money in the process!
Switch to Non-Toxic Cleaning Products.
Cleaning products can contain all kinds of environmentally hazardous compounds. Do your part to ease up on marine ecosystems by changing up your stock of cleaning supplies. The EPA recommends products that biodegrade more rapidly than traditional cleaning products, which cannot build up in the tissues of animals, and are less toxic. There are great products for washing your vessel as well as items you could also use for home such as environmentally-friendly trash bags, soaps, disinfectants and other essential items.
Replace Paper Towels with Rags.
This is a really easy one. Do your part to take a load off of the environment by using towels, old clothes or rags to clean rather than paper towels. Also avoid using disposable items in the galley, such as plastic utensils and paper plates.
When purchasing items for your vessel, do a quick research to see if there’s a recyclable version available. You’ll be able to dispose of it in a smart and useful way later on.
Brush Up On Anchoring.
You may anchor your boat all of the time, but are you doing it in the way that’s the least harmful to the environment? Brush up on the tips and proper protocol to avoid damaging our valued ecosystems – coral reefs included.
Ah, what feels better than a fresh start to a new year?! There are endless opportunities before us and we’re excited to see how everything plays out for us in 2017. Your personal and professional resolutions are likely well underway – even in this first week of the year. The question is, have you crafted any resolutions for your vessel? Give your watercraft the attention it deserves by taking the time to maintain it to the best of your ability, by making your vessel more ecologically-friendly and more!
Resolution: Follow a Regular Maintenance Schedule.
Make 2017 the year you stick to the maintenance of your craft! Newer vessels typically come with dealer-created maintenance schedules, otherwise, create one yourself and make it a point to stick to it. When we miss recommended times for maintenance, we cause further wear and tear to our vessels which does two things – it creates additional expenses and it decreases the life of your boat.
Just as it goes with your own health, preventative measures are far better than trying to heal once the damage has been made.
Resolution: Update Your Onboard Equipment.
Every single piece of equipment and every supply on the vessel should be analyzed each year to see if it’s time to shop! Old equipment can mean faulty equipment and some items even expire such as certain models of life vests. Do a quick walkthrough then have fun shopping for replacement items. You’ll find the options for offerings tend to change dramatically over the years.
Resolution: Strive for a More Eco-Friendly Vessel.
With global environmental concerns increasing year after year, we think it’s a wonderful resolution to aim to make an easier impact on the environment. If you’re shopping for a new vessel, there are so many new models that have been designed to be a lot more ecologically-friendly. Be sure to check those out! If you’re not in the market for a new boat, there are still many options to choose from to make your vessel a lot more eco-friendly. You can switch your light bulbs to LED versions. They use a fraction of energy and last much, much longer. Switch to environmentally-friendly cleaning products and paints for your vessel.
Find out if you can recycle your old fluids at your marina! It’s a great way to process substances that would otherwise be toxic and harmful for the environment.
New Year’s is a special time of the year that basically resonates with everyone, no matter where they’re based in the world. The hope of change – peace, love, health, prosperity – means the holiday also comes along with a great set of traditions and customs devised in the hopes that dreams will come true. Here are a few of these traditions seen around the world!
It is customary to eat grapes on New Year’s Eve in Spain. Eating 12 grapes at midnight is a tradition/superstition for good luck in the new year. This tradition is carried out slightly different in different areas but the basis of grapes for good luck remains the same. Many people make a wish as they consume each grape.
New Year’s Eve in the U.S. often consists of glamorous parties, fireworks and parades. There’s a longtime tradition held in Manhattan’s Time Square in New York City. Each year, thousands of spectators gather in the cold to watch the midnight BallDrop, a special countdown show for the new year featuring celebrities, entertainment and celebration. The event is also watched by millions in their homes and in public spaces across the country each year.
Japan’s new year is now celebrated on January 1st with much of the world, however, it was once celebrated at the same time as the Chinese calendar. Japan enjoys long celebrations starting on the 1st of January and stretching on for two weeks’ time. Japanese New Year traditions include giving money to children, creating rice cake decorations (Mochi). The new year is celebrated by dinners, games and special customs including hanging ropes made of straw on their front doors to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck and the tradition of laughing as we enter the new year to also keep evil spirits away.
The new year is celebrated on the traditional dates of December 31st and January 1st as well as on the 21st of March, a traditional New Year holiday called Norouz. The traditional dates are celebrated similarly to the rest of the world with such festivities as fireworks and shooting guns, a common way to celebrate in the Balkans. Norouz, however, is largely celebrated by the communities of Persians in the country and its celebrated by buying new clothes and new flowers for everyone and taking part in various rituals and celebrations involving music over 12 days.
Any way your celebrate it, Happy New Year to you and yours!
The Christmas traditions to be found around the world are as diverse as the many nations, regions, religions and cultures on our planet! Here are a few global Christmas traditions you may not have been familiar with before.
Argentina celebrates Christmas much like the rest of the Catholic world with a few exceptions. Argentinians enjoy fireworks exploding through the night from Christmas Eve until Christmas morning. They also send up paper balloons (“globos”) which they light up and release to fly into the sky. Christmas is celebrated until January 6th, Three Kings Day.
Iceland also enjoys a really long Christmas celebration. It begins on 6 pm on Christmas Eve and also lasts through January 7th. However, the day isn’t called Three Kings Day in Iceland but Twelfth Night. An Icelandic Christmas consists of feasts, baking, decorations, and lots of Christmas parties. Children leave a shoe in the window 13 days before Christmas in hopes that the 13 Yule lads will leave them gifts.
South Africa shares many of their Christmas traditions with the UK, due to their history. Because Christmas falls in the summer, however, there are customized differences! South African Christmas also consists of playing games outside and going swimming.
Latin American Traditions/Philippines/Spain
Many people from these nations and cultures celebrate Christmas on the night before on Christmas Eve. The night called Noche Buena is an evening of food, music, opening gifts and midnight mass for Catholic observers of the holiday. Preparing and eating a roasted pig is a common tradition in Latin America and the Philippines. Noche Buena is celebrated wherever larger communities of Latino cultures live as well such as can be seen in Miami and South Florida during the holiday season.
Eastern Orthodox Christian Traditions
Countries with Eastern Orthodox Christian populations typically have traditional Christian populations celebrating Christmas on December 25th as well as many more celebrating the holiday on January 7th, as per the Julian calendar used by followers of the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition. The Orthodox faith is the largest religion in such countries as Montenegro, Serbia, Greece, Ukraine and Russia. And many countries featuring more of a mix of other religions that also include substantial populations of individuals following the Orthodox include such nations as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Lebanon and Lithuania.
What is your background? How do you and your loved ones celebrate the holiday?
We gained a lot from so many industry professionals from the recent Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) Conference aboard the ms Koningsdam. In fact, there’s one challenge we’ve certainly taken to heart. Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford challenged all of us to find a way to give a bigger purpose and meaning to our professional achievements. We absolutely connect with his mindset here at TMS. We understand that our own professional and business successes don’t mean much if they don’t serve to make a larger impact.
We don’t live in a bubble and so our achievements should not only serve to do something for ourselves. No matter what line of work you’re in, you can find the ways that your own professional success benefits others. If your line of work is not set up in such a way, you can still make an effort to make an impact by way of volunteering your skills to an important cause, making donations or otherwise joining the community to make a difference. Your achievements will mean so much more!
Since we’re in the business of environmentally-friendly technologies, we know our professional success automatically makes a positive impact. We help vessel owners meet and surpass MARPOL standards for smaller footprints on our marine environments. However, we don’t stop there. We also work to make the world a better place by getting involved with charitable causes we hold near and dear including WISTA, the Coast Guard Foundation and Seafarers’ House. We understand that the importance of making the world a better place also extends beyond the environment. Any business making profits can find ways to give back to their immediate communities and to the world.
The Causes We Support
We support WISTA because the international organization supports and promotes the furthering of female professionals’ careers in the maritime industry. With chapters located around the globe, they do their part to provide access to industry resources, information and education otherwise difficult for females in the industry to obtain. For example, this year’s WISTA Conference included the opportunity for members to gain access to the vessel’s bridge for guided tours. Only a very small percentage of women ever have the chance to enjoy such an opportunity.
The Coast Guard Foundation provides servicemen with access to education and support in times of need. Seafarers’ House is an organization dedicated to supporting mariners from around the world. They provide pastoral care, counseling, communication support, money sending services and comforts and conveniences to 150,000+ hardworking seafarers visiting Port Everglades each year. Seafarers are the backbone of our global economy and we are happy to help them in any way we can.
So, tell us, how will you take Ashford’s challenge to heart?