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Off course: a sideways look at life at sea

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Can you name three famous seafarers?  Or do you know where your nearest port is?  Don't worry if you're struggling with the answers - you're not alone!

Off course explores why the maritime sector remains such a mystery to many of us when it plays such an important role in all our lives.

Join host Robert Murtagh as he hears inspirational stories from across the industry - from captains on deck, to campaigners on land and those captured by pirates.  Off course: a sideways look at life at sea.

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Series 2

We are excited to release series 2 of our awards-nominated podcast 'Off Course: a sideways look at life at sea.'

After a successful series 1, Off Course returns with more insightful and inspiring stories from those working in the maritime industry. From Merchant Navy Medal winners to the first African woman to sail to the Arctic, this series dives even deeper into the lives of the people who work at sea.

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With thanks to Lloyd's Maritime Academy for sponsoring the first three episodes of our second series.

Series 2: Episode 5

Thursday 08 February 2024

Episode 5 of Series 2 features Dr Jo Stanley, a creative historian and expert on LGBT+ maritime history, and an honorary research fellow at Blaydes Maritime Centre, University of Hull, UK.

In this episode we talk with Jo about the history of LGBT+ individuals, particularly gay men, in the British Merchant Navy during the mid-20th century.

We discuss how the environment onboard ships allowed for a more open exploration of sexuality and identity, with many gay men finding a sense of liberation and acceptance at sea.

Series 2: Episode 4

Monday 29 January 2024

Episode 4 of Series 2 features Jacqueline Smith, the maritime coordinator for the International Transport Workers' Federation.

We speak with her about the concept of Flags of Convenience (FOCs) in the maritime industry; and why the ITF is calling for a global review of ship registration practices, and a clearer definition of a 'genuine link' between a ship and its flag state.

We also discuss the lack of enforcement of these regulations by FOC countries, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Series 2: Episode 3

Wednesday 06 December 2023

Episode 3 of Series 2 features Lungi Mchunu, yacht skipper and the first African woman to sail to the Arctic.

Lungi is also a yachtmaster graduate of the Nautilus strategic yacht partner and training charity, UKSA, and has worked in yachting, cruise and racing.

We speak with her about her fear of the sea, how she overcame it, and her experiences of the arctic.

This third episode is sponsored by Lloyd's Maritime Academy – providing a lifelong career pathway for maritime professionals.

Series 2: Episode 2

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Episode 2 of Series 2 features Ann Pletschke, master mariner and Merchant Navy medal winner talks about how AI has impacted her work, and gives us her future predictions on the autonmous shipping industry and lessons we can learn from other transport industries. We also discuss how she got into the maritime industry, what inspired her when she was young, and how seafaring is the one thing that can bring together all genders.

This second episode is sponsored by Lloyd's Maritime Academy – providing a lifelong career pathway for maritime professionals.

Series 2: Episode 1

Friday 08 September 2023

Episode 1 of Series 2 features Allan Larsen, managing director of Larsen's Marine Surveyors and Consultants who discusses the role of marine surveying, how the industry has changed over the past four decades and what the future is like as we move towards net zero.

This episode is sponsored by Lloyd’s Maritime Academy – providing a lifelong career pathway for maritime professionals.

Series 1

Series 1: Episode 5

Friday 21 April 2023

Episode 5 features Captain Kai Kaltegartner, who shares with us his harrowing experiences onboard vessels rescuing people fleeing violence, insecurity and persecution.

Series 1: Episode 4

Tuesday 3 March 2023

Episode 4 features first female master of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), Captain Susan Cloggie-Holden. She tells us about her extraordinary career managing risk under high pressure, supporting Royal Navy and Merchant Navy seafarers, and promoting a more representative maritime workforce.

Series 1: Episode 3

Friday 20 January 2023

Episode 3 features Dr. Tom Stoffregen, an expert in motion sickness from the University of Minnesota who discusses his theory of why some people are more susceptible and offers some advice to alleviate symptoms. He tells us there is only one known cure… you're going to have listen in to find out what it is!

Serie 1: Episode 2

Friday 18 November 2022

Episode 2 features a trailblazer in diversity in the maritime industry. Sanjam Sahi Gupta is Director of Sitara Shipping, founder of the Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) India and CEO of Maritime SheEO. Sanjam talks to us about her often difficult experiences as one of the few women at a senior level in the industry and how these challenges have informed her campaigning work in making not simply the moral case but – crucially – the business case for diversity.

Series 1: Episode 1

Friday 14 October 2022

Episode 1 features Captain Rich Phillips – the Captain Phillips played by Tom Hanks in the Hollywood blockbuster movie of the same name. We speak to Captain Phillips about the accuracy of the movie, how his family reacted to his capture, why he rejects the label of 'hero' and why we shouldn't get complacent about piracy.

With thanks to Nautilus Federation affiliate, the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots.

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