Seafarer Video Logs: Sharing Experience of Life at Sea

by Dr. Jason Zuidema, NAMMA/ICMA

A video blog or vlog is a kind of blog or diary-style video that chronicles someone’s life or activities. Vlogs often combine video with text, images or other data and then shared on video-sharing platforms like YouTube or Facebook. There are thousands of popular vloggers on social media sites for many years, but among seafarers vlogging has only appeared more recently.

Vlogging at sea is considerably more challenging than on land. It is only with improved technology that video, audio and editing tools are combined into small packages. Seafarers have limited baggage when they join a ship, so can only take basic sound, lighting or video equipment on board. More important, uploading or streaming video takes major Internet bandwidth, a luxury very few seafarers have. Finally, some seafarers might be dissuaded by approval processes with their officers or companies for video footage filmed on board.

But, with portable equipment, a bit more Internet connectivity, and lots of creative talent, a number of seafarers are now creating stunning videos to help friends, family and the wider world understand life at sea.

Here we introduce you to a few of the most popular of these seafarer vloggers and life at sea videos. This is not an exhaustive list but just meant to give a sense of what kinds of videos are available.

These videos are a great introduction to the fun and challenges of seafaring. They can be great tools to train new staff or chaplains in seafarers’ welfare missions, but might also be encouraging for new volunteers or supporters.

With more than 231K subscribers on Youtube, Chief MAKOi is one of the most well-known seafarers vloggers at this time. His channel is not only entertaining, but informative about the maritime world. Check out this video on the work of a chief cook:

Byahe Ni Edward was one of the first popular seafarer Youtube channels. The channel currently has more than 141K subscribers. This recent video gives a glimpse of the experience of transiting the Suez Canal:

One of the most ‘cinematic’ videos done by a seafarer, “Buhay Seaman” of JhayAy Vispo was made to help “family and friends feel what life on a ship really is.”

JeffHK has created the most visually stunning maritime videos on the Internet. Check out this 30-day timelapse at sea in 4K resolution.

CallaRuiz created the Sea Princess Youtube channel to share her experience as a seafarer. Learn about one day in 270 on board in the life of a woman at sea:

A powerful video by a Turkish seafarer of life on board a ship:

Zeefarer TV has more than 21K subscribers. This channel shares regular videos from life at sea, including this one about signing back onboard during the pandemic in early 2021:

Kim Olavere made this great video about a day in his life as a seafarer:

Discover more here: Ero Ancheta – Marinero’svlog, Joe Furness – Joe the Sailor, MrJahaji, Jy’s Journal – A Shefarer’s Journal, Mareen Oliquino, Chief Red, Wincy Locoh, Tres Geroso, MJ the Sailor, Kabaro Channel, Zedrick’s MarinersTv, The Curious Lens of Martina from Argentina, or this Facebook page The Seamen Vlogs.