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10th. Century CE dish most likely Persian
Today is the beginning of Ramadan it is the ninth month of the Islamic calender which last 29 to 30 days.  This is the Islamic month of fasting in which participating Muslims refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours.  It is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God.  In modern times, while this is is a religious event of Islam, Ramadan effects virtually all of us in our societies due to followers of Islam being in just about every country in the World.  

This is a time not just of religious fervor but unfortunately a time when the accident rate increases, this Post is not regarding the religious issue but the Health and Safety issue.  Officers should be aware of that, Bridge Watchstanders need to be even more alert than usual particularly if contact is not made with vessels of concern in traffic patterns.

Those participating in the daily fasting are operating in business, factories, the oil industry and manning ships.  It is therefore necessary for Supervisors and Officers aboard ship, who are not followers of Islam but have Islamic crews to be aware that the crews are fasting.  Many will not even take a glass of water and this is where the problems can start.  Particularly with young crewmembers who are participating in Ramadan for the first time after a few days weakness can set in.  Watch standers can slow down, not be as alert as usual and even on occasions faint, NAUTICAL LOG has experienced this first hand particularly before the days of air-conditioned vessels.

It is particularly important to monitor the operations for the month of Ramadan in the oil industry as just about all the loading operations are conducted in Islamic countries by followers of Islam.  Also all container operations in the Middle East and Far East Ports as the heavy machinery is being operated by persons fasting for Ramadan.  This is a time for those not participating in Ramadan to exercise quiet supervision, understanding and organize a relief system to minimize stress - as best one can with the minimum crews one is given to mann ships these days.

Good Watch.

Please remember our fellow seafarers, some 800, held captive by pirates off Somalia.  Also those now once again being harassed by pirates off the Ports of West Africa.


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