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Many years ago when I lived north of Boston, I read that the Chinese thought Salem was a county, a prominent one, because so many vessels called in Qing dynasty ports.

Today one can’t not wonder what Majuro looks like,

given that so many vessels have that port inscribed on their stern.  It’s the second (a move up from last year) largest registry, after Panama.

I’m told the correct pronunciation stresses the first syllable, i.e., MA ju ro, with ma pronounced as in matter.

I’m told that by someone who lived there the better part of a decade and helped write their constitution.



She also put me in contact with Karen Earnshaw, who lives in Majuro today and does the website from which I took these photos, with her permission.

So the next time you see a ship registered in Majuro, think of these photos.

I sent her my ship photos, and she put them on her site here.


Photos by Karen Earnshaw and Will Van Dorp.

To see other “port of ” tugster posts, click here.


Who is the sailor standing watch (or taking a break) on the bow as Harrier slips eastward on Kill van Kull and heads outbound? Nationality? Age? History? He’s barely visible way up there, one foot on the rail? Almost a figurehead.
Harrier lists Majuro as port of registry. Quiz your friends about its location after you see the picture and find the answer below.

Majuro, it’s the metropolis of the Marshall Islands. Actually a place I would like to visit some day, population much smaller than that of Staten Island. Not too far from Rarotonga. Think it’s one of the few ships from there? Majuro also appears on the stern of this “panamax” you’ve seen in an earlier post.

How about Limassol?


Jag Prachi actually lists all of India as its port. I know there are reasons for flags of convenience, but it does make things confusing. Some say there are security risks involved also.

Two years ago I saw a container ship loading in Red Hook. It was a day I had left my camera home. I was very excited to see a vessel loading there called Umiavut. What was exciting was what was below the lettering in English. See it here. I recognized the script from lettering I was then doing on a kayak I had just built. It’s the script for Inuktitut, language of Nunavut. In Brooklyn! Flag of convenience? Would you believe the Netherlands. Go figure.

And that sailor on the bow of Harrier, what do you suppose he’s doing on Christmas Day if December 25 means anything to him? Here’s a thought.

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September 2022