Wednesday, September 23, 2009


With our interest in maritime history here at NAUTICAL LOG we sometimes come across interesting items. The Blue Funnel Line of the British Merchant Navy was rightly famous for its high standards. Starting in the Shipbuilders Yard at construction it used the finest materials and equipped its vessels with the latest instruments in all departments. The Company trained its own Midshipmen and all Officers held at least one grade higher than rank of Certificate of Competency until appointed as Master. They were self insured as a Mutual Company from 1870's and never lost a vessel except from enemy action in WW1 and WW2. Blue Funnel Line was the first to utilize detailed passage planning. All the charts were prepared by a section of the operations department and placed aboard the ships. Courses, bearings and distances were in ink and each officer used a different coloured pencil assigned to his rank. Thus when reviewed there was no doubt as to whom had plotted the position. The basics were also not forgotten as this piece of rhyme from one Master illustrates;

"A watchful look-out do not cease
Nor observation ever miss;
Be of compass changes wary;
Running near to danger chary;
On duty personally attend;
And above all on Providence depend."

This is possibly a rhyme to print up and place as a frontispiece in the Passage Plan Book.

Good Watch

Sunday, September 20, 2009


September 20, 2009

In today's BBC Online there is an article, with video, and photographs on the Northeast Passage Transit. NAUTICAL LOG Posted these same photographs sometime ago. This was due to the kindness of BELUGA's Geschaftsfuhrender Gesellschafter Niels Stolberg. So it looks as if the BBC is catching up with us!!

Meanwhile here at NAUTICAL LOG there have been several inquiries about Ice Classification. Briefly and without getting into the complexities of Naval Architecture, the short answer follows. For a more detailed answer contact your Classification Society or National Maritime Administration.

The BELUGA ships that transitted the Northeast Passage are German Ice Class E3. This is the equivalent of Lloyd's, Finnish and Swedish Classifications of 1A. There is only one Ice Classification higher, E4/1A Super. This would be a full icebreaker strength vessel.

Good Watch.

Monday, September 14, 2009


As the boating season winds down in some northern areas it winds up in southern areas. Already many seafarers are taking boating courses and the professionals are attending nautical school. NAUTICAL LOG always started nautical school in September after spending the Summer months in the European coastal trade. This was great experience for a Foreign-Going Officer in the deep sea trade. With far more daily traffic to contend with and in and out of Ports every couple of days plus lots, and I mean lots, of shiphandling. Going to the classroom was positively relaxing, and after a 'Pub lunch' sometimes a bit too relaxing!!

So this is the training and upgrading time and a good opportunity to learn about Passage Planning. Which is now compulsory under IMO Regulations for all vessels, Professional, Fishing and Recreational/Leisure. If you look at the 'SITEMETER' record you will see how many visits there are on just that subject - Passage Planning. Here at NAUTICAL LOG we would like to see everyone request our "NAUTICAL LOG PASSAGE PLANNING GUIDE". After all it is FREE, so that's good and its professional, which is even better.

Several have gone out already and it is a great way to spend part of the off-boating season.

1. Contact us at and we will e-mail the GUIDE to you - IT IS FREE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD.
2. In the 'subject line' write 'NAUTICAL LOG PLAN GUIDE' - just like that in block letters.
3. If you do not do this then the filter will recognize your e-mail as 'JUNK' and erase you.

Then next season when the Maritime Authorities start checking for your Plan, as they are going too, you will be all ready to set sail.

Also NAUTICAL LOG has divided some books from our Library into "READING SUGGESTIONS" and "NAUTICAL REFERENCE BOOKS". These lists may be more helpful to visitors.

Good Watch.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Rushing to be first with the News and what do you get? Miscommunication, confusion, and a lot of upset people. The 8th. anniversary of 9/11 is probably not the best day to schedule an exercise in the first place. Add to that CNN (Confused Negative News) not double checking and rushing to broadcast ahead of FOX (Fair and Balanced News) regardless of accuracy and - well read the above.

This is an unusual Post for NAUTICAL LOG but some good Internet friends are quite upset. We therefore decided to publish the USCG Press Release.

Good Watch.


This is an 'Abstract' from the Port Log of the BELUGA convoy. Rather than paraphrase it NAUTICAL LOG has reproduced it as received. Now they are ready to start heading home and no doubt setting up for the next voyage.
Once again thanks to Geschaftsfuhrender Gesellschsfter Niels Stolberg and his Staff at the BELUGA GROUP.

Good Watch.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Vessels of the SNSM, France

Good Watch


Good Watch.


When you order a "Nautical Log Passage Planning Guide" we ask that you make a donation to your Search And Rescue (SAR) organization. But who are they? Mostly manned by volunteers they respond in all weathers to a seafarers call for assistance. Here are some photos of their vessels. If your Service is not among them let NAUTICAL LOG know of their website and we will add them in to our Posts. We begin with one of the most famous the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) which serves the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Good Watch.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


NAUTICAL LOG received an update by e-mail this morning that the vessels MS "Beluga Fratenity" and MS "Beluga Foresight" have arrived at Novyy Port. Now they are busy discharging their heavy-lifts cargo. So this first Northeast Passage transit voyage by non-Russian vessels has been a great success. As you can see from the photos they were escorted by a Russian Federation Icrebreaker. Once again the photos were provided by BELUGA SHIPPING GMBH. NAUTICAL LOG would like to thank Geschaftsfuhrender Gesellschafter Niels Stolberg and his Staff member Timo Cyriacks for their thoughtfulness.

Good Watch.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


These photos show a Russian Federation Icebreaker moving ahead of the BELUGA convoy. To Ice Navigators/Ice Pilots this is really just scattered pieces of ice known as 'bergy bits'. Both the BELUGA ships are Class 3 for ice navigation, however since they are in Russian Federation Territorial Waters they are entitled to an escort Icebreaker. A Russian Icebreaker this large and design is likely to be an Arktika Class and nuclear-powered. The classic paint scheme of dark red superstructure and black hull is quite usual for Russian Federation Icebreakers. They are very powerful and capable vessels built in both Russian and Finnish shipyards

Once again thanks to the thoughtfulness of BELUGA SHIPPING GMBH for the photos taken from the MS "Beluga Fraternity" in the Northeast Passage. NAUTICAL LOG received them just this afternoon.
You may recall from previous Posts she with MS "Beluga Foresight" are on passage in convoy from Vladivostok to Novyy Port /Yamburg with heavy lifts loaded in South Korea.
Once again NAUTICAL LOG would like to thank Geschaftsfuhender Gesellschafter Niels Stolberg and his Staff member Timo Cyriacks for the update and photos.

Good Watch.