Monday, January 31, 2011

NOW THE BAD NEWS

MS Nordlake











After the successful launch of their new sail training ship in Goa the Indian Navy has suffered an accident up the coast at Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. The INS Vindhyagiri (F42) was in collision with the container ship MV Nordlake. The incident occurred during the approach to Mumbai as the container ship was departing with a Pilot on board and the Naval vessel was entering the Port.


As a result of the collision there was a severe fire aboard the INS Vindhyagiri and the frigate was brought to the Naval Dockyard. The firefighting efforts resulted in flooding as dewatering efforts could not keep up with the fire hoses. As a result the frigate took on a severe list to port, then sank to the seabed and is partially submerged. There is no oilspill reported but the Indian Coast Guard is on standby and the shipping traffic in the Channel is not disrupted.


The initial review of the incident puts the INS Vindhyagiri as the likely at fault vessel, however a full enquiry has yet to get underway. The Indian Navy said that in fact there was a third vessel involved, named Sea Eagle, which got involved with the Nordlake causing the Nordlake to alter course and in so doing hitting the INS Vindhyagiri near its fuel tanks.


Reports and photos are courtesy of The Times of India, The Hindu and Indian Express.


Good Watch.

RHINE CLEARING





A tanker carrying 2,400 tonnes of concentrated sulphuric acid from Ludwigshafen, Germany to Antwerp, Belgium capsized and sank in the Rhine River near the famous infamous Lorelei Rock near the town of St. Goarshausen, south of Koblenz, on January 13, 2011. Named MT Waldhof she is a 330 foot tanker with 4 crew of which two, a Czech and a German, are missing the other two crewmembers were rescued. There is no indication why the vessel capsized but the tanker is double hulled of stainless steel, has remained intact so spillage is not a great concern.

The game plan is to pump the acid from the tanks however it seems that holes will have to be drilled to accomplish this. Also heavy lift barge cranes, three at present, are on site to lift the tanker barge once she is pumped out. This is a long process and throughout the last three weeks the Rhine traffic has been closed, there are now hundreds of barges trapped. The Rhine river which forms in Switzerland and flows north to outlet into the North Sea as the Maas and Rhine, is a premier transit path for cargo so this is an enormous economic disaster for all of mainland Europe. Due to snowmelt the Rhine has been flooding and river levels are high. Some three weeks later work is still going on and the river traffic in the area delayed.
As a point of interest in the third photo there is a cylinder painted yellow with white and black bands on each end. This is tug signal and when hoisted up the forward signal mast indicates a tug leading a train of vessels. In this down position she is working on her own. The Rhine River signals can be found at the Rhine Navigation Commission website in our Link List. There is a KEVAG-Telecom webcam transmitting video available in addition to YouTube posted videos.

Good Watch.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

NO FIRE JUST ICE


The latest PR from The Southern Ocean details just what the SSCS are doing - nothing. The general tone is in the style of most PR's this season, introspective and rather morose. Besides the tone the actual statements are highly exaggerated, wildly improbable and bewildering in their figures. Even the navigational calculations show gross errors in the time frame.

The SSCS Pirate Group does not have any real idea just how many whales the JWF have slaughtered. It resorts to wild statements as to the numbers but with nothing to back them up. According to 'Wats-his-name' the ice floes moved and trapped him allowing the MS Nissin Maru to escape. This from the master Antarctic ice navigator who just told us that he was superior to all the others who had gone before him!! This after those bombastic statements telling the world how the JWF factory ship was in his clutches never to be let go!! Nothing seems to be going right for the guy this year, he is making a real nautical idiot of himself.

As to his navigational calculations well they are questionable. He states that the MS Steve Irwin will leave shortly for New Zealand and return by "mid February". We are now in the last days of January and February has only 28 days so let us figure this out. The round trip to New Zealand takes 28 days, so there goes February, now how on earth can he return by mid February. As NAUTICAL LOG has said previously they are more likely to return in early March which gives about two weeks, three at most, remaining in the JWF whale catching season of 2010 - 2011.

The entire PR is an assortment of 'ifs', 'ands', 'buts' which NAUTICAL LOG never recalls seeing in SSCS Press Releases before. We really do seem to be dealing with a lost and confused person whom it is becoming more and more probable is unable to continue his leadership of the SSCS and the cult he has reduced it too. Even the photos in the PR look very much like previous years stuff!!

Good Watch.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

BEAUTIFUL GIRL

INS Tarangini (tarang means waves in Hindi)




INS Sudharshini (means beautiful girl in Hindi)
Photos courtesy of "The Times of India"

Well it seems the bad news about the Deutsche Marine STS Gorch Fock is balanced by very good news from India, Goa to be precise.
The Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) as launched a second Sail Training Ship (STS) for the Indian Navy. She will now be completed, later in the year handed over to and commissioned by the Indian Navy. Named INS Sudharshini (beautiful girl) she was launched by Letha Sushil using coconut milk, no champagne in Indian launchings, the wife of vice-Admiral K.N. Sushil at Vasco, Goa. Admiral Sushil said:

"The aim of using such ships is to make sailors sea-friendly, as they are taught how to survive alone at sea, understand rough weather conditions and train themselves to become good sailors-----sail training ships are increasingly being used as basic seamanship and character-building platforms by Navies the world over."
Admiral Sushil it seems to NAUTICAL LOG summed it up very well and hopefully his words are read out by the Commission addressing the problems aboard STS Gorch Fock. The Indian Navy will, by later this year, have two sail training ships in service.
Built for worldwide operations INS Sudharshini is a steel hull, round bilged, three masted sailing ship. She is square rigged on the fore and main masts and fore-aft rigged on the mizzen with a total sail area of 1,035 square metres. She carries 61 persons under sail, propulsion or a combination of both and has a sea endurance of about three weeks.
Good Watch.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

UNEASY FEELING


Today was a busy day and it wasn't until this evening that NAUTICAL LOG got a chance to open the Press Release folder and see if there was anything interesting. Those of us who have spend our lives at sea, no doubt the same goes for many other professions, sometimes get an uneasy feeling. We start checking around the ship starting usually on the Bridge to make sure our position is known, recently updated and correct. Once that is done we contact the Engine Room and continue throughout the vessel to try and find out what, if anything, is wrong.

In following this so called "Operation No Compromise" NAUTICAL LOG has had that uneasy feeling since SSCS sailed for The Southern Ocean, something about the whole affair this year is not right. The PR's from 'Wats-his-name' seem to lack the usual fire, while there have been occasional bursts of the dramatic bombastic style mostly it has been morose and introspective - at least it seems that way to NAUTICAL LOG. The strategy is poor and the tactics make no sense at all one wonders has 'Wats-his-name' lost his touch.

Now today comes news that having finally found the JWF factory ship MS Nisshin Maru the SSCS cult leader announces that he his breaking off to refuel the MS Steve Irwin in New Zealand. In addition the new port-of-call will be Wellington on the south coast of the North Island and not Lyttleton Harbour, the Port for Christchurch, on the east coast of the South Island. Why this sudden change? Could it be that, as NAUTICAL LOG previously mentioned, the SSCS are not quite as welcome there as they thought they were? during their last visit to Wellington the New Zealand Prime Minister was a visitor to the MS Steve Irwin and of course Wellington is the Capital City of New Zealand. Perhaps that gives the SSCS a degree of protection, no doubt we shall find out.

To quote from the PR of January 27, 2011:

"The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin has no alternative but to disengage from further pursuit of the Nisshin Maru. The Steve Irwin will now head for Wellington, New Zealand to refuel and then will return to The Southern Ocean".

Now this round trip passage will take at least a month and in addition there will be the time in port which at present is unknown but could be as long as a week. This means that the MS Steve Irwin will not return until March when the whaling season is ending. Does this make any sense at all because it certainly does not to NAUTICAL LOG.

A further quote says:

"I am confident that the crews of the Bob Barker and the Gojira can keep the pressure on the whalers while we refuel and resupply".

Rubbish!! The MS Bob Barker cannot deal with the factory ship and three catcher vessels alone, as for the MS Gojira she was in Hobart, Tasmania with fuel pump and perhaps crew problems. Even if she does return she cannot really do very much as the catcher vessels will be delighted to ram and sink her. Her captain Locky MacLean is far too smart a seafarer to put his ship in harms way and particularly since 'Wats-his-name' in Steve Irwin has run away to New Zealand. Take note that Australian Ports seem to be out of favour just now for 'Wats-his-name'.

So it appears that the JWF will continue whaling with little or no interference quite able to deal with the SSCS repetitious tactics. Today's SSCS PR ends with a pathetic nonsensical statement which y'all can read for yourselves.

Truly "Operation No Compromise" is "Operation No Commonsense".

Good Watch.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SM UC 42




A report on Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) yesterday January 24, 2011 told of the rediscovery of the World War One German Navy submarine SM UC42. She sank on or about September 10, 1917 off Roche's Point, Cork Harbour, Ireland. Since she was a mine-laying submarine with 27 crew it appears that she struck one of her own mines with her stern while laying them.

There were no survivors even though the boat seems to be in quite good condition after 93 years. A plaque was placed by the boats stern and under International Maritime Law she is now a War Grave, untouchable and the responsibility of the Deutsche Marine.

NAUTICAL LOG has been sent the following crew list; as a mark of respect the Officer Ranks and Ratings Rates are in the German language:

Kmdt.: Oblt.z.S. Hans Albrecht MULLER.
L.I.: Mar.Ing.Ob.Ufp. MILLER.
W.O.: Lt.z.S.d.R. LIPHARDT.

U-hzr. BAUER.
U-Masch.Mt. BAUMGARDT.
U-hzr. BEDER.
U-Masch.Mt. BRUMMER.
U-Masch.Mt. DUHRMANN.
U-F.T.Gaft FABEL.
U-hzr. FLEMMING.
U-Masch.Mt. HARTMANN.
U-hzr. HERRMAN.
U-Ob. Bts.Mt.d.R. HENDEMANN.
U-Masch.Mt. HOLLING.
U-Ob. Masch.Mt.d.R. KLUDE.
U-Mtr. KROMER.
U-Mtr. KUNDSCHAT.
U-hzr. MASSINGER.
U-Mtr. DERTEL.
U-Masch.Mt. PLITT.
U-F.T.Ob.Gft. RASCHTE.
U-Mtr. REEMTS.
U-Mtr. REINSCH
U-Ob.Bts.Mt. REINSCHMIDT.
U-Bts.Mt. SCHARF.
U-Bts.Mt. SCHERUN.
U-Masch.Unw. SCHUSCHENT.

UC 42 is "Still on Patrol".

Good Watch.

FINALLY FOUND




Thursday January 25, 2011 The Southern Ocean position 70 degrees 45 minutes South, 171 degrees 45 minutes West at 1800 hours AEST.
The SSCS MS Steve Irwin finally found the JWF factory ship MS Nisshin Maru. Of course this triggered a statement in the more usual dramatic bombastic style of 'Wats-his-name' rather than the morose introspective last PR. To quote him from today's PR

"We finally have this serial killing death ship where we want them and from here on in we intend to ride their ass until the end of the whaling season. This whaling fleet belongs to us now - lock, stock and barrel".

Well maybe, maybe not, how to monitor the JWF with one SSCS vessel, the MS Gojira is in Hobart with a fuel pump issue and crew changes, the MS Bob Barker is 300 nautical miles away which by NAUTICAL LOG count leaves only the MS Steve Irwin. Having consumed vast quantities of fuel dashing pointlessly around The Southern Ocean playing nautical tag she must soon head to - somewhere - to resupply and refuel. The stated port is Lyttleton in South Island of New Zealand but will she really be welcome there after the rather sordid clash with Peter Bethune who is a Kiwi and quite a popular figure in NZ. It may be that his supporters can and will organize an unwelcome party for the MS Steve Irwin.

The factory ship all this time has been busy whaling and when finally found was butchering a freshly caught whale on deck. Of course nobody knows, least of all the SSCS, just how many whales have been slaughtered to date. While the nautical idiots were playing "lead, follow, right behind you" many miles away the JWF with one busy little catcher has been getting its quota of whales for "research". As can be seen in our previous post these "research" whales end up in the Japanese supermarkets and elsewhere neatly packaged and canned.
Just a note to thank the flight crew of the helicopter Nancy Burnet and Barbara Viega for the great photos which help illustrate the NAUTICAL LOG posts. Really adding to 'Wats-his-names' dramatic and bombastic PR's they are in fact the best part.
Good Watch.

Monday, January 24, 2011

JUXTAPOSITION

Late yesterday afternoon a Press Release arrived from SSCS in the PR Folder of NAUTICAL LOG. We looked through it, were quite amazed by some of its content and decided that the AFC and NFC Championship Games were more important - life does have its priorities. This morning we are reading through it more carefully over breakfast coffee and what a piece-of-work it is.

It has been over a week since the last PR, other than the shopping trip information, the tone and content of the latest 'Wats-his-name' effort is somehow rather different. Unlike his usual dramatic bombastic style this one is filled with explanations, excuses and how wonderful the crews morale is. This latter comment in a report is usually a sign that all is not well in a ship. One definitely gets the sense that there has been a division in the ranks of the SSCS Pirate Group in these three vessels and perhaps ashore as well. All this is in contrast to another troubling incident in our maritime world that occurred this week during the SSCS silent period. This is "A Question of Mutiny" that saw the dismissal of a German Commanding Officer from the German Navy's premier sail training ship. This was done by the German Defence Minister, an aristocrat, to save his political skin. Now the future of a magnificent vessel is in jeopardy due to socialist political thinking.

In contrast 'Wats-his-name' is talking about this being the last campaign, the complexity of planning one of these campaigns, the difficulties of supplies, fuel and crew changes. Also he seems to be thinking of his legacy. There is this grandiose egotistical statement, we quote:

"It is never an easy task and not quite as simplistic as many of our detractors seem to think it is. Our campaigns are major Antarctic expeditions in every possible way. They are grander in terms of ships, crew and equipment than any of the famous Shackleton, Scott, or Amundsen expeditions of nearly a century ago".

Wow hear this y'all !! This person is actually comparing himself to explorers who had not even a fraction of the equipment available today and describing himself as superior to them, not even equal to them but superior. This is an ego carried to extremes and is quite typical of cult leaders in general according to research by NAUTICAL LOG. For the safety of those crews whose morale he says is good it would seem time has passed for this cult leader. But wait there is more, read it for yourselves in "Halfway Through Operation No Compromise", and we shall quote some key statements:

"The article titled Japan's whaling fleet on the Run recently published by the Sydney Morning Herald is indicative of the kind of positive media we are achieving in Australia".

The article seems to be by one of the SSCS tame reporters which NAUTICAL LOG has been told about by Australian commenter's. The article is complete "Watsonese" and biased to the point that this becomes clear immediately. While an activist maritime blog can take a somewhat biased point-of-view on occasions a newspaper is supposed to be balanced. So the Sydney Morning Herald must be a New York Times style of newspaper publishing only one side of things - rather pointless.

Finally we come to a classic piece of cult leader logic, we quote:

"In reference to the argument that our efforts are entrenching on Japanese resistance to end whaling, we can only remind people that the alternative is to surrender to the will of the whalers, and that we simply shall not do. The same argument was said during the movement to oppose apartheid in South Africa. Yes, the white South African regime did entrench but then ultimately they fell under the weight of international public opinion".

This did it for NAUTICAL LOG to us this man has clearly lost all sense of proportion and cannot put together a logical argument. Comparing a complex political situation in a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multi-national country to a campaign to save and protect whales is away beyond comparing apples and oranges. There is no aristocratic foreign minister available to remove him from command so SSCS must do this themselves and for the sake of the crews the sooner the better.

Good Watch.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

ALL QUIET ON THE SOUTHERN FRONT

Other than comments quoting supposed entries in FACEBOOK which our regular readers know NAUTICAL LOG does not follow or indeed is any ones 'friend' - who can blame them!! - there is no news coming from the SSCS. In fact the last press release is dated January 18, 2011 and was about taking a shopping trip at BGF in Richmond-Upon-Thames, Surrey, UK which is rather a long way from The Southern Ocean. Has there been a split over tactics in the ranks of the SSCS Pirate Group NAUTICAL LOG wonders.

Prior to that shopping trip there were regular dramatic bombastic press releases from 'Wats-his-name' as we reported in two posts "Lead, Follow, Right Behind You" and "Harassment" in which we told the SSCS crewmembers that they did not have to follow irresponsible and illegal orders. This was triggered by 'Wats-his-name' stating that he would order aggressive tactics to prevent the MT Sun Laurel from transferring supplies including fuel to the JWF factory ship MS Nisshin Maru. Such tactics could quite easily cause a fuel spill and thus an environmental maritime disaster in the area where the whales live and breathe.

We were then told that while the MS Gojira was off hunting for the location of the MS Nisshin Maru the MS Steve Irwin and MS Bob Barker were following the MT Sun Laurel. It now appears that this was not true, nothing new for 'Wats-his-name', and in fact as reported in FACEBOOK the MS Gojira had separated from the SSCS Pirate Group altogether and returned to Hobart, Tasmania. The stated reason is for repairs but that could be an excuse for a more serious reason, a split in the SSCS ranks over those stated aggressive tactics and the risk they involved to the whales. It was also supposedly stated in FACEBOOK that the MS Steve Irwin would be heading to Lyttleton Harbor on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

There is a video tour and an article about MS Gojira in the Hobart, Tasmania newspaper "The Mercury". So while we await further news from SSCS be aware that in the meantime it is - all quiet on the Southern front.

Good Watch.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A QUESTION OF MUTINY

Defence Minister K-T zu Guttenburg












Some very disturbing news came into NAUTICAL LOG this evening about an apparent mutiny in the German Navy Sail Training Ship Gorch Fock. The background to the report is the death in November 2010 of a female cadet-officer Sarah Schmidt as a result of falling from aloft. There were several incidents of this occurring, in other Sail Training vessels, last year. The report by Hellmut Königshaus, the German Parliament's liaison officer to the German Navy, said that after the death of the 25 year-old cadet-officer her shipmates refused to obey orders to climb the rigging. Still others did not want to continue in the ship on her round-the-world voyage. The ship's Commanding Officer, Kapitän zur See Norbert Schatz, reportedly accused four officer-cadets of lack of cooperation claiming they incited the crew to mutiny. He then ordered these four cadet-officers returned to Germany. As one can see in the top photo all the officer-cadets, with Kapitän zur See Schatz, are wearing full body safety harness over their sea uniform.

The alleged mutiny is thought to be behind the Commanding Officer's decision several days later to fly the entire ship's company of 70 officer-cadets back to Germany from Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. The Gorch Fock was then manned by professional sailors and the German Navy ordered all sail training to be suspended. Now the German Naval Staff have ordered the vessel to return to and berth in Ushuaia, Argentina to where German Naval Staff investigators have flown to fully examine the incident. Cadet-officers had complained to a naval ombudsman on their return to Germany from Brazil.

UPDATE:

NAUTICAL LOG has just been informed from Berlin, where it is Saturday January 22, 2011, that the German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has dismissed Kapitän zur See Norbert Schatz as Commanding Officer he was replaced by the previous Commanding Officer, Kapitän zur See Michael Bruehn, a member of the investigation team. The Gorch Fock is further ordered to leave Argentina in February and return directly to Kiel, Germany, in the meantime she has been removed as a "ready ship" of the Deutsche Marine. The Defence Minister told Sunday's edition of Bild am Sonntag that the ship

"will be withdrawn from service until a commission is formed, including members of the Bundestag, to determine whether the Gorch Fock has a future as a training vessel and ambassador of Germany".

Good Watch.

SILENCE OF THE WHALES


Over the this last week there has been no news into NAUTICAL LOG from The Southern Ocean - may be no news is good news. The JWF only seem to report after an incident with the SSCS and the SSCS have been strangely silent. With them this usually means that they are accomplishing absolutely nothing, which is becoming the norm for them nowadays. From the cetacean only - silence of the whales.

If any of you feel guilty about all this there is a solution because this week SSCS announced a "Guilt-free Shopping with Big Green Factory". Well NAUTICAL LOG being a simple elderly seafarer neither felt guilty, needed to go shopping, or had any idea who, what or whom Big Green Factory was. It is not too long ago that we had a first shopping trip to IKEA, which we enjoyed very much, the selection is interesting, we like assembling things in our little home workshop and the food is tasty in their South Florida store. So it was that we visited the BGF website and found out that they are in Richmond-Upon-Thames, Surrey, UK just outside London. As NAUTICAL LOG used to stay at times in Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey it turned out we were on familiar ground - wonderful River Pubs remembered. However BGF had displays of Sea Shepherd clothing in their website, naturally that rather turned us off, still perhaps we shall e-visit them in the future to see if they stock any decent items.

And so it is we await news of The Southern Ocean nautical population and perhaps the arrival of the RAN and RNZN to monitor l'affaire baleine, (we are not holding our breath on that one) keep tempers if not even at least under control so the MS Nisshin Maru may refuel, as long as it is north of 60 degrees South latitude.

Good Watch.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

NLIN #30 GPS TESTS

GPS TEST AREA

Of interest to all who use GPS for navigation the FAA has issued a flight advisory:

"GPS signal may be unreliable or unavailable due to tests the Department of Defense will be conducting between January 20, and February 22 2011".

The tests when they occur will be active for 45 minutes and be followed by 15 minutes of OFF time. Additional notices to pilots will apparently be given at least 24 hours prior to any test.

NAUTICAL LOG has not seen any information from either USCG 5th. District Portsmouth, VA or 7th. District Miami, FL as of yet but will update here as necessary. NAUTICAL LOG has now been updated that marine interests should go to
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/ for the maritime information.

Good Watch.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NOT SO ENCHANTING



UPDATE:

Friday January 21, 2011:

How does a Cruise Line fight back when sued? Reading 'Cruise Law News' might enlighten you. Go to our Link List scroll down to 'Cruise Law News' and read their today's Post.
The RCCL retained law firm is particularly aggressive it would seem from the article.

Good Watch.

While going through our Link List blogs this evening we came across two reports of a subject which is rarely if ever mentioned in the maritime blogs - drug running. It is indeed a sensitive not to mention dangerous business and while of course ships are used NAUTICAL LOG feels that perhaps by and large the cruise vessels did not have a big problem. Well that was until more recently when the crews have tripled in size and are not well known by the Cruise Line who hires them and the Officers who have to sail with them.

This all came about by the recent arrest, on charges of smuggling cocaine into Bermuda, of several crewmembers from the MS Enchantment of the Seas one of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) fleet. Just previously several other crewmembers had been been arrested off the same vessel, when she called at Baltimore MD, for smuggling cocaine and heroin. That vessel's last Caribbean Port of Call had been in the Dominican Republic where the drugs had apparently been acquired.

Now all this information is from other blogs and NAUTICAL LOG has absolutely no personal knowledge if it is true but it has also been reported by local media in Bermuda. Here in South Florida the media reported that the cruise ship MS MSC Poesia was raided by Broward County Law Enforcement Authorities in Port Everglades, FL and a wide variety of drugs found during a music fans cruise. Raid by Reputation in that particular case it would seem!!

The PR from RCCL stated that drug smuggling is rare however the blog, which reported all the above, view was rather different and stated it was "business as usual". So it would seem that there is more of a problem than the cruise lines are aware of or more likely are willing to admit. In the case of RCCL's MS Enchantment of the Seas it is highly likely that U.S. Authorities posing as passengers boarded in Baltimore, MD and monitored what was going on during the passage to Bermuda.

From the NAUTICAL LOG days in cruise ships most drug purchases were by and for personal use but there were occasions when a group made purchases for smuggling ashore into the United States. We had our methods back then of making ourselves aware and we surmised that U.S. Authorities travelled as passengers monitoring all these activities. Indeed on several occasions arrests were made of crewmembers when they went ashore.

There is a temptation to engage in this type of business when enormous amounts of money can be obtained in return. In the Bermuda incident the crewmembers involved had used passengers to take the packages ashore in return for a fee. This action can only be dealt with by the Local Law Enforcement Authorities in each Port, possibly by having drug-sniffing dogs covering the passengers when they are coming ashore to go sightseeing. The very presence of these dogs would most likely discourage passengers from becoming involved in any crew smuggling or from making purchases ashore to bring on board themselves. By Law a Cruise Line is quite limited in what they are allowed to do in the area of prevention.
Passengers should be made aware that by becoming involved with the drug business and usage they are risking the safety of the vessel and their own lives.

Good Watch.

BY DESIGN








In the past year NAUTICAL LOG has written several Posts about the cruise ship industry from the point of view of safety and the evacuation of persons on board. It is clear that there is a deep concern amongst the Officers who mann these mega floating guest resorts. In the several incidents during 2010 alone there was not much effort to turnout the lifeboats in preparation should an evacuation become necessary. Why? Perhaps it is because the Masters in general are very uneasy about just what will happen if they do so. The real thing being very different from those weekly drills - no matter how conscientiously they are done. Nobody, thankfully, has yet had to launch these mega ships mega lifeboats to date. It is therefore an unknown factor if they can be successfully launched and an evacuation of 5000 persons successfully take place including the ADA passengers. You might ask does it make real sense to have certain ADA passengers on board from a point of view regarding their own safety, well the cruise lines are not given very much choice in the matter they are required by Law to do so.

As to the vessels themselves most are designed as floating resorts and not passenger ships suitable for international transoceanic voyages. Last year we had videos of furniture flying about the public areas, unsecured art items and service shops stock being demolished. Piles of dishes stacked on counters in snack bars and pub stock crashing to the deck there being it seems no seagoing racks to stow these things in. All this is truly amazing to someone who crossed the North Atlantic for four years in 1950's designed ships. Originally ships were actually designed for heavy weather passages and items were secured permanently with all that in mind. The present day collection of cruise vessels are mostly fair weather ships and suitable for calm seas in relatively sheltered waters with a Port of Refuge close at hand.

Now this design rot has spread to the megayachts which despite the difficult economic times there is always someone ready to have built. NAUTICAL LOG has selected some to illustrate the current trend and they are shown above.

The first is that of Beluga Shipping owner and while to our rather traditional ancient mariner eyes is extraordinary looking does at least appear to be a serious seagoing vessel. The design is rather that of a 19th. Century barge hull with a Star Trek concept sitting on top. Currently axe bows and bulbous noses are popular but in fact were used in the 19th. Century - so maybe those designers got it right back then.

The second megayacht looks like a crazed version of - what? Supposedly based on parts of Monaco's buildings and streets it is something that is, like those mega floating resorts, a fair weather sit-in-port vessel to keep just an owner and a dozen guests happy or happier than in their previous megayacht. It was strangely interesting to note that the tenders were launched by old fashioned davits and not any of the new launching systems - good luck with that!! Well it is their money to do what they wish with but please do not go out and get in trouble in bad weather.
Our third selection is the car and yacht however since NAUTICAL LOG is not quite sure which is which we shall leave it at that and as always wish y'all,

Good Watch.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

SEAFARERS AT RISK

MS Blankanese

Since the formation of the European Union it seems to NAUTICAL LOG that the quality of the vessels in many companies operating out of European Ports has gone down. The training and skills of many of the crews manning these same types of ships is highly questionable. Were it not for the constant vigilance of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the work of its Inspectors the maritime world could be in an even sorrier state. The leadership of and from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is weak and not anything like as effective as it could or should be. Over the years we have received reports of ships being detained and many reports of crews remaining unpaid while the owners abscond or hide under layers of companies. So while it is disappointing to receive today's report from our EU correspondent it is unfortunately no surprise.

The ITF inspector for Ireland is seeking the urgent assistance of the Irish Department of Transportation regarding a vessel berthed in New Ross, Co.Wexford. The vessel is the MS Blankanese and the unpaid crew are owed $75,059 in wages. At the request of the Seafarers Union of Russia (SUR) Mr. Ken Fleming the ITF Inspector boarded the vessel and confirmed the crew are unpaid since August 2010. Mr. Fleming states

"Apart from arrears of pay there is very little meat on board, no fresh vegetables apart from potatoes. There is no fruit juice or yogurt, items essential to seafarers health and only 15 litres of water to last them to their next destination which remains, as yet, unknown. Given the past record of this company I think there is an obligation on the ITF and Irish authorities to ensure compliance before the vessel disappears over the horizon."

NAUTICAL LOG would very much agree because in 2006 and 2007 Mr. Fleming had to deal with two vessels operated by Uniships Limited of Riga, the MS Merchant Bravery and MS Merchant Brilliant, which was finally resolved by the payment of $500,000 in arrears to the crews of these two vessels.

It would appear the Ireland is considered by these type of shipowners to be slack in enforcement of maritime labour laws and thus is seen as a safe haven for these operators. As a dual national of EU/Ireland and the United States it makes one ashamed to hear of these incidents occurring and not being resolved immediately by the Irish Authorities.

Contact:
Mr. Ken Fleming, ITF-SIPTU 087-647-8636 or
Mr. Padraig Yeates, PYE Comm, 01-828-4510 and 087-260-5297

Good Watch.

Monday, January 17, 2011

LEAD, FOLLOW, RIGHT BEHIND YOU







At sea underway replenishment

At sea replenishment with vessels stopped


When this SSCS Press Release "Riding a Storm in Pursuit of a Black-Hearted Sun" arrived at NAUTICAL LOG yesterday we thought, what the heck is this about? Reading it again a couple of times this morning it did not seem to make any more sense. It does seem to confirm that 'Wats-his-name' is a troubled person and perhaps paranoid. NAUTICAL LOG is not qualified to make a medical judgement but this is from his own Press Release so one has to wonder.

According to 'Wats-his-name' the Korean Master of the MT Sun Laurel is leading them into a storm in the hope that the SSCS vessels MS Bob Barker and MS Steve Irwin will break off their "pursuit". Now why on earth, as the master seaman that this guy portrays himself to be, would you follow another ship into a storm. According to the PR there is a parade of nautical idiots down in The Southern Ocean. In the lead is MT Sun Laurel followed by the MS Bob Barker and MS Steve Irwin which are in turn followed by JWF vessels MS Yishin Maru #1 and MS Yushin Maru #2. A photograph of all this from the SSCS helicopter Nancy Burnet would be wonderful to see unfortunately nothing so far. No doubt due to that storm flying conditions are not good. Hello whats this, some photos have appeared, guess its not that much of a storm after all - more exaggeration by 'Wats-his-name'.

Meanwhile the MS Gojira has stopped breaking the International Rules of the Road and instead of steaming close ahead of the MT Sun Laurel and risking collision, is dashing about at high speed trying to find the JWF factory ship MS Nisshin Maru. The SSCS PR reads like a description of some crazed nautical circus. The factory ship has the catcher MS Yisshin Maru #3 with her and all this time they could be busy catching whales undisturbed, nobody in the SSCS Pirate Group actually knows. As to the MT Sun Laurel she is heading to a meeting with the MS Nisshin Maru for replenishment at sea who in turn will refuel the catcher ships.

It may well be that 'Wats-his-name' is not paranoid but just thinks everyone is against him - we wish!! Clearly this year Operation No Compromise could be renamed Operation No Commonsense. Hopefully the RAN and RNZN are now fully aware of the overall situation in The Southern Ocean and units of both are preparing to head off or perhaps are underway as we requested. In truth though we doubt it, this British born PM of Australia Gillard is no Maggie Thatcher and the PM of New Zealand actually visited the SSCS vessels at Wellington, NZ. They will wimp out in the hopes that nothing will go wrong downunder.

If and when there is a maritime environmental disaster in The Southern Ocean with possibly loss of life at least we shall all know at whom to point the finger, the position of which to be decided at that time!!

Good Watch.

LA BALEINE, RURUTU, AUSTRALS FP.





Good Watch

Saturday, January 15, 2011

ANOTHER VIEWPOINT




We have added two new sites in our Link List as we think NAUTICAL LOG readers will find them interesting. They came to us from a commenter who lives and loves in Japan under the comment tag name Kujirakira. He linked us to two sites 'David@Tokyo' and 'Support Whaling' which NAUTICAL LOG most certainly does NOT. However there are lots of photos of products in Japanese stores some of which NAUTICAL LOG has seen in similar stores on visits to Hawai'i.

All this gives another viewpoint of whaling and the Japanese culture and attitude towards eating whale meat. It may be that K/D did not intend this when he commented but knowledge should never go to waste so NAUTICAL LOG is passing the links on for a visit.

Good Watch

Friday, January 14, 2011

HARASSMENT




What would we do without the SSCS Pirate Group they actually document most, if not all, of their piratical activities. The latest incident is harassment of an innocent tanker on passage in The Southern Ocean. Their latest Press Release complete with photos shows all three of their vessels in close proximity of the MT Sun Laurel. This is in complete violation of the International Rules of the Road which designates how vessels should conduct themselves on the High Seas. Not that this Pirate Group is known for following the Rules of the Road if it does not suit them.

By SSCS PG own report the motor tanker (MT) is north of the 60 degree latitude line and they should immediately stand well clear of the vessel by at least two (2) nautical miles and suggest five (5) nautical miles. If they want to follow this tanker on innocent passage then do it from astern and the MS Gojira is in complete violation of the International Rules of the Road. Rule 2 (a) to start with, Rule 7 (a), Rule 8 & Rule 16 would also apply. The MT Sun Laurel has adequate grounds for taking legal action under International Maritime Law. Someone as experienced as Lockhart MacLean knows very well that impeding the rightful passage by steaming close ahead of any vessel, particularly a loaded tanker, is extremely hazardous.

It is clear that MacLean a lifelong conservationist is now a full cult member of the SSCS Pirate Group and under the thumb of 'Wats-his-name'. This is most disappointing as NAUTICAL LOG had hoped that he might emerge as a much more intelligent and far seeing leader of the SSCS.

It is past time for both the Governments of Australia and New Zealand to detach units of the RAN and RNZN to detain the SSCS Pirate Group vessels. Why? Well to quote the bombastic 'Wats-his-name' in reference to the MT Sun Laurel :

"The Bob Barker and Steve Irwin will stay with the supply ship and will aggressively interfere with any attempts at refuelling and resupply"

This disgraceful statement is a declaration of violent action against innocent vessels executing fuel transfer on the high seas in international waters. In addition by the use of the word "aggressively" they are risking an environmental disaster - this from declared conservationists. Does he seriously believe that to save the whales it is right and proper to spill heavy fuel oil on the high seas in the region where the whales live!!

It is clear to NAUTICAL LOG and perhaps to others that 'Wats-his-name' is a very sick person who has lost all sense of proportion and is not fit to command. Under maritime law his next senior officer may relief him at sea. Any order that 'Wats-his-name' gives under these circumstances is invalid may and indeed should not be followed. The Pilot Chris Aultman, a former USMC with combat experience, would know about this best of all the SSCS officers we suggest you seek his advice. If orders from Watson are followed those crewmembers are as guilty as he personally is for giving such orders. They may and should be tried in a Maritime Court of Law. Perhaps there are those of you who would agree that this situation is now completely out of hand and has gone way beyond the anti-whaling stance. Watson is a very dangerous person whose ego has become so large as to be out of control and you SSCS senior officers have some very serious decisions to make in the very near future.

NAUTICAL LOG is absolutely appalled at this new development, deeply concerned and as a result is speaking out here so strongly in hopes of preventing a maritime disaster and possibly loss of human lives. As an International Master Mariner NAUTICAL LOG is formally requesting protection, by immediate action of the RAN and RNZN, on behalf of the inexperienced seafarers aboard these vessels under the control of this cult leader. We consider the situation that serious, safe sailing to all of you and

Good Watch.

WRONG SHIP!!

RFA Mounts Bay L3008

HMS Clyde P257

In "The Telgraph" there is a report today by Robin Yapp which shows the wrong ship. Brazil declined to allow the HMS Clyde which is based in the Falkland Islands to visit the port of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Apparently this was done as a show of support by the new President of Brazil to the President of Argentina. The vessel proceeded to Chile instead where she was welcomed as usual by the Armada de Chile, always gracious hosts.

In the article RFA Mounts Bay was shown instead of HMS Clyde the correct photos are shown above.


Good Watch.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

NLIN #29


USCG Outer Continental Shelf Notice of Arrival Rule was published in the Federal Register today Thursday January 13, 2011.

It requires all U.S. and foreign vessels, floating facilities and mobile offshore drilling units arriving or engaging in outer continental activities to report their arrival time and location and information regarding the vessel's voyage, cargo, crew and vessel information.

The outer continental shelf includes all submerged lands seaward and outside of the area of lands beneath navigable waters and of which the subsoil and seabed are subject to the jurisdiction and control of the U.S. Outer shelf activity is defined in the U.S. regulations as any activity that occurs on the outer continental shelf and is associated with the exploration for or development or production of minerals, including oil.

The Rule implements provisions of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006. The above chart shows the area referred to in this published final rule.

Good Watch.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CRIES FOR HELP



UPDATE January 13, 2011:
From The Southern Ocean at position 60 degrees 47 minutes South latitude, 178 degrees 58 minutes West longitude comes some more news. Continuing to observe the MT Sun Laurel the SSCS vessel Gojira contacted her Master regarding refuelling south of 60 degrees South latitude. Her Master confirmed that he was aware of that maritime law and was heading northwards to the 60 degree latitude line some 47 minutes of latitude away. There they can do an at sea refuelling transfer without interference certainly from the self-appointed guardians of SSCS.
NAUTICAL LOG finds it interesting that the SSCS is so concerned since we received a report that the MS Steve Irwin had resupplied the MS Gojira well south of the 60 degree latitude line. In fact they published a photograph which was reproduced by NAUTICAL LOG in a previous post. This particular Press Release with photos seems to have been removed from Sea Shepherd News - wonder why?
Rules apply to all both nautical thugs and harpoon hooligans!! No doubt 'Wats-his-name' will have an explanation ready. Maybe our fleet contact, a much more reasonable person, will be kind enough to e-mail NAUTICAL LOG explaining things so we can continue to publish in a fair and balanced manner.
Good Watch.

From The Southern Ocean comes news of a request which is more a cry for help. The SSCS has asked the Greenpeace Foundation (GF) to help them out in preventing whaling this season. It is reported that the GF has a vessel available in Taiwan. If the GF should respond the anti-whaling group would have four vessels and a much improved coverage of the JWF vessels activities. The relationship between SSCS and GF is not good and it is doubtful that any GF vessel would work with the SSCS. It appears that the true motive behind this request is an attempt to embarrass the Greenpeace Foundation. Though last summer in the Mediterranean the Greenpeace was present with the SSCS in 'L'Affair Blue Tuna' but backed off when the SSCS got violent and started ramming tuna cages.

On another issue entirely but still helping, the JWF needs supplies mainly fuel to top the tanks of the MS Nisshin Maru. She in turn can refuel the three catcher ships. A tanker that has been chartered, loaded and dispatched from Japan has now arrived in The Southern Ocean. She is the MT Sun Laurel Panama Flag State, IMO #9405631 and is reported at position 62 degrees 43 minutes South latitude and 178 degrees 33 minutes West longitude. In accordance with maritime law she is not allowed to proceed south of 60 degrees South Latitude to fuel any vessel. This means that a rendezvous point must be established to refuel the factory ship MS Nisshin Maru which does not violate International Maritime Law.

As usual 'Wats-his-name' uses dramatic language to describe the meeting up with this vessel as "interception" and "cuts off supplies" when in fact SSCS is only steaming along observing the MT Sun Laurel from the SSCS vessel Gojira. As long as any at sea transfer refuelling takes place north of 60 degrees South latitude nobody, least of all 'Wats-his-name', as anything to complain about. Should the SSCS Pirate Group interfere with these transfer operations they would risk an extreme maritime disaster in a highly sensitive region. It is very doubtful therefore if the Pirate Group can actually risk taking any action to prevent the at sea refuelling transfer operation.

This is one of the reasons NAUTICAL LOG had hoped the Government of New Zealand would detach at least one unit of the Royal New Zealand Navy to patrol and monitor activities in the region. Now there is risk of some ill advised action with a huge environmental impact - truly a cry for help.

Good Watch.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NLIN #28 "M" NOTICES

The following "M" Notices are now available electronically at http://www.mcga.gov.uk/

MGN 428 (M+F) The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) (Artificial Optical Radiation) Regulations 2010

MGN 429 (M+F) The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work)(Asbestos) Regulations 2010

MIN 402 (F) Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen: Issue of Amendment 10.

If you experience any difficulties, please contact the M-Notice Administrator on 023 8032 9391

Good Watch.

AGREE TO DISAGREE






The other day NAUTICAL LOG received a video from The Institute of Cetacean Research which showed a RHIB from the MS Bob Barker. The RHIB came up the starboard side of the MS Yushin Maru #2 and deployed a rope in an attempt to foul the propeller of the whale catcher.

Things did not go too well for the nautical thugs confrontation with the harpoon hooligans!!

When the RHIB deployed the rope it did so over its own port quarter then powering ahead of the MS Yushin Maru #2 on its starboard side the RHIB closely crossed the bow of the catcher to its port side. Of course in doing so the RHIB crossed its own line, appeared to foul it and slowed down or stopped. Having reviewed the video at least a dozen times it is however not entirely clear what was fouled. The RHIB then drifted at right angles to the MS Yushin Maru #2 was girthed and nearly flipped over, with the line apparently still attached on the RHIB's port quarter. It should of course been released or cut free immediately there was a problem. Now NAUTICAL LOG has completed a RHIB handling course conducted by a Californian Marine Rescue Group (copy of that course certificate is shown) and believe me this is not the way to handle a RHIB under these conditions.

Being fair and balanced NAUTICAL LOG e-mailed the SSCS to find out just what training these people had because they are heading for a serious tragedy. We await a reply from the MS Bob Barker but in the meantime there was a Press Release by SSCS. According to their version of events all is as we described with the explanation that their RHIB stopped due to:

"The inflatable became disabled after the confrontation with the Japanese whaling vessel, solely due to damage to the pontoon from prolonged pounding against heavy seas".

Well maybe but this does not say much for the quality of construction of the RHIB or its maintenance. RHIBS are designed and tested most rigorously with just this sort of heavy weather in mind. NAUTICAL LOG cannot believe that ZODIAC, the RHIB's manufacturer, is too pleased to hear this SSCS explanation from 'Wats-his-name' and it would be most interesting to have the ZODIAC opinion on the incident.

NAUTICAL LOG does not believe the SSCS explanation is very plausible and while it is possible we tend to believe that poor RHIB handling and tactics is the more likely true explanation. 'Wats-his-name' is very well known for blaming other people for things that happen and never himself the master seaman. So we must agree to disagree in this case and hope for a comment from ZODIAC, after all there are many manufacturers of RHIBs and we have it would seem better choices when it comes to selecting heavy weather rescue vessels.

Good Watch.