Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Madame Nhu "Dragon Lady"

Legion étrangère
 Like NAUTICAL LOG many of you remember those now far off days of  The Indochina War, the fighting between the Viet factions, the Legion étrangère, Dien Bien Phu and then the equally disasterous arrival of the Americans forces.  Amongst the betrayals, violence, murders and total corruption of Viet politics there was, named after the cartoon strip character in "Terry and The Pirates" the very petite attractive Madame Nhu the "Dragon Lady".  She had her own female militia 25,000 strong and an acid tongue in several languages that was - formidable.  She died recently in Italy well into her 80's.

Well today it seems we have "Steve and The Pirates" as the adventures of a Sea Shepherd vessel continue - nothing new there.  Having left Perth, Australia recently she is her way to Toulon, France be way of the Red Sea to the Suez Canal.  Therefore she must cross the Indian Ocean heading up past the Horn of Africa which as we know only too well are Somali pirate infested waters.  She of course is now painted up in a camouflage paint scheme and with the number "77" painted on her hull to give the impression with her Netherlands flag flying of being a Dutch Government vessel - who knows maybe she is one.  Her Master the intrepid Lockhart MacLean late of the MS Gojira reports that today two skiffs approached, one with six men on board and the other with five men on board.  The pirates seemed confused by their fellow pirates and having followed for a few sea miles headed off towards a nearby container ship.  The Master notified the coalition naval authorities after having been checked out yesterday by a Blackhawk helicopter which overflew and hailed the MS Steve Irwin as a Dutch warship.  Yes indeed this camouflaged and numbered ship is indeed that old pirate herself from the Antarctic anti-whaling programme.  Thus we have "Steve and The Pirates".

Regular MS Steve Irwin

MS Steve Irwin disguised as 'what-the-hell'

Somali pirate skiff #1.

Somali pirate skiff #2.
 Perhaps further unbothered by their fellow pirates they will be heading up the Red Sea to Suez and a planned Canal Transit.  We shall have to see what happens when they arrive for Inspection prior to Transit in that paint scheme, being more correctly a Netherlands merchant vessel.

Good Watch

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - lets us work with the various maritime interests to free them.

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