Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MOMENT OF TRUTH


Alright the moment has arrived NAUTICAL LOG must head off to Miami International Airport and fly to Ireland for two weeks including the Waterford Sail Training Festival (WSTF).  No problem right? Well you see NAUTICAL LOG is what could be best described as an apprehensive flyer.  But then how else does one cross 'the Pond' these days as a passenger, the wonderful Transatlantic Liners are long gone.


While we hope to write some Posts it may be that they will have to wait until our return but we have been reading up on a new camera and hope to have shots of the locales and the vessels visiting Waterford.  Of course we really hope to make contact with reraders who are in the area and visiting the WSTF.  You can contact and the addresses given in the previous Post. 


Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us really work to free them.

Friday, June 17, 2011

FRIDAY UPDATE - NEWS ODDS AND ENDS


Looking out for you!!

This has been a hectic week for NAUTICAL LOG because at the last moment arrangements were made for travel overseas.  Next week we leave for two weeks in Ireland to visit fellow seafarers and go to Waterford, my birthplace, for the Waterford Sail Training Festival (there is a link in 'My Link List') over the weekend of June 30, to July 03, 2011.


If any readers are also going to be in Ireland and would like to meet up please leave a message:

Attention of : CAPT. D. Peter Boucher

Royal Marine Hotel
Dún Laoghaire
Co. Dublin.
From: June 22, to 25, 2011.


The Tall Ships Race Office
41 The Quay
Waterford.
or
The Granville Hotel
Waterford.
From: June 25 to July 05, 2011.


Perhaps we can meet up for a 'pint' and "Talk of many things, Ships, Sails, Sealing wax, Cabbages, Kings".   Should be a fun trip and NAUTICAL LOG is quite excited going home after all these years.


The next item is the publication of STCW 2011 which we wrote about previously.  Setting the requirements for coverage when training seafarers is only a step in achieving the aim, that is to make these people into seamen.   The fact is that the training can only be as good as the Instructor.  If you are an Instructor you MUST absolutely follow STCW 2011, make sure each and every student clearly understands the subject matter.  It may well be that some will have difficulties, remember not all of us have the advantage of a good education.  Also your students will have differing levels of comprehension and processing the data you are teaching.  It is NOT the students duty to understand you - you MUST understand your students - find a way to make sure they know the class material.   As an example NAUTICAL LOG in one cruise ship alone trained 600 seafarers of 35 nationalities, speaking 8 languages and while the ships working language was English it had 600 different levels of usage and understanding !! 



USACE Potter

Here in the United States the U.S.Army Corps. of Engineers (USACE) has been charged with maintaining the inland waters of the country since the War Between the States also known as the Civil War.  In the 1930's a series of dredges were built known as 'dustpan' dredges to accomplish this mission.   The USACE Potter is 79 years old and like NAUTICAL LOG still going strong and doing the job it was made for !!  She works on the Upper Mississippi River.


Good Watch

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  Frankly NAUTICAL LOG is beginning to lose faith that anything very much is being done for them.  Someone out there in the maritime world please prove me wrong!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

NLIN #39 - JUST WHEN YOU THOUGH IT WAS SAFE

The IMO are at it again fellow seafarers but this time it does make sense - thankfully. 


The 2011 Edition of The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) has been published by IMO Publications.  It is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and online as an e-book.


Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  We live in hope something will be done to free them one day!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

IS IT ANY WONDER

Recently NAUTICAL LOG has been reading a rather good blog called Marine Café Blog which covers the maritime world mainly from the perspective of Filipino seafarers.  NAUTICAL LOG has also been commenting regularly on their Posts and there have been excellent discussions.  However some commenter's seem reluctant to describe their professional qualifications while claiming to be instructors, teachers et cetera.  Our view on that point is clear and in our profile is quite detailed so that readers may know our background when reading Posts, comments and how we acquired the opinions held.  Another point that really irritates us is bringing attention to ethnic differences and using that as a reason or excuse for substandard performance, discipline issues and judgements on ability.  The term Americans use is "playing the Race Card" and it is really quite a good description.  By playing the race card that persons expressed opinion is lowered, and often brushed aside to the point of being ignored.  So NAUTICAL LOG has a suggestion on how to use it effectively - DON'T.


This discussion focuses on the training and behaviour of Filipino seafarers because Marine Café Blog addresses that issue and their maritime facilities.  However it applies equally well to any nation supplying crews to wiorld shipping.  Filipinos can attend The John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University at Arevolo, Bacolo, Molo, and Puerto Del Mar.  There is PNTC Colleges, Manila also advertised in Marine Café Blog.  No doubt there are many more, feel free to let us know about them.   Also most ships in the international maritime world have at least some Filipino seafarers and very many have full Filipino crews.


Readers may have noted that NAUTICAL LOG always uses the term seafarers and not seamen that is where the whole problem lies when merchant shipping companies are looking to mann their fleets - there is a great difference between these terms.


When NAUTICAL LOG started his career in 1953 as a Deck Apprentice, there were usually four of us, sometimes six and we all completed four years as trainee Deck Officers from the bilges to the Bridge.  We did clean those bilges and did every shipboard job under the Bosun, who for the non-seafaring readers is the Deck Department foreman and gets his orders from the Chief Officer each morning at 0700.  We Deck Apprentices also did Bridge Watchs thus getting trained by the Watchofficers in all the Administration, Navigation, Ship Handling, Cargo Operations, Ship Maintenance, Rules and Regulations to be a Watchofficer and Master of a ship one day ourselves.  Since there were not enough hours in a day for all this we Deck Apprentices did not get too much sleep - we also did not get too much pay - $21.00 a month going up to $30.00 my final year as a Third Officer without a "Certificate of Competency" (a brevet promotion) lpus $1200.00 on completion of Indentures.  That promotion to Officer working only 12 hour days was an absolute luxury plus one had a private cabin kept in good shape by a Catering Department Steward.


After the four years were completed there was schooling to qualify for a government "Certificate of Competency" as Second Officer, then on to Chief Officer, finally Master Foreign-Going.  Between each of these upgrades one had to acquire two years sea time, that is actually in a ship underway, no travel or leave time was counted.  This totalled another four years for a grand total of eight years but in fact it usually took about ten years.  NAUTICAL LOG not being the best of students (far too much partying to be truthful) and a nervous written examination taker - orals were no problem (always could talk my way in and out of trouble!!) - took twelve years but got there in the end.


A friend of mine in Europe also a retired Master writes manuals required by the IMO for shipping companies, he is a regular reader of this Blog and his opinions are highly valued.  We quote him:


"I  not surprised about your comments on the training and ability of seafarers nowadays.  It is that there are no more "seamen" in the true sense of the word.  .............a seaman is someone who starts in the bilges as we did as Apprentices and works his way up gathering at every step experience that will eventually transform him into a "seaman", whether he stays as a Rating or goes on to be an Officer. .........that kind of training no longer exists..........seafarers they may be but not seamen........it is not their fault.  In my last company we engaged Filipinos, they would arrive with a suitcase full of certificates but no basic seamanship".


This same retired Master is producing operating manuals to comply with the requirements of the IMO and its mountainous paperwork, the only thing that matters in modern shipping circles.  Recently he finished one only to be sent copies of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 the contents of which have to be incorporated from 2012 onwards.  This means a huge rewrite and is typical of what happens these days to comply with "Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance" - the paperwork never ends and is never fully effective in practice.


By supplying crews for international shipping the Government of the Philippines has a duty to its citizens, who are going to seek employment as seafarers, to train them in necessary skills through their maritime colleges properly supervised by Government maritime organizations, fairly and honourably.  It is not sufficient just to have schools with students in fancy naval type uniforms parading around impressively.  These students must be trained in needed skills that are reflected by the certificate issued.  Not paper qualifications that reveal after they start work on board a vessel they are just that - paper with no skills to qualify as seamen. 


This results in a dishonourable presentation by the employee to an employer for positions as seafarers.  Believe me this practice and the crew contractors behaviour is well known, one day the shipping companies will throw overboard the whole lot as soon as they find something cheaper and less problematic.  They might even wake up and go back to an Apprenticeship system, coupled with the poor education level of graduates of the Philippine school system that would rule them out as Officers entirely.  Remember also there is an in country two-tier safety system which does not reflect well on the Philippines.  The Philippine Government has an extremely long way to go in addressing this training, supervising and manning issue.  So NAUTICAL LOG would draw your attention to the recent incredible grounding of the MS Oliva on Tristan da Cunha and the nationality of its crewmembers.


Finally if you do not believe that other countries can find and train persons as seafarers to become seamen, then displace and replace you, then read up on this Indian Merchant Navy vessel operating from Indian ports.




MV AMET Majesty

Indian seamen manned British Merchant Navy ships of every type for generations and excellent seamen they were as NAUTICAL LOG knows firsthand from serving with them. 



Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  It is a serious humanitarian issue for the United Nations to address now.  NAUTICAL LOG has just about written off the IMO as being capable of doing anything.  Besides they will be heading off to Greece for vacation - if not already there.

Friday, June 10, 2011

FRIDAY REPORT - JUNE 10, 2011

Well we have good stuff and not so good stuff this morning for this weeks NAUTICAL LOG Friday Report.  Let us write about the good stuff first because in the state of the World at the present time it is quite hard to find.

USPS Merchant Marine stamps issue
The U.S. Postal Service, which is a quasi-government operation here, is issuing a set of four (4) stamps to commemorate the U.S. Merchant Marine as the Merchant Navy is called over here.  They can be seen on line at the USPS website, nice selection of ships from different periods.


Next up is a fascinating look at the 'Ghost Ship Fleet' if one goes to Scott Haefner Photography superb shots and there is a link to his website in 'My Link List'.  Really well worth a visit.


Now for the not so good stuff.  We wrote a Post this week "SUBSTANCE AND SEMANTICS" in which we mentioned about the U.S. Police Department daily "forced to fire behaviour".  We though that there would be a rush by U.S. law enforcement agencies to defend themselves - not so far.  What we did receive so far was a comment from a prominent law firm in Houston, TX and an e-mail from one of our correspondents in Europe.  The comment you can read for yourselves and here is part of that e-mail, we quote: 


"Read your Blog this morning mentioning the US cops and I have watched the U.S. series COPS and the same British version and God what a difference!  The US cops scare the xxxx out of you and the UK are peaceful, friendly, helpful and tough as hell if anyone gets out of line.  The yanks intimidate, bully and hurt their clients whilst the limies maintain composure and above all a great sense of humour."


Having lived here over 40 years NAUTICAL LOG agrees and while in UK the first person to ask is a 'bobby' for directions, in Chile the Carabinero Officer walked me to the restaurant asked about as it was downstairs on a side street in Arica, Chile and he was concerned NAUTICAL LOG might miss it. This was in the days of Pinochet mind you - the restaurant was excellent by the by.  Here in the United States one keeps clear of law enforcement as much as possible.


We wrote "NOW AVAILABLE AT IKEA" yesterday and this morning from the same source comes news of Vietnam and China at loggerheads over territorial waters, this has been an ongoing issue.  The Peoples Republic of China is flexing its political muscle, using the PLA Navy to enforce it, in the China Sea.  Besides Vietnam it has disputes with Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines over the same issue.  Once the Shi Lang gets operational and later those other aircraft-carriers the PLA Navy has under construction one can expect regular sea patrols with overflights.  Inevitably there will be confrontations and the escalation those can all too easily result in.

Area of territorial dispute

PLA Navy vessel launches missile

Good Watch

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  Frankly we are now deeply concerned there seems no real effort to free them.  It is a humanitarian issue which effects hundreds of families all over the world.  Both the UN and IMO should be ashamed of themselves.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

NOW AVAILABLE AT IKEA


PLA Navy Shi Lang at Dalian shipyard, China
 There was an interesting update report on BBC News Asia-Pacific this morning.  The reporter had travelled to the Peoples Republic of China and found available at the IKEA Superstore Dalian, China - an aircraft carrier.


Well of course it was not really that simple but the juxtaposition of this supposed "secret" PLA Navy vessel and the fact that it is across the channel at the shipyard behind IKEA is amusing and very Chinese.  By its presence there the vessel is worked on in full view of the world signalling China's future return as both a World power and a Naval power, both already well underway. 


When this vessel is actually completed and sails is immaterial the fact that it exists is the point made.  The same point used to be made by the British Royal Navy (sadly no more) when they would 'Send a Gunboat' to trouble spots then invite the locals ruler on board for lunch and a tour.  On looking through the gun sights he would get a nice view of  his palace - point made.


Dalian, Liaoning, China is located at the entrance of the large bay in northern China near the North Korean peninsula.  The PLA Navy Shi Lang is the former Soviet Navy Varyag purchased by China and after a long naval saga finally towed to Dalian and used as a training facility for the PLA Navy.  This as been a great success because the PLA Navy has reversed engineered and thus learned all about carriers and how to build them which they are doing under really secret conditions.  They have also built crew training flight facilities in some amazing locations including the roof of an industrial building.  As a result of this they will in time have the capability to mann aircraft carriers, take them to sea for trials, conduct full training operations, flight operations and voyage the world as the fleets of Fleet Admiral Zheng He did in the 15th. Century.  Admiral Shi Lang was the naval officer who conquered Taiwan in the 17th. Century and the Chinese would love history to repeat itself.


The Chinese have been indicating for some time now that other nations can plan to work with China or against it.  They have a certain capability at present and are developing the full capability to effect that concept of their future.  Recently the Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, Chen Bingde visited the Pentagon, Washington, DC.


Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  Unfortunately not very much that is effective is being done to free them.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

SUBSTANCE OR SEMANTICS ?

After over 40 years of living in the United States NAUTICAL LOG is still confused by this country, which language they speak and what they are saying.   The 'policespeak' used by police spokespersons each evening in the News leaves one staring in baffled amazement at the screen.   Acts of vandalism are now described as domestic terrorism and of course since 9/11 everyone in uniform is a hero.  US Police Departments seem unable to deal with or solve any situation without a gun in hand.  Just this afternoon we have had yet another case of "the Officers were forced to fire" of course that leaves just their opinion of the incident since the person involved is deceased.   Yet the Federal Officers seem to able to deal with situations without all these "forced to fire" incidents.  Winston Churchill talked of two nations divided by a common language but it is also much more, an entirely different cultural approach to problem solving.  


The English (US) NAUTICAL LOG is still learning and maybe without spell check could not write.  Looking through past Posts there is a mixture of English (UK) spelling and English (US) spelling however as long as the point is made does it really matter.  Also many Americans have little or no knowledge of geography that it is impossible to answer some questions.  My classic so far this year was a neighbor, holding a Masters Degree in Education, whose son is fighting in Afghanistan asking me if her son would be able to see "The Queen" during the Elizabeth Windsor visit to Ireland "because everything in Europe is so close together".  For once NAUTICAL LOG was speechless!!! 


Mind you it is not that much different on the international scene, nobody seems to know what they are doing, make decisions or plans to correct that inability or particularly care about doing so.  Extraordinary behaviour by international bankers while visiting America with its mind boggling multi-standards for personal behaviour in the first place. Just this week we have had yet another weepy US Congress politician holding a news conference to try and 'spin' his way out of his scandalous personal behaviour - he lied about it for over a week.  There must be a folder prepared in the US Congress Press Office ready for these occasions - how many have we had now?  Facebook® and Twitter® seem to have zapped peoples brains!!


As to World Governments who knows what they are saying but then that's their whole idea to be brilliantly not understood.  Where we seafarers are concerned the most troubling issue at present is piracy.  The amount of paperwork that has been generated is voluminous and the reports are classics in legally correct English of the British, United States, Australian, Indian and Vatican versions covering all aspects of the issue.  Nicely phrased as they are when one is finished reading them one has learned absolutely nothing whatsoever and they do even less to solve piracy.


Why is this when the US and EU can quickly gather NATO forces and attack, destroy property and kill citizens of the sovereign nation of Libya because they do not like its methods to solve internal problems.  What the Irish would call "The Troubles" in their classic ability with language.  Yes the stated reason was humanitarian, so if that is true then equally well piracy is a humanitarian issue of equal importance under International Law.  No problem with those NATO Governments to find some laws to cover the Libya issue, get those forces assembled and release the Dogs of War.


Indeed you are right reader NAUTICAL LOG is really pissed-off these days and holds in complete contempt those who call themselves World Leaders.  The Joint Press Conference of our Kenyan-American President a truly excellent speaker and mumbling Merkel yesterday did not add to ones joy.  Enough already, lets open a beer and relax - Sláinte!!


Good Watch

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  At present not much is being done for y'all and it is time to consider not manning ships transitting HOA.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A MILESTONE REACHED

Tonight NAUTICAL LOG hit 40,000 readers who found the Blog, according to Sitemeter® and read it, some quite regularly.  We do not now or ever intend to use Facebook® or Twitter® so NAUTICAL LOG is found only on Blogspot® at  www.nauticallog.blogspot.com/ .  We hope you will continue to read, comment and enjoy this activist maritime blog.  If there are subjects you would like us to address we shall be happy to consider their suitability. 


Below is a note in red print regarding piracy and the response to it for the sake of our fellow seafarers.  This coming week NAUTICAL LOG is going to monitor other maritime blogs and we may decide to transfer blogs from our 'My Blog List' to 'My Link List' due to the level of their efforts in preventing further piracy.  Or maybe we shall not continue to list a particular Blog at all.  It is most important that all hands work together on the piracy issue.  Not nearly enough is being done by governments that could be done by governments except meetings, talk and paperwork.  The time for serious action is away past.


Good Watch

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  Unfortunately very little that is effective is being done to free them - all talk and reports. 

It seems now the only course open for seafarers is to refuse to transit the pirate area of HOA and to refuse to mann the ships that attempt this passage.  To my fellow seafarers if you do choose to mann these vessels then you are really on your own if  boarded by pirates. 

We are also disappointed that no other maritime blog has added a note like this to their Posts - we shall keep doing so under each  Good Watch

D-DAY JUNE 06, 1944


initial landings

later beach port




courses across The Channal/La Manche

 To-day is the 67th. Anniversary of the day American Forces and British Troops supported by elements of French and other European nations landed on the beaches of Normandy, France.  This action started the final demise of the Third Reich, the Nazi dream to rule the world.  Since that day Germany has tried to suppress, cover-up, or wash off this dreadful stain on its nation - it cannot.  It even brings to trial persons now in their 90's in this impossible attempt.  It has most unwisely been allowed to dominate Europe by leading the European Union.


There are fewer and fewer Veterans each Anniversary to show honour and respect for those who gave their lives so that NAUTICAL LOG and millions of other European kids might grow up in relative freedom, educate themselves and develop careers.  It is up to those kids now in our 60' and 70's to remember and say - thank you.


Good Watch

Please also remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with those trying to set them free.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

IS THAT THING A CRUISE SHIP - OR?


TSS Empress of Canada/Mardis Gras and MS Carnival Magic
 Coming from a very different generation of seafarers - one is tempted to say real seafarers - but that is not really fair to the capable ones out there at present.  NAUTICAL LOG looks at current maritime life, the current design and operation of ships with a jaundiced eye.


As you may know South Florida is a big cruise industry area with several Ports on both its East coast and West coast berthing these vessels each weekend.  The local newspapers regularly have articles indeed whole sections on the industry, its various companies and vessels.  So it is that 'The Miami Herald' in its Travel Section today had an article about the newest cruise vessels - at least that is what they call them but one has to wonder.  


Watch them transit Government Cut, complete the channel to the Miami Seabuoy and then turn to head either southwards or northeastwards to cross the Florida Strait towards the Bahamas.  These vessels list on the turns and hang over until the helm is eased, they head on the new course and slowly come upright.  On the larger turns this is particularly noticeable - so what you ask - well to a seafarer this indicates that these vessels are top heavy.  With a quite shallow draft of no more than 10 metres and 15 decks above sea level these are not ocean-going vessels in the style of the Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific passenger liners such as the TSS Empress of Canada. These are fair weather vessels, remember the punishment to the MS Oasis of the Seas  www.ncl.com/ on its Atlantic crossing, even several lifeboats were damaged, remember also the subsequent cover up by South Florida Media.


That is just the beginning as these vessels are designed and marketed as Cruising Resorts and some of the playthings placed on board for the thousands of guests - as they are now called - are unrealistic indeed completely unsafe to fit on seagoing vessels.  Of course today marketing genii operate cruise lines and have no sea knowledge or when one talks to them any real interest in seamanship.  Explanations to and conversations with them are futile as they have attention spans measured in microseconds.  They are of course experts in marketing - themselves - martinis and where the hors d'ouveres are laid out - but darling I go to the gym every day!   It is all style and no substance just like the vessels themselves.  Here in South Florida the real seafarers are waiting for The Big One not a hurricane, our season just started on June 01, but the horrendous and tragic accident which not if but when is going to happen to one of these cruise ships. 


 With these floating resorts carrying thousands of persons, whose evacuation in an emergency is close to impossible without loss of lives in good calm weather, could be total in bad weather caused by an approaching hurricane or after its passing.  Adding into all this mix is the behaviour of the passengers themselves, there have been cases of near shipboard riots when something goes wrong because marketing has told their guests that things will not go wrong in their Resort.  Just recently there was the so called 'mutiny,' actually a rioting protest of the European socialist pattern, aboard the MSC Opera www.msccruises.com/ after a power failure.


The newest cruise vessel in that article today is Carnival Cruise Line MS Carnival Magic  www.carnival.com/ which carries 3,690 passengers, one might note that "The Miami Herald" did not mention the number of crew which operates this floating resort. There must be around 2000 of my fellow seafarers on board for a total persons of 5,690 or so.  It is in the gaudy, flashy, gambling cities Carnival style for as the company spokesperson said and we quote: "Our guests are not wealthy".  How they get maritime insurance for these vessels is beyond the understanding of NAUTICAL LOG perhaps someone out there knows, will comment and we shall learn.  Of course with a Panama Flag State, United States Law and Courts do not apply once one crosses that boarding gangway in a Florida Port, one is in Panama, the Bahamas or wherever the vessel in Registered and the Law of that Nation applies - you do know that right!!


There are waterslides which project high over the upper deck tens of metres in the air and out over the sides of the vessel.  There is also a high level walkway at funnel/stack height which serves no purpose whatsoever that NAUTICAL LOG can see other than to risk someones life for some apparent thrill.  All it needs is for a navigational emergency that requires a serious turn and perhaps a ships whistle blast to cause the loss of guests lives.  Such an incident took place off Port Everglades, FL within the last couple of years when a cruise ship listed violently during a turn after leaving the buoyed channel to head along the coast. 


As a former cruise ship Safety Officer NAUTICAL LOG has had to do risk assessments on both shipboard equipment and possible incidents that could occur thus is all too aware of what could and will at some time go wrong.  Readers can visit the cruise line websites for themselves and see what is available on board and make their own risk assessment.


Of course when one tries to point out some of these things to the cruise industry one is brushed aside as an out-of-date-old-fart who knows nothing about these wonderful modern floating resorts.  So be it NAUTICAL LOG will never be on board one of these vessels so no worries for us.  Have a nice cruise folks and


Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - lets us work with those few really trying to free them.

Friday, June 3, 2011

WHO TOW - TOW WHO

This has been a hectic few days and finally NAUTICAL LOG got a chance to relax which means writing a Post - something always enjoyed.


Amongst the e-mails today was one from C-PORT, for those of you not familiar with the organization it represents the assistance towing industry (you pay we tow) with federal, state and local agencies.  Here are some definitions:
  • Assistance towing is defined as towing a disabled vessel for consideration (money dude!) as per 46 CFR 10.107 (b)
  • Disabled vessel means needing assistance while docked, moored, anchored, aground, adrift or underway as per 46 CFR 10.107 (b)
  • Consideration means economic benefit, inducement, right or profit including pecuniary payment (once again money dude!!) as per 46 USC 2101 (5a)
There are organizations that do this professionally (see the 'Yellow policy guys' and the 'Red policy guys' in our Link List) while their level of professional skill varies greatly they do have to obtain USCG licensing and Marine Insurance. C-PORT is a good first reference point to find out about them.


Now it seems local agencies and marina operators are taking business away from them.  Local law enforcement agencies are performing routine towing operations and marina operators are offering towing to their customers.  This seems improper even illegal to NAUTICAL LOG who by the way has absolutely no involvement with the towing industry in any way or form.  Our interest are the professional and legal issues involved.


The problem we have with all this is Insurance when these people mess up as you can bet they will.  It is extremely difficult, to put it mildly, to sue or get satisfaction from a law enforcement agency. We know first hand from an Investigation NAUTICAL LOG is involved with all this week.  As to marinas, do you really want that summer job kid the marina sent in a rubber boat towing your private yacht.  He/she may be a good kid trying the best they can but they will have no license and little or no training in towing.  Not good and also illegal !!


The assistance towing people can correct this themselves, legally (!), and C-PORT can help.   Owners should remember it is against federal law to hire a person to tow without that person being licenced and your insurance is thus voided - so be careful of good samaritans as well.  Please note the person must hold their own USCG towing licence not the marina or company they work for.


Another point raised by C-PORT is vessel inspection.  NAUTICAL LOG is firm and clear on that point - ALL vessels should be Inspected Vessels and ALL Operators Licensed - NO EXCEPTIONS.  We are NOT open for discussion on this at all.


Good Watch

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with all those trying to free them.

NLIN # 38 - M NOTICES

The following M-Notices are now available:


MIN 411 (M) Community Inland Waterways- Issue European Vessels Identification Numbers (ENI).


MGN 431 (M) The Government Support for Maritime Training Scheme (SMarT)-Revised Arrangements from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.


MSN 1827 (M) Correction for Categorisation of Waters.


MSN 1828 (M) The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants in Packaged Form: Amendment 35-10 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.


Any difficulties contact 023 8032 9391


Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with those trying to free them.

FRIDAY REPORT JUNE 02, 2011

Just briefly this week as NAUTICAL LOG is heavily involved in a very serious Investigation - legal e-mails and writing abound. 


We are giving the piracy reports a rest as nothing effective is being done. Now even the Vatican has written and published a report amongst other things telling the pirates to be good and say their prayers - oh dear dear me not really realistic.  The world governments seem to be confused and unable to govern these days - perhaps the mental rot of decades of socialism in Europe.


Also NAUTICAL LOG is not going to write Posts about SSCS anymore complete waste of time as their "campaigns" are just fund raising events so "Wats-his-name" can travel the world and enjoy is very active social life.  The SSCS got dumped this year so at least one of his cons failed.


We did receive just now some UK M-Notices and there is a NLIN covering them.


We also received the C-PORT The Marine Assistance Industry Journal - more about that later.

Change of Command at the USCG Academy today a lady is now in Command the first service Academy to do so.


Good Watch.


Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with those trying to set them free.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

OPERATION BLUE RAGE 2011


Other than drawing attention to the fact that two Sea Shepherd vessels departed from Toulon, France today NAUTICAL LOG has decided not to report further on their activities.  The SSCS have accomplished nothing worthwhile in recent campaigns and wallow in dumps of bovine scatology. 


Since they say they are going to enter the War Zone off littoral North Africa it may be a major event could occur in which case NAUTICAL LOG will consider a Post. 


The current campaign is named "Operation Blue Rage 2011" if anyone is actually interested in these persons they have their own website with Press Releases.


Good Watch



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