Friday, July 29, 2011


Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland


30th. July 2011.

A memorial service will be held in Bray, Co. Wicklow (Ireland) to honour all those who, for whatever reason, have lost their lives at sea, especially those whose last resting place is the sea which claimed their lives.

Floral tributes will be taken out to sea by the most suitable craft from among Navy, Naval Reserve, RNLI, Civil Defence, Coast Guard, Fishing vessels and pleasure craft which are invited to join the flotilla in the vicinity of Bray Harbour entrance.

Those participating are asked to assemble at the Hibernia Inn (near Bray DART Station) from 1300 hours.

At 1400 hours an anchor shaped wreath will lead the procession of wreaths to Bray North pier-head where a memorial service will be held, at which representatives of those in attendance will be invited to speak.

This will be followed by one minute's silence, after which those accompanying the wreaths will embark.  The position where the wreaths will be offered to the sea is approximately 5 cables due east of Bray Harbour.

Appropriate music to mark the solemnity of the occasion will be played at the pier-head and during the time taken from the departure of the flotilla to the position offshore and it's return, individuals are invited to remember those who have been lost in their own special way.

To celebrate the lives which those lost have shared with their loved ones, the ceremony will continue with the Sailor's Hornpipe and sea shanties will be sung.  to conclude, those in attendance may repair to the Hibernia Inn prior to dispersal.

On behalf of "Mariners with Memories"

Tony O'Grady, Captain
Master Mariner (Retired)

Unfortunately NAUTICAL LOG who has just returned from Ireland is unable to attend at the Bray Harbour Service.  Please know that we shall be paying our respects here in South Florida and remembering absent shipmates.

Good Watch.

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia and once again under attack at Ports in West Africa.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Now that's why they go out!!
Here in Florida the Statewide lobster mini-season ends at midnight tonight.  To be honest NAUTICAL LOG has never understood its purpose but it is a real State tradition - it is always unwise to mess with tradition particularly here in the South y'all. 

The lobster mini-season is always held the last Wednesday and Thursday of July starting at 0001 Wednesday and ending 2359 Thursday.  One may catch 12 legal sized lobsters in an approved manner for personal use, once that quota is reached that's it until next year.  However the regular lobster season starts August 06 and runs through March 31 each year so enjoy.

Each year it seems there are accidents resulting in death and sadly this year once again a life was lost the first morning of fishing.  The weather was quite rough and of course people go out in small boats without too much experience, there were at least two capsizes in areas around Miami, FL.  Fortunately these people were rescued by the numerous law enforcement agencies on duty.

As well as checking for undersized lobsters the Agencies issued tickets for all the usual infractions - failure to display 'diver-down' signals, insufficient lifejackets, expired fire extinguishers.  One wonders why people go out in boats without preparing correctly but every year it is the same things.

Well just a few hours left, it is getting dark, not really too nice out there, lets hope those who are braving the elements get their quota and come home safely - until next year.

Good Watch.

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia and once again harassed by pirates off the Ports of West Africa.


Australia's South West coast
While NAUTICAL LOG is not usually a great fan of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) that does not mean that everything they do is bad.  In fact the young guns of SSCS seem to be making a concentrated effort to appeal on a broader, and indeed more effective, scale to the general public.

Some SSCS persons, it would seem, are trying to distance themselves from the actions taken by 'Wats-his-name' and portrayed in 'Whale Wars'®.  In addition the incredible stupidity of their seamanship, actually the complete lack thereof, in most operations has become a laughing point for many professional mariners and experienced seafarers. 

This is an entirely different cause and NAUTICAL LOG has signed the Petition and suggests to readers that they may wish to consider signing this worthy Australian Government Proposal.  Just because SSCS supports it does not mean its a bad thing!!

The Australian Government recently released a Proposal for new marine sanctuaries in Australia's South West region, an area home to half of the world's whale and dolphin species.  In fact it has a higher overall level of marine life than the famed Great Barrier Reef of Australia.

NAUTICAL LOG suggests that our readers do their own research and perhaps come to the conclusion this, in the words of Martha Stewart "is a good thing".

Good Watch

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  Also after some years acts of piracy have resumed off West Africa ports.  Clearly strong response is needed to counteract this growing problem.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


PLA Navy Shi Lang (designated)
On June 09, 2011 NAUTICAL LOG wrote a Post about the new PLA Navy aircraft carrier based on an existing hull, with the designated name of Shi Lang - the Post was titled "NOW AVAILABLE AT IKEA".

Today July 27, 2011 in gCaptain - which is considered a leading maritime Blog by some - there is an article about the PLAN Shi Lang stating that even though she is due to start sea trials this summer she is as yet unnamed.  We are puzzled - has the PLA Navy changed its mind as to the naming, is gCaptain mistaken, or heaven forbid did NAUTICAL LOG get it wrong?

We still believe that the PLA Navy aircraft carrier is named PLAN Shi Lang after the Admiral who in 1681 was put in charge of an amphibious operation against Taiwan.  And yes as the gCaptain article says she will be used for training and developing carrier operational skills.  Training ship or not remember she is still an aircraft carrier with all the power that projects - whatever name she is finally given.

Good Watch.

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia and now it would seem West Africa once again.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Containers have been around for decades now and the 'box ships' have grown in size to hold thousands of them in two sizes TEU (Twenty Equivalent Unit) and 40 footers.  Once the containers are discharged they are placed ready MT for reloading and this is where the problems can start.  How to get all those discharged boxes back to the loading point at one Port from the discharging point at another Port.  In some of the smaller ports using 'shuttle vessels' to do this can quickly start to cost monies in shipping MT boxes.

Earlier this year a company named Staxxon® developed a folding TEU, it is now being manufactured in New Jersey by SeaBox® at a brand new plant.  For example on one Caribbean container ship NAUTICAL LOG sailed in we carried about 100 TEU's and regularly brought MT boxes back to the United States from the smaller Islands.  By shippers using these new folding TEU's we could have carried about 500 MT boxes on any one voyage.  When folded the Staxxon/Seabox® TEU's fit 5 to 1 in an ISO TEU storage space.

Good Watch.

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.


David Molyneaux
The Sunday newspaper Travel Section often brings some different information.  Under the title 'CRUISING' was an article, quite a long article actually, by David Molyneaux of The Travel Mavens.  Somehow NAUTICAL LOG after over twenty years in cruise ships can just imagine The Travel Mavens crossing the gangway to arrive on board for a week or so.  This Post is about wearing lifejackets or maybe not wearing lifejackets at the compulsory passenger lifeboat drill required to be held at the beginning of each cruise.   Lets start at the beginning.  

Lifeboat drills are still held at the beginning of each cruise however many cruise lines do not require passengers to wear their lifejackets during this drill.  Why not?  The reason is actually quite reasonable it is due to the vast numbers of 'guests' now carried in these vessels as many as 5000 plus the crew to look after them.  It is therefore possible to have 7000+ persons onboard.  Those of you who have been crew or passengers in these vessels know only too well that after the drill numerous lifejackets can be found dumped on deck by lazy and careless passengers.  These must then be gathered up, by crewmembers of course, then returned according to their marked number to the correct cabin - all quite time consuming.

Mr. Molyneaux makes the point that the use of a lifejacket can be demonstrated to the passengers at each Lifeboat Station or Assembly Station, one would agree this is valid and effective if done by two crewmembers, one explaining the procedure and the other performing it.

Some of the smaller capacity cruise ships still follow the procedure of passengers putting on their lifejackets and assembling at the designated point.  One crewmember can then check the correct fitting of the lifejacket and make sure all the passengers understand both the assembly procedure and how to wear the lifejacket correctly.

In changing their procedure one major cruise line stated that because of the large numer of persons involved, some 6000, chaos could ensue and it could take up to an hour!!  This is indeed true and brings up the point, once again, of so many persons being in one ship should an emergency occur -  chaos would ensue.  As Mr. Molyneaux further says "the key is training the crew" which is why there are frequent drills daily for some if not all crewmembers together with a full drill at least once a week.

However it brings up the point, once again, where the 'hotel executive types' of the cruise lines are so panic stricten at the slightest possibility of a precious 'guest' being upset by something as mundane as 'safety drills' that they are willing to risk an event occuring.  It is a constant pressure which Safety Officers have to struggle against in every cruise line, on every cruise, every day.  Sometimes we Safety Officers actually win too!!

Good Watch.

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Benedictus PP XVI

Perhaps here at NAUTICAL LOG we may be forgiven a little pride as it is not every day that one gets a papal visitor.  Our daily Sitemeter® record of visitors showed the Flag of Sancta Sedes, the Holy See - Vatican City State

Of course we have no idea who our visitor actually was but we hope any information sought by whomever was found.   If not perhaps we might have the opportunity to supply it via an e-mail. Thank you and

Good Watch

Please remember and pray for, our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.


Dumping crevice

Diver at dumping site

Diver with pilot whale skull

Pilot whale skull


UPDATE: We would refer commenter MJW, who quotes the Bern Convention exceptions by the Kingdom of Denmark, to this photo and perhaps he may be able to suggest to all of us a use for this 'meat'.  To NAUTICAL LOG it looks very much like a slaughtered pilot whale  and fetus.  One can find an excuse for just about anything - but would one really want too?

Many times at NAUTICAL LOG we criticise the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) so when they do something important we should also recognise that too.  Noticeably in the last couple of years the negative actions have been mostly conducted under the orders of 'Wats-his-name'.  When left to their own decision-making the young guns of SSCS seem to do better.  According to the latest SSCS report this is one of those occasions.

Currently the RV Brigitte Bardot is in the Faeroe Islands covering the slaughter of pilot whales which is conducted each season and called the "grind ".  For some time people outside of the Faeroe Islands have been wondering where did all the dead pilot whales end up - now we know.  The dumping ground, which the locals deny, has been found to be a crevice between Vestmanna and Leynar.  In addition to the carcasses it is used for both household refuse and industrial waste all of which has been videoed and recorded.  This is due to the divers of SSCS going down some 20 metres into the crevice and documenting what they saw - it was not good.  The skull was returned to the crevice after on board videos had been made.  Since pilot whales are listed in the European Union as a threatened species it would have been illegal to bring a skull in as evidence.  This is something ignored by the Kingdom of Denmark in the case of the Danish Faeroe Islands.  They are part of the Kingdom of Denmark though not legally part of the European Union of which Denmark is a Member.

Good Watch.

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


STV Asgard II

SV Celtic Mist
The importance of Sail Training is realised in Ireland however at the moment there is no Class A vessel available under Irish Flag State.  Why?

One has to go back to March 07, 1981 when the STV Asgard II was commissioned.  She was operated by the Department of Defence under a para-civilian company called Coiste an Asgard.  She served well training cadets and opening up sailing in a Brigantine to several generations of Irish youth.  Then on September 11, 2008 she sank in the Bay of Biscay.  It was later determined that most likely she had struck a semi-submerged container, flooded and sank.  Fortunately all hands got off safely.  What is not so fortunate is that due to politics and indecision by the Irish Government and Coiste an Asgard the vessel was not salvaged.  By most nautical standards there were at least two opportunity windows to have done this but sadly it never happened.  At this late stage it is a rather pointless discussion and the target now is to find or even built a replacement vessel.  Since the Department of Defence decided to close down Coiste an Asgard and has announced it is not interested in operating a STV in the future others have taken up the gauntlet.  To this end two organisations have been formed they are, "Sail Training Ireland For Youth Development" (STIYD) and "Tallship For Ireland" currently both may be found on Facebook ®.

So what do Irish Youth do now?  Well through the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) places may be found for them in the STV's of other nations.  This was done in July when groups of Irish trainees sailed in STV's departing from the Port of Waterford for the Tall Ship Races of 2011.  Also thanks to the family of the late Charles Haughey former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) his yacht SV Celtic Mist was donated to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). The ISA is able on occasions to place youth in this vessel.

As an interested Irish-American seafarer NAUTICAL LOG will be pleased to act on behalf of persons willing to help in the acquisition or construction of a suitable vessel for Ireland's youth and needing more information.  Please understand actual funds should NOT be sent to NAUTICAL LOG - we will record pledges only.

Good Watch.

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Resulting from actions taken by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society last year in the Mediterranean the Maltese Company Fish & Fish have filed a civil lawsuit.  On applying for her "Clearance" to leave a British Port the RV Steve Irwin was refused.  Shortly afterwards the vessel received a "Detention Order" from British Authorities and must now remain in the Port of Lerwick, Scotland until further notice.  However under British Law she may post a bond of United States $1.4 million, she would then be released, free to receive her "Clearance" and proceed to sea.

Letting no good opportunity go to waste 'Captain Wats-his-name' has turned this incident into a fund raising effort to refill his coffers.  According to his recent statement unless SSCS post the bond of $1.4 million the RV Steve Irwin will be held indefinitely and possibly sold.  This latest sob story from this person, while having the merest grain of truth to it, is not likely in reality to happen any time soon.  However if SSCS does want to take this opportunity to dump the RV Steve Irwin it may avail itself of the chance to do so.

Of course NAUTICAL LOG being highly suspicious of 'Captain Wats-his-name' and his methods feels it is quite likely that, letting no opportunity pass, he will raise both the monies and dump the vessel.  Then wander off to points as yet unknown - first class of course.  Retirement looms and the younger SSCS types are ready to push their fearless leader aside.

Good Watch.

Please remember and help our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


To edited quote from the WTSF Official Souvenir Brochure:

"Sail Training is a outdoor adventure for young people it is defined as a programme of instruction in sail handling, navigation, passage making, safety at sea and ship management". 

Indeed it does all that extremely well and a great deal more.  It may well be that the "more" is the most important part in our modern society with its several social problems not the least of which is inter-generational animosity.  The experience of sail training allows young people to discover their own hidden talents and strengths.  It opens up the value of others both their own age group and older and to work as a team.  Most importantly it develops and inspires self-confidence as they get the opportunity to be the "person-in-charge" of a situation at sea under sail.  Many times it is a positive even live changing experience.

Having spent my entire life on the water of which some 50 years was as a professional seaman leading to commanding ships worldwide one speaks from experience.  Hopefully you too will get and take the opportunity to sail in a Sail Training programme.

Good Watch

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.

Friday, July 15, 2011


This seems to be the week of walk outs.  At two meetings this week key figures or figure walked out of meetings when they did not get their way.  The first was at a White House meeting and the second at the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) annual meeting at the 'Hotel de France' on the island of Jersey, UK. 

The first meeting has been widely reported in the United States and International Media and this petulant behaviour needs no further mention from NAUTICAL LOG, the second meeting is a different kettle of fish or perhaps one should say whales.  The IWC meeting frankly was a complete waste of time and as usual accomplished nothing for the whales.  The pro-whaling nations walked out when a vote was called in the childish behaviour of taking their ball and going home.  This petulant performance mind you is from supposed mature and experienced diplomatic negotiators - quite extraordinary.  So is the White House performance, perhaps both groups missed that class at PolySci 101.  When leadership cannot lead is it any wonder nothing is being accomplished these days by governments or government representing bodies.

The pathetic result of the Jersey meeting was that nothing will be done and no vote until next year when no doubt this whole nonsense will be repeated once again.  Is it any wonder that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is once again planning an anti-whaling operation named Divine Wind for next season.   NAUTICAL LOG has always condemmed their violent approach and acts of piracy in attacking the Japanese Whaling Fleet but one admits to a growing sympathy to their dedication to at least trying to save the whales.   There comes a time when words alone will not solve a problem and strong action is needed, it appears that this time has now arrived. 

The International Whaling Commission is quite useless and should be dissolved or the various nations decline to further attend its meetings.  The Whale Sanctuary proposed by the 14-nation Buenos Aires bloc of nations can be declared by them in conference.  Enforced by their individual Navy Patrols, which most certainly have the capability to do so, it will be effective and finally do something constructive to protect the whales. 

That is now the issue to save the whales - so good luck SSCS with Operation Divine Wind.

Good Watch.

FRIDAY UPDATE: On a much more pleasant note NAUTICAL LOG had a visit from TUGSTER yesterday morning.  Will van Dorp was in Miami, FL for a couple of days and was kind enough to drop by the house for a chat - always one of life's great joys for Irish people.  There is a Post already in his excellent Blog - he does not waste anytime doing that even when he's travelling.  Thanks for the visit Will it was grand to meet you, enjoy Key West and the rest of your trip.

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.  Like the whales not much is being done for them.


Hope you enjoy these photos of the people of WTSF which was a great success:

Good Watch

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Mir across river Suir; patrol boats in foreground
Eendracht across river Suir
Europa, Pogoria, Eendracht, Sorlandet

Christian Radich
Mir across river Suir; patrol boats in foreground
Gloria and Mir across river Suir; survey vessel and patrol boats in foreground

Something about the ships in these photos.  The Russian Mir is a three masted Fully Rigged Ship of 110 metres.  Operated by the Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy of St. Petersburg she is a waterborne school to hundreds of cadets.

The Netherlands Eendracht is a gaff rigged schooner of 55.3 metres homeported in Rotterdam owned and operated by the Dutch Foundation and National Society 'Het Zeiland Zeeschip'.  She offers active sailing experience to both adults and young people.  She was commissioned by H.M. Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands in August 1989.

The Netherlands Europa 54.6 metres is a three masted Barque homeported in The Hague and is operated by Rederij Bark Europa.

The Polish Pogoria is a three masted Barquentine. Originally built for the Iron Shackle Fraternity she is now owned and operated by The Sail Training Association of Poland and is 49.52 metres.

The Sorlandet is one of the best known ships of Norway, 56.7 metres she is operated by Stiltelsen Fullriggen Sorlandet and homeported in Kristiansand.  She is chartred and open for cruises by people of all ages and nationalities.  She took some young Irish people as crew on her departure from Waterford.

The Christian Radich is another well known ship from Norway.  A three masted Fully rigged Ship of 73 metres operated by Stiltelsen Skoleskipet Christian Radich.  In winter she is a Royal Norwegian Navy training ship, in summer offers a wide variety of cruises and Tall Ship Races.

The ARC Gloria is famous for her bandera grande which takes six marineros to hoist and lower. A 65.61 metres three masted Barque she is the training ship of the Armada Republica de Columbia Fuerza Nabal Del Caribe.  This vessel is well known to those of us who live and sail in the Caribbean Basin and she is the pride of Columbia.

This is just a selection of the ships at the WTSF and just as important to sail training are all the many smaller vessels which give young people the opportunity to live, work and sail together under sail as distinct from power-driven vessels.

Good Watch.

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive off Somalia.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The Waterford Tall Ships Festival (WSTF) was held from June 30, 2011 to July 03, 2011 in Ireland. This was a grand excuse for NAUTICAL LOG to return home for a visit and we spent two weeks in Ireland visiting with relatives, contacting old shipmates and friends. 

The ships starting arriving on Wednesday some coming upriver to berth at the floating pontoons on the South Quays of the Port of Waterford.  The Armada de Columbia Gloria was anchored off Dunmore East earlier coming to berth at the North Quays on the afternoon tide with her Waterford Harbour Commission Pilot.  By Thursday evening just about all the vessels had arrived ready to party!!  There was some disappointment in Waterford that not so many of the larger Tall Ships were in port as the previous time.  This was due to several reasons the Germans were not represented at all due to their sail training programme being in disarray.  Due to piracy concerns and local politics the Arabian nations also had no representation and neither did Indonesia, an extremely popular crew in Waterford.  In a classic piece of diplomatic confusion, which seems par for the course with the current U.S. Administration, the United States was absent.  The USCG Eagle having visited the Port of Waterford a month ahead of the WSTF; why? well y'all will have to ask the United States Coast Guard to answer that one.  They should know that we Waterford nautical people were not particularly pleased about their decision.

A large section of the City was closed to traffic with a very well organized Park and Ride system and hundreds of booths lined both sides of the river with thousands of tables and chairs.  There was food, drink, crafts, sailing organisations.  Throughout the City in several locations there were free concerts and musical groups playing from noon to late at night.  The Garda Siochána, Civil Defence Units, Coast Guard, Waterford Fire Service, Knights of Malta and numerous volunteers kept things fun and remarkably clean with the thousands of people from all over Ireland visiting Waterford for the three day Festival.  Whatever social and economic problems Ireland is currently having the level of volunteerism is outstanding, the Festival volunteers did a remarkable job deserving of the highest praise and thanks.

Sunday morning as soon as the fog burnt off signalling a nice sunny day the LÉ Aoife P22 let go at 0745 and headed downriver.  Immediately the various Tall Ships also cast off and followed her towards the Waterford Harbour Estuary to assemble off the Hook Lighthouse ready for the Race start at 1600.  By 0930 the Tall Ships were gone and a strange quietness settled over the Quays.

Time to catch the bus to Dunmore East and watch them preparing to Race, the streets are open again to traffic, the bus is waiting as usual at the Clock Tower, things are back to normal.

Good Watch.

Please let us not forget our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The name Aoife is a Gaelic name given to female children.  There have been several famous Irish woman with this name and associated with Waterford.  It was Aoife the daughter of the Rí of Leinster that married Richard de Clare, known as Arc-Fort in Cambro-Norman or Strongbow in English, and joined the two branches of Viking descended peoples to form the people of Waterford in 1170.  In fact they were regarded at one time by the remainder of the Irish population as "foreigners".  The other Aoife, from more ancient times, is the stepmother of the children of Lir whom she turned into swans (an Irish story worth reading) and it is this Aoife that LÉ Aoife P22 is named after.  LÉ means 'Long Éireannach' or 'Irish Ship' and is the designation for all Irish Naval Service vessels.  LÉ Aoife P22 has a special relationship with Waterford and regularly fund raises for the Children's Ward of the Waterford Regional Hospital.  It therefore received orders from the Irish Government as the escort vessel for the Tall Ships Gathering at the Port of Waterford between June 30, 2011 to July 03, 2011 prior to the start of the Tall Ship Race series.

Good Watch

Please remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia.