Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HERE WE GO AGAIN - MAYBE NOT


MS Pinar del Rio

Passenger seating

Passenger Lounge

UPDATE:

NAUTICAL LOG
understood the service from Port Everglades, FL to Grand Bahama was due to start today December 06, 2010 with a 1000 sailing.  However at 1200 the MS Pinar del Rio (ES) was still in Port according to their AIS.  Even if they have not been successful getting passengers it is important to be seen operating and after all there may be people in Grand Bahama whom would like to travel to Port Everglades, FL.  When NAUTICAL LOG attempted to book a First Class round trip this morning through their website this message came up "Please be informed we do not have the service REQUESTED " - not a very good start for the Spaniards.  Just tried again this evening for tomorrow and once again that same answer.

Over the years there have been several attempts at operating "Ferry's" from South Florida to - well several places actually. Some never really got underway at all there was a short lived Tampa to Key West operation also Miami to Key West which operated for a month or so.  Then we had one company with two vessels one operating from Miami to Grand Bahama and the other vessel from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama, the original Bahamas Express.  NAUTICAL LOG actually worked for them as Chief Officer in 1987, sadly they also folded.  Then there was a dramatic attempt at a Miami to Nassau operation which NAUTICAL LOG was consulted about but they too folded after a short period of operation.


In Europe ferries are quite a popular means of transport and when over there NAUTICAL LOG usually uses the ferry systems and trains, never air travel.  So it is that a Spanish Company Balearia well know in the Mediterranean will start operations on December 06, 2011 from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama.  The vessel that has been prepared is MS Pinar del Rio (ES) according to Balearia Area Manager Pilar Lecha.  The fare is $49.00 which is remarkable because that was the cost back in the 1987, however watch out for the "Operational Charges" when NAUTICAL LOG visited the website those were an additional $25.00 hmmm.  The ferry will depart from Port Everglades at 1000 and arrive at Grand Bahama at 1230.  The return trip leaves Grand Bahama at 1930 arriving in Port Everglades at 2200.  Try a visit to their website at www.ferryexpress.com and yes NAUTICAL LOG will be making the trip in the future - if Balearia is able to stay in business long enough.


Good Watch

There remain some 400 of our fellow seafarers held in captivity by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  Lets wish them a Happy Christmas because sadly thats about all they will get from the world's governments.

Monday, November 28, 2011

YOU TALKEN' TO ME

For over a year now NAUTICAL LOG has been waging its own war against piracy by adding a comment after each Post.  Many, including serving Masters, were complaining about the apparent lack of effort by the Horn of Africa Naval Patrol.  Finally, after much discussion behind the scenes, the United Kingdom Prime Minister came up with the Licensed Armed Guard Detachments in British Flag State vessels.  Surprise, surprise there was negative reaction to that also and by those same serving Masters who had complained about the lack of Naval Patrol effort.  It seems in this era of worldwide "entitlement" thinking there is no pleasing people even serving Masters.  One in particular who has his own Blog has repeatedly and insistantly stated vessels with Armed Guard Detachments could be hijacked.  Depending on the quality of that Armed Guard and most importantly the attitude and capability, or lack thereof, by the Master it is possible.  However one does have something to fight back with and there are training courses, yes more courses, to learn to use AGD's effectively.



De Walt® nail gun

Now if you really are against all this professional counter piracy effort and prefer to "do your own thing" NAUTICAL LOG  has a possible solution for you.  This arrived on my desk this morning - no not the real thing unfortunately - a photograph which is reproduced here.  Despite its aggressive appearance it seems one does not need a licence to carry it around, try telling that to the South Florida Police Departments!! 


Don't you just love De Walt® tools and yes Christmas is coming, those pirates just hate Christmas.


Good Watch

And yes here is that comment, pirates are holding 400 seafarers captive off the coast of Somalia and Christmas is coming.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

WHERE OH WHERE ARE -



An original Black Ship

SSCS logo for "Operation Divine Wind"


Where oh where are the black ships gone?  We wonder because according to a Japanese newspaper at least some of the Japanese Whaling Fleet is reported sailing southwards for the 2011 - 2012 whaling season.  It was also reported that the whaling budget was increased by the Japanese Fishing Ministry possibly to pay for armed escort ships which would now be legal under the new agreement to counter acts of piracy by having an Armed Guard Detachment on board or escorting a vessel. 


NAUTICAL LOG has been absorbed with other things and has not been keeping very good track of what as been going on.  The SSCS has also been surprisingly quiet about their previously stated "Operation Divine Wind" - the SSCS counter-whaling response to this years season.  So whats the news? Enlighten us please!


Good Watch

The 400 seafarers who remain held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia look like spending another Christmas in those deplorable conditions.  The Congress of Baboons most likely could care less and that EU crowd are so confused they cannot even agree now when to have meetings about events.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

AN EDITORIAL - ANTHROPOMORPHISM

No doubt these thoughts of NAUTICAL LOG were triggered this morning reading about the lack of ability to make decisions, any decisions, by our dysfunctional government - actually lack of government.  Things have deteriorated to such a stage that the umbrella of Federal Government over these several States has lost its panels.  We are not alone however!


In that Paradise of Socialism (no not the Obama Administration) the European Union (EU) there is confusion, which of course for them is normal.  The European Union is a collection of countries headed by their own Kings, Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers who dream of a European President and European Constitution.  Can you imagine a ship commanded by two Masters perhaps one female and one male in these days of political correctness, also known as bovine scatology.  In this mess of political porridge the Spanish have thrown out a Socialist Government and given an absolute majority to a Centre-Right Party.  In France their coming election will no doubt toss out a Centre-Right Party (well their version of one) and put in a Socialist Party (well their version of one).  As to other EU countries who knows there is such confusion, so many parties, an obsession with entitlements that one never quite knows how things will go.  As one can see they are all clearly on the path to nirvana socialism - or is that a bloody great mess ahead - in the fog of such politics it is nearly impossible to tell.


This is what the Obama Administration dreams about in its "White House" actually that's our White House it belongs to "We The People".  Whatever!!  Then we have that Congressional Super Committee which cannot get its act together and are so ashamed they brush past reporters when they leave the Room - after the Stock Markets have closed of course.  Excuse me but that's "We The People" again you numbskull's represent us so do not dare to brush past me without explaining your behaviour.


Anthropomorphism?  Well you see it is called The United States Congress and conveniently the same term is used to describe one of the most repulsive and obnoxious creatures in nature, a Congress of Baboons.


Good Watch

Those 400 of our fellow seafarers are still held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia, as we at home are held captive by lazy, self-centred governments.  Which may be why they have not been rescued yet.

Congress at work:


Here we see the Congress of Baboons stripping Mr. Public trapped in his car, this is known as being car-ried away by Congress.

Here we see the Congress of Baboons coming or going, they and we do not know which, on a long road leading nowhere.




Monday, November 21, 2011

NLIN #47

The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office has published Issue 3 of its news.  There is a link to UKHO in 'My Link List'.  Contact may also be made via e-news@ukho.gov.uk  The UKHO publishes these e-news Issues at rather irregular intervals throughout the year.


Good Watch

Once again we would remind you that 400 of our fellow seafarers are being held captive by pirates off Somalia.  Some are now going to be spending their second Christmas in this sordid captivity.  What really bothers NAUTICAL LOG is that most of you who publish maritime blogs do not really seem to care.  Not a single one of the various maritime blogs adds a note with each Post as we do.  Only gCaptain posts a weekly Piracy Report. 

This lack of interest is both puzzling and disappointing to NAUTICAL LOG.  Not even Bill O'Reilly the "Senior Deacon of the Church of Perpetual Outrage" has ever mentioned on his show our fellow seafarers held in captivity who are as deserving of his attention as the "Wounded Warriors" which through his generosity he raises considerable funds for with his books, t-shirts, pens and doormats.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NLIN #46 - M NOTICES

The following M-Notices are now available at www.dft.gov.uk/mca contact the M-Notice Administrator on 023 8032 9391 for assistance.


MIN 420 (M+F) M-Notice Consultation


MIN 421 (M) Approved Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Vessel Certifying Authorities


MSN 1734 Amendment 5 (M+F) Approval of Marine Equipment (EC Notified Bodies)


MSN 1735 Amendment 5 (M+F) Type-Approval of Marine Equipment (UK Nominated Bodies




Good Watch.

Some 400 of our fellow seafarers are still held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

56,000 AND COUNTING

Having been a bit busy with various things NAUTICAL LOG just noted it was several days since we had written a Post.  Wondering who had been looking at the Blog during that time was easy, refer to Sitemeter® but it is surprising to see how many countries the visitors came from.  Lets have a look:

Australia
Belgium
United Kingdom
Canada
Hungary (the 56,000th.)
Ireland
Pakistan
Netherlands
Egypt
Norway
Portugal
Sweden
Singapore
India
New Zealand
United States

Pretty much up and down and across our World.  Wonder if they are all interested in ships, the references seem to indicate at least some interest.  Thank you for visiting, drop by any time.

Good Watch.

Sadly those fellow seafarers of ours are not getting any attention though for over a year now NAUTICAL LOG has been trying.  There are still some 400 held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  Now the pirates are planning to stop squabbling amongst themselves and join forces against the Puntland Authorities. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

VETERANS DAY 11/11/2011

USS Biscayne AVP-11
Today here in the United States we remember all the Veteran's both ours and around the World.  As a Veteran NAUTICAL LOG is thinking of those who did not come home with us, who have passed on since, are still serving in various parts of the World for various political reasons and by no means least those who came home wounded.  They are the ones who need our help most of all.  The politicians who got us into action in the first place, by not being astute enough to avoid war as a political solution, are again the ones letting-down the returned wounded Veterans.  Why do we who served tolerate such people?  So far in the history of the World nobody has come up with the answer. 


The USS Biscayne AVP-11 was named after Biscayne Bay, Miami FL.  While she never served down here she did at Anzio, Italy.  In the new military museum under construction in Miami, FL she will be recognized by her own monument.


Best wishes to you all and


Good Watch

Captain the Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM, MN (Ret.)

Do not forget that 400 of our fellow seafarers are still held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  According to reports groups of the pirates are now fighting and killing each other so the captives are placed at even greater risk.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

KRISTALLNACHT

Kristallnacht results
Coming up on Friday is the "Eleventh Hour" known in the United States as Veteran's Day.  The famous remark made at the time was "today the guns fell silent on the Western Front"  the time of cease fire for World War 1, the 11th. hour of the 11th. day of the 11th. month, 1100/11/11/1918.  Sadly it did not last for just 20 years later things had fallen apart once again in Europe and World War 2 started. 


It was acts like Kristallnacht (Broken Glass Night) 73 years ago today which fanned the flames of animosity and outright hatred.  NAUTICAL LOG was nearly two years old at the time, living in Europe, so began the greatest influence on my life.  Kristallnacht was a major act in what led to Shoah, the event that led to the destruction of nations, the formation of nations, formation of the United Nations, the European Union and deeply influenced world political thinking.


Friends of my parents who had fought in WW1 now served once again in WW2.  On the start of a career at sea in 1953 all the Masters and Senior Officers had served in WW2 either on the British or German sides.  Both groups were fine people from whom one could learn a great deal with an open, interested and inquiring mind.

As we approach an Election Year in the United States it is well to reflect on all this, many will have to learn about it,  for already we have seen specialised groups trying to influence whom is elected using public rants, revealing past improprieties, and street violence.  All these were tactics in Europe between WW1 and WW2 which led to groups of people being blamed for events and made the scapegoats for the quality of everyone's lives.  Does this remind you of today - it should. 


We get whom we elect, that is what we have in the present Administration of politicians who will keep power at any price even if it leads to destroying the United States as we know it.  We are led now by politicians who blame the same group of people as the Germans and others did in the 1930's - the recent overheard conversation regarding Benjamin Netanyahu at G20 is an example that tends to proves that point.


Good Watch

Pirates still hold captive some 400 of our fellow seafarers off the coast of Somalia.  Are you helping to free them or just saying "oh that's awful" as in 1930's Germany?

Monday, November 7, 2011

SEAFARER SUPPORT

NAUTICAL LOG does not usually recommend fundraising efforts or the support of charities.  On this occasion however we wish to inform readers of a British charity SEAFARER SUPPORT which is duly registered under British Law as No. 212799. 


Seafarers are not necessarily the best with finances and their families can find themselves suddenly in difficult situations.  Also retired or injured seafarers all too easily find themselves needing support.  Even in the socialist welfare state of the United Kingdom (or perhaps because of it) they may need a helping hand.


The organisation Seafarer Support www.seafarersupport.org  Telephone: 0800 121 4765 is for working and former seafarers and their families as well as people who work to improve the lives of seafarers and their families.


Please visit and inform yourself of their work and it may be that you can help seafarers less fortunate than yourselves.


Good Watch

One group of seafarers that need help are the 400 held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Friday, November 4, 2011

NLIN #45 - M NOTICES

The following United Kingdom M-Notices are available at www.dft.gov.uk/mca.  If you experience any difficulties contact 023 8032 9391.


MIN 416 (M) Approved Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Vessel Certifying Authorities


MIN 418 (M) Advice Regarding Reefer Container Incidents.

Illustration by NAUTICAL LOG
a reefer container

**Note reefer containers that had been reported serviced in Vietnam exploded causing the deaths of port workers.**


Good Watch

Armed guards may now be carried by vessels in defence against pirates.  400 of our fellow seafarers are being held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  They need to be rescued immediately please do what you can to expedite this.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

DIRE STRAITS

Victoria the only one of his five ships to return
Hernando Magellan Railcar
1480 - 1521

Several decades ago NAUTICAL LOG had a maritime consulting firm named Magellan Enterprises.  Magellan was a excellent navigator who for some strange reason sailed close too but never really made serious discoveries on his way to the Phillipines.  Magellan Enterprises had much the same luck, however one contract did lead to NAUTICAL LOG  meeting a Chilean lady, we have now been married for 42 years with children and grandchildren - so one never knows.

Of course the Strait of Magellan runs along the coast of Patagonia, through southern Argentina and Chile in the area known by Chileans as the Chilean Antarctic Territory.   It is also the name of a Sea, Space, and recently Posts of rather liberal-socialist political and economic opinions, Blog called "Strait of Magellan".  However there is not anything about the Strait of Magellan in that Blog.   If you would like to know something or all about this important channel go the Chilean Navy Hydrographic Service at  www.shoa.cl/  it is available in Spanish and English.  The Chilean HS navigation chart for the area is No.11100 Estrecho de Magallanes, 2007 being the latest edition, and that should be corrected up to the most recent Chilean 'Notice to Mariners' before it is used to navigate.  The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office  www.ukho.gov.uk/ also produce charts covering the region, these can be found in BA Folio 97, there is an automatic BA 'Notice to Mariners' update service available.  The Folio 97 charts should be used with NP6 South America Pilot Book, Volume 2 that details the region.


The Strait of Magellan runs SW from the Atlantic Ocean at 53° 30' South Latitude - 68° 30' West Longitude to 54° S. - 71° W. then NW to the Pacific Ocean at 53° 30' South Latitude - 74° 30' West Longitude.  In the NAUTICAL LOG navigational library there is a copy (in Spanish and English) of Alberto Mantellero's "Yachtsman's Navigator Guide to the Chilean Channels."  Rear-Admiral Alberto Mantellero, Armada de Chile (Ret) is highly experienced both as a Southern seas naval officer and Magallanes pilot.  His book even has drink and food recipes the Chileans do not mess around with the important things of life - sea, drink, food.  Buen Provecho!


Good Watch.

Armed pirates are holding 400 of our fellow seafarers captive off the coast of Somalia.  Finally the European vessels led by the British Merchant Navy can obtain a license to carry their own armed guards.  This is actually nothing new as in the early 20th. Century right up to World War 2 British vessels trading in the Far East carried Sikh guards as protection against South China Sea pirates.  While on the Indian coast in the 1950's and 1960's it was quite usual to employ Gurkha watchmen who travelled from Port to Port with the ship. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

ANOTHER MILESTONE REACHED

As regular readers know NAUTICAL LOG does not have Facebook®, Twitter®, RSS® or some such so our numbers are direct visitors from the Internet who know of or have found our website.  Today we reached 55,000 the 55,000th. visitor being from Kristainsund, More og Romsdal, Norway.


We have now decided to continue publishing NAUTICAL LOG, it will continue to be an activist maritime blog, a courteous one but on occasions shall stir-things-up, perhaps even 'rant' when we feel moved to the occasion.  Also we are back to commenting in response to other Blogs Posts when we feel that is warrented - so be warned.


Thank you for visiting, enjoy the Posts, please comment and  make suggestions following our Blog rules!!


Good Watch

Armed guards are now officially sailing in many ships that of necessity have to transit the Horn of Africa piracy region.  However we must not forget that 400 of our fellow seafarers are still held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  Puntland does seem to be trying to make an effort to reduce attacks so perhaps it is time to give them some support and training by involving them in the Naval Patrols serving the region.