Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BLUSTER

Well now here we are at the last day of January and already the first month of 2012 is gone.  In Florida today it is the Republican Party Primary voting day.  Under the Voting Rules in our State the independent voters, or "No Party Affiliation" as our Florida voting cards show, have no say.  The Republican Campaign has been full of bombastic bluster (Saint versus sinner?) and very little of substance, particularly the last two debates (and one uses that word reservedly) which of course plays right into the hands of the current Administration - not good.


That reminds me we have heard nothing from the SSCS seagoing Cult for weeks and of course the ICR makes no reports so one surmises the Southern Ocean whaling is in full swing as the Sea Shepherd vessels are apparently are quite unable to stop it or even slow it down.  The "Operation Divine Wind" is a complete failure and the only thing accomplished so far is yet the loss of another Darth Vader craft.


According to the definition given in Websters the word "bluster" means "to make a noise like a blast of wind; to bully or swagger; bullying or boastful language".  Wow! that sounds just like the SSCS seagoing Cult's Chief Windbag "Wats-his-name" so things must be really bad for him when he cannot come up with any such noise in these last weeks.  Can it be that he has finally lost his ability to lead, even as he defines leadership, and is bereft of ideas.   After all he has used the same tired old tactics over and over again each season so that the Japanese have been trained to deal with them by default.


One suspects that the last encounter with the whalers may have caused a backlash amongst his personnel including the TV photographers on board the SSCS Cult vessels.  No camera-person wants to have an eye poked out by an irate Japanese with a bamboo pole which would very possibly be a career ending injury. It may be that they are refusing to follow  SSCS Cult tactics which could get them injured, while "Wats-his-name" sits on board writing poetry - since he is not currently blustering to the Media.  The great losers in all this are the whales which are being freely slaughtered by the Japanese Whaling Fleet.


Good Watch.

The other losers due to the cowardly behaviour of the International Community are the 300 or so of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia. It would be nice to think that there might be plans for their rescue but sadly it does not seem likely.  As readers can see below NAUTICAL LOG wrote a COMPLAINT to the International Court and we also e-mailed them.  At least they are now aware of the situation and cannot say they were not contacted by a professional seafarer.  NAUTICAL LOG shall keep trying even though we get absolutely no support whatsoever.

Friday, January 27, 2012

CATCH AND RELEASE - NOT


The United Kingdom Office of Foreign Affairs has done an analysis of the Piracy 'catch and release' policy over the last four (4) years.  The above chartlets show the results for two (2) years 2009 and 2010.


Generally NAUTICAL LOG is supportive of 'catch and release' programs - in recreational fishing but not as regards Piracy.  We believe most professional seafarers would agree the policy is asinine, of course the elite yachting community do not care in the least, their expensive toys are transported in barbed wire defended vessels with armed guards on board - no catch and release for them!!


Let us take a look at what the attitude of the International Maritime Organisation (dis-organisation perhaps?) towards Piracy has done. 


We have the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) a seagoing Cult.  They travel around the world quite freely, rarely stopped by the Immigration Authorities, busy fund-raising, wrecking silly non-seagoing toy craft, and boarding vessels on the High Seas.  Yet these SSCS Cult vessels are resupplied and refuelled by any Nation they visit with no questions asked.  In fact National Government Elected Officials visit these SSCS Cult ships and get photographed with Admiral "Wats-his-name" all in the name of saving whales or Bluefin tuna or sharks or Sea lions or anything else that the SSCS can think up to raise monies for their Cult.  Wake up!! these people are nautical thugs committing acts of piracy, read and understand Maritime Law, apply it, arrest and try these persons, cut out the bovine scatology (thanks once again GEN. Schwarzkopf).

The attitude of the IMO with this 'catch and release' program has now led to a terrible tragedy off Puntland, Somalia where the FV Shiuh Fu #1 held by pirates for over two (2) years with no demanded ransom paid cut the right arm off CAPT. Chao-I Wu earlier this week.  This is the same IMO that can pass Rules and Regulations Ad Nauseam to supposedly control the operation of vessels on the High Seas but allows Costa Cruises and indeed others to sail cruising megaships 200 metres off rocky dangerous shores in complete violation with its own 'close approach' policies.  These dashing-Italian-movie-star-like Masters can thus show off their skills or lack thereof.  At least until something goes terribly wrong, then they tell multiple stories about the incident to confuse the issue.  These backed by ships dancers (holding Italian Masters Certificates no doubt) coming to their defence and the Staff telling passengers, all recorded on video, to go back to their cabins the worst place to go in an emergency.


So as you finish up your week at IMO HQ London and go down the road for a pub lunch at perhaps "Old Father Thames", which replaced one believes "The Red Cow", before heading home (early) for the weekend.  NAUTICAL LOG hopes that at least some of you IMO persons feel badly, perhaps even disappointed in yourselves for the job you are NOT doing.  Rest assured that many and increasingly more professional seafarers hold the IMO in the greatest contempt.  Being retired NAUTICAL LOG no longer has to be concerned about renewals of professional qualifications so expect more critisism when it is warrented. 


Have a really nice weekend, think about CAPT. Chao-I Wu without his right arm to navigate or much more importantly hold his wife and children in both arms ever again.


Good Watch.

Even if you are employed by the IMO do try and remember the 300 seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Perhaps over this weekend some one of you will feel badly enough to commence arranging a rescue of our fellow seafarers.  The precedent has been set by the United States and SEAL Team 6 for an effective action, even with the European Union railing against the U.S. policing the World Denmark did not object to the rescue of their national enough to send him back.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A COMPLAINT


The International Court of Justice
Peace Palace
Carnegieplein 2
2517 KJ The Hague
The Netherlands.


COMPLAINT

1. This Complaint is presented in the matter of Human Rights for Seafarers.


2. Being greatly concerned about the condition and plight of the Seafarers held captive by pirates off Puntland, Somalia we present this Complaint to the International Court.


3.  The pirates have declared these Seafarers to be hostages for ransoms demanded from the Shipowners and subject to reprisals.


4.  It is reported that these pirates have cut off the arm of Captain Chao-I Wu of the FV. Shiuh Fu #1 as an act of reprisal for not receiving from the vessel Owner a demanded ransom.


5.  This is a clear violation of basic Human Rights, the Treatment of Prisoner's and the Rights of Seafarers as declared by the International Maritime Organisation.


6.  We therefore present this Complaint to the International Court that the International Maritime Organisation, The National Maritime Authority of the Flag State of the FV. Shiuh Fu #1 and the vessels Owner are responsible for the catastrophic mutilation to Captain Chao-I Wu.


7. We therefore petition the International Court to require the International Maritime Organisation, The National Maritime Authority of the Flag State of the mentioned fishing vessel, and that vessels Owner to achieve the immediate release of Captain Chao-I Wu for proper medical treatment.


8.  We are concerned that if the proper medical treatment is not received by Captain Chao-I Wu his life is in extreme danger.


9.  We further petition the International Court that this fishing vessel Owner compensate Captain Chao-I Wu for this catastrophic mutilation.


10.  We again further petition the International Court to demand of the International Maritime Organisation that this body organise the immediate release, by any effective means possible including military force, the release of all seafarer hostages held off the coast of Puntland, Somalia and such other places as these seafarer hostages may be held.


Respectfully presented,


Count D. Peter O'Grady-Boucher, Kt. SMOM
International Unlimited Master Mariner (Retired)
address (redacted) available to the Court.

VERY GOOD - VERY TERRIBLE NEWS

This morning while going through the maritime Blogs and our Press Release folder we read the Somalia Report (SR).  They reported on the rescue from shore based scumbags of Jessica Buchanan (American) and Poul Thisted (Danish) by a U.S. SEAL Team.  Very good news indeed and it confirms what NAUTICAL LOG has said over and over again ad nauseam that it can be done by the properly trained persons using extreme prejudice. 


Sadly however in the balance of life there was a second report in SR that states CAPT. Chao-I Wu of the FV Shiuh Fu #1 had his hand cut off by other scumbag pirates, off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Also SR reported that two Korean seafarers are extremely ill and may not survive while also being held by pirates possibly now moved ashore.


Now China, Taiwan and Korea have extremely capable Special Forces Units and it would seem the time is past that they were sent into action to effect a rescue attempt using extreme prejudice against these pirates.  The Peoples Republic of China considers itself a World Power and sends naval vessels, including hospital ships, all over the World to display their prowess.  They are making military agreements with anyone and have visitors to PRC to again display their military prowess.  Now is the time to show in the real world if they can actually do anything or it is all just a Chinese Opera, makeup and dressing without substance.


Good Watch

In a recent Post NAUTICAL LOG stated clearly that in the event of anything happening to any seafarer held hostage by pirates we would file a 'Complaint' with the International Court.  Now is the time for us to put our money where our mouth is.  It will be a learning curve but today we have started to prepare such a 'Complaint'.  Once it is ready we shall publish it here in the Blog for 'All Hands' to see.  Perhaps a Law Firm will respond with some Pro Bono work and file the correct papers using the correct procedure with the International Court.  Whatever happens the maritime world will know that at least NAUTICAL LOG is serious about getting our fellow seafarers rescued even at the risk of lives being lost it is better than being chopped up for the amusement of these so called religious savages.

Yes we are extremely angry and disgusted at the lack of support from other maritime blogs we have (not) received and the International Maritime Authorities who are more interested in protecting the racing yachts of the so-called yachting elite with barbed wire and armed guards, than the seafarers held hostage off Somalia.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NLIN #50 - M NOTICES

The following M Notices are available at www.dft.gov.uk/mca.  If difficulties are experienced call 023 8032 9391 for assistance.


MGN 437 (M) Small Commercial Codes of Practice. Revision of Sections 4.4 and 11.


MIN 419 (M) Spectator Craft Attending the London Olympic Games 2012 and London Paraolympic Games 2012.


MIN 423 (M) Revalidating a Certificate of Competency: New Requirements for Masters and Officers.


Good Watch.


One thing that has not been addressed so far is the rescue of some 300 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  They are now under threat of being murdered at any moment and the spectator craft at the  London Olympics get more attention than the seafarers do.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

ISM CODE - AUDITING

Ships now operate under the International Management Code for Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code).  Since this is a Post on Auditing NAUTICAL LOG, who is a Trained Auditor, will not go through the requirements as these can be found on the Internet and in your local nautical bookshop - you do have a bookshop hopefully as they are a dying breed.  There are two types of Audit an External Audit and an Internal Audit.


The External Audit consists of the Flag State or an outside Auditing Firm coming into the Company and going through all the Protocols, Procedures and associated Manuals.  They may also hold a drill simulating a situation in one of the Company's vessels and observe the results of the Shore Staff dealing with it.  NAUTICAL LOG has been through this experience with two very different Companies and believe me it is a long, difficult, trying day not made any easier by the subsequent debrief.  The External Auditor then prepares a Report which causes another long, difficult, trying day full of office politics!!


Then there is the Internal Audit which consists of the Safety Manager holding an internal audit of his fellow Shore Staff personnel and Managers.  This causes another long, difficult, trying day with the added hazard of internal office politics and telling your bosses what to do.  At this point NAUTICAL LOG would like to present a quote from a well known handy-dandy ISM Guidelines book:


"In carrying out  internal SMS audits companies measure the effectiveness of their own systems.  Internal SMS audits are potentially more important than external audits for controlling the effectiveness of the system, since companies stand to gain or lose more than the external audit bodies if system fails.  The company, its employees, shipmasters, officers and crews 'own' the safety management system and have a direct interest in ensuring that it is effective.  As a result, the internal SMS audit, which represents these interests, should be at least equal to if not exceed the thoroughness of the external SMS audit process"


Hmm!!  This is Lecture Hall Theory, in the environment of office operations and politics it is largely bovine scatology.  Can you envision the Safety Manager in the subsequent debrief telling the Chairman of the Board that he does not actually have a clue what to do, released mostly the wrong data to his spokesperson and "twittered" during the entire incident.  One gets the feeling that the author of the article in "gCaptain" about the Carnival Group Internal Audit envisioned this type of internal audit scenario. 


Considering the current situation due to Costa Cruises an External Audit of the Carnival Group is the only one that will be free of an internal "whitewash" impression and only then if a very far removed Company is chosen to do the External Audit.  With its asinine "sail-bys" the Costa Cruises is being defiant, acting indecently towards those who have lost loved ones, and displaying bravado/machismo.  The Carnival Group has no need of more problems by adding the appearance of a phony Audit however decent the Manager in charge of such an Internal Audit is personally.


Good Watch.


Many of our fellow seafarers do not have the opportunity to have an audit, twitter or much else.  They are the 300 held captive by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia, now hostages and could be murdered at any moment.  There is not even the slightest suggestion that it might be a good idea to plan their rescue.  More airtime is given to airhead girls in their twenties defending Italian Masters in their fifty's and clarifying how they can accidentally fall into a convenient lifeboat.  God (if there is one) help all present day seafarers in this madding world.

Friday, January 20, 2012

VIEW FROM AFAR

The distance from Miami, FL to Civitaveechia the Port of Rome is 4718 nautical miles and the distance from Boston, MA to Civitaveechia is 3925 nautical miles.  A week ago the reef impact and later grounding of the MS Costa Concordia took place.  At that time NAUTICAL LOG wrote in our Post "Bang, Crunch, List and Panic" to guard against paying too much attention to Media reports.  From what we have read since with the Master's story changing at least three times and ridiculous statements from Costa Cruises Management it was good advice.


In the week since NAUTICAL LOG has declined to be interviewed by the Media - others have not.  This morning NAUTICAL LOG was contacted by the Media about an article in the maritime Blog "gCaptain" by a CAPT. William H. Doherty who instructs at MMA and was Safety Manager at NCL here in Miami, FL.  In spite of having served in several Miami based Cruise Lines NAUTICAL LOG has never met him so interested readers will have to read his article for themselves as NAUTICAL LOG will not comment on it. 


Suffice it to say he takes a different approach then NAUTICAL LOG does.  Being some 4718 nautical miles from the incident area we shall await the Investigation results of Prosecutor Francesco Verusio and the Italian Court of Inquiry.  CAPT. Doherty who of course is closer to things being only some 3925 nautical miles from the incident area perhaps sees things better.  His comparisons to the miners accident and rescue in Chile in relation to the Giglio Island accident escapes NAUTICAL LOG.  He also mentions some imaginary ship from a sea story, again NAUTICAL LOG is somewhat lost.  The greatest condemnation for Captain Schettino is the contempt in which he is held by the Italian Masters in his own company of Costa Cruises.


Alongside the CAPT. Doherty article is a video of a plot of the incident, there is of course a "disclaimer" with it.  This is rather puzzling, why create this "plot" with the full report of the Investigation not yet being released?  Besides the Maritime Insurance Department of Lloyds of London already produced one and one could perhaps surmise this was done with input from Lloyds Agents who having considerable contacts with the Italian Maritime Authorities got firsthand information.
and one from near - the MS Costa Serena sail-by last week

There were other events during the week which really appalled NAUTICAL LOG the principal of which was yet another "sail-by" on the part of Costa Line.  The MS Costa Serena once again repeated the passage of MS Costa Concordia, fortunately without joining her on the rocks, blowing whistles and ablaze in lights.  This with eleven (11) known dead and many missing in their company vessel some 300 metres away.  This grave discourtesy to the families of the lost and arrogant display of machismo should get every one of the Costa Management Staff fired immediately.  NAUTICAL LOG knew the founder of Carnival Cruises and has know his son, now in charge, since his Prep. School days.  His Father gave him an Apprenticeship on how ships are operated and he is one of the few in Cruise Line Management that was trained properly for the job.  NAUTICAL LOG cannot believe that he agrees with this Costa Line behaviour, besides this documented reckless behaviour has clearly negated any possibility of The Carnival Group and Costa Cruises claiming "Limitation of Liability" since "reckless behaviour" is the parameter required to so negate.

NAUTICAL LOG would recommend to our readers an excellent Editorial in the "gCaptain" Maritime Blog titled "Carnival to Conduct Safety Audit".  The Editorial all to clearly shows the attitude of Cruise Lines even when in the deep water that Costa Cruises, one of nine (9) cruise lines in the Carnival Group, is in.

Good Watch

There remain in captivity off the coast of Puntland, Somalia 300 of our fellow seafarers held now as hostages and subject to being murdered at any moment.  Nothing is being done to effect their rescue.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SAMURAI

Banzai!!  Well the SSCS mob asked for it, now that they have got it they do not like it, pretty hard to please that lot.  NAUTICAL LOG had warned last year before the Southern Ocean Whaling Season started that this 2011-2012 Season the Japanese would fight back hard to defend their vessels.  Under Maritime Law they have every right to do so under defence against Piracy Laws.


Thankfully in the recent action one of the SSCS Cult members did not lose an eye but he came damn close to doing so - or so reports state.


This morning in our Press Release folder we have Reports courtesy of the "Herald Sun", "Sydney Morning Herald" and "The Institute for Cetacean Research".  Our Press Release provider states that for some unknown reason the SSCS reports are partially blocked however it really does not matter in the least because the information is republished by both these Australian newspapers.  Just more weird SSCS Cult behaviour from the great unwashed!!


To quote the summary of what supposedly happened:


"Two crew were struck in the shoulder by hooks while another was hit in the face with a bamboo pole after an encounter with a Japanese harpoon vessel. The conservation group says.  The incident reportedly occurred at around 3AM (AEDT) about 300 nautical miles north of Mawson Peninsula in Antarctica".


On the JWF side they state:

"In addition to coming alongside brandishing a knife, the activists cut the fixing rope of one of the intruder-prevention protective float fenders and ripped the protective net set on both sides of the YS2.  Their behaviour points to an attempt to illegally board the YS2".


Photos have been published and can be seen in all the relative websites.  In one of the photos there appears to be a diving knife in the right hand of a SSCS Cult member in the forward part of the RHIB.  By this action it places him under Maritime Law to be an armed possible boarder and thus the Japanese had every right to defend their vessel.  They were in the perfect position to have had a stun grenade dropped into the RHIB.  The Cult leader "Admiral Wats-his-name" is placing his devoted Cult followers in an appalling position for injury or death.  He has now achieved the Cult influence level of Jones at Jonestown, Guyana with a section of the seagoing personnel.


Some of you may laugh at this and please go right ahead because that is what happened with Jones and other Cult leaders.  Then a Congressman went to find out the situation in Guyana and was murdered as he went to board his aircraft, in turn this resulted in the deaths by Kool-Aid® laced with cyanide of hundreds of children, women and men.  So those of you who laugh  at NAUTICAL LOG better laugh with caution. 


Good Watch

Having already been boarded and captured by pirates some 300 of our fellow seafarers are now held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  No bamboo poles for these scumbags they are armed with AK47's.

FAILURE !

The first test of a major incident to one of the mega-cruise ships has been a failure.  The MS Costa Concordia  has been a failure of design, a failure of the evacuation procedure, a failure of leadership at both the shipboard level and the Management ashore level.  Sadly however to many of us who sailed in the previous generation of passenger vessels it is much as we had feared and expected.  With 4200 persons on board and the chaotic situation resulting how do the Cruise Lines expect to evacuate 8700 persons such are in the MS Oasis of the Seas and MS Allure of the Seas  there is no allure in these ships for NAUTICAL LOG.


There has been a mass of Media reporting from all sides so much in fact that yesterday NAUTICAL LOG received a call from the Producer of the gossip, news, entertainment show "Inside Edition" for an interview and commentary, we declined directing them to this Blog and its previous Post.  Later in the afternoon there was a similar call from WPIX-TV Pittsburgh, PA.


The most disturbing aspect for NAUTICAL LOG has been the behaviour of the vessel Master, Captain Schettino.  So many stories have been written by so many different people saying so many different things who knows what is the truth.  Well the truth is that it appears he deserted his passengers and we know this by the recording made by the Italian Coastguard Officer of the quite passionate exchange between he and the Master.  At the time the Master was in a lifeboat ashore with hundreds of his passengers still on board and the ship listing heavily against the island cliff.  This record together with the record of the vessel's Black Box will be used by the Italian Prosecutor to investigate and then prefer charges against the Master and Officers.  Anything other than these records is conjecture and NAUTICAL LOG most certainly is not going to repeat stories from either ship crewmembers or the Media.


One does have to wonder at the Management choice of their Masters however.  Leadership basically consists of the two "S's"  that is Style and Substance.  Style is the appearance of the leader that portrays quiet confidence and Substance the knowledge to do the job assigned.  This Italian Master gives the impression of being a playboy given to showing off.  With his too long curly hair down over the collar of his uniform he looks like a nightclub entertainer or hotel staff, not the pleasant, friendly but somewhat reserved ship's Master in Command.  He is described as being personable.  That is a bit weak for a Master, one would prefer to hear that he was a fine seaman with excellent navigational skills interested in his crew and their training to assist in the command a passenger ship.  So then at best the Masters behaviour is irresponsible at worst reprehensible.

 
The Costa Management and owning Carnival Group have also shown lack of knowledge about Passage Plans, threw the Master under the proverbial bus instead of at least public support until the charges have been filed - after all they selected him and placed him in Command of the MS Costa Concordia.


As to the design the vessel has some 17 decks of which only three are in the water leaving a massive lever of 14 decks so it is hardly any surprise that once a hull breech occurred the vessel quickly lost buoyancy and listed. If the island had not been there she would have rolled over and sunk with very possibly total loss of all persons on board.


Now we come to the chaotic scene of the Evacuation. It is clear that the passengers who knew nothing were naturally terrified and the harassed crew were trying to deal with panicked passengers with little or no help from their Command. It appears no announcements were made as to what to do. If, as we have said before in a previous Post, the passengers were instructed in the Safety Protocol prior to even boarding the vessel this would have reduced the panic. No doubt many if not all of the crew were also terrified yet the job was done and even those lost passengers were found with lifejackets on. Let us therefore not start blaming the crew, below the Command level, for the loss of life that occurred it appears to NAUTICAL LOG they were courageous.


NAUTICAL LOG would suggest that the United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Office (USCG-MSO) suspend all Costa Line vessels U.S. Passenger Certificates. Each ship will have to re-qualify individually as it enters U.S. Waters starting with the MS Costa Atlantico which NAUTICAL LOG understands is in the Port of Miami today. Every Officer Certificate, every STCW training record must be examined, every lifeboat exercised, every firehose tested. There should be at least three
drills, a simulated accommodation fire, a simulated engineroom fire, and a full evacuation drill with all lifeboats turned outboard at the embarkation deck.  If there is the slightest weakness the drills must be re-exercised.  Never mind the "political correctness", any delay to passengers or expense to the Carnival Group.  The USCG-MSO must ignore those usual pressure phone calls between Senior Cruise Line Management and USCG HQ, the transfer of USCG Officers, which NAUTICAL LOG personally knows about from Safety Officer days, that all too readily occur when faults are found during Inspection and then ordered to let slid by.


If a 4200 persons evacuation cannot be managed think about dealing with 8700 persons holding their ID cards to be passed through those handy dandy card readers to board a "lifeboat" that holds over 300 persons.  Whomever planned all that when the Oasis and Allure entered service do you still think it is realistic?  Are American passengers going to be any less panic stricken than the European ones?  And how about those multi-national 1000 to 1800 crewmembers how will they react?  Do you not really and honestly think that at least a third will screw-up due to being terrified?


The Cruise Industry has become totally irresponsible in its performance as regards safety with Lines run by hotel personnel and not experienced seamen.  NAUTICAL LOG has attended meetings to discuss shipboard safety and made reports of incidents which are just brushed aside by the hotel types running these Cruise Lines the monies spent for entertainment and decor far out ways that allotted to safety and the lowest priority for work orders are safety issues.


Good Watch

Also living in panic or near panic are the 300 seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  They could be murdered at any moment and see no rescue insight; at least the MS Costa Concordia passengers had that.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

BANG, CRUNCH, LIST AND PANIC

"A grounding can really spoil your whole cruise"

UPDATESunday January 15, 2012.


REFERENCE:  UKHO Charts 1999, and 1911


For our non-nautical readers please do not read to much into the detention of the Italian Master of the MS Costa Concordia, Captain Schettino.  This is the procedure of the Italian Code Napoleon System of Justice where one is detained for questioning by a Prosecutor to obtain the facts of the incident from that persons perspective.  In addition to Italian National Law there are International Maritime Laws which also must be applied.  One might point out that the vessel's First Officer was also detained so it would appear he was the OOW (Officer of the Watch) and actually navigating at the time of the grounding. This however is conjecture on the part of  NAUTICAL LOG.  Particularly unhelpful in all this were the remarks of Costa Cruise President Gianni Onorato who, with a background of the hotel department not navigation department, it is reported, stated that there was no designated route for the ship to transit the Strait thus one cannot say the ship was off course.



There are times when Company Presidents should keep their mouths shut, leaving it to the spokesperson and this is a classic of saying stupid things at the wrong time.  Is he trying to tell us that the ship just wandered happily through the Strait with 4200 persons on board and there was no pre-planned course?  Does he not know that the vessels he is managing must have a Passage Plan approved prior to even sailing?  Does he expect to continue selling cruise tickets based on this statement?  No doubt this is the gentleman who selects and approves Masters for the vessels or at least is involved in the interviewing process.  It is at times like this NAUTICAL LOG is pleased to be retired - Mr. Onorato will also most likely be very pleased  that NAUTICAL LOG is retired after he  reads this!!




The vessel operational recorder (Black Box) has been removed as evidence and will be processed to recreate the passage.  This is the evidence which will support any charges which the Master and his Officers may be faced with; the rest is pure speculation and "selling the media" conjecture.  Too often these media reports are written by reporters with little or no knowledge of maritime affairs and only interested in publishing something, anything, "first".  We would remind you of the case of the American student charged with murder whose Italian Prosecutor contrived results and maintained no "chain of evidence", this resulted in her eventual release. 


The Italian Prosecutor Francesco Verusio is now in charge of investigating the MS Costa Concordia grounding.

***********************************************************************************************


We have received a Report in our Press Release folder this morning that the MS Costa Concordia, Captain Schettino, has hit a reef in Italy listed severely with massive flooding of the vessel.  Tragically there has been loss of life and NAUTICAL LOG expresses our sympathy to families concerned.


As of yet there is no explanation of how this accident could have occurred however the videos revealed the vessel was extremely close to a bright red lighthouse and there is massive impact damage midships to the vessel.  One suspects that once again there has been over reliance on electronic navigation and not enough on traditional seamanship.  There is no mention of a Port Pilot being on board the vessel so it is entirely the ships navigation team's responsibility.  The ship was 3 to 4 nautical miles off course in coastal waters a huge error at sea in a large passenger vessel.


So it has finally happened a modern cruise line megaship as been lost with some 4200 persons on board.  That is 3200 passengers and 1000 cremembers, it is what many cruise ship Officers and we former Officers have feared.  The photos of huge rocks torn off the reef and buried in the 40 metre hole in the vessel starboard side are frankly quite terrifying.  From the reports there was considerable panic amongst the mostly European passengers with people jumping into the sea and sadly drowning.  This should trigger a review to ALL CRUISE LINES IMMEDIATELY that the passengers should receive their SAFETY LECTURE in the Passenger Terminal while waiting to board NOT hours later when the vessel is underway.  In the case of the MS Costa Concordia the passenger drill was planned for the next day over 24 hours after the passengers had boarded the vessel.  Goodness knows they wait long enough while being processed that the Safety Lecture could be done before boarding.  It would pass that waiting in a useful and constructive way while giving them time to ask questions and have them answered properly, the allotment for Passenger Emergency Drill after sailing does not really allow this to be done.

As a former cruise lines Safety Officer and Staff Officer NAUTICAL LOG knows from firsthand experience that this should be a Passenger Vessel requirement and enforced by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Marine Safety Office (MSO) in all U.S. Ports and Internationally by National Maritime Authorities.


Good Watch.

Off the coast of Puntland, Somalia some 300 of our fellow seafarers are being held hostage by pirates.  They under the unbelievable stress of being murdered at any moment of any hour of any day.  Do YOU really care - if you do contact your Government to take action for there rescue and freedom. Just saying "Oh! isn't that awful" does not do a damn thing for them.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Many of our readers are not seafarers and judging from the comments to recent Posts have no knowledge of Maritime Law yet comment on Piracy.  NAUTICAL LOG suggests that you visit, read and understand "The Tulane Maritime Law Journal"  Volume 33; Pages 10 through 15, for the definition of Piracy and to whom it applies.  The SSCS seagoing Cult clearly are pirates and Admiral "Wats-his-name" has proudly boasted about being a pirate.


Where does the money come from for the SSCS?  Since NAUTICAL LOG confirmed that the SSCS are a salaried executive Pirate Group paying certain of its employees between $30,000 and $60,000 with the Chief Pirate getting $96,000 we wondered.


Our inquires, which respect the DMCA, led to Australia's "The Sydney Morning Herald" www.smh.com.au  and their Public Domain SSCS Report. It seems one source is the little person in the street with his or her heart in the right place responding to the SSCS "Save the Whales" campaign.  Another source is from Public Figures and the SMH published photographs of these persons.  Perhaps you recognize them and can confirm who they are for NAUTICAL LOG - some faces do seem familiar however we lead a somewhat sheltered life!!



Our thanks to "The Sydney Morning Herald" which has an article all about the SSCS salaried pirates, their expenses and those contributions.


A final note before closing it seems there is a problem viewing your comments to some NAUTICAL LOG Posts.  Perhaps the SSCS are running scared of NAUTICAL LOG and perhaps the SSCS Staffer who was reported to us as interfering recently with our Freedom of Speech under the Bill of Rights of The U.S. Constitution is repeating this interference.  We would request the Blogspot Staff (to whom we can give the name of the SSCS Staffer if required) to look into and clear up any blockage to this DMCA compliant Blog, thank you.  If you cannot read your comment please feel free to contact the Blogspot Staff to assist you.


Good Watch.

Off the coast of Puntland, Somalia some 300 of our fellow seafarers are held hostage by pirates.  They are under threat of being murdered every minute of every hour of every day.  Wonder if anyone is contributing to their rescue and freedom?

THE COST OF "VOLUNTEERING"

Some interesting information from Ecorazzi www.ecorazzi.com this morning.  It appears that while the SSCS seagoing Cult crewmembers pay everything themselves, travel to and from the vessels and all expenses the SSCS top echelon get paid.  The pay scales quoted are salaried employees $30,000 to $60,000 while "Wats-his-name" gets $96,000 - no data about their expenses however.


Now this is fascinating as it confirms the offer made last year to NAUTICAL LOG yes NAUTICAL LOG that archfiend who dares to criticise the SSCS seagoing Cult.  We have an e.mail on file which offered a position as Master to take the MS Steve Irwin from Australia to the United Kingdom.  On following up we were told there would be a salary and expenses would be covered.  All we can conclude from this is that, since we know the SSCS contact to be genuine, there was a dastardly plot to dump NAUTICAL LOG overboard in the Indian Ocean or some strange twisted plan to convert NAUTICAL LOG to the SSCS seagoing Cult way of thinking.  One has to wonder how that was going to work!!


Frankly we thought the dumping to be best bet for SSCS and since we were going to Ireland for the Waterford Sail Training Festival 2011 we declined.  Seriously can you imagine the convoluted thinking of these people to even come up with such an idea.  But then reading the latest of their PR's perhaps one should not be too surprised as the SSCS has long left the realms of reality far behind.


In other SSCS news from Majirox News in Tokyo comes a report that crewmen aboard the Japanese Fishery Protection vessel MS Shonan Maru #2 hurled stun grenades at Sea Shepherd crewmembers who were alongside the JFP in a RHIB.  The Japanese Coastguard reported that a Sea Shepherd RHIB was attempting to disable the vessel by deploying ropes with floats and metal attachments to foul the propeller.  After refusing to respond to instructions given by bullhorn the stun grenades were thrown.


However in fairness to all concerned the news report was not sympathetic to their fellow Japanese and were in fact quite critical.  It is of course an act of Piracy to attempt to harass a vessel in this manner on the High Seas but since no one prosecutes these paid executive pirates why should the SSCS seagoing Cult and their salaried shore Staff pay any attention to Maritime Law.

Good Watch.

That other group of pirates hold 300 of our fellow seafarers hostage off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Day after day they are under the extraordinary stress of being murdered at any moment.  Not a thing is being done to rescue them.  NAUTICAL LOG will keep going on and on about them after every Post until something is done - we will never quit on our fellow seafarers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

AN ILL WIND

A saxophone has been described as an ill wind that nobody blows good.  From the confused Press Releases that arrived in our Press Folder this morning it would seem this may apply to the SSCS writers also. 

Does this look like a "whaling" ship to you?  It does, then join the SSCS seagoing cult they will be delighted to have you.

First of all there was:


"The Shonan Maru Boarding Incident."  followed by,


"Tokyo's Illegal Invasion of World Heritage Area Continues."  then the favourite


"Sea Shepherd Dancing Dangerously With the Outlaw Whaling Fleet in the Southern Ocean." 


this is like something out of those Saturday morning movies we went to see as kids about comic book heroes.

The stuff gets sillier and sillier as this windy operation drifts further and further from the world of reality.  The writing is a collection of twisted around facts to suit the SSCS seagoing Cult preconceived opinions.  There are statements credited to Australian Government personnel which are in turn denied by them and corrected in the Australian newspapers. NAUTICAL LOG senses desperation on the part of both the writers of these PR's and the SSCS seagoing Cult as a whole.  As each year goes by the operations seem to be less and less effective, more and more confused.  Really one is beginning to feel sorry for the pathetic crew trapped on board these SSCS vessels, who may be cold, wet, tired and being fed a Cult diet.


Since there is absolutely nothing of any value either to discuss or indeed believe in these Press Releases NAUTICAL LOG shall let readers visit the SSCS website for themselves. 


One thing that did happen, one of their RHIBs broke down on the trip from the MS Steve Irwin to the MS Shonan Maru #2.  When a vessel cannot maintain its small boats which are key to their harassing tactics it indicates a sad sack crew on board.


For more factual reports visit the ICR-JWF website at www.icrwhale.org/ click on the English version and there are three (3) PR's under 2012.


Good Watch.

Something that is really worth your while to keep informed about is the fact that 300 of our fellow seafarers are held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  There are currently no plans to rescue them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

LOOK WHOSE BEHIND

Don't look now but we're being followed!  In a Press Release, today taken from the Public Domain of the Internet republished News networks, the SSCS website stated:


"The  Yushin Maru #3 is currently, at 1400 AEST, 5 nautical miles off the coast of MacQuarie Island.  The Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker was attempting to shake the tail of the Yushin Maru #3 at MacQuarie."

JWF vessel MS Yushin Maru #3 off MacQuarie Island

The MS Steve Irwin is some 400 nautical miles south of Australia with the MS Shonan Maru #2 at a distance of 10 nautical miles following astern.  So it seems the Japan Fishery Agency is tracking both these SSCS seagoing Cult vessels.  The MS Shonan Maru #2 has the three Australian pirates in detention on board, they will be transferred to the factory ship MS Nisshin Maru once the vessels meet up.  That vessels has secure quarters for detention known as The Brig in maritime terminology.  The three Australian detainees, (who have been abandoned just like Peter Bethune was by the SSCS in a written statement to the Australian Government), can be classed as pirates under International Maritime Law for boarding a vessel underway at sea without the permission of the vessel Master.  Additionally the MS Shonan Maru #2, a former whaling vessel not a whaling vessel as SSCS keeps falsely claiming, is a Japanese Government vessel painted white and marked as required by International Maritime Regulations.


Perhaps the more twisting facts part of the Press Release is the final paragraph:


"The MacQuarie Island is also a World Heritage Site and a whaling vessel has no business in the waters of a natural World Heritage Site."

Radar plot showing Island and vessels

The right of innocent passage is guaranteed to all ships and the JWF MS Yushin Maru #3 has as much right to be there as the SSCS MS Bob Barker also a former whaling vessel.  As usual the SSCS seagoing Cult following typical Cult protocol tries to twist Rules and Regulations around to suit its own purpose but claims the other fellow is wrong when they do the same thing.


Good Watch.

Today 300 of our fellow seafarers are under threat of being murdered while held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  We understand some of these same seafarers have broken under the stress as they enter a third year of captivity.  If NAUTICAL LOG receives evidence of either suicides or murders we shall file a Complaint with the International Court against the Shipowner concerned and the Flag State of the vessel.

Monday, January 9, 2012

MORE "DIVINE WIND" HOT AIR

There is a limit to how much SSCS hot air NAUTICAL LOG can republish - we are more than capable of developing our own!!


On the SSCS website there are two Press Releases this morning updating from their point of view the incident of the boarding of the Japan Fishery Agency Patrol vessel MS Shonan Maru #2.  Do these people really believe there own description of events?  Maybe they cannot see the forest for the trees.


"32° 57' 48" South 115° 20' 24" East"  and  "Australian Whale Defenders on Their Way to Antarctica Against Their Will" are the two named Press Releases.


Here at NAUTICAL LOG we feel that the whole thing was totally contrived.  We have been told that the Press Releases are pre-written before the incident took place.  It seems the SSCS Staff is so divided that a Staffer actually e.mailed us the name of the SSCS Staff member (which we are keeping in confidence in case we decide to take action under OCILLA) who made the complaint to Google® about our Posts claiming violation of the DMCA.


Good Watch.

There are some 300 of our fellow seafarers being held as hostages by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Some are now entering their third year of captivity in deplorable conditions.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

AUSSIES DETAINED

This Post is compiled from Public Domain Press Releases published by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) and republished by Nature News Network®.  This Post complies with the DMCA as recognised under the United States Federal Code.  The  analysis and commentary is by NAUTICAL LOG.

Whodat grey haired guy on the left?

Three Australian citizens are reported detained on board the MS Shonan Maru #2 a guard ship for the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF).  The report states that three persons from Perth, Fremantle and Bunbury, Western Australia respectively.  They came out from shore by boat to intercept the Japanese vessel which was tailing the MS Steve Irwin a vessel of the SSCS seagoing Cult.  The interception took place at a reported position of 32° 00' South Latitude and 115° 21' East Longitude.  Also involved were to small boats from the MS Steve Irwin.  Under cover of darkness the three Australians boarded the Japanese vessel.


This is the MS Shonan Maru #2 kindly published without copyright protection by SSCS.
As can be seen the vessel is painted white and marked on the superstructure
as a Japanese Government vessel.

It would appear that they were immediately detained by the vessels crew which it is understood are Japan Fishery Agency officers.  These are the same tired old tactics tried before which got Peter Bethune charged and tried in the Japanese Justice System.  Of course Admiral "Wats-his-name" does not get personally involved just sends two middle-aged crisis guys and a young man to do his dirty work for him.  Just think these lucky chaps now get to enjoy whale meat sushi, rice in a million different forms, other Japanese delicacies all washed down with green tea.  Then they will be  transferred to a Japan Coastguard vessel and an ocean voyage to the Land of the Rising Sun - Banzai!


At the present time, three Australian citizens are being held as prisoners on board the Japanese vessel MS Shonan Maru #2.


Our readers can access the Sea Shepherd Press Release, read the details for themselves because quite frankly it is hot air propaganda that marks SSCS and this already failed "Operation Divine Wind".  As our informed maritime readers know and both SSCS and Forest Rescue® know it is illegal to board a vessel at sea whether it is the High Seas of International Waters or the Contiguous Zone of a Sovereign Maritime State.  This is a totally contrived situation to cause an international incident, it is dangerous, ignorant of effective behaviour, repeating those tired old tactics and rather stupid. 


Good Watch.

Once again we remind you that 300 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia are now considered hostages.  They could be murdered on the whim of these pirates.

Friday, January 6, 2012

THE DMCA (UPDATED)

Just what is DMCA which you may run across as a Blogger; it means Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  Simply put it is an attempt to control entries made by Bloggers of information obtained from the Internet.


When writing a Blog particularly an activist Blog one sometimes rattles the cage of public figures and bodies.  Most public figures take it in stride and recognise the fact that information put out on the Internet is now in the 'Public Domain'.  Therefore if quoted correctly, preferable in quotes and italics, it may be used by yet another Blogger.  Of course using foul and or abusive language in connection with that quote is quite improper, shows the ignorance of that particular Blogger and greatly reduces the effectiveness of that Bloggers opinions.


As regular readers of NAUTICAL LOG well know we are highly critical of the such bodies as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) mainly on two points.  The two points are, the violent actions taken by the SSCS against fishing methods and fishermen that they have decided should not be out there fishing.  The second point is that the vessels have become a seagoing Cult with all the classic intimidation of the crews to maintain control both while on board and after they leave one of the vessels. 


The public remarks of Peter Bethune the New Zealand Captain of the DVV1 Ady Gil after its controversial sinking caused NAUTICAL LOG to read commentary for about a year.  As a result of this research we came to the conclusion that there was quite a bit of conflict on board these vessels, clear divisions with little or no opinions allowed or considered except those of the hard core leadership of the SSCS.  The 'Whale Wars'® Staff sign confidentiality letters to keep them quiet.  The vessels were clearly operating under a Cult control protocol.


SSCS tries very hard to also control opinions written about it particularly when they are critical and uses intimidation methods to try to do so.  Here at NAUTICAL LOG we have received e.mails with an embedded computer virus and other nasty stuff.  Our protection programme has so far worked well so now it seems someone out there has resorted to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to try and scare NAUTICAL LOG off.

All the Posts which were placed on 'DRAFT' supposedly by Google® have been reviewed and their contents contain only 'Public Domain' Internet information Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Press Releases and  SSCS photographs with no copyright block set to them.


Now we at NAUTICAL LOG have no idea who placed this supposed DMCA complaint (we have since been informed that it was a member of the SSCS shore Staff whose name and location of his residence we have been given) but the better way we think would have been to make a signed comment laying out their own viewpoint where we are wrong, if we are.  Perhaps they do not have the courage of their convictions to do so and take the cowards path by using the DMCA to try to intimidate.


Using the DMCA as a method of intimidation can well be counter-productive because the other party can appeal its usage and show that the DMCA is being used to stifle Freedom of Speech of  The Bill of Rights which for NAUTICAL LOG is guaranteed by The United States Constitution which NAUTICAL LOG is most fortunate to live under.  In addition the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA) protects and acts as a "Safe Harbor" to DMCA.  Readers are referred to the respective articles for both DMCA and OCILLA in Wikipedia®.




Good Watch

Some persons who are under real intimidation, not just the minor irritation to NAUTICAL LOG are the 300 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  They are now being threatened with murder if actions are taken against these same pirates.

NLIN # 49 - M NOTICES

The following M-Notices are now available electronically:


MGN 441 (M+F) Changes to MCA 2002 SOLAS V Publication, Arising out of Amendments to SOLAS Chapter V.


MIN 422 (M) Insurance-Directive Requiring Shipowners of Seagoing Vessels over 300 GT to Maintain Liability Insurance.


If difficulties are experienced contact 023 8032 9391


Good Watch


The 300 of our fellow seafarers are now considered captive hostages by the EURNAVFOR which conducts counter-piracy patrols off the Horn of Africa.  Hopefully this will lead to a serious rescue operation to free them.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

ANOTHER MILESTONE - 60,000

NAUTICAL LOG reached 60,000 visitors earlier today.  As regular readers know we do not have Twitter®, Facebook® or any other accounts so we are found only by Internet search engines.


On another point we have had several responses already to our request to former SSCS crewmembers on their opinions of life on board the vessels of this seagoing cult.  Some of these have been sent as comments to Posts however you can just send them directly to our e-mail address boucp@hotmail.com   and then they will not be published, the choice is yours.


Good Watch

Some people who do not have any choices are the 300 of our fellow seafarers held captive off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Now they are being threatened with death because of action taken against the pirates.  NAUTICAL LOG encourages a rescue operation to save their lives the risks involved would seem worthwhile. 

If any hostage seafarers are murdered NAUTICAL LOG will take legal action by filing a Complaint in the International Court against the Flag State Maritime Authorities and the Shipowners of the vessel involved.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

When persons set themselves up as conservationists they must be prepared and knowledgeable about all aspects involved in conservation.  The SSCS seagoing cult has received information from the Australian Government that it failed to conduct an approved environmental impact assessment (EIA) with regard to the drones they are using to find and track the JWF.  At present this involves only the MS Bob Barker as their other two vessels are not involved in chasing and harassing whalers.


They were advised by the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) Manager Gillian Slocum that the drones were not included in the EIA required to enter Antarctica.  Under the Antarctic Treaty the drones are subject to an EIA and must not be used in the Region otherwise.


The SSCS fleet Admiral "Wats-his-name" made the excuse that they are required to present a complete EIA while the JDF is not treated to the same standards.  While this may well be true Admiral "Wats-his-name" chooses to ignore the fact that just because the other fellow ignores the Law does not entitle him to ignore it.  This is something he well knows and following true Cult protocol uses such differences to show how unfairly he is treated.  With the SSCS seagoing cult history and documented record of violent acts of piracy he should be in gaol serving a life sentence.


Good Watch

The other pirates in Puntland are holding captive some 300 of our fellow seafarers off the coast of Somalia.  Today they threatened to kill some of these captives if any further attempts are made to restrict their activities on land or at sea. It is way past time to rescue these imprisoned seafarers.

A FINAL NOTE

We at NAUTICAL LOG understand from a New Zealand reader that there are quite a few former crewmembers of the SSCS vessels who are no longer under the spell of the SSCS seagoing cult.  In complete and absolute confidence we should like to hear their opinions of life on board these vessels as it actually is. 

We understand that the 'Whale Wars' Staff have been signed to absolute secret agreements.  Of course we are pleased to hear from any crewmember regardless of whether they are now for or against the SSCS seagoing cult.  It is only by hearing all opinions that a fair and balanced final opinion can be developed.   Your e-mails should be sent directly to boucp@hotmail.com  and NOT as comments to our Posts.  We look forward to hearing from you. 

Please remember foul language and abusive writing does not phase us in the least but it renders your opinion ignorant and totally valueless, so it is up to you.  Thank you.

THAT INTREPID NAVIGATOR - AGAIN

In our editorial yesterday we pointed out the required ability as a Navigator to be able to check on one's electronic equipment by traditional methods of navigational skills.


Recently a gentleman from Seattle, WA departed from American Samoa bound for Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands.  He missed!!  Ok! these things do happen and he arrived safely on Kauai some 100 miles away.  There was a US Coast Guard search for him of course at great expense.  Then our intrepid navigator set off for his original planned destination of Honolulu - didn't arrive.  USCG search again,  calls wife in Seattle, WA to say he is just fine but missed Honolulu, Oahu again, ended up on Hawai'i known as the "Big Island" some 208 miles from Oahu. 


Now beyond a joke this guy should be billed for the expenses to we US Taxpayers of this 2nd. USCG search.  One suspects that he is an electronic navigator without a clear ability to programme correctly his equipment and without the navigational ability to check its accuracy.  Another scenario is that this joker is playing games and causing huge expense, wasted time for the USCG with search equipment being deployed that could have been needed for a "real" emergency elsewhere.


Here at NAUTICAL LOG we wonder if he even took a course in navigation at all.  If he did perhaps it was at that School in Seattle which employs the Instructor we mentioned in our editorial yesterday.  So perhaps you can now see the reason for the suggestion that instructional protocols at these Schools be reviewed and revised.  This is the Instructor that had the audacity to criticise NAUTICAL LOG for including a backup method of finding ones position at sea as a "complete waste of time".  This same individual who not only ignores our 60 years of seagoing experience but writes a Blog on space, advanced astronomy and astrophysics.  Perhaps even considers himself superior to us ancient mariners who use "old-fashioned and useless methods of celestial navigation" but unknown to him wrote one of the first "Sight Computation Programmes" back in the early 70's.


Well we warned y'all in our Editorial yesterday of our 2012 approach to nautical bovine scatology and this is the first attack - stand by for more as the year progresses.  Perhaps we will improve teaching methods and subject matter, have these intrepid navigators checked out prior to their departures on ocean voyages, save huge costs to we US Taxpayers for unnecessary search and rescue missions but most importantly SAVE LIVES.

Good Watch

A note also to all you international racing yachtspersons and others that those 300 of our fellow seafarers are still being held captive by pirates off Somalia.  We hope y'all arrived safely in Dubai, please be careful that you do not cut yourself on all that barbed wire but then one supposes there is a first class medical team ready to clean your cut and put on a Band-Aid.  Of course those seafarers off Somalia do not even have humanly acceptable living conditions.  Do you not feel just a little guilty as you quaff your drinks and party - no guess not.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

AN EDITORIAL - FULL AHEAD IN 2012

Well here we go FULL AHEAD for 2012 a busy year to improve our economy and in November hold a Federal Election for a President.


The only New Year Resolution that NAUTICAL LOG has made is to be more fully alert to incompetence in the maritime world.  While we may not be writing  many comments to other maritime Blogs this year we shall be carefully monitoring them.  Then we may very well write and publish a Post on the subject matter and they are going to be rather direct. 


During 2011 there was an increasing lack of basic seamanship, careless navigation with far too much emphasis on electronics without the training or ability to do checks on electronic equipment by traditional navigational methods.  Even some Instructors in Navigation at the Maritime Schools have this attitude, they need to sit down, discuss, review and revise their teaching protocol.  At sea a ships position should be found and confirmed "by every available method".  As an example if a vessel is on a coastal passage the position must be plotted every 20 minutes, and if her speed is over 16 knots every 10 minutes.  That is plotted because it should be known continuously that is the advantage of that electronic equipment, however the Watchofficer/Navigator still needs to plot cross bearings.


The behaviour of many United States Naval (USN) Officers was disgraceful with Command, and Watchofficer Reliefs in several vessels.  The reports of foul language used to Offiers to Enlisted is inexcusable, one of the first indicators of poor leadership is using foul language to emphasis Orders and Instructions.  There were several dismissals  from Service by Courts Martial verdict.  NAUTICAL LOG also got an e-mail stating that Celestial Navigation is no longer taught at the Naval Academy - can this possibly be true?  The Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point seems to also have drifted off course, fortunately there is still SUNY which we understand is performing well.  Clearly we need a complete review of the course we are following in the maritime world.

And then there is Piracy.  Isn't it just wonderful that vast sums of money can be spent on expensive racing yachts, which it seems kept falling apart on previous legs of the Race, to transport them by a specially armed ship from South Africa to Dubai for a leg of the yacht race of interest to a relative handful of extremely wealthy persons who can involve themselves in these trivialities.  Meanwhile three hundred seafarers (300) rot in captivity off Somalia without much interest in their well being or a single attempt to free them - SHAME ON THE YACHTING WORLD GREAT SHAME.

But to finish on a more positive note one of the many nice things that happened to NAUTICAL LOG in 2011 was William van Dorp (Tugster) visiting when he came through Coral Gables, FL this Summer.  Their is a particularly nice photo in his Blog of this tall talented Dutch-American and NAUTICAL LOG reproduces it here, and without his permission - the presumption of friendship!!

Tall person "Tugster" at the helm
So then finally HAPPY NEW YEAR to y'all, black-eyed-pea soup for dinner tonight in the best tradition of The South - Roooll Tide.


Good Watch.