Thursday, May 31, 2012


The following M-Notices are available at if you have problems contact 023 8032 9391.

MGN 449 (M) ELECTRICAL - Potential Hazards of Excessive Harmonic Distortion of Current and Voltage of Onboard Electrical Systems.

MGN 451 (M+F) Risk of Exposure to Radiation.

MIN 428 (M) Navigation: Vessel Traffic Systems V103 and Local Port Services Course Dates 2012 - 2013.

Good Watch

Please be aware and remember that nearly 600 of our fellow seafarers are held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  There are NO current plans in place to rescue them.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


USS New York the right way

MS Mingzhu No. 7 the wrong way

In the nautical world as in other professions there is a right way to behave and a wrong way.  Recently we had two vessels pass under bridges across rivers coming from an upriver shipyard.  Here in America the USS New York passed under a bridge spanning the Mississippi - it went well.

In China a vessel the MS Mingzhu No.7 passed under a bridge spanning a Chinese river - it went badly.  So one learns to perhaps not use upriver shipyards or make the clearance calculations accurately.

Here in South Florida, more particularly the Spanish speaking "Banana Republic of Miami-Dade County" there has been a case in Miami Federal Court involving a local ship surveyor.  According to the report in gCAPTAIN® this morning which gives his name, however NAUTICAL LOG chooses not too, he was found guilty of maritime fraud and lying to the USCG - never a good idea.

The charges involved his clearing two vessels as seaworthy which were actually anything but, the vessels were MS Cala Galdana and MS Cosette.  The person concerned is/was a Miami based contract ship surveyor for Bolivia a land locked nation which has a dubious ship registry.  The ship surveyor was convicted of making false statements and obstructing a U.S. Coast Guard Port State Control examination he therefore faces a possible 15 year sentence.

It is unfortunate that working in the maritime industry in this "Banana Republic" part of our Nation involves cultural clashes on a daily basis with people who have the attitude that if the Law can be circumvented by a "consideration" between persons then this is quite an acceptable way of doing business. NAUTICAL LOG finds this to be personally insulting to one's professional standards.  As one has found out since retiring from sea-going and living ashore this behaviour is found in all sections of, professions and economic levels of the local society.  There does not seem to be any feeling that something wrong is being done under the Laws of the country that gave more than 65% of the Miami-Dade County population a place to settle and start a new life.  Rather than incorporate into the lifestyle of the United States they have imposed a foreign lifestyle, language, political standards which reflect the 65% cultural attitude and values on the entire local population.  This is not how the remainder of we immigrants who live here behave and it is unacceptable that we are treated as "gringos" in our own Country.

So it is encouraging when persons such as this Miami based ship surveyor who violate the Law are charged, and are tried to be punished according in the Federal Courts.  Yes! NAUTICAL LOG has had a very difficult week but will be damned if we will tolerate being dictated too by that 65%.

Good Watch

* Please note that no ANONYMOUS comments to this Post will be published whatsoever.*

There remain, in spite or perhaps because of the talk at the London MSC-IMO Conference nearly 600 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  No rescue for them is planned or foreseeable.  This is an international disgrace on a par with the slaughter of innocents in Syria.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Peter Hammarstedt
UPDATE: Monday 21, 2012.

In Germany "Wats-his-name" has been released from gaol/jail on bail of €250,000.  He must remain in Germany while the extradition order from Costa Rica is being processed.  The President of Costa Rica, who is a former Minister of Justice, is on an official visit to Germany this week.  My, My, what a coincidence!!


UPDATE: Sunday May 20, 2012.

The extradition proceedings will continue on Monday in Frankfurt, Germany for SSCS pirate group leader "Wats-his-name".  The German Justice Ministry has set a bail of €250,000 for his release  and this money has apparently been placed at the disposal of the SSCS by a supporter.

If the Judge does release "Wats-his-name" on bail he must remain in Germany until the extradition proceedings by Costa Rica are complete.  Well good luck on him doing that! This means he cannot go to Paris, France for fund raising sessions based on the book "Interview with a Pirate" - well supposedly anyway, good luck with that too!! So once again "Wats-his-name" has openly declared he is a pirate and that supporter is in the position of making the money available to release an international self-declared pirate into the public domain once again.

Is it any wonder that NAUTICAL LOG - with possibly others - gets frustrated by the lack of effort to rescue the some 300 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia when there are people willing to put up funds to release them into the public domain.  Should we be concerned that "Wats-his-name" could get a hard time in jail in Costa Rica for his acts of piracy.  Frankly it is hard to imagine anything actually happening to "Wats-his-name" after his release from a German gaol/jail next week.  Piracy is piracy and maybe someday some Government Authority - the Germans came close - will get real courage to seriously punish the whole damn lot of them and their contemptible behaviour.


For whatever reason the German Ministry of Justice has not released Paul Watson.  There was a Prosecution motion presented which was delayed until the last moment this week and with a national holiday in Germany "Wats-his-name" remains in gaol/jail.

Of course the Sea Shepherd propaganda machine kicked into full speed and as so often happens with the SSCS their statement was inaccurate.  On May 16, 2012 SSCS members Peter Hammarstedt  (research found no Seaman's Papers, Officers Certificate or License) and Scott West (a retired U.S. EPA investigator) in their press conference at Frankfurt Airport came out with a statement which included:

"Germany considers sending whale defender to what will be a death sentence in Costa Rica".

Well now that is dramatic and catches the attention of those disciples of the SSCS.  They then went on:

"Your generous donation will help keep Captain Paul Watson out of harm's way and allow him to fulfill his mission."

Ahh! that key phrase.  No doubt it will and the money will support the Sea Shepherd pirate ships to continue to violate International Maritime Law.  However either the SSCS does not actually know the Law of Costa Rica or choose to ignore it as a fund raising gimmick.  Why is that?  You see when researching for this Post  NAUTICAL LOG found that Costa Rica abolished the death penalty in 1877 - yes 1877.

While it very possible that "Wats-his-name" will not have a very good time in a jail in Costa Rica he should not face the death penalty in the Courts of Costa Rica for his - boastfully self-admitted - acts of piracy. Is the SSCS lying once again about issues?  One has to wonder.

Good Watch.

The pirates of the Horn of Africa hold some 300 of our fellow seafarers as hostages off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  As such they face mutilation and death every day.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu

The IMO Conference of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 90th. Session, May 16 - 25 2012 has been opened by IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu.  The High-level segment of which is arms on board merchant vessels.

In his opening address the Secretary-General mentioned various points and no doubt as in the past there will be numerous speeches and high moral statements.  Like UNCLOS Nations will eventually sign or not sign (as the United States has not) but will still vigorously enforce the laws of UNCLOS (as the United States does) when it suits them.

Of the points that were covered in the Opening Address the one that interested NAUTICAL LOG because of our viewpoint on it was  Resolution A. 1044 (27) which states:

"Resolution A. 1044 (27) on piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia endorses the position of this Committee that seafarers should not carry firearms and that the carriage of armed personnel on board ships for enhancing their protection should be left to the Flag State to decide, once a through risk assessment exercise has been carried out and following consultations with the shipowners concerned."

This Resolution has given the "green light" to all pirates that it is now quite unlikely they will meet with any resistance from vessel crews.  As a result NAUTICAL LOG believes this has encouraged the spread of piracy out from the Horn of Africa to all over the northern Indian Ocean.  In addition the West Coast of Africa piracy is in full swing again and appears more spread than in the 1980's when NAUTICAL LOG sailed those waters for two (2) years.  Our ship carried arms and on occasions we worn sidearms publicly by this display all the locals knew we were dangerous to mess with.  We had the full support of the charterers and our owners left it to the ship personnel.  In addition we hired Northern Nigerian tribesmen armed with bows and arrows (!) who kept an excellent watch while on that coast.  Whatever the decision made by others in our case we were boarded only once in those two (2) years.  That occurred in Lagos at Tin Can Island and our NN tribesmen watchers quickly dealt with that incident. 

We shall have to wait and see what is said and more importantly what, if anything, is done as a result of this Conference of the MSC.  Judging by past experience do not expect to much!!


Another viewpoint which is worth reading is an interview with the DPA and CSO of GARDLINE MARINE SERVICES in gCaptain®

A packed room !!

Good Watch

And while the MSC makes speeches some 300 of our fellow seafarers are being held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Some are in their third year of captivity many in their second year.  The talk goes on but no action is ever taken to rescue and free them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It is with quite some amazement that NAUTICAL LOG has now arrived at 75,000 visitors since starting this Blog.  We use only our Blog to publish our views or comments to other Blogs having no RSS®, Facebook® or Twitter® accounts or links to them.

When we started out it was our intention to write on maritime subjects and see if there was any interest.  From the beginning we planned not to have any additional writers, follow the DMCA rules of publishing, try to write to a high standard in the English language but accommodate certain other languages in which we had some familiarity and most definitely use spell check!!

As we look back over the years the comments on some of the subjects we have written about have in some cases completely reversed in opinion.  Once most were critical of our stance on certain subjects, now they seem to reflect an understanding of the NAUTICAL LOG viewpoint while not necessarily fully agreeing with it - which of course was our intent - its called education.

We have had a long and varied career at sea and now ashore which put us in contact with many peoples from many countries, actually visiting those countries in our voyaging and also on holidays/vacations.  It is true what Winston Churchill said that Americans and British are two peoples divided by a common language, being a dual national citizen as he was NAUTICAL LOG finds it all too true.

So we arrived at our 75,000th. visitor today, if you are wondering it was according to Sitemeter®, the Defence Research Establishment, Ottawa, Canada where NAUTICAL LOG lived for several years and served in the Canadian Coastguard.  There we see Churchill's point Canada following mostly British spelling in English (one of its two national languages the other being french) spells "defence" with a "c" while down here in the USA it is spelt "defense" with an "s".  Vive la diffĂ©rence!!

Hope you continue to enjoy the Posts and comment when moved by the words!! As always

Good Watch

Please also remember the some 300 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  Frankly it breaks my heart to know they face mutilation and death each day and nothing is being done to rescue them.


To the surprise of most if not all of us the Sea Shepherd self-declared international pirate "Wats-his-name" was arrested and then detained by a German Judge on Monday.  He sits in gaol/jail in Frankfurt, Germany under a warrant issued by the current Government of Costa Rica. The SSCS regards this as wrongful detention but the German Court is merely acting under International Law at the request of the Government of Costa Rica so it is quite legal.  Any change of status will have to be made with the input of Costa Rica.  It should also be remembered that it is not so long ago that an Interpol Blue Notice was issued for "Wats-his-name" being the result of legal action by Japan.

It would seem that his own bombastic language came back to haunt him and the Judge reasoned that "Wats-his-name" would not observe any bond arrangement made in the German Court while the extradition order requested by Costa Rica was processed.  This procedure can take several months and while a German jail is relatively comfortable compared to those of Costa Rica ones freedom is severely restricted.

While he sits there it might be a good idea for him to reflect on his life and the misery he has caused many of the young people who crewed his ships.  Full of environmental protection enthusiasm they foolishly joined his vessels working without any salary (except for those commanding the vessel NAUTICAL LOG has e-mails on that subject on file) under an unbelievable SSCS "Employment Contract" which would not hold water in any Court.  They travelled at their own expense joining and leaving the vessel and eat a rather poor diet for a life at sea, even on occasions running short of basics and begging for supplies on the dockside while selling souvenirs.  Life on board has not always been pleasant or indeed on occasions safe, some Kiwis one year in Antarctica became quite violent and "Wats-his-name" little sycophant officers could not control them .  Do not believe that? then review the "Whale Wars"® tapes. We are told that "Wats-his-name" behaves one way when the cameras are on and quite another way when the cameras are off, that also shows up on "Whale Wars"® tapes.  Screaming hysterically from the Bridge at untrained boat crews is not going to teach them how to launch and recover a RHIB.

As to those who have crewed the SSCS vessels they are now on every security database worldwide, when they passed in through an airport, joined a vessel, left a vessel, passed out through an airport, returned to their home country or country of residence.  The behaviour of "Wats-his-name" pirate tactics reflects fully on them and is part of their record.  Should they now wish to make a fresh start in life at sea that will be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible.  With their SSCS record they will not be able to obtain Seaman's Papers or hold required certificates such as STCW or will lose the ones they have at renewal time.   Without those no vessel can legally hire them and if it does it places itself and its Master at great risk with the practically certain punishment for the Master of losing his/her own Seaman's Papers.

It is the practice of NAUTICAL LOG when operating under a Consulting Contract to insist that all the crew backgrounds are reviewed and the point that none are former SSCS crewmembers thoroughly checked.  This protects both the Company being advised and of course NAUTICAL LOG.

Good Watch

Once again we would remind our readers that some 300 of our fellow seafarers are held hostage by pirates off the coast Puntland, Somalia.  As such that face mutilation and death everyday.  Nothing is being done to rescue them even after three (3) years in captivity.

Monday, May 14, 2012


UPDATE: Tuesday 5/15/2012.

Surprise, surprise, sometimes it is so nice to be wrong! 

At his German Court appearance the self declared international pirate Paul Watson ("Wats-his-name") was remanded in custody by the Judge and escorted to gaol/jail.  His German lawyer one Oliver Wallasch, said afterwards that "Wats-his-name" was shocked by the Courts ruling and for once it seems he had nothing to say.

Perhaps finally the tide has turned this individual now being regarded and being treated like the nautical criminal that he is.  The Judge of the German Court has so declared what we professional mariners have always known.  Besides the Costa Rica, and Faeroe Islands warrants there is of course Japan which has suffered from the thuggish behaviour of the Sea Shepherds for years.

It is likely that other Sea Shepherd crew may also now be arrested particularly those who have commanded the boats that have violated both the National Laws and International Maritime Laws of countries around the world.

Good Watch


When NAUTICAL LOG opened both e-mail and Press Folders this morning there was news of the arrest of CAPT. Paul Watson ("Wats-his-name") of SSCS at Frankfurt Airport, Germany on Saturday.  While anything that spoils "Wats-his-names" day is fine by NAUTICAL LOG we also are firm supporters of the Rule of Law. 

This arrest is a nonsense stemming from some phony charges from Costa Rica which resulted due to an incident which occurred in 2002, ten years ago.  Goodness knows there are enough recent incidents to charge this international pirate (his own words not mine) with and he should perhaps be handed over to the Japanese first then on to Costa Rica.

By the time this Post is published NAUTICAL LOG expects that "Wats-his-name" will be back free to pound the strasses of Germany begging for money to support his pirate organization once again.  He is being assisted in Germany by two Euro-parliament MEP's which raises the question - is it now the duty of MEP's to assist international pirates when they are arrested?

The charges preferred by Costa Rica are ten years old and since then, if one remembers correctly, there have been both constitutional changes and environmental laws passed in Costa Rica which protect - supposedly - sealife including the sharks.  No doubt if "Wats-his-name" ever did land in the Justice System of Costa Rica the charges would be dismissed.  One therefore presumes he upset someone in Germany and this is an act of harassment in exchange.  Rather pathetic, a waste of Bundespolizei time, free press for Sea Shepherds and lack of respect for the Rule of Law.

Good Watch

Still held in captivity as hostages by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia are some 300 of our fellow seafarers the MEP's would be better employed trying work towards a rescue and set them free.  No doubt the MEP's mentioned above are from the Green Party.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The following M-Notices are now available at any difficulties call 023 8032 9391

MGN 448 (M)   Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention, 1978 as Amended
Manila Amendments: Medical Certification, Hours of Work and Alcohol Limits

MIN 427 (M)   Lifejackets - Withdrawal of General Exemption to Carry Lifejackets on Class V Vessels on Inland Lakes

Good Watch

There are some 300 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia as such they face mutilation or death at any moment.  There are currently no plans to rescue them.


From various Media Reports and the comments to them it seems that many who are commenting do not know what the Nautical Rules are, let alone having read and understood them.  Some are still wallowing in that great nautical misconception of "steam gives way to sail".  Nothing could be further from the truth and if you settle down to read and understand the Nautical Rules 1 to 38 plus the annexes and other data all will be revealed to you.  This is another advantage of having a maritime license one has to study and pass a comprehensive examination in the Nautical Rules.

For those of you involved in yacht racing and those of you who state you do not know about yacht racing - but still comment on it - the instructions of the yacht race committee do NOT supersede the "International Rules of the Road" in any way whatsoever.  The Nautical Rules - International or Inland as applicable to the waters operated in are always in force.  If a situation occurs in which a conflict appears likely between the Nautical Rules and the race instructions the Nautical Rules must be followed.

Should an incident occur the Admiralty Court will base its judgement on whether the Nautical Rules where followed and regard the race instructions as an advisement to the race participants only.  This includes those Local Notices to Mariners which go out on these occasions they are an advisement to mariners to be aware and stress the importance of fully obeying Rule 5 of the Nautical Rules.  Such advisements cannot and do not change the application of the Nautical Rules which can only be addressed and changed at an International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conference after lengthy discussion and ratification by the member Governments. 

NAUTICAL LOG has seen some race committee instructions and Local Notices to Mariners which give the impression that "temporary" changes are in place during these races - this is absolutely false - always follow the Nautical Rules as in COMDTINST M16672.2 latest edition.

Good Watch

Off the coast of Puntland, Somalia there are some 300 of our fellow mariners held hostage by pirates, as such they face mutilation and death daily.  Can you help rescue them?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


All vessels, of all sizes, of all Nations, are covered by the "International Rules of the Road" which were first formulated and published in the 1840's.  Since then there was a major revision in 1972 and amendments in later years.  In the United States of America the Rules are the responsibility of the United States Coast Guard to both publish and enforce them, this is done under NAVIGATION RULES INTERNATIONAL - INLAND COMDTINST M16672.2 followed by a letter indicating the current edition.

All vessels are required to have a copy of the Rules on board (with few exceptions) and all persons operating a vessel of any size are required to know and follow the Rules.  Unfortunately those unlicensed persons in recreational boating often do not have this required knowledge.  One of the areas where it is clearly lacking is South Florida, which unfortunately is where NAUTICAL LOG resides.

There are some 37 Rules with Rule 38 Exemptions being followed by Annex l to V.

Of these the most important is RULE 5, which states:


Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

This is of course the key Rule to all the rest of the Rules which cannot be followed if the vessel operators do not know who and what is out there.  Immediately one can see the risk in "single-handed" passages and in a disabled person making passages without a non-disabled shipmate.  This is not discriminating against disabled persons, in fact one of the principal reasons NAUTICAL LOG came ashore was because of hearing loss.  If you read  RULE 5 again it requires "hearing" as part of the look-out protocol.

Today vessels are much larger, much faster, and much under-manned.  In daylight there is often only one person on the Bridge on Watch and at night there are only two.  However at night the Engine Room is most often unmanned, except in larger passenger vessels.  So in total there are less people involved in obeying Rule 5 and that single Watch person is engaged in several other duties on the Bridge is therefore multitasking which means distracted from look-out and obeying Rule 5.

In recent weeks there have been several accidents in ocean yacht races sadly the most recent took 4 lives and completely destroyed the yacht involved.  Now NAUTICAL LOG has absolutely no knowledge about how they had their Watch set up.  The best way would be to have two on deck and two resting with a rotation that they felt was best for them.  One on deck would be monitoring the course if steering by auto-pilot or busy steering the yacht by hand.  The other person would be fully engaged in obeying Rule 5 by keeping the look-out.

In spite of good equipment both on the other vessels which might be in the area as well as the equipment in your vessel it is the look-out that is required by Rule 5, not as a suggestion but as a must be obeyed Rule of the "International Rules of the Road".

Good Watch.

Once again we would draw your attention to the some 300 of our fellow mariners held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  They face mutilation and death every hour of every day month after month and many year after year.