Thursday, February 28, 2013



March 05, 2013.

The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican has now been closed to the Public as it is being prepared for the Conclave to elect a new Pope when the date is decided upon.  Some additional Cardinals have now arrived in Rome, Italy.  Of the 115 Cardinal Electors only 107 had been present, it appears all are now in Rome or on their way to the Congregation of Cardinals currently Meeting twice each day.  It is understood these Meetings will be held once a day from now on.  From remarks made in Media interviews it appears that some Cardinal Electors are uncomfortable with the current format of the title being used to address Benedict XVI, it would also appear that at present this is having an effect on the overall proceedings.  We have a historical event without precedent and the Conclave must not be rushed if the Roman Catholic Church is to survive its current disasters and move towards a revised future with clarity and strength guiding the Lay Roman Catholic Community.

The Cardinal Dean drafted a Telegram which was approved at one of the Meetings and sent to Benedict XVI so clearly they are conscious of his presence.  However once locked into the Sistine Chapel in Conclave things have a way of changing - one hopes - in this extremely private atmosphere and a newly elected Pope chooses a path which is often rather different to that generally expected. 

We cannot have in the least way any sense of a former Pope hovering in the background so we believe the first act of the new Pope must be to remove the Emeritus title being used by Benedict XVI at present and perhaps give the one we suggested in the March 01, 2013 UPDATE below or something similar in the Ordained Ranks.  Otherwise the Lay Community of Roman Catholics is going to be comparing the former Pope to the new Pope, start supporting one or the other and follow one or the other thus further dividing this troubled Church.  A clear break from the past and a clear path forward is needed - indeed demanded - by the Roman Catholic Lay Community.  Current issues, both secular and religious, of importance to the Lay Community must be addressed openly with the participation and input of that Lay Community in equal Conference with the Roman Catholic Church religious leaders, resolved in a secular, and religious manner then fully published.

So how is all this to be done?  There is actually no requirement that a Pope be chosen from within the College of Elector Cardinals.  This may well be the time to choose in Conclave a prominent Ordained Roman Catholic Churchman from outside the College of Cardinals with the will, determination and capability to address the issues from a point of view unhampered by the rather stifling atmosphere of wearing the Red Hat bringing in a fresh perspective on the many issues troubling the Roman Catholic Church and move forward with the Lay Community which is so desirous of a Leadership having clarity and the strength to see things through to completion.

An example of that stifling atmosphere of the College of Cardinals is the interview of Marc Cardinal Ouellet by CBC News Canada.  He is a french-Canadian brought up in small town Roman Catholic Quebec and rose through the Church Ranks in typical traditional fashion.  It is clear he is not particularly concerned about the Lay Community and therein lies the problem of the Roman Catholic Church.  There is a sense of arrogance and superiority in his manner which with education widespread and indeed often much less narrowly focused in the Lay Community than that of these Leading Churchman is found very offensive by that Lay Community.  By regarding the issues as "secondary" and not addressing these issues so important to the Lay Community the College of  Cardinals will bring about the destruction of the Roman Catholic Church themselves. 

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM

March 01, 2013.

The ceremonies in connection with the resignation, the first in 600 years, of Benedict XVI are over now we are awaiting the Meetings of the Cardinals leading to the Date of Conclave in the Vatican Sistine Chapel which will elect the next Pope.  It is hoped that unlike last time this Conclave will not be rushed as this is most likely the most important Conclave in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.  We would like to suggest that those interested in history research and read about Malachy (1094 - 1148) an Irish Churchman who made an extraordinary prediction regarding the Popes which ends with this next Pope.  It is sobering stuff, much disliked by the Vatican which often indicates that they are highly concerned about its level of truth and accuracy.  To date those predictions have been remarkably accurate.  This perhaps is the time to comment on the future Roman Catholic Church Rank of Joseph Benedict XVI Ratzinger. 

Since there is no history as to how resigned Popes will be treated or how they should dress even we believe it is highly improper for him to continue to wear white.  In the Roman Catholic Church this colour worn with red shoes is the garb of only one person that is the serving Pope.  By continuing to wear white Joseph Ratzinger givens the unfortunate impression of clinging to a certain degree of papal power which is highly improper. We would suggest therefore that Joseph Ratzinger be given the title of Retired Archbishop of St. John Lateran Basilica and wear a black cassock with purple trimmings and a skull cap of purple that being the Bishops colour.

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM

February 28, 2013.


For those of you who are interested in history and historical events we have added a link to the Vatican at and have also entered it in our MY BLOG LIST.

As of 1400 (2 pm) Eastern Time Zone the Roman Catholic Church is without a Pope and in the interim will be led by the College of Cardinals.  After a series of meetings starting on Monday March 04, 2013 amongst these same Cardinals the date for the Conclave will be decided upon.  On that date the Cardinals will meet in Conclave in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City to discuss and vote on the selection of a new Pope.

There has been so much mis-information and inaccuracies of reporting from the various Media sources broadcasting the resignation, the first in 600 years, of the last Pope Benedict XVI that we would like to suggest that you access the Vatican link to find out what is actually going on and the dates of the activities - it is available in several languages including English.

At 1400 today the Swiss Guard at  also available in several languages including English, left their guard posts and closed various doors at both Castel Gandolfo outside Rome, Italy and within the Vatican City - they guard only the Pope and that position is Apostolica Sedes Vacans.  Immediately the Corps of Gendarmerie of the Vatican City took over guard and security duties.  This status will remain in place until a new Pope is elected at Conclave.

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM

Monday, February 25, 2013


Here at NAUTICAL LOG we have just received an important piece of information from our contact within the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS/SSAL).  Please note this data is presently unconfirmed however we have reason to believe it is correct so we decided to publish.  It is after all what is needed after the reckless stupidity of ramming a loaded tanker by the prime sycophant who captains, with appalling seamanship, the SSCS pirate ship MS Bob Barker.

SSCS/SSAL pirate operations report the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) operated 140 metre MS Shirase AGB 5003 a JMSDF manned icebreaker has arrived at the location of the JWF.  She is equipped with three (3) large helicopters which are weapons capable.

It is clear that after the insanity of actions by the SSCS/SSAL pirate fleet the Japanese have finally decided that a strong response is needed.  Any further vessel ramming and one would suspect the SSCS/SSAL pirate vessels will come off second best.

NAUTICAL LOG believes this is the type of action that the Australian Government, which claims these Waters as part of its Sea Territory, should have taken.  Now the Japanese have established military control in International Waters under International Maritime Law in defense of piracy on the High Seas.  Further utilising JMSDF Boarding Teams they can easily detain Paul Watson under the terms of the Interpol Red Notice issued for his bail jumping in Germany and may well do so.

Good Watch.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


In MY BLOG LIST NAUTICAL LOG has added a new link to an interesting website and for some an important one International Cruise Victims.  We were directed to this website through Cruise Law News the website of a maritime lawyer in Miami, Fl.

He has just posted a short article about the desire of the United States Government to more closely control the cruise ships sailing out of United States Ports.  His article gives the impression that there is no control by the Federal Government at present over the foreign-flagged and foreign registered companies operating these cruise ships.   These vessels all sail under IMO-STCW Regulations which apply equally to all ships whether they are U.S. flagged or foreign-flagged vessels, the Regulations are enforced by the Flag State and by USCG as the Port State in United States Ports.   The suggestion that this U.S. control is to raise standards is nonsense it is actually to tax the corporations creating yet another source of revenue for this Administration to spend frivolously.

NAUTICAL LOG would suggest that should that control ever happen, which is highly unlikely, it would be extremely detrimental to the cruise industry and further would destroy the cruise industry sailing from United State Ports as we know it today - with the loss of thousands of U.S. jobs.  As an example of what could and would happen NAUTICAL LOG would point to what happened in the State of Hawai'i when this actually did occur, at present there are no more Hawai'i based cruise ships sailing out of Honolulu, Oahu or even the shorter lived Inter-Island Ferries. Then there is the less than stellar watchkeeping during the last few seasons of the small U.S. flagged U.S. manned cruise vessels in Alaskan Waters with groundings due to not reading the tide tables correctly, missing turns, and hitting charted underwater obstructions and getting to close to calving glaciers.  This year the 2013 Summer Season will have even more big cruise ships transferred to these Alaskan Waters in addition to the small ship operators.  The Ports and fjords will be crowded and strict discipline with first class watchkeeping will be required if incidents are to be avoided, this is an area of strong tidal currents, large tidal range, fog, heavy rain and even snow at the beginning of the season which starts around Easter.  Then add in the tugs and tows, the numerous fishing vessels, the B.C. Ferries under the Canadian flag, which has had some serious problems of its own and the Alaska Ferries under the U.S. flag.  These ferries are on dedicated routes and set courses to give the service required on this coast by keeping a fixed schedule.  All other vessel operators should be very familiar with their routes and schedules, then last but not least their are the private vessels many of whom do not even seem to know the Nautical Rules of the Road much less follow them.

The article also states that there is no Federal oversight of these vessels so let me state from personal experience as a Safety Officer and Staff Officer in U.S. based foreign-flagged cruise ships this statement is less than accurate.  It is now a decade since NAUTICAL LOG retired but in the meantime the International Regulations (IMO-STCW) have increased and tightened considerably.

During the 25 years NAUTICAL LOG sailed in U.S. based cruise ships we dealt with the USCG having Inspections every three (3) months with full Fire and Lifeboat Evacuation Drills, in addition we had regular shipboard visits from NTSB, USCG, FBI, ATF and the DEA had "undercover agents" on board every voyage sailing as passengers.  As the Safety Officer one became particularly aware of the DEA Agents because they would appear in the crew quarters and thus have to explain themselves as to why they were there.  Now one might not call this "oversight" but it sure was "awareness."  On arrival in a U.S. Port the U.S. Customs, Immigration, Agriculture and Health Agents all boarded to exercise their Rights to inspect the vessel going wherever they wanted too.  If there had been an event during the voyage add to these NTSB, USCG, FBI, local Fire Rescue Department, local County Police, since the Ports are usually County owned and the State Police.  Quite a crowd all of whom acquired full "awareness" of the vessel if not "oversight."

As we have said  here before there are always at least two points of view to every happening in life and this point of view is based on the personal experience of NAUTICAL LOG.

Good Watch.

Thursday, February 21, 2013




February 27, 2013.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th. District in Washington upheld the Injunction confirming the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) are pirates.  This makes their Operation Zero Tolerance a pirate operation subject to full punishment as such under International Maritime Law (IML).  NAUTICAL LOG hopes that the JMSDF MS Shirase AGB 5003 is indeed with the JWF and exercises her right under IML and the Interpol Red Notice to board the SSCS/SSAL vessels and detain both Paul Watson and since he was at the time of ramming captaining the MS Bob Barker his prime sycophant Peter Hammerstedt.  They should then be brought to Japan for trial and punishment under IML for Acts of Piracy.  It is past time for this annual nonsense to be shut down. 

Further NAUTICAL LOG would suggest to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Esq. that he read the Appeals Court Ruling and reconsider his totally inappropriate remarks by telephone to the National Press Club Conference in early February 2013.


This morning NAUTICAL LOG received  information about a recent SSCS pirate group press conference which we read several times in growing astonishment.

On February 11, 2013 a press conference was held at the National Press Club to announce that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was presenting a case against the Institute of Cetacean Research to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Several speakers were listed one of whom was Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Esq.  as it turned out he his flight was cancelled due to fog and he spoke by telephone.

Now as most if not all of us know the Kennedy family has been beset by tragic circumstances, both of their own and others making, and by their own behaviour in life.  The original Kennedy who immigrated to America came from a farm in County Wexford, Ireland about 30 miles from where NAUTICAL LOG was born in Waterford City, Ireland.  One might think with the background of this tragic family Mr. Kennedy Jr. Esq. would live a reserved quiet life making rather conservative statements carefully thought out.  Sadly not so.

In his telephone remarks to the National Press Club conference Mr. Kennedy Jr. Esq. said the following in part:

"..............and I'm participating to express our solidarity and willingness to work on the legal issues with Mr. Moure and the other attorneys to safeguard and to protect Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd and its mission on the high seas because it's a mission that only they are capable of accomplishing and that is absolutely vital to the enforcement of international agreements on the high seas which otherwise will go unenforced."

This is unbelievable, here is an attorney whose father was publicly murdered and whose uncle the United States President was publicly murdered.  He is supporting legal action to protect the lowest class of maritime person a pirate on the High Seas, a person who has shown he has no personal honour by jumping bail in Germany, is an international fugitive under an Interpol Red Notice and has broken his word repeatedly while making flamboyant bombastic statements, most recently has rammed ships on the High Seas engaged in High Seas refuelling in violation of both International Maritime Law and an Injunction by the U.S Ninth District Court to which he had publicly announced he would obey.

Mr. Kennedy Jr. Esq. has possibly committed an Act of Sedition his remarks being the encouragement to defy the U.S. Government by the defiance of the Injunction as issued namely remain 500 metres from any JWF vessels.   This one would think is grounds for disbarment hearings since Mr. Kennedy Jr. Esq. is an Officer of the Court.  For whatever reason this person Paul Watson seems to attract to his pirate cult persons who are on the fringe of society in general and desperately looking for a leadership figure, confused wealthy persons, troubled educated persons also looking desperately for a "Cause" to attach themselves too.  NAUTICAL LOG truly believes Paul Watson is a nautical Svengali and a very clever con-artist persuading many people some of whom later see through him as did Ady Gil and Peter Bethune who both have lawsuits against him.  Hopefully Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Esq. also on reviewing his remarks when thinking clearly will see that he has been royally conned and reverse course.

Good Watch.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


MS Steve Irwin, Sam Simon, and Bob Barker crowding the tanker, well within the 500 metre Injunction distance.

MS Bob Barker close alongside the MT Sun Laurel while underway.

Impact the MS Bob Barker rams the MT Sun Laurel underway at sea. Insanity!

Now NAUTICAL LOG believes these photos show the SSCS/SSAL pirate ships a lot closer than the 500 metre distance of the U.S. Ninth District Court Injunction that Paul Watson said his pirate fleet would observe this 2013 whaling season.  The final shot shows the MS Bob Barker in contact with the MT Sun Laurel a loaded tanker on the High Seas, an act of supreme stupidity by the prime sycophant captaining the vessel.

The Sea Shepherd Australia Limited Director Brown needs to sit down and do some serious reading in Maritime Law before shooting off at the lip!!  Most particularly those relative to the carriage of fuel at sea when in the Southern Ocean and the Injunction against the SSCS pirate group by the  U.S. Ninth District Court.  Once all that is clear in his mind he may make statements which hopefully will make more sense than those about the ramming incident  he has made.  Clearly he has no knowledge about seamanship or shiphandling or chooses not to use it in blind limited leadership of the cult formed around Paul Watson.


February 22, 2013 (NZ time zone)

In a statement regarding the incident between the JWF vessels and the SSCS/SSAL vessels the JWF has issued their report.  NAUTICAL LOG believes that to professional seafarers it makes more seamanship sense than the SSCS/SSAL pirate group version of the events in the International Waters of the Southern Ocean.  Summarizing several sources we quote:

"Japanese whalers say Sea Shepherd crews sabotaged a refuelling process in the Southern Ocean causing several collisions.  The ICR has responded to claims by the anti-whaling group that a Japanese whaling ship collided with two of their vessels.  ICR says two Sea Shepherd ships made 'foolhardy obstruction attempts' repeatedly coming within close quarters of the MS Nisshin Maru and its supply tanker.  It says the SSCS/SSAL Steve Irwin, Bob Barker and Sam Simon vessels 'provoked several collision' and the MS Nisshin Maru sustained minor damage.........decided to interrupt the refuelling operation due to the 'extremely dangerous behaviour' of the Sea Shepherd vessels.  The ICR denies allegations there was oil spillage during the refuelling process."

NAUTICAL LOG believes that professional seafarers would tend to believe this report rather than that of the SSCS/SSAL pirate group however this incident is subject to an Investigation and Inquiry. Who will do so?  It does not seem that Australia with all its maritime territorial claims in the Region is willing to follow up, as required by International Maritime Law, in its position as the Flag State of some of the SSCS/SSAL pirate ships and the Port State of others.  One thing clear in both versions is that the SSCS/SSAL pirate group vessels failed to observe the 500 metre seperation distance required in the Injunction issued by the U.S. Ninth District Court, Paul Watson stated earlier this would be observed during the 2013 Southern Ocean whaling season.  Once again demonstrating his complete lack of personal honour and the complete lack of keeping his word.

Good Watch.


There usually are at least two points of view to most things that happen in life.  Bearing this in mind NAUTICAL LOG has added two links on MY BLOG LIST they are the Sea Shepherds and the Institute of Cetacean Research.  Both are involved as most of us know in an environmental struggle over whaling in the Southern Ocean.  This year the Sea Shepherds have been trying to play legal games with their four ships which are supposedly being operated from Sea Shepherd Australia Limited.  From what recently happened  in the Southern Ocean one might well be justified to think that the operating intelligence is what is limited.

In International Waters in a latitude where refuelling at sea is legal under International Maritime Law the Japanese Whale Factory ship MS Nisshin Maru was attempting to refuel from the MT Sun Laurel.  Incredible as it might seem to professional seafarers at least two (2) SSCS/SSAL pirate ships rammed the MS Nisshin Maru apparently causing an impact between the Japanese ship and the tanker.  The ramming of vessels on the High Seas, which SSCS pirate vessels have done in the past, is asinine the ramming involving a loaded tanker is maritime insanity.  Both sides have video which one can review and decide the actuality of these events for themselves.

According to the report from the SSCS/SSAL pirate fleet the 8000+ GT MS Nisshin Maru rammed the SSCS/SSAL 801 tonne MS Bob Barker and also the SSCS/SSAL 885 GT MS Steve Irwin.  It boggles the mind to try and figure out how this huge lumbering floating abattoir could manoeuvre to accomplish this.  The more likely scenario is that the two SSCS/SSAL pirate ships closed in on the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF) and did the ramming that occurred as they have in the past seasons.  Now the supposedly resigned head of SSCS is still on board the MS Steve Irwin and captaining the MS Bob Barker is his prime sycophant.  This genius shiphandler following years of programming by "Wats-his-name" managed to punch a hole in the vessels hull plating and as a result is reported to have a flooding engine-room.  Of course "Wats-his-name" still on board the MS Steve Irwin and clearly in charge of the overall anti-whaling operation, in spite of supposedly resigning, is protecting himself.  Cleverly "Wats-his-name" has a captain appointed in command so that if anything does go wrong this individual takes the blame.  As we know "Wats-his-name" has no word of honour so his statements are meaningless, and his reports flamboyant bombastic nonsense  First he jumped bail in Germany and is an international fugitive, secondly he stated he would obey the Injunction handed down by the U.S. Ninth District Court to remain 500 metres away JWF vessels, clearly he did not.

It is hard to believe that he did so and the lumbering MS Nisshin Maru chased down two faster and far more maneuverable SSCS/SSAL pirate ships to ram them, this all in the middle of a refuelling operation on the High Seas.   It now appears that according to the SSCS/SSAL later reports the MS Sam Simon was also involved in this nautical fracas. If you still believe the word of SSCS/SSAL and "Wats-his-name" you can only be a die-hard SSCS/SSAL supporter who still believes the Earth is flat and any point of view in this Post will not interest you.  The rest of us professional seafarers however are looking at all this with a jaundiced eye and even though we abhor whaling NAUTICAL LOG cannot condone the SSCS/SSAL violent tactics of maritime piracy to prevent that whaling.

A final point is that if Australia claims authority over this section of International Waters as it keeps stating and the Legal Right to prosecute the JWF it must, as has been requested by the Australian Opposition envoronment spokesperson, sent an Australian Customs vessel or better still a couple of Australian Navy vessels with a Federal Police team on board to fully investigate.  At the same time those police could remove and detain Paul Watson, who is an International Fugitive, under the authority of the Interpol Red Notice from the SSCS/SSAL ship he is aboard.  This would require some guts however which is sadly lacking in many of today's Australians it seems from their actions, which the SSCS/SSAL knows and is playing with to make the Australian Government look foolish.

Good Watch.

Monday, February 18, 2013



Hit the law books
As was expected by all parties involved in that disgusting voyage of the Carnival Corporation cruise ship MS Carnival Triumph the lawsuits are starting to be filed.  In fact at least one passenger was interviewed by the TV Media, along with his lawyer whom one believes is from Texas.  As was stated also on national TV by another lawyer this is most likely a complete waste of time and that lawyer should know, based in Miami, FL he used to represent for the cruise lines.  There were occasions when he boarded cruise ships in which NAUTICAL LOG was either a Navigation Officer or Safety Officer.  He no doubt prepared or at least assisted in preparing the ultimate protection for a cruise ship the back of the passage ticket printed in small print - you never bothered to read and understand that right - big mistake!

While NAUTICAL LOG does have a Diploma in Law and taught Maritime Law to Masters and Officers he is by no stretch of the imagination an Attorney.  So this is not "Legal Advice".  It is a summary of points which apply in all ships but especially apply to cruise ships sailing from United States Ports with mostly United States citizens as passengers or as the cruise lines like to call them "guests".  Lets us list some points and perhaps a short explanation:

  • A cruise ship may look and feel like a floating resort, which is the current intent of cruise lines but it is not it is a ship therefore sea transportation.
  • "Guests" is a term used by hotel people who seem to operate cruise ships these days but has no legal standing in sea transportation you are passengers under maritime law.
  • Passengers/guests are covered by that small print on the back of the ticket.  Believe me it covers everything to the cruise line's advantage.
  • The ship, please NOT boat, is registered in a particular country and rarely in the United States.  That has been tried with mostly disastrous results particularly in the State of Hawai'i.
  • The country of registry is called the Flag State and its national flag is flown on the stern/back of the ship with a Port name of the Flag State.
  • In the case of MS Cardinal Triumph this was The Commonwealth of the Bahamas and Nassau.
  • Once you cross the gangway from the cruise terminal and step on to the ship you are legally in that country and subject to all its laws.  Even if the ship is tied to the terminal in a United States Port - surprised?
  • Many United States passengers think that because they are "Americans" the United States laws apply to them everywhere - not so - the Flag State laws apply regardless of the passengers and indeed the ships crews nationality.
  • For example NAUTICAL LOG sailing as an Officer in cruise ships had to have five (5) sets of  Maritime Officers Papers, which included a Master Mariners Certificate of Competency from The Commonwealth of the Bahamas, to cover the different Flag States of the vessels sailed in and my Nationality Passport.

So are you getting the picture that once you having boarded the cruise ship you are in a foreign country?  Now in the case of the MS Carnival Triumph the vessel and passengers in a floating section of that foreign country were on the High Seas off the coast of Mexico and were in International Waters when the ER fire occurred possibly from a fuel leak.

Basically this means that International Maritime Law and The Commonwealth of the Bahamas Maritime Law applied.  Now doubt, due to the most comprehensive coverage by CNN of a maritime event that NAUTICAL LOG has ever seen, you will have heard, repeated over and over again, that the Bahamas Maritime Safety Agency has responsibility to investigate the cause of the reported Engine Room (ER), the resulting total loss of power with the backup system apparently unable to handle the vessel's power requirements.   The United States Government will sit in on this Inquiry and Investigation through the United States Coast Guard (USCG) which has the U.S. responsibility as the U.S. Maritime Safety Authority for inspecting both foreign Flag State vessels and U.S. flag vessels operating from U.S. Ports and is known as the Port State.  In addition the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be represented and observing due to its mission as the Federal overall body for land, sea and air safety.

Still thinking of suing?  After the fire and the maritime event that following the Carnival Corporation announced that it would reimburse all the passengers on board MS Carnival Triumph.  To do this they cancelled the cruise fare charges, cancelled charges for all on board purchases, offered a future cruise at special rates and very important, offered each person $500 cash compensation.  Now NAUTICAL LOG expects that however you received that "$500 cash" you had to sign a receipt for it.  The signing of that receipt one would think constitutes a waiver and therefore again one would think the acceptance of all this compensation negates further applications for additional compensation.

Of course you have every right to file suit but again on several TV programmes that Miami, FL based maritime lawyer, whom we mentioned at the beginning, suggested filing suit was most likely a waste of time.  After all in which country and court would one file such a suit?  For a legal opinion see Cruise Law News in MY BLOG LIST in the righthand column.

In closing NAUTICAL LOG sailed for 60 years, the last 25 years in cruise ships of several lines (not Carnival ships!!) and never had a bad cruise - pretty lucky huh!


Good Watch


NLIN #2 2013:

The following M-Notice is now available at if you have any problems call 023 8032 9391

MIN 450 (M)  The Government Support for Maritime Training Scheme (SMarT) - Additional funding for generic Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) and High Voltage (HV) training between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013.

Good Watch

Thursday, February 14, 2013


As the USCG Inquiry on the Bounty, an uninspected dockside attraction, proceeds with testimony from the surviving Chief Mate it is very disturbing to read of her poor condition.  A Code of Silence existed about her true condition which is tragically deplorable but is all too common in privately owned vessels.  One has to wonder why she should have been at sea at all, certainly not trying to sail around the East Coast hurricane Sandy on an inshore track through the dangerous semi-circle, and having sailed without valid ships papers or a coastal transire. 

Rather than repeat the data coming out of the Inquiry NAUTICAL LOG would like to direct you to the Blog "gCaptain" which has excellent coverage by professional seafarers and not Media persons.

The interest of NAUTICAL LOG stems from my long friendship with Tom Christian of Pitcairn Island which began when we were fellow Officers in TSS Tamahine of the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand in 1959.  He was Radio Officer and myself a brand new Third Officer.

Good Watch

Sunday, February 10, 2013



Monday, February 11, 2013.

As a result of our Post below NAUTICAL LOG received from our European Union correspondent word that the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) will make two (2) official visits to the Republic of the Philippines this year to survey their maritime industry. This is in addition to their monitoring of the industry on a less formal basis.

For some time there has been growing concern on points which NAUTICAL LOG raised during his sea career and mentioned again in the Post below.  The reputation of the STCW qualifications, known to be suspect, issued by nautical training facilities in the Philippines is at a very low ebb.  In fact there is so much concern now that these visits by EMSA will secure the fate of the Philippines to continue supplying crew to sea-going vessels. 

In 2014 a decision will be made by EMSA whether to continue to recognise the STCW paperwork and Certificates of Competency/Licenses issued by the Republic of the Philippines.  This decision could very well be that it will no longer recognise that paperwork and in such an event the entire disgusting business of selling into bondage a sea-going labour force by the Philippines to the worldwide shipping industry will cease.  Crews would still be readily available from several other nations with a strong history of previously supplying crews such as India which for several centuries manned British vessels using European Officers and Indian/Pakistani crews.  NAUTICAL LOG served in such vessels for several years and they were some of the best run and maintained vessels one could wish to sail in.  Currently India is busy training crews ready to mann vessels once again as they become available.


When a person decides to write a Blog they must have an interest and one hopes a certain knowledge in a particular subject or subjects.  Perhaps as in the case of NAUTICAL LOG it is after they retire from our seafaring profession and are completely free to write about those subjects without having to be further concerned about going for interviews to obtain and keep a position.

It requires self-confidence to develop an opinion, write it, publish it and of course a certain ego.  This ego is fine as long as it is monitored and one does not get too carried away - on occasions this will inevitably happen !!

Recently NAUTICAL LOG felt the need to write a Post which we titled COURTING DISASTER it was a serious, tough article and from the perspective of the Republic of the Philippines even harsh but truthful.  To our surprise we did not get any comments protesting our point of view so concluded that it had been accepted as it was intended to be constructive criticism to raise the situation of the seafaring professionals of the Republic of the Philippines.

In the Republic of the Philippines there is a maritime Blog which seems to be widely read, it appears to be the only one known internationally.  Now there are numerous nautical Blogs in other countries in which the views published may be considered just those of the writer/publisher.  Not so with the one based in the Philippines and the views expressed by the writer/publisher tend to be taken to reflect the viewpoint of the Philippines maritime industry though the writer/publisher may claim they are merely their own viewpoint.  There are several reasons NAUTICAL LOG believes for this; the Blog may be considered the only one, it covers all the maritime events, personalities with photographs, opinions and local maritime politics. 

In the Republic of the Philippines the maritime industry is big business in which fortunes are made by charging fees, very large by local standards, to obtain a job in seagoing vessels - crewing agencies.  NAUTICAL LOG detests this system however due to the large number of crews coming from the Philippines it is impossible to avoid.  The government also gets its percentage from these fees and to keep the business flowing extends certain courtesies to the businessmen involved - in this one has personal experience to draw upon.  The nautical training schools in the Republic of the Philippines, which are also expensive by local standards, also work closely with the RP government, the crewing agencies and some regretfully have issued paperwork which appears to indicate their students are qualified in STCW.  Nothing in fact could be further from the truth as one found out firsthand when serving as Safety Officer in cruise ships.  NAUTICAL LOG personally found that crewing agencies in the Philippines supplied crew quite nautically unaware and totally lacking in STCW knowledge which required we immediately had to start training them on board, to meet IMO and USCG requirements for cruise vessels, to allow the ship to sail from U.S. Ports. Sadly there seems no national shame in the Philippines as regards operating this type of selling their fellow countrypersons business and nothing was done in the Philippines when complaints were made, the agency just changed its name and carried on selling.  This whole nautical mess is thus intertwined with the personnel departments of the cruise lines themselves, which must know that crew are being sent to their own vessels unqualified, into a corrupt maritime bouillabaisse.

On Saturday while reading that maritime Blog from the Philippines NAUTICAL LOG noticed a comment to one of their Posts in which the commenter wrote combining his comment to their Post with remarks about our Post COURTING DISASTER.  Much to our surprise (again!) the writer/publisher replied as follows:

" Johnny:  Indeed the Philippines-China territorial dispute has nothing to do with the STCW reforms discussed in this article.  We nonetheless published Mr. Boucher's comment as he has been an avid reader of the blog.  However, we shall in future disapprove comments that are extraneous or off-topic.  The same shall apply to comments that tend to be inflammatory as such comments clearly do not contribute to a fruitful discussion."

Fascinating and as we had stated in COURTING DISASTER national ego once again blocking clear thinking.  Their Blog now appears to be just for publishing Republic of the Philippines approved Public Relations propaganda and perhaps no longer worth reading.

The way NAUTICAL LOG handles comments is to declare our editorial policy clearly in the opening title of the Blog regarding compliance with DMCA, the subject matter and use of appropriate professional language.  We therefore decided to inform the maritime Blog in the Philippines that we would remove them from our reading list and thus by default would never again comment on their Posts (after all we shall not have read them!).  To date our comment has not been published but then we did not expect it to be just so the writer/publisher saw it and read it to decide not to publish it.  Apparently politics and ego have reached such a level at their Blog that even constructive criticism is no longer acceptable to them.

In fairness after all why should they have to put up with our comments when we have a Blog of our own in which can comment to our hearts content - as we have done here and will continue to do in the future.

Good Watch.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


NAUTICAL LOG is sitting here laughing so hard he nearly fell out of his rocking chair. 

With acknowledgement to The Maritime Executive report on the latest nonsense from Sea Shepherd Australia (SSAL).  With the partial demise of "Wats-his-name" we were lamenting that there would be no more laughs at his flamboyant bombastic writings from the MS Steve Irwin but we are saved !  This new guy is perhaps even better or at least as good and then there are those sycophants that "Wats-his-name" has mentored who absolutely adore him and his words.

This is a photo from a previous season of the SSCS pirate vessels surrounding the MT Sun Laurel.  Under the U.S. Ninth District Court Injunction they may not now be closer than 500 metres.  Under maritime safety regulations a tanker should be given a two (2) nautical mile safety zone Clearly these SSCS pirate vessels are not keeping that two (2) nautical miles safety distance.
It appears that the MS Sam Simon the newest pirate ship of the SSAL, has met up with the MT Sun Laurel some 1250 nautical miles from Australia at 55° 41' South latitude and 119° 08' East longitude.  For those of you who do not know this vessel she is a supply fuel tanker for the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF) with a Flag State of Panama.

Now this has triggered the most hilarious statement from the Director of SSAL Jeff Hansen which we quote from the ME report:

"A massive blow has been dealt today to these illegal whale poachers from Japan.  To have an Australian registered vessel, the country whose federal laws these poachers are in contempt of, shut down their fuel supply is a crippling result.  What's more, the Sam Simon was once part of Japan's research program, so to have one of their own vessels turned against them must be a psychological blow.  It's time to rein in your fleet Japan and head back to Tokyo."

Well now NAUTICAL LOG agrees that the latter part of this rather sophomoric statement does have a small degree of truth but how on earth can two ships meeting up at sea have any effect whatsoever on refuelling the JWF.  After all the SSCS/SSAL must remain 500 metres away from any JWF vessel so it is relatively easy for the JWF vessels to come alongside the tanker to refuel.  If counter-action does take place then an Australian vessel will have participated in an incident that could cause an environmental event.  This would make the Australian Government directly responsible so one suspects that the SSAL Director has already been given the word from Canberra to watch his step.

Of course sitting in the MS Bob Barker another SSAL pirate ship is that adoring "Wats-his-name" follower Peter Hammarstedt, who it appears is now a captain.  Fully trained by his mentor his flamboyant bombastic statement was according to the ME report:

" The whale butchering ship Nisshin Maru can run, but cannot hide.  With an aerial fleet of drones and a helicopter assisting our fleet, we can continue to track, chase and disrupt these poachers."

Wow! Peter NAUTICAL LOG is impressed have you thought about coming ashore and co-writing with Tom Clancy in his newest exciting novels he uses coauthors to supplement his storyline.

But the classic piece is yet to come - on board the MS Sam Simon SSAL pirate ship is another exciting author in their captain one Luis Manual Pinho who states, again according to the ME report:

" This affair down here is like a giant game of Battleship® over hundreds of thousands of square nautical miles...............there's blocking, intercepting, bluffing, manoeuvring for positions and advantages, cutting and maintaining supply lines, avoidance and precautions.  The objective of the Japanese whalers is to kill the whales and our objective is to make sure they don't."

An excellent summary Mr. Pinho how very true and one wonders how you will feel when one or more of your crew or of the other SSAL pirate ships get killed.  Will you stand in the Court and explain these deaths to yourself, their families and the Maritime Law Authorities.  NAUTICAL LOG sincerely hopes you will not ever have such an experience as it is a most difficult one to go through even as an Investigator.

Stop playing games you silly b-----d and go home. If you want to be a seafarer find and run a proper ship properly.

Good Watch.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


NLIN #1 2013:

The following M-Notices are now available from the MCA-UK.  If you have difficulties call 023 8032 9391

MGN 463 (M) Life Saving Appliances:- Marine Evacuation Systems (MES) - Servicing and Deployment Guidelines.

MGN 464 (M+F) Life Saving Appliances:- Lifeboats & Rescue boats - Weight Increase from Water Ingress.

NAUTICAL LOG NOTE:  this is extremely important data as there have been several accidents in different classes of vessels some of which caused including loss of seafarers lives.

Good Watch.


As we thought and mentioned in our recent Post (INTERCEPT) the Sea Shepherd pirate group (now under Australian National Command Authority !!) have violated the U.S. Ninth District Circuit Court Injunction. 

Readers will recall that the Injunction imposed on the SSCS pirate fleet the duty of remaining 500 metres from any Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF) vessel.  However the SSCS/SSAL DVV2 Brigitte Bardot under command of Jean Yves Terlain violated that order already.  To quote from The Age a leading Australian newspaper;

"In the first test of the conservation group's shift of its anti-whaling campaign to Australian hands, the lawyer (Mr. Neupert for the JWF) claims the Bardot closed on the harpoon ship MS Yushin Maru No. 3 ............ and came within 18.5 metres on January 29, 2013."

The Group's lawyer says that SSCS has no shareholding or control in Sea Shepherd Australia Limited (SSAL) which is run by Australian Bob Brown the former Greens Party leader of the Australian Parliament.  Further SSAL is responsible for the Antarctic campaign. 

All this lawyering certainly appears to make things much easier, and far less excusable, for the Australian Government to shut the entire whaling season down, sent everybody back to their home countries and put all the SSCS/SSAL vessel's under Admiralty Writ arrested in an Australian Port. 

But do not hold your breadth waiting for the red-headed Scottish/Australian Prime Minister to give that order.

Good Watch.