Sunday, March 31, 2013


GPO (General Post Office) where that Rising by Irish Forces was centred
Currently there is a Military Parade going on at Dublin, Ireland in Remembrance of the 1916 Easter Rising of the Irish against the British for Irish Freedom.  Today is the 97th. Anniversary of that event and the Irish Defence Forces, the President and Government are commemorating the act that finally lead to Ireland winning its freedom in 1922 after 800 years of British Rule.  During which one might add there was not a single day of peace because in some part of the country there would be an act, big or small, to spoil the Brits day.

Happily today there is a better understanding that Nations like to Rule themselves under their own culture, language and believes.  So it is not surprising that the unwise experiment of the European Union is failing and its financial system falling apart.

Happy Easter to our readers and as always

Good Watch

Monday, March 25, 2013



Finally after what appeared to be several unexplained delays the Pope Francis flew by Papal helicopter to Castel Gandolfo to meet with former the Pope Benedict XVI for the two Popes to have lunch and pray together. 

We say the "two Popes" because to the intense discomfort of many Roman Catholics of the Lay Community and one suspects many in the Religious Community as well, Pope Benedict XVI wore White normally the exclusive Papal colour.  Just what many of us had feared would be allowed to happen since it is clear there is a reluctance by Pope Benedict XVI to completely let go of his Papal status.

This is the exact point that we had hoped Pope Francis would not allow and so establish in the minds of all, not just Catholics, that there is only one Pope and it is Pope Francis.  Here we have the first major disappointment of the new Papacy and it is a most discomforting major point.  This was an opportunity for Pope Francis to clearly establish his Papal Authority and have the Pope Benedict XVI wear Bishops Purple to the public meeting with him.

Many of us in the Roman Catholic Church Lay Community wonder whether this new Pope will actually execute his Papacy as we had hoped, fully revising and reforming the Roman Catholic Church.  Having turned on the charm in public complete with kissing babies and closely interacting with the audiences, in St. Peters Square and elsewhere, from his open vehicle.  Of course this could be just his opening approach to get everyone relaxed with him then in true Jesuit fashion come down like a tonne-of-bricks on the Religious Community from the Curia on down.

If not then it could well be that as the Irish Churchman Malachy predicted Pope Francis will be the last Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, at least as we know it today.  So we respectfully feel that Pope Francis has reduced his position with many of us in the Roman Catholic Lay Community and no doubt many in the Religious Community as well by losing this unique opportunity by a simple act to publicly establish his Papal Authority by only one Pope - the Pope - wearing White.

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.

Friday, March 22, 2013


HMS Duncan D37
For those of you who do not play cricket a clear hit over the boundary line counts as six runs.  Well the British do play cricket and the Royal Navy just got a nice six with the arrival of HMS Duncan in Portsmouth Royal Navy Base under the Blue Ensign today for commissioning when she will raise the White Ensign.

She is the latest and last of the Type 45 destroyers which are designated air defence vessels.  Armed with the Sea Viper missile defence system, BAE 4.5 inch Mk.8 Mod. gun, Phalanx CIWS and various smaller caliber ship and personnel armaments.  The first Type 45 HMS Daring arrived in Portsmouth in January 2009 and was followed by HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, HMS Dragon, HMS Defender, and now HMS Duncan.

HMS Duncan will undergo sea trials and sea training under her Royal Navy White Ensign before serving on worldwide duties as needed.  This week HMS Dragon departed for the Middle East on her maiden deployment.

Good Watch

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ

His Holiness Pope Francis
Tonight in Rome, Italy Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, SJ heard those fateful words "Tu es Petrus". 

On what is believed to be the fifth ballot he was Elected Pope taking the name Francis.  He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 17, 1936 thus is six days older than myself also the name Francis is also my Roman Catholic Confirmation name.  He is a Jesuit the first ever to become Pope and my final school years were spent at Ireland's premier Jesuit College - all of which seems to indicate one should be on ones best behaviour!

Now we must patiently wait and see how he sets about administering the Roman Catholic Church particularly dealing with the highly dysfunctional Vatican Curia.  It may well be he is what is needed to solve the Church's many problems, for now the Lay Community should take a wait-and-see attitude remembering that those of the Society of Jesus can pull surprises like no other Roman Catholic priests.  In the meantime do not expect a whole lot of changes all at once or even in the first years, because Pope Francis has to settle into the job after his Installation next week then appoint new people to the Curia positions.   Later in the year when some changes do occur one will perhaps be pleased particularly if we the Lay Community do not expect too much.

One of the changes which may happen first is that priests, who are not members of Orders such as the Jesuits and the various Monastic Orders, but serve in the Parishes of a Diocese may be allowed to marry and be self-supporting of themselves and their families.  This would perhaps solve for now the need to address the issue of women priests as this is a hugely complex problem for the Roman Catholic Church. 

 At one time in Irish Christian Church history the priests who served in Parishes were allowed to marry.  This was changed by Papal Decree, in Ireland it caused a great rift with Rome since the Irish priests could no longer marry and in addition had to take a vow of celibacy.  From that time a Papal Nuncio was always resident in Ireland so that the Roman Church could keep an eye on the Irish Church.  In recent decades those who felt a Call to the Ministry and who also wished to marry, quietly joined the Church of Ireland which is the Anglican Protestant Church of Ireland the Roman Catholic Church being the Church in Ireland a title which is normally never used but exists legally.

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.


NLIN #3 - 2013.


The MCA sent the wrong link for MGN 401 here is their latest data.

MGN 401 (M+F) Amendment - Navigation: Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and Local Port Services (LPS) in the United Kingdom.

To download click on call 023 8032 9391 if you experience difficulties.

Good Watch.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013



So it begins.  After filing into the Sistine Chapel earlier today the 115 Cardinal Electors individually took their oath of absolute secrecy to Elect a new Pope.

It was interesting to see their faces as one by one they placed their right hand on the book and recited the oath printed in Latin on the left hand page, putting in their individual name at the designated place.  The faces reflected the great strain of the moment the Cardinal Electors are under, some looked resigned as if hoping that they would not be chosen but realising it was up to the 114 other Electors to decide, some looked quite tense, others looked fairly confident that they would be voting for the new Pope and he was not going to be one of them.  However these are confident men used to great authority within and indeed in many cases outside the Roman Catholic Church, each right hand was steady resting on the book.

This is a time of great prayer both by the Religious of the Roman Catholic Church and its Lay Community. If ever the phrase "be careful what you pray for" applied this is that time.  Far better that we the Lay Community let what happens within the Sistine Chapel happen between the Cardinal Electors and the God they believe guides their decision.  The Lay Community knows that there is considerable maneuvering amongst these Cardinal Electors and they have discussed the issue of the type of person for the new Pope with the other Cardinals waiting outside with the Lay Community.  They may be men-of-God but they are human men-of-God so have weaknesses, strengths, opinions and preferences just as we all do.

Should a member of the Vatican Curia group become the new Pope we can expect little real change thus the needed changes in operating the Vatican are just not going to happen.  This one is afraid will lead to the continued decline of the Roman Catholic Church with the Lay Community finding its own path to the Salvation it believes in.  After all why would we accept being guided by men who are known to be corrupt when we are now educated enough to work out the path to Salvation ourselves while leading reputable lives which are actually superior to many members of the Curia.

Should a member of outside the Vatican Curia group prevail then if his Leadership is strong, moral, cleans up the Vatican Curia, appoints new members to the Vatican Administration, consults with the Lay Community then the Roman Catholic Church has some chance to survive and even over time grow as a true guiding path to Salvation.

The first vote has just been taken resulting, as expected, in black smoke sometime tomorrow there will be another vote or votes  - we can only wait and see if the white smoke comes sooner or later.  Then we shall hear those fateful words this time not just for the Man but for the Church "Tu es Petrus".

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.

Monday, March 11, 2013


Time to change to my nautical hat and write a Post not on Papal Happenings, important as that is to  the Roman Catholic Church Lay Community.

One of the links listed in MY BLOG LIST is a website of a Miami, FL maritime lawyer.  While up to a point it is informative in his anxiety to show up every little thing that goes even slightly wrong on board Cruise Ships he is like the little boy who cried "Wolf".  Since much of the stuff published is of relatively minor importance the major incidents tend to get lost or as one former shipmate said to NAUTICAL LOG over the weekend "more petty nonsense just to make trouble".  Well that is somewhat harsh because from each incident we should learn something and perhaps make seafarers lives if not completely safe at least less dangerous.

NAUTICAL LOG personally does not like the fact that lawyers are allowed to advertise and clearly this lawyer website is the epitome of self-advertisement.  So be it then its allowed!! 

One particular report is tragic because a life was lost and importantly addresses safety issues - lets take a look from a seafarers point of view.  The report is titled "death on NCL's Norwegian Jade" during a mooring operation in a Greek Port a mooring line parted and struck a seaman knocking him overboard, resulting in his body being recovered deceased.  The lawyer states that "the crew member was not fitted with either a harness or a life vest (jacket) nor wearing a hard hat".  The mind boggles at this statement !! 

The latter part of the statement does not seem to be correct because a hard hat was recovered from the water which leads one to believe he was wearing a hard hat.  Work gloves are not addressed and these should be worn by all members of the Mooring Party including the Officer-in-Charge of that Mooring Party. Now as to the items this lawyer does list:

Harness:  NAUTICAL LOG is not quite sure how this would be used working around a mooring deck and since we are trying to make people safe this could be more of a hazard than a help.  Where and how would it be attached.  Our conclusion is that this is lawyers talk for the benefit of a nautically uninformed Jury to develop sympathy for a big award and thus a big fee!!

Lifejacket:  Again NAUTICAL LOG has doubts that this would actually be of assistance in handling mooring lines and could end up being a hazard.  However in fairness there are many designs available and some would not be a hazard so by selection they could be worn.  There are legal issues with IMO and USCG as to types and classification of lifejackets, and the lawyer would jump all over that fact as well for the Jury.

Hard Hat:  One was recovered and so it appears the seaman was wearing one. The lawyer report states this fact.

Now how could such an accident happen that a mooring line parted while berthing a modern ship fitted with twin propellers, bow and possibly stern side thrusters.  The winches which handle these lines are usually self-tension so should slack off before the load on the mooring line is sufficient to part it.  If not designed to slack off automatically it is the duty of the Officer-in-Charge to signal "slack the line".  Good seaman do not try to stop the motion of multi-tonne vessels with mooring lines because all too easily they part - Ahh - one wonders.

The theory of mooring lines is to hold the ship in position once the engines are shut down, therefore using combinations of these engines and thrusters the ship is positioned, once in place the mooring lines are pulled taut and the ship thus secured in place.  If there is a tidal effect at the berth then the mooring lines must be monitored and adjusted by the deck watch during tidal level changes.

It is possible therefore that the mooring line that parted could have been used as a brake to stop the ship and under this extra strain parted in turn causing the death of the seaman.

Good Watch.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


When we wrote the explanation in parenthesis below it was not quite accurate.  What was meant to be expressed was that those in the Conclave were the ones without the key to get out as indeed was mentioned later - however one was quickly corrected (see Comments).

(In a point of interest the word "Conclave" means "without key" in Latin and indeed Italian). 

It indicates that the Cardinal Electors are actually locked into the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican by the Camerlengo with no key to get out, sleeping, eating and comfort facilities are provided in case it takes time to reach  a decision.  The Conclave will now commence on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 when the final deliberations begin and the Cardinal Electors vote on their individual choices as to whom amongst them or perhaps outside them will be the next Pope.

After each round of voting the ballots are burned with a chemical that causes black smoke if there is a negative result and white smoke if there is a positive result.  Finally the last remaining Cardinals arrived in Rome and now all 145 are assembled of which 115 are the Cardinal Electors. 

There have been some intense discussions on both the problems within the Roman Catholic Church and the type of person needed at this time to be elected as Pope in the hope of solving these problems and rebuilding the Church to move forward.  Of the 145 Cardinals attending the series of Meetings 133 spoke what are termed Interventions.  They addressed all the problems facing the Church and there seem to be some very strong views on just about everything happening within the Church and the views of the Lay Community on how to move forward.

Now with the Meetings completed we the Lay Community shall have to wait and see as the votes are taken, counted, then the ballots burned and whom is selected, indicated by the white smoke, to become Pope.  Hopefully a very strong capable person will achieve the "Throne of Peter" otherwise the Roman Catholic Church may not survive into the future.

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


NLIN #3-2013.

The following M-Notices are available from  If you experience any problems call 023 8032 9391 for assistance.

MIN 451 (M+F)  Period of Validity of Notice of Eligibility and Time Required Between Re-sits of Oral Exams.

MGN 401 (M+F) Amendment Navigation: Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) and Local Port Services (LPS) in the United Kingdom.

MGN 462 (M+F) Pollution - Entry into Force of the Energy Efficiency Design Index.

MGN 465 (M+F) Navigation - Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) - Annual Testing.

Good Watch.