Thursday, October 31, 2013

ADDITIONAL DATA

The following e-mail arrived at NAUTICAL LOG.  It is supposed to be in reference to Paul Watson but we have no confirmation of that.  It is published in a fair and balanced approach to giving all sides of a story.  Following are partial quotes;

"Via Paul Watson:  Yes I have arrived back home.  I legally entered the United States on Monday morning in San Pedro Harbor in California.  Interpol has dropped the RED Notice from Costa Rica and I will defend my position with regard to Japan if required............ "

It was also stated that the Interpol RED Notice from Costa Rica had expired due possibly to a statute of limitations on the original charges.  Note that NAUTICAL LOG would need that to be confirmed by Interpol which has not been done.

In another item the Executive Administrator of SSCS was questioned regarding a vessel named DECURION which was berthed in South Africa.  It was considered by the ICR attorney to be a "hidey hole for the fugitive Paul Watson" and ICR wanted to know if SSCS was going to spent monies to upgrade the DECURION to acceptable International Maritime standards.  No clear answer was really given to the inquiry.

In passing NAUTICAL LOG found more than one vessel named DECURION however none seemed to fit usage by SSCS.  Anyone with information ?

Good Watch

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ANTI-WHALING SEASON


Well now here we are at the end of October and within a month no doubt the Japanese will once again be in the throes of preparation for the annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean.

Where are the Sea Shepherds ?  This year they have been pretty quiet with Paul Watson presumably still under that Interpol RED Notice, which has been ignored by most countries.  While supposedly he remains at sea on board one of the SSCS ships, in the photo below all three ships are at "The Base" - lets not put that in Arabic.  Is there a fourth that has Watson aboard ?   SSCS work has apparently been going ahead from Australia whose Government has decided to throw their lot in with the Sea Shepherds and gave them the base - pirates lair perhaps -  at Williamstown, near Melbourne, Victoria.


The Pirates Lair

This actually makes a great deal of sense as we all know where they are and what they are doing, the vessels can be properly maintained under the watchful eye of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) or at least one presumes this is being done as required by International Maritime Law.  Good supplies and equipment are readily available for provisioning, refits and repairs.  In addition good communications, transportation and a complacent government are all in place.  What more could you want ?

The new anti-whaling season campaign is named Operation Relentless and as usual will no doubt set sail once the Japanese Whaling Fleet sails southwards from Japan.  As Watson pointed out the Sea Shepherds are an interventionist organization and the Sea Shepherd Australian Director now runs the operation thus sets policy and the strategy to put it into effect - which is what gets them into trouble each anti-whaling season.

If SSCS Australia orders the Sea Shepherd vessels to engage in acts of intervention which infringe on or violate International Maritime Law then once again there will occur Acts of Piracy under UNCLOS.  This will mean that the Australian Government will either have to change its policy towards the Sea Shepherd's or itself violate International Maritime Law.  NAUTICAL LOG and others shall just have to watch, wait and see Operation Relentless in action. 

Now that the redheaded Scot is no longer Prime Minister who knows what changes in Australia's politics will bring to the SSCS base and fleet if International Maritime Law is violated again this anti-whaling season.

someones happy !!


Good Watch.

Friday, October 25, 2013

NEW WEBSITE

 

NAUTICAL LOG should like to introduce a new website added to our My Blog List.  It covers Irish Maritime History, a subject  much forgotten perhaps outside Ireland. We had our losses at sea during World War 2 (known as "The Emergency" in typical Irish understatement) from belligerent action in spite of being a neutral country.

NAUTICAL LOG would also like to recommend "The Long Watch" by Frank Forde, Master Mariner which is mentioned on the website.  It has accounts of many Masters and Officers with whom NAUTICAL LOG had the honour to know and serve with during my training with Irish Shipping Limited as Deck Apprentice, 4th. Officer and 3rd. Officer from 1953 to 1957. 

A copy of "The Long Watch" is in the NAUTICAL LOG study bookcase.

Good Watch.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CHARGES CHANGED

UPDATE INFORMATION:
 
The Greenpeace crew of the MS Arctic Sunrise have become known in the Media as the "Arctic 30".  This week the Russian Authorities have changed the charges of Piracy against these persons to Hooliganism.  This has been described in some maritime blogs as a reduction of charges actually it is anything but and the "Arctic 30" are in greater difficulties.

Under Russian Law Hooliganism is defined as: 

"is a gross violation of public order, expressing clear disrespect for society, committed with the use of objects used as weapons, organized group that is associated with resistance to authority".

The sentences handed down as punishment for being convicted of Hooliganism under Russian Law by the Russian Courts can be severe.  By taking this action the Russian Authorities bring all charges under Russian Law only.  Therefore they do not have to prove an Act of Piracy under International Maritime Law as stated in UNCLOS.  NAUTICAL LOG suggests this is most likely a reaction to the recent statements by the Media, Maritime Unions and Governments. 

This change of the charges now places those charged in an extremely difficult position facing long sentences entirely under Russian Law and Courts.  The recent public abuse of Russian leadership by German leadership was unwise, uncalled for and no Russian is going to ignore such insults.  One has to wonder where modern politicians both at home and abroad attended - if they ever did -  diplomacy classes. 

The leadership of the European Union by its frau führer with her lectures to leaders of other countries only adds to the complexity of international political relationships.

Good Watch.

PAPERLESS

Example of a NOAA chart
 
After 151 years NOAA will no longer produce printed paper navigational charts.  So how does one satisfy the USCG requirement to carry paper charts as a backup to electronic charts?  Well NOAA will still produce the electronic charts and nautical chart agents at least those who have the necessary equipment will be able to produce the Print-on-Demand charts which many seafarers are already using.

How this will all work out remains to be seen.  If it follows the path of most other ventures, such as the Affordable Care Act in its deplorable debut, of the current mis-Administration it could mean disaster.  With a high degree of certainty it will mean higher chart prices and/or shoddy PDF workmanship/printing as inexpensive - read cheapskate - vendors try to make quick and easy money.

Like the medicines they will be available via the Internet® from goodness knows whom, out of somewhere, with who knows what accuracy.  Before this mis-Administration goes out of office they will have destroyed the last remaining of America's traditional services adding safe navigation to health care and the postal service.  Then for whomever comes into office from whatever party will have the near impossible task of rebuilding our United States of America which is rapidly working towards being renamed European Union West.

Good Watch.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NO FORGIVENESS

There is considerable concern amongst Roman Catholics over the behavior of Pope Francis 1 since he was elected Pope some six months ago in spite of Pope Benedict still being alive, living in the Vatican and having only resigned not abdicated as Pope.  Some blogs have been quite scathing in their articles regarding his behavior and those articles generated comments that were quite vicious about changes he has made to date.

Well some things never change and Pope Francis 1 - as have Popes in the past - shows that the quality of mercy and forgiveness depends not on Jesus Christ's guidelines on how to lead ones life but the politics of man.  An example:

On October 11, 2013 Erich Priebke died at the age of 100 years and was due to have his Roman Catholic funeral at Albano Laziale, Italy.  However there were protests, security concerns and then Pope Francis 1 refused to allow his funeral in a Roman Catholic Church.

This is interesting because Pope Francis 1 knows of Erich Priebke quite well due to the fact that he lived in Argentina for 50 years after World War 2.  Priebke had served in the Schutzstaffel as a Hauptsturmführer and had been granted asylum by the Argentine Government after WW2 travelling there on a Vatican Travel Document.  However he was betrayed by another Nazi - to protect himself - to ABC reporter Sam Donaldson.  One can read the complete history in Wikipedia® so we shall not repeat it here. 

The point is of course here we have this supposedly liberal, modernist - whatever that means - Pope Francis 1 - who is an Argentine National of Italian descent - cannot find it in his priestly heart to forgive as Jesus Christ did on many occasions.  This is the Pope who on other occasions has lectured persons both within the Roman Catholic Church and without it on how to behave to follow and keep Jesus Christ's guidelines on life.  Pope Francis 1 appears to be confused in his knowledge of how Jesus Christ behaved, confused in how to behave in his leadership role as Pope, is making decisions in a panic mode and setting an appalling example as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church to all Christians.  We are supposed to pay attention to such a man ?

"Catholicism is about mercy and forgiveness" - www.fsspx.org/en .  This is not a case of one being a traditional thus fairly conservative Roman Catholic or a liberal "modernist" Roman Catholic, it is case of one being a decent Christian doing their best to follow the guidelines of Jesus Christ and forgiving - yes even a war criminal such as Hauptsturmführer Priebke.

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

GUEST WRITERS

Here at NAUTICAL LOG we are sometimes approached to publish posts by guest writers.  To date we have not done so, however we are open to offers.

Basically we are a maritime blog and therefore prefer articles about maritime affairs that follow our publishing rules as stated in the header.  We are also open to non-maritime posts which again follow our publishing rules.

Interested writers should send an e-mail stating the subject matter before sending a post ready for publishing.  If accepted the full post will be vetted before NAUTICAL LOG will publish it in the Blog.  NAUTICAL LOG will not charge fees or make payments to guest writers.

Finally we much prefer to receive comments on our Posts content and suggested subjects for future Posts.

Good Watch.

Friday, October 11, 2013

MORE CHARGES

Under arrest at Murmansk, Russia

The Russian  drill rig involved


Greenpeace RHIB alongside the Russian drill rig
 
UPDATE:
 
We would suggest readers refer to the article in the maritime blog gCAPTAIN titled "Seaman Unions Defend Greenpeace Crew".   NAUTICAL LOG is not and has not been a member of any of the Unions mentioned in the article during a 60 year oceangoing sea career. 
 
NAUTICAL LOG does not have an opinion on these Union actions, but does regard the Greenpeace action as piracy in that it violates UNCLOS which clearly defines Acts of Piracy.  It will be the decision of an Admiralty Court to rule after consideration of all the circumstances and opinions.    
 
Good Watch.
 
Peter Willcox, Master of MS Arctic Sunrise and MM&P member.
 

According to the European Media reports this morning the Russians are preferring drug charges against the Greenpeace ship MS Arctic Sunrise crew.  Russian investigators say they have found poppy straw and morphine on board the vessel.  These can be used to produce heroin, however the morphine is claimed by Greenpeace to be part of the ships medical supplies.  NAUTICAL LOG believes the carriage of morphine is restricted in accordance with the level of medical expertise and necessity on board a vessel as per MSN 1768 (M+F) MCA, UK.

While the Netherlands - which has a liberal national drug policy - has demanded the immediate release of the ship which is Dutch flagged and its crew it is not that simple.  The crew come from 18 different Nations so there is international interest.

No doubt the Russians are looking at every little thing to increase the charges - with 15 year punishments - against the ship and its crew but Greenpeace must accept that they have left themselves wide open to the Russian law enforcement authorities by violating both Russian national law and International maritime law (UNCLOS).

Good Watch

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WHAT IS IT ?




One of the many hazards of the seas is piracy - but what is it ?  Modern piracy was clearly defined under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982. If one opens UNCLOS Articles 100 through 107 and 110 it is all there to read, understand and follow.

 

As a result of the attempted boarding of a Russian oil rig on the High Seas in International Waters the Russian Law Enforcement Authorities detained activists from the organization Greenpeace.  As a result of their questioning of these activists - maritime terrorists under Russian Law - Russian Maritime Authorities boarded, detained and towed to Murmansk, Russia their vessel MS Arctic Sunrise.

Now after continuing inquires the entire crew of the MS Arctic Sunrise have been charged with piracy under UNCLOS Articles 100 - 107 & 110.  Of course the Greenpeace Organization can whine and moan at the injustice of the charges brought against them but they must know quite well that these are legal charges not really unexpected. 

Prior to taking any action this organization must surely have operational planning meetings to discuss the strategy of the operation.  It would seem likely that during these meetings the subject of piracy would be discussed and probably explained to the personnel directly involved in boarding the oil rig.  NAUTICAL LOG therefore cannot believe that these piracy charges brought by the Russian Authorities can be a surprise to Greenpeace and those involved in this incident.

It is not a valid excuse by one party to break International Maritime Law because they believe the action taken by the other party is wrong.  It this case it is clearly preferable that the Russians to NOT drill in the Arctic Region at all.  From their operational history they seem to make an incredible mess of most everything they do with regular serious disasters involving astronomical environmental damage and loss of life.  However two wrongs do NOT make a right and therefore the Greenpeace pirates must now expect to be punished quite severely by the Russian Authorities for breaking both Russian and International Maritime Law.

Sadly the Arctic Regional drilling by Russia continues and no doubt one can expect the inevitable environmental disaster.

Good Watch.