Monday, June 30, 2014


It was on a State Visit by the Austro-Hungarian Archduke and his wife to Serbia that the event occurred which set off World War 1.  While visiting Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 a bomb was thrown in a botched assassination attempt which failed to kill the Archduke but injured several bystanders.  Later in the visit the Royal couple being concerned for those injured decided to visit them in the hospital.  Unfortunately on the way there they were spotted by some of the group sent to assassinate them and both were shot dead by a member of that group.  Sadly their act of kindness somewhat rare in those times by such people led to their assassination. 


Even worse of course was that the Austro-Hungarian Empire attacked Serbia with artillery fire on July 28, 1914.  This was followed by the various European Nations and Russia taking sides resulting in The First World War which lasted until an Armistice was agreed to beginning on November 11, 1918 at the eleventh hour.

In its turn this Armistice led to the Second World War when the Germans who had actually marched home from the WW1 battlefields in France and Belgium were regarded by many as victors.  However the Revolution in Russia led to one in Germany with the Kaiser of the German Empire being deposed and going into exile in The Netherlands.  After considerable turmoil in Germany the National Socialist Party became dominant and it's leader Adolf Hitler was appointed by President Paul von Hindenburg of the Wiemar Republic (1925-1934) to form a government.  In turn this led to the Nazi dictatorship and the Second World War.

The root causes of the crisis in Europe that led to WW1 were poor leadership and a reluctance to adapt to a changing social world and a move against rule by Royalty.

Does any of this have a familiar ring because it should.  At present we are seeing the results of a botched war in Iraq a country created by the British after The Second World War along with several others in that Region.  The United States involvement in Iraq under a Republican Administration included a change of Administration with the election of a new President from the Democratic Party.  As things turned out the new President waffled and wimped his way to a departure from Iraq which had elected a biased Prime Minister who demanded the United States forces leave without any agreements in place.  

This gave the perfect opportunity to the radical Muslims of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) to form a force based in Syria which was already fighting a civil war to attack across the border into Iraq.  With lightening speed they have captured huge tracts of that country as the Iraq defence forces deserted the battlefield.  Now they have declared a Muslim Caliphate which was the term used in Medieval times to describe an Islamic State ruled by Sharia Law.  A self-appointed Caliph is demanding that all Muslims wherever they are living become loyal to this Muslim Caliphate and obey its demands just in time for Ramadan the lunar month of Muslim fasting.

Once again as for WW1 poor leadership and a reluctance to adapt to social change has contributed in a major way to this ISIS success.  An example of just how severe this poor leadership is resulted in the U.S. President being called a "coward" by a retired Lt. Col. of the U.S. military on U.S.national television during a News show.

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


From NOAA on this first day of Summer;  "Every year the international hydrographic community celebrates World Hydrography Day on June 21.  The 2014 theme established by the International Hydrographic Organization is Hydrography - More than Nautical Charts"
NOAA's Office of Coast Survey invited articles from the public and these have been posted as an  article collection.  The articles illustrate marine ecology, archeology, energy and water resource management and emergency response.  The NOAA Coast Survey blog is at
Good Watch

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


UPDATE 06/18/2014:

While not directly connected to Biscayne National Park another ocean park has been expanded this week.  The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument which surrounds small islands and atolls controlled by the United States Government was expanded from 87,000 square miles to 782,000 square miles.

Area of PRIMNM
Yes well there are plenty of places around the coasts of South Florida but it appears that Biscayne National Park will no longer be one of them.

Biscayne National Park
This is due basically to both overfishing and destructive fishing methods.  Quietly but steadily under several Park Superintendents the reduction of fishing has been introduced.  Now however it has got to the point that both the fish and habitat are suffering to the level that there will eventually be no fish and a destroyed habitat.

Biscayne National Park proposes measures to do several things:
  • Phase out commercial fishing in Park waters
  • Ending the two day lobster mini season
  • Impose restrictions to hopefully revive the 270 square mile underwater park
  • Outlaw shrimp trawling which is destroying the bottom habitats 
  • Prohibiting traps on some reefs
Other possibilities:
  • Ban fishing entirely
  • Ban weekend parties which are scarring the flats and kill sea grass
The Park Administration hopes that the changes would:
  • Dramatically raise the catch size on popular fish
  • Outlaw spear guns and allow spearfishing only
  • Establish no-trawl zones to restore sea grass and bottom habitats
  • Make some reefs off limits to lobster and crab traps so as to restore and protect remaining coral

While State regulators endorse the plan they insist that recreation be available to the boating public.  In what seems strange to NAUTICAL LOG the Office of one of our local U.S. Representatives (R) Miami put out a statement saying the proposed rules are too restrictive, her thinking  seems to be that while she and her family enjoy the water they are not quite dedicated to preserving it for future generations.  Her statement said that the "restrictive recommendations would eliminate the average family and individual"  how this would occur is not explained by her and her logic is not followed by NAUTICAL LOG .  The real truth behind her rather ridiculous statement is more likely based on the Republican fear of big government controlling the populace and current Administration being Democrat.  It possibly comes down to the narrow-minded thinking of the bulk of her constituents on certain issues currently lost in their country of origin and not learning to relate to the broader American viewpoint of both enjoying the things we have but also working to preserve them for the future generations.  This U.S. Representative should be supporting the effort to maintain the Biscayne National Park for all Americans of the future generations.  NAUTICAL LOG finds her statement self-centered, without value and playing to a section of local politics for some unknown reason.  This is something we go through daily in South Florida which is overburdened by 65% of one ethnic group of which she is one.

All of the Park Administration points listed above will have their critics and supporters but the truth of the matter is that after living here for 45 years it is clearly necessary that they are but in place so that "average family and individual" can enjoy them both now and in the future. 

Good Watch.

Sunday, June 15, 2014



At last after the same paper the Miami Herald keeps calling it the "boat slip" today it referred to it as the "fully-refurbished deepwater slip" which is what it really is.  The Museum Park officially reopened attended by those same local politicians who were of course at hand to take full advantage of the USCG Eagle sail-training ship arriving to spend the Father's Day weekend.  (see photo)

USCGC Eagle berthing at the Museum Park deepwater slip

It is due to the efforts of such citizens organizations as the Downtown Neighborhood Alliance that the Museum Park, a public park, was not mutilated - once again - to build a soccer stadium to brush the ego of a retired British soccer player and his group of local developers.  The initial dazzlement by this person of at least some of the local politicians faded away to the point that the wishes of the public were recognized and acted upon.

Good Watch.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


NAUTICAL LOG has added the website Nautilus Live to our Blog List covering the work of Dr. Robert Ballard and his Corps of Exploration in their vessel EV Nautilus.

This is a particularly interesting site not alone for the work being accomplished but the fact that one can watch live from their shipboard and ROV cameras.  The "quad" channel covers all the activity going on deck and underwater with a divided screen and gives a sense of being on board.

The EV Nautilus sailed from Port Everglades, FL this week and has already covered their first dive site north of Bimini, Bahamas.  Now they are heading southwards on the Grand Bahama Bank to a second dive site and hope to be active there at 1300 local time.

NAUTICAL LOG shall be following their activity and shall Post as necessary, by entering your e-mail address you can receive reports directly (well hopefully - nothing so far!!).  Anyway everything is on their website.

Good Watch.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


In spite of considerable false reporting in describing the two sites proposed by and to the retired British soccer player and his South Florida business group the second Port site got sunk today. 

The first site in the Port of Miami which was described as "undeveloped" in FOX® Business in spite of being the site of a major pollution control corporation and the berth of its response vessel.  The second site was then described in the same publication as a "boat slip" in spite of being a back up berth for cruise ships and visiting vessels.

The local fascination with this retired British soccer developer seems to have waned somewhat as today there was a reversal by the Mayor of Miami who together with the Mayor of Miami-Dade County had supposedly supported indeed proposed the second Port site.  The City of Miami officials rejected the retired British soccer player plan to build on the second Port site which would involve tearing up a just recently completed restoration of a Public Park and filling in the cruise ship and visiting vessels berths - the so called "boat slip".

The City of Miami officials determined the proposed second Port site was an "inappropriate location" so hopefully this is the last of trying to jam a soccer stadium into the Port of Miami area.

Good Watch.


As a former instructor in Maritime Law NAUTICAL LOG was interested to read the recent Press Release from BoatUS® which can be accessed in our Blog List.

If a Good Samaritan charges for the assistance the entire "Good Samaritan" status changes in accordance with both State Law and Federal Law.  Remember if you are in a different State to your home State then that State Law could be different from your home State also.  Basically with a fee you are now in the rescue towing business, would need a USCG license, a business operational permit from local government and of course your legal responsibilities have also changed.

Federal Statue 46 USC 2304 requires a vessel operator to respond if possible to a vessel or person in maritime trouble.  Visit the Good Samaritan protocol at for full guidance on your response remembering that your first responsibility is to your own vessel and the people on board.  The USCG Protocol states the parameters under which your response should be conducted.  You may also call the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center or your Sector Command - please before you go out on the water - to get the full information.

This is one more thing you should know as a boat operator so now is the time to call before you find yourself trying to be that Good Samaritan and end up adding to the problem.

Good Watch.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Normandy Beaches where landings took place
June 06, 1944 - June 06, 2014 seventy (70) years ago today at that time NAUTICAL LOG was eight (8) years old.  The Americans together with British, Canadians and French troops landed on the beaches of Normandy to breach the Atlantic Wall of the Nazi Third Reich.  Their sacrifice won for us the ability to follow our dreams and lead our lives in my case for so far seventy-eight (78) years. 

While it has been a very difficult 70 years in the World the aim of that time in 1944 to be free of the Third Reich was successful.

By the twists and turns of life the flag of the Americans became my flag and since it is 0800 NAUTICAL LOG has just raised it in front of our home in South Florida to say THANK YOU !!

Good Watch.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Hopefully BlogSpot ® will introduce some new templates and have a more friendly access when there is a problem.  In the meantime NAUTICAL LOG decided to change the Blog appearance with a new look for the Summer - and the Hurricane Season!!

Good Watch.

NLIN #5 - 2014

The following M-Notices are now available at If you have any problems contact 023 8032 9391

MIN 481 (M) Passenger Ships: United Kingdom Ratification of Athens Protocol, 2002

MIN 485 (F) Written examination dates 2014/2015: Deck Officers Fishing Vessels

MGN 503 (F) Procedure for carrying out a roll or heel test to assess stability for fishing vessel owners and skippers

MGN 507 (M+F) Oil Pollution: Liability and compulsory insurance for bunker oil

MGN 508 (M) Oil Pollution: Liability and compulsory insurance

Good Watch.

Monday, June 2, 2014

BTR #11.

We have now come to the final Rule under Steering and Sailing Rules and it is so very important Rule 19 has its own Section III.  It covers the Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility which are conditions that no sensible seafarer likes being at sea in.   The recreational boater who has paid attention to the local weather forecasts most likely would not be out on the water that day.

Rule 19:  There are five (5) points that direct seafarers how to behave in restricted visibility when they may know that the other vessels are there but of course cannot see them. 
Point (d) covers the use of radar and has two (2) sub-parts which direct course changes based ONLY on data obtained by radar.
Point (e) directs the navigator if it is determined risk of collision to exist.

Rule 19:   The information and direction given is the same as the International with the five (5) points and point (d) having two (2) sub-parts covering use of radar data.

This completes our coverage of the NAVIGATION RULES Steering and Sailing Rules in their three (3) Sections I, II, III.


Our tip today is to carefully study these Steering and Sailing Rules and refer to the illustrations online under the various States boating instruction websites.  If you have any questions or need clarification of these NAUTICAL LOG Posts contact me at

If you are out boating do not force your way even if the other boater is the give-way vessel.  He most likely is not as knowledgeable as you are after completing this Series and all your study!!

Good Watch.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

BTR #10.

As the BTR Series continues with the Steering and Sailing Rules we come to Rule 18 which addresses the Responsibilities Between Vessels.  This Rule instructs a vessel underway normally how to react when it meets a vessel that is not underway normally.

Rule 18:  Except where Rules 9, 10, and 13 apply there are six (6) points which instruct the give-way vessel. 
Point (a) has four (4) sub-parts which describe the type of other vessel. 
Point (b) has three (3) sub-parts which deal with a sailing vessel (that is a vessel under sail only) meeting with certain other vessels. 
Point (c) has two (2) sub-parts and deals with fishing vessels meeting certain other vessels. 
Point (d) has two (2) sub-parts instructs any vessel meeting certain vessels showing special signals as per Rule 28 of the Lights and Shapes section. 
Point (e) addresses meeting seaplanes on the water.  (If you think this is rare try navigating the Inside Passage and waters generally of British Columbia and Alaska.
Point (f) has two (2) sub-parts to address WIG craft, an illustration of one follows.

WIG craft addressed in International Rules only.
Rule 18:  Except where Rules 9, 10, and 13 apply there are four (4) points that instruct the give-way vessel. 
Point (a) has four (4) sub-parts. 
Point (b) has three (3) sub-parts. 
Point (c) has two (2) sub-parts. 
Point (d) addresses seaplanes only and not WIG craft, which NAUTICAL LOG finds strange.


Learn as much as you can about boating,
  • the boat itself
  • the engines
  • all about weather; hurricane season 2014 starts today
  • tides and currents
  • what the colour of the water indicates
  • when NOT to go out
  • all about navigation

Good Watch.