Friday, December 23, 2016

FINALLY FOUND

So as we thought here at NAUTICAL LOG the SSS OCEAN WARRIOR has started off Operation Nemesis in true Sea Shepherd style by violating Maritime Laws.  In this case she has been sailing in the Southern Ocean not transmitting on her AIS.   As a result claims to have found a vessel of the Japanese Whaling Fleet amongst the icebergs and ice floes of that area.

There are various Media reports of varying quality that reported this event and about half-a-dozen landed on the NAUTICAL LOG desk.  It seems that the Sea Shepherd vessels have been sailing "blacked out" as regards AIS and in ice and fog found one of the Japanese catcher ships.  With the speed of their new vessel they should be able to keep pace with her and no doubt find the rest of the fleet. 

Sea Shepherd reported that the catcher was hunting minke whales so this in turn could led the two SSS vessels to the factory ship.  In past years this has been the NISSHIN MARU  it is aboard this vessel that the whales are killed and processed - not a pretty picture - so the protest action is no doubt planned for when they find the factory ship.

Why the Australian Government does not send its vessels to prevent the Japanese whaling in the first place is clearly political.  The Australian Federal Court Ruled against the Japanese and declared a fine which has never been paid.  All calls to Australia to send an enforcement vessel of their own Rulings have been resisted so there is considerable sympathy for protest action taken by the Sea Shepherd's which in fact NAUTICAL LOG has a great deal of agreement with.  It is however the nature of these actions always violent under Paul Watson that NAUTICAL LOG strongly objected too. 

Now this new vessel Ocean Warrior has two powerful water cannon which have the capacity and ability too kill or seriously injure persons.  Should these be used and a Japanese whaler be killed or injured would be an extremely serious situation.  One can only hope that this "Captain" Adam Meyerson has the sense not to use them at all, unfortunately all these so called captains are followers of Watson so one has little confidence in them to act wisely.

Good Watch


Note to Adam Meyerson:

Mr. Meyerson in our research of your qualifications we learned that you are a U.S. Citizen.  In one of your photographs you are wearing the sleeve insignia of a Master Mariner of the British and Commonwealth Merchant Navy.  You are NOT entitled to wear this insignia which is for British and Commonwealth Officers in Command holding a Certificate of Competency as Master which you do not hold. 

NAUTICAL LOG would therefore request that as a courtesy to Masters of  the British and Commonwealth Merchant Navy you discontinue wearing their Merchant Navy insignia. 

Thank you.

Friday, December 16, 2016

SSS OCEAN WARRIOR MISSING ?

UPDATE December 22, 2016: 
According to MARINE TRAFFIC AIS the SSS OCEAN WARRIOR is in the same position, showing the same course and speed as she did on December 12, 2016.  According to the art of marine navigation this is clearly impossible on December 22, 2016.  So one has to believe that, in violation of Maritime Law, she is not transmitting her AIS.  Not that violating the Law is anything new for the Sea Shepherd Society. 

How proud Australians must be of having these vessels based in Australian Ports and in addition not having the RAN or Customs patrolling the Southern Ocean for pirate Japanese whalers under the guise of RESEARCH slaughtering yet more minke whales.  This in spite of Rulings by the Australian Court System regarding both the Japanese whalers and the Sea Shepherd Society whose Operation Nemesis is run by SSS Australia.


ORIGINAL POST December 16, 2016:
The last posted position of the Sea Shepherd's new vessel Ocean Warrior is at approximately 44° S. 147° E. that was on December 12, 2016 so it appears she has not been recorded for 4 days.  Under International Maritime Law she is required to transmit her position continuously when at sea usually electronically.  The above position is south of Tasmania, Australia an area of some but not particularly heavy marine traffic.

Possibly the vessel is trying to remain "hidden" while waiting for the Japanese Whaling Fleet to arrive in the Southern Ocean.  Possibly being a new vessel she is having teething problems and Sea Shepherd Australia who control Operation Nemesis is attempting to keep things quiet.

One wonders !!

Good Watch

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

SS EL FARO VDR TRANSCRIPT

NAUTICAL LOG has published Posts about this tragic ship sinking since the very first report of her loss.  Today the NTSB has released her VDR data in particular the Navigation Bridge voice recorder - it is not good.  This Post is compiled from multiple Media sources.

On October 01, 2015 the SS El Faro a freighter sank with all hands, 33 crewmembers lost their lives and no bodies were ever recovered though one was sighted by the USCG in a survival suit but not picked-up.  By an extraordinary search, resumed at the insistence of a U.S. Senator from the State of Florida, the VDR was found  and now after months of investigation some results have been released. 

The ship left Jacksonville, Fl. bound for San Juan, PR and sailed directly into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane named Joaquin.  Why the ship was where it was in the first place is a question yet to be fully answered but it seems that the Master was more focused on fuel consumption than plotting the path of the hurricane Joaquin and changing course to avoid the worst affect.  This in spite of the Officers pointing out that the ship had closed to just 22 nautical miles from the hurricane's centre.  Then at 0615 the vessel lost power, listed severely and at around 0730 sank with the loss of all hands.  It seems extraordinary that apparently twice before her sinking while he still had power to do so the Master had declined to alter course based it appears on his consideration of an extra 160 nautical miles the additional fuel it would consume and getting permission from the Company to alter course.  This is not good vessel management it is not even good sense.  Since the transcript is 510 pages long one would have to read it in its entirety to learn all that happened however several points have been extracted by the Media.  From these it is evident that navigation was done with an over-dependency on electronics using a system called BVS, which NAUTICAL LOG is not familiar with, and that this system seemed to fail or be inaccurate as were the reports from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fl.  All one can say as to that latter statement is that having lived in South Florida for 40 years one has considerable faith in the NHC professional work.  From their own recorded words in the transcript the Master and Officers did not appear to have the professional knowledge to make their own assessment of the situation as a whole or if they did have it the ability to apply that professional knowledge.  By and large reading the transcript extracts quoting the Navigation Bridge staff conversations gives an impression of persons who have no experience of being in Command or standing Watch in a ship whatsoever.

The U.S. Merchant Marine is completely bound by Unions, the Officers have one and the Seamen a separate one.  This seems to restrict the actions the Master and Officers can or are willing to take and adding this to a Company's policies removes the actual decision-making from the Master limiting the range and ability to make decisions.  Reading the transcript is a very sobering affair considering the actual results of this Master's actions or lack thereof and the somewhat flippant remarks made by him in the hearing of the Officers and crew on the Bridge.   This is never a good or wise thing to do in front of one's crew and clearly, again from the conversations recorded, caused considerable distress to several of those crewmembers.

Good Watch.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

QUO VADIS SSS OCEAN WARRIOR ?

NAUTICAL LOG understood that the Sea Shepherd vessel Ocean Warrior had sailed for the Southern Ocean however we have seen no news of her passage southwards.  Since she is a new vessel and in waters which are renowned for storms building up quite rapidly we wonder if all is well.  One suspects that is not due to the rampant publication of events by the SSS people on every occasion that they accomplish even the slightest act which they consider positive to their aims.

Marine Traffic status:  43° 37'45 S.  147° 25' E.  course 257° @ 11 knots.  This position is south of Tasmania, Australia.

So it would be nice to know if Operation Nemesis is underway or has already become an SSS nemesis.  Continued safe passage and

Good Watch.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

NOTES ON COMMENTING

After a very polarizing General Election to choose a new President and others throughout the United States of America it seems commenting has reached the depths of rudeness.  Many commenters in their rush to publish do not read and understand the post then think about the wording of their comment.  It is clear that many deliberately ignore the post and the previous comments content to spout forth their own political opinion.  They do not seem to realize that by doing so makes their comment largely valueless and portrays them as uneducated persons worth little or no attention.  This of course is the common trend of most if not all of the so called "liberal" population which by their continued display of ignorance of the subject matter become more and more ignored and indeed laughed at.  The current Green Party U.S. candidate is a typical example making a fuss after obtaining barely 1% of the vote.  Asking for recount nay rather demanding recounts is not just pointless but an unjustified expense and waste of public servants time adding to the burden on the Governments of various States and Counties.

This attitude has now seeped into the maritime blogs with a very popular maritime blog continually getting rude replies and putdowns to comments on its posts.  Since all are published without clarification it would seem that the blog itself approves of this type of comments but more likely is considerate of "free speech" rights.  This is a pity because once the New Administration is in place from January 2017 changes will take place and there will be a change of perspective by the Citizenship of our Nation.  A study of the changes now slowly taking place in the European Union may show you what can happen.  That change will in turn create a different viewpoint and various blogs will become less followed which in the case of some maritime blogs would be a loss of good posts but rude comments.

Good Watch.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WELL HERE WE GO AGAIN

It has been quite some time since NAUTICAL LOG addressed the activities of the Sea Shepherd Society.  One does not hear much about or from CAPT. Paul Watson one of its founders and the "attack master" of the Japanese Whaling Fleet in the Southern Ocean with several vessels in various conditions, usually not very good, manned by crews of little or no experience.

Largely by guess and by god and with overworked guardian angels they pretty much survived, learnt and those that stayed with it became competent seamen.  One must really respect them for that and some were then appointed by and within the Sea Shepherd Society as "Captains".  * The title is in quotes because it is given as a courtesy to Masters of civilian vessels that hold Masters papers from a recognized maritime Nation.  The Sea Shepherd Society has never to our knowledge published the Masters Certificates or Licences of its appointed "Captains" *.  Well never mind so far they have brought home - with one dramatic exception - their vessels and crews.

Now they are off again. The news came out of "Downunder"  namely the Australian ports of Melbourne and Hobart that two SSS vessels had sailed this past week.  One is the Steve Irwin an old British Government ship already in service and a bright new Damen built patrol vessel named Ocean Warrior.  The money for this expensive vessel built by one of the best European Union shipbuilders was raised from three published sources,  Dutch Postcode Lottery, the British People's Postcode Lottery, and Svenska Postkod Lotteriet.  Of course with the planned departure of the British from the European Union we do not know how they feel about their money being spent in this fashion but it is too late now!!

The International Court of Justice in The Hague declared the Japanese whaling programme in Antarctica not scientific.  The Japanese were also found in contempt of an Australian Federal Court Ruling.  They took time off from whaling to assess these Court Rulings but have now decided to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean in 2016/2017.   As a result the attack vessels from Sea Shepherd are foaming at the mouth ready for action.  NAUTICAL LOG used foaming because they have fitted water cannon on deck to do just that. What happens if SSS injure or kill Japanese crewmembers is anyone's guess but it would not be good.

"Sea Shepherd's 11th. Southern Ocean Whale Defense Campaign is named Operation Nemesis after the Greek goddess of inescapable justice"  so stated "Captain" Peter Hammarstedt, Chairman of Sea Shepherd Australia which now runs the Society's affairs.

Perhaps he has not read history but the same name Operation Nemesis was used by the Armenians in the 1920's for a programme of assassination, revolt and revenge for the Armenian Massacre by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War of 1914 - 1918.  Interestingly the Ocean Warrior was built at the Damen Yard in Turkey and yes sailors are quite superstitious.  

Hmmm - we shall have to wait and see whose nemesis this operation becomes.

As news trickles on to our desk we shall assess it and no doubt write a post or two.  In the meantime safe sailing in a dangerous Ocean to the SSS ships and we shall be watching with interest how Ocean Warrior holds up.

* With reference to the point about "Captains" NAUTICAL LOG received information this evening that "Captain" Paul Watson is not and never has been in fact a Certificated or Licensed Master.  His appointment as a "Captain" came from himself.  He is apparently not currently in favour with the Sea Shepherd Society and hence no doubt the note NAUTICAL LOG received.  Well after all this time it is not really that important.  Sadly his poor or bad influence on all these young crew persons lives is important and one hopes their is someone around who can guide them better into the future.

Good Watch.