Tuesday, April 25, 2017

HELLO OUT THERE !!

NAUTICAL LOG gets quite a few readers from around the World which is nice and encouraging.  However we rarely if ever get comments and that is a bit disappointing.  While we are not looking for rabid controversy as happens with some Blogs thoughtful comments stimulate the NAUTICAL LOG creative juices and point out  - hopefully - a different viewpoint to that published in our Posts. 

So if you have an opinion let's hear it - just click on comments and take it from there.

Good Watch

Thursday, April 20, 2017

FINALLY THE PENNY DROPS

One of the more enjoyable spots on any cruise ship is the swimming pool or these days pools.  They are now pretty exotic with water tunnel slides from several decks up.  Missing in many cases seem to be the children's parents supervising the fun. Why?  Oh! right there is a Bar just handy and that's where one can often find those parents instead of keeping an eye on the safety of their kids.  Sadly this has resulted in numerous deaths and brain injuries to those same kids and on occasions adults.

As a result of legal actions after the event cruise lines are finally posting "lifeguards" at the pool area.  Also they are going to have safety videos and swimming vests available to their guests - see NAUTICAL LOG remembered to use the current term for passengers in this Post.  Since the top and senior management of cruise lines these days have the background of the hotel and entertainment industries one might wonder why this was not all in place decades ago saving numerous children's and indeed on occasions adults lives.

Well it was not required therefore why use commonsense and do it if one does not have to after all the parents sitting at the Bar are supposed to take care of their kids safety. True but unwise.  Large settlements due to legal action by maritime lawyers have now changed the executives minds.

Cruise Lines are protected by a 1920 Law known as "Death on the High Seas Act" that exempts them from nearly all financial responsibility in the death of a non-wage earner such as a child or retiree.  The only costs which Cruise Lines can be held liable for are funeral expenses for the victim or victims.  Remember in the United States of America there is no separate Admiralty Court as in many other countries here it is dealt with under U.S. Federal Law and Courts however the cruise ships are registered outside of the United States.  In most cases one is under the legal jurisdiction of the country of registry while on board the ship not the U.S. even if one is a U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident.

Should readers wish to read more about this or maybe have some doubts about this Post the following list of ships have had legally recorded incidents:

MS Norwegian Escape
MS Norwegian Getaway
MS Norwegian Epic
MS Norwegian Gem
MS Norwegian Breakaway

MS Disney Fantasy

MS Anthem of the Seas
MS Oasis of the Seas
MS Independence of the Seas

MS Carnival Victory
MS Carnival Dream

Well now enjoy your cruise but remember to be careful and keep an eye on the kids in spite of having "lifeguards" on pool duty - we hope.

Good Watch.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

FLIGHTS OF FANTASY

It is just over a decade since NAUTICAL LOG ceased sea going after some fifty (50) years and left the cruise industry to teach nautical science.  During that time there have been enormous changes in both the industry itself and the design of the vessels - none good.

The ships have long ceased to be ships and are now floating - sort of anyway - resorts just like we have here in Florida at Orlando the site of Disney - yes they have ships also - and other similar sites.

The latest piece of seagoing nonsense currently being built is the MS "Norwegian Joy" which has on its upper deck a Ferrari brand go-kart racing track.  That should be nice for those living in cabins the next deck below listening to screaming Ferrari's while wallowing in sea sickness.

One might ask why ship designers would design and companies would build these types of vessels with this stuff on board.  The answer is surprisingly simple.  Take a look at the resumes of the top and upper management of cruise companies you will find they all come from the hotel and entertainment industries with absolutely no sea-going experience whatsoever not even as Pursers.  The term Marine Superintendent is unknown and no longer listed in cruise companies hierarchy.  Oh! you might find in one or perhaps two companies a "Captain X" likely relating to the Safety Division who will be a former U.S. Naval Officer god help us or even worse a former USCG Senior Officer doing what is known here in America as "double dipping".  That is something the USCG are experts at believe me.  Of course they were hired  to have a quiet and quick word with a still serving former classmate or shipmate in Marine Inspection, known as ring-knocking, if there is a problem with such irritating things as IMO Rules and Regulations which the USCG is the enforcing body.

As an example just a few weeks ago a cruise vessel was delayed for a few hours over lifejackets - lifejackets for goodness sake.  There are numerous spare lifejackets on board a cruise ship so one imagines this was a cover up for a more serious IMO Rules problem which then received an "extension" to solve after sailing or at some future date.  So it goes on and on.  One only has to watch one of these top heavy vessels departing Port of Miami and making the turn at the sea buoy to see her lean to starboard even on a calm day to a noticeable list.  On Saturday last my four (4) year old grandson asked me why the ship we were watching was falling over!!  Then ever so slowly coming back to the upright which as any seaman knows indicates an unstable vessel. What would she be like in the bad weather of a passing front or worse the hurricane season? 

Neptune being a cruel god the sea every so often demands a toll and sadly one of these days it will happen that a cruise vessel carrying the current 6000 passengers - oh sorry guests is the term these days - and crew will be lost quite likely with all hands and those Ferrari brand go-karts.

And you ask me why one never goes on a cruise??

Good Watch