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Showing posts from February, 2009


There was an interesting report yesterday from NASA/NSIDC, the National Snow and IceData Center. For years we have been hearing tragic stories from Al Gore et al, who has two huge errors in his latest slide presentations, about global warming and environmental losses. This really of course upsets the wildlife warriors. Mostly these are fairly accurate and sadly many are all too true. However NAUTICAL LOG has always been puzzled about the loss of sea ice in the Arctic Region. Starving polar bears are not a good thing. Knowing a bit about the behaviour of ice from service in icebreakers something did not seem to match up. A report from NSDIC would tend to confirm our suspicions. Faulty sensors gave an inaccurate picture to the amount of 500,000 square kilometres or 193,000 square miles. Yes it IS quite an amount, actually it is the size of the State of California (United Statesnot Austria). Now that really IS an error, we guess nobody thought to go up there and have a look. Well someone…


From Picton Sound out to the Cook Strait entrance from Bridge of TSS "Tamahine" on evening passage from Picton to Wellington.


From 1959 to 1961 I sailed for the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand (USSCo.). Our voyages took us on occasion across the Tasman Sea to Australia, and Tasmania also up to the Pacific Islands of Tonga, Western Samoa and Fiji. My first ship was the "ferry" from Wellington to Picton TSS "Tamahine". It was a daily one way trip across the Cook Strait which separates the North Island from the South Island of New Zealand. In TSS "Tamahine" it took about five hours and with each night in port it was more a pleasure cruise than working for a living. I am sure many Kiwi's of my generation have made this trip. I hope you have as many enjoyable memories of this beautiful little ship as I do. We used to arrive at Picton Wharf at 1805 (6:05pm) do you know why? Answer by sending us a comment.
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MS "Frank Broderick" and barge MS "Banksland" and barge USNS "Pinnebog" Few more photos from Canadas northern frontier which gives a view from 1967. Local Dad and his children and the lady in dark green parka wearing glasses was the local schoolteacher. The Canadian flag is flying over the RCMP post and the building on the left is the officers (2) living quarters. Good Watch


While in the North during WAP 67 we called at Cambridge Bay a remote Arctic town situated on the northern frontier of Canada. This was the Canadian base point for a string of radar stations monitoring the Soviet Union. Known as the DEWline that is DistantEarlyWarning line it ran across north-western Canada centered on Tuktoyaktuk Canada. In series of four stations they each had a Main and three linked stations CAM Main, CAM 1, CAM 2, CAM 3. The other series were PIN, BAR, POW and LIZ covering all the way across northern Alaska a total distance of 1740 miles. All this area up over the North Pole to the Soviet Union lashed by radar waves. To supply this area there were three ships on Summer service in 1967 these were, a tanker, USNS "Pinnebog", cargo ships, MS "Frank Broderick", and MS "Banksland" which also towed a barge. If I remember correctly this was the Hudson's Bay Company ship. Also on WAP 67 was the USCGC "Northwind" W282. If any read…


While working in Canadian shipping I had an opportunity in 1967 to make an interesting voyage to a unique part of the World. This was Canada's Confederation Year and The Marine Board of Canada was changing to the Canadian Coastguard. Since the Canadian Coastguard Academy did not exist at that time officers with Foreign-going Certificates of Competency were being recruited. So it was that I received an appointment as 2nd. Officer (Deck) in the Canadian Coastguard Pacific Region based in Victoria, BC out on Vancouver Island. At that time Canada manned Ocean Station "Papa" a floating weather station in the North Pacific. Two vessels alternated on Station both former Her Majesty's Royal Canadian Navy World War 2 class vessels. CCGS "Stonetown" and CCGS "St. Catherine's" they were, to say the least, rather battered and sea weary. The North Pacific is somewhat misnamed and both ships had cracks just aft of midships, not really a very comforting fact…


Leaving Cork, Ireland - Summer 1964
Alongside working cargo Cork - Summer 1964

In 1964 I came home from deep sea sailing in June to study and sit for Masters Foreign-going. The course started in September and the opportunity arose to sail as a relief in the coastal fleet. My Chief Mates Foreign-going covered for Master Coastal Trade. It was a great experience as unlike deep sea there were no Radio Officers and Pursers. Therefore the Master did all his own communications and paperwork - excellent on the job training. The run was from Ireland East and South coast ports to Breman with cattle. The ship was then cleaned by German muck-out crews, spotlessly I might add, moved from the cattle walk berth to load general cargo. After that it was round to Hamburg to complete loading general for Ireland. In addition of course the big attraction was that, except for Breman and Hamburg, we did all our own piloting and ship handling. This was experience a foreign-going officer did not really get han…


MS "City of Cork" at sea English Channel summer 1964
"Cork" at Cork, Ireland summer 1964

Some of you may remember a Post last year about finding nearly 900 35mm slides in the closet. These were some 40 to 50 years old. It has been possible thanks to to have some 837 of these placed on DVD. From that NAUTICAL LOG has made up files covering many years at sea and many voyages. In the months ahead we shall place a few so that todays seafarers can see life at sea all those years ago. So look in the weeks ahead for some photos'
No doubt many of you would agree this makes far more fun reading than the complaining about that anti-whaling crowd. Besides no one, other than the Japanese cares to do anything about that Dutch ship pirate thug. Sorry couldn't resist a comment!!
Good Watch