NAUTICAL LOG is an activist blog and publishes Posts on mostly maritime with some non-maritime subjects. We are open to receiving comments and will publish those which are about the subject matter using appropriate professional language, anonymous comments are not published.
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With our interest in maritime history here at NAUTICAL LOG we sometimes come across interesting items. The Blue Funnel Line of the British Merchant Navy was rightly famous for its high standards. Starting in the Shipbuilders Yard at construction it used the finest materials and equipped its vessels with the latest instruments in all departments. The Company trained its own Midshipmen and all Officers held at least one grade higher than rank of Certificate of Competency until appointed as Master. They were self insured as a Mutual Company from 1870's and never lost a vessel except from enemy action in WW1 and WW2. Blue Funnel Line was the first to utilize detailed passage planning. All the charts were prepared by a section of the operations department and placed aboard the ships. Courses, bearings and distances were in ink and each officer used a different coloured pencil assigned to his rank. Thus when reviewed there was no doubt as to whom had plotted the position. The basics were also not forgotten as this piece of rhyme from one Master illustrates;
"A watchful look-out do not cease
Nor observation ever miss;
Be of compass changes wary;
Running near to danger chary;
On duty personally attend;
And above all on Providence depend."
This is possibly a rhyme to print up and place as a frontispiece in the Passage Plan Book.
A popular U.S.-based cruise ship style A popular European ferry style
Several times during the year NAUTICAL LOG has had visitors searching for lifejacket instructions. With two just over Christmas we decided to publish something for everybody to see and read. Choose a Coast Guard approved life-jacket and make sure it is undamaged. Make sure life-jackets are readily accessible, never locked away. Check the fit, there are adult, child and infant sizes, the correct one MUST be used. Choose bright colour life-jackets so as to be seen easily by Search and Rescue (SAR).Put your life-jacket ON BEFORE you leave the berth. Make sure you have a light and whistle attached AND they BOTH WORK. Good Watch
Ships now operate under the International Management Code for Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code). Since this is a Post on Auditing NAUTICAL LOG, who is a Trained Auditor, will not go through the requirements as these can be found on the Internet and in your local nautical bookshop - you do have a bookshop hopefully as they are a dying breed. There are two types of Audit an External Audit and an Internal Audit.
The External Audit consists of the Flag State or an outside Auditing Firm coming into the Company and going through all the Protocols, Procedures and associated Manuals. They may also hold a drill simulating a situation in one of the Company's vessels and observe the results of the Shore Staff dealing with it. NAUTICAL LOG has been through this experience with two very different Companies and believe me it is a long, difficult, trying day not made any easier by the subsequent debrief. The External Auditor then prepares a Report which causes a…
This month saw the commissioning into the Irish Naval Service of a new Class of Irish Naval vessel more of the Frigate size than the previously Corvette size. However they are all classed as Patrol vessels, the new vessel is LÉ Samuel Beckett P61.NAUTICAL LOG wishes her well and a successful service.
The older vessels saw unbelievable service and value for money the first being commissioned in 1979 and continued through the '80's and 90's into the 21st. Century. During those years in addition to patrolling the stormy seas around the rugged Irish coast they made passages across the Western Ocean to the United States and Canada, south to South America as far as Argentina, and east to Asia as far as Korea. Such passages are really remarkable for such small vessels and show the competence of Irish seafarers who as Naval Officers and Merchant Marine Officers train together.