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Showing posts from December, 2009

HOW TO WEAR A LIFEJACKET

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

BOUILLABAISSE

TAAF Service vessel operated by CMA CGM TAAF Regional flag

Well now let us see if here at NAUTICAL LOG we have got a grasp on things simmering in the pot. It seems that when the anti-whaling campaign started out some years ago it was between Greenpeace, the Sea Shepherds and the Japanese whaling fleet. The Australians came down to their own Southern Ocean Territory in a chartered civilian vessel one year. Beyond taking photographs and returning some Sea Shepherds to their ship the MS "Steve Irwin" not much was accomplished. The Greenpeace crowd then dropped out and Animal Planet boarded the MS "Steve Irwin" to shoot 'reality TV' and so Whale Wars came into being.

This resulted in some deplorable behaviour on all sides and some appalling exhibitions of seamanship - or rather total lack of seamanship by the Sea Shepherds. But now there was money coming in which could be spent on - well nobody really knows what the money is spent on.

New Zealand made it quite c…

MOVING ON

The MS "Steve Irwin" reports that it has moved on from French Antarctic Waters after a call at a nearby Australian Base. In it's report the vessels Master states

"The French government strongly condemns illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whaling Sanctuary".

Quoting a statement by the TAAF Prefect endorsed by the District Chief who signed the letter addressed to the MS "Steve Irwin" her Master has concluded that this is official French government policy.

The time is now to have the supporting or clarifying statement from the French Foreign Office stating the National Position. At present it would seem that minor overseas diplomats are setting French National Policy. This is behaviour which if tolerated could cause serious diplomatic misunderstandings.

Students of history will recall how French Colonial Rule collapsed in Algeria in the 1960's through ill judged behaviour by French local officials of similar diplomatic ranks. This was an exp…

CHERCHEZ LA FEMME - A LETTER TO PIRATES

Chef de district Marie France Roy is second from the left.




So now the French have arrived - well actually it was the MS "Steve Irwin" who arrived at the French. As can be seen from the above letter the Chef de district de Terre Adelie has given her permission for the anti-whaling vessel to remain in French Territorial Waters. One has to wonder just how experienced a diplomat Madam is and how she reached the decision to involve herself in an international discussion.

In her letter she makes a clear and strong statement in support of a pirate group playing at 'enforcing' an unclear international legal decision. Here NAUTICAL LOG quotes,
"Notre sympathie va dans le sens des activites menees par ce bateau pour faire respecter les preconisations de laCommission baliniere international".
As a French diplomat representing her Government this is the expression of her Governments will - or is it. She has taken a strong stance on one side always an unwise practice in po…

RESPONSIBILITY - AN EDITORIAL

The publishing of a Blog gives a writer the freedom to express a viewpoint on just about any subject. Along with that freedom goes a responsibility to Post truthful and accurate information. If not the Blog quickly degenerates into a 'rant' of meaningless writing of little or no value.

When one opens the Blog to comments from readers it must be remembered by the publisher that the comments form part of the Blog. They are and must be open to moderation. While in the interest of freedom of expression NAUTICAL LOG is reluctant to withhold publication we will do so.

So it was with the second comment to our Post "SHEPERD'S PIE". The writer "MIKE" gave the sense to us that it was created and not a factual report of an authentic incident. After some deliberation we decided to publish it with an update in the Post itself. This we considered fair and balanced to all parties concerned.

Whatever we might think of the behaviour of the MS "Steve Irwin" and it…

SHEPHERDS PIE

The silly season has started with playing for the cameras it seems. A report from the MS "SteveIrwin" indicates that she and the Japanese tracking ship MS "Shonan Maru #2", that has followed them from departure Fremantle, exchanged cannon fire - well water cannons anyway. Still it's something for the cameras and from the Japanese perspective they are encouraging the MS "Steve Irwin" to burn up fuel. By having them burn up fuel by the time they arrive at the whaling fleet they will be at short stay and have to return - somewhere - to fuel. Some great photos as they play 'ring-a-rosys' around the ice.

Meanwhile the Japanese can refuel from their factory ship and keep catching whales. Last year the fleet actually killed and captured whales right in front of the MS "Steve Irwin" and they could do nothing about it. Interestingly the ship identified as the MS "Shonan Maru #2" is now grey whereas before she was painted white, as me…

POLAR CODE

As the season of Japanese whaling operations and the anti-whaling operations comes upon the Southern Ocean once again interesting news comes from New Zealand. Meeting in Wellington, NZ are the forty-seven signatory nations of the Antarctic Treaty. The Treaty was first signed in 1959 (at that time I lived in NZ) with New Zealand as one of a dozen Founding Nations. This is interesting in itself because the latest addition to the anti-whaling group is the DVC"Ady Gil" whose Flag State, we understand, is New Zealand. In the past years New Zealand has declared the anti-whaling groups unwelcome in their country. One of the spokespersons for the Japanese whaling fleet was from New Zealand. Some interesting cross currents there NAUTICAL LOG thinks.

The Antarctic Treaty is the world's tool for managing the continent and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is discussing the possibility of imposing a 'Polar Code' to control shipping in the region. All this sounds v…

ANTARCTICA BOUND - YES REALLY

UPDATE December 11, 2009; It is reported from Hobart, Tasmania that the anti-whaling activist vessel DVC "Ady Gil" has sailed once again. She received 'Clearance' from Australian Customs to proceed on passage to the Southern Ocean. It is also reported that shortly after a spotting aircraft circled the MS "SteveIrwin" a white vessel appeared and positioned herself eight nautical miles astern. This vessel fits a description of the MS "Shonan Maru" a hunter/tracking vessel of the Japanese whaling fleet. This year it would seem that instead of covert tracking the direct approach is being used by the Japanese. The MS "Steve Irwin" reverses course and turns off in different directions when being tracked which must suit the Japanese immensely. All this does is burn up fuel which is wasted by the anti-whaling vessel doing 'crazy ivan' manoeuvres and it will later limit her time in the Southern Ocean. After all this is done the MS "Sh…

NLIN #9 - TO SEAFARERS PARENTS

This very useful map was published in the "OLD SALT BLOG" this morning and NAUTICALLOG is reproducing it here. Experienced seafarers, ship owners and managers refer to data like this when Passage Planning. They must balance cargo shipping revenues against the dangers of the sea, Port difficulties and most definitely include 'pirates'.
So it is with wonderment, as the father, grandfather and uncle of both male and female mariners, that parents would even consider letting children make world voyages single-handed.
NAUTICAL LOG reads of the parents of 16 year old children, for that is what they are being under 18 or 21 depending on a country's laws, encouraged to set off alone in small boats. Once again there have been a series of hijackings by pirates of vessels and yachts. Whether these 'pirates' are West Africans, Somalis or the Revolutionary Guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran, they are nautical thugs, people to avoid and must be regarded when Passage P…