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Showing posts from January, 2010


First there was the event of the earthquake in Haiti and the World reacted. The Search and Rescue Stage started, by hand debris was removed from the rubble and wonderfully some 130 to 140 persons recovered. Today we learned that the Haitian Government considers the Search and Rescue Stage over. Now the Recovery Stage begins and it is considered acceptable to bring in and use heavy equipment to remove the debris. Of course there will still be Search and Rescue but the possibility of finding persons still alive is there but rather unlikely -realite.

While all this was going on up on the northern coast of Haiti cruise ships still called at Labadee. This NAUTICAL LOG considers an appalling affront to humanity in general and the People of Haiti in particular. The cruise line involved knows full well the sequence of events that would occur. It would have been quite easy to explain to their passengers that for the month of January, at least, the call at Labadee, Haiti would not be made out of…


During the last couple of weeks NAUTICAL LOG has been concentrating on our neighbor of some 700 miles away - Haiti. This does not mean however that we ignore other nautical events such as the Southern Ocean whaling. It has been quiet down there as the Japanese seem to have a good measure of how to deal with and are dealing with the SS-PG. Of course the SS-PG website has regular Posts but nothing about their anti-whaling activities. That may be because since having whales actually killed in front of him 'Wats-his-name' seems quite disconcerted on how to proceed.

Now 'Wats-his-name' has come up with a bright new idea for attention getting - is 'Animal Planet' setting his agenda one wonders. He has announced that later this year he is heading to the Mediterranean with both ships MS Steve Irwin and MS Bob Barker. His plan it seems is to attack the Bluefin tuna fishermen who are decimating the remaining stocks in the Med. Now these fishermen come from Spain, Italy, M…


From the website of the SS-PG comes a Post with a conciliatory tone, could it be that 'Wats-his-name' is mellowing as we do in older age, poor health or both. Perhaps finally the 'penny-has-dropped' that there are more important things than going overboard for whales. Important as it is to stop their killing there are effective methods that can achieve this and they do not require risking lives and destroying multi-million dollar boats. It may be that 'Wats-his-name' has been shocked what with whales killed before his eyes last season and the Japanese using SS-PG aggressive methods back at him this year. Certainly what leadership he had has lost its edge and there have been comments from former crew members who have been debriefed. Its not so much 'fun' being on the receiving end is it and the harder you push the Japanese buttons the harder they will fight back and resist change.

At present those of us who really care about our Ocean Planet are focused o…


Pour le Pays Pour la Patrie Marchons unis
Here at "NAUTICAL LOG" we have selected some organizations which we feel are best equipped for Earthquake Relief to help the People of Haiti. There are many NGO's that do outstanding work but sadly there are many 'scammers' who take advantage of disasters like this. Already governments have responded and the first flights have landed and are stockpiling and distributing basic foods and water. Shelter is being organized but this will take time. The Search and Rescue efforts continue for now, however after 72 hours it will be considered a Recovery Mission. There is no infrastructure whatsoever and everything has to be organized. There will be a time for volunteers but it is not yet, let the professionals do their job. Later in the months and years ahead volunteers will be the backbone of the rebuilding of Haiti. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is surveying the Port as the only way to get the enormous amounts of supplies n…


Pour le Pays Pour la Patrie Marchons unis

Today our Post is not about nautical things but life in general as this is a very sad day for me. At 1700 Tuesday Haiti was struck by a massive earthquake followed by a series of aftershocks which of themselves were extremely severe earthquakes. NAUTICAL LOG has been to Haiti (a French dialectic speaking country) many many times and served together with Haitian seafarers. We cannot think of a country in the Western Region that is less able to deal with such a catastrophe. The per capita income averages at $560 a year - yes a year. That is of course if there is an income at all to average most do not have one to be counted. If you have seen this mornings photographs then you know the National Palace has been destroyed also the United Nations Headquarters. With strong buildings like that gone one can just imagine the destruction to the simple shelters which serve as homes to the mass of Haiti's 9 million persons.

Many cruise ships call at "…


NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully
Advocat Liesbeth ZEGVELD

So the Southern Saga continues as both sides take serious actions. On the Sea Shepherd Pirate Group side they have retained counsel and who have preferred claims of piracy against the Japanese - seriously piracy by the Japanese. It was pointed out to NAUTICAL LOG that this claim is from an organisation that sells fund raising T-shirts imprinted with the vessels they have sunk by acts of piratical violence.

On the Japanese side according to this morning's "The Australian", and NAUTICAL LOG quotes in part from the article, the Japanese Government has accused Ms. Julia Gillard, Australia's Acting Prime Minister, of aggravating the whaling controversy between Tokyo and Canberra. They called for Australian action to prevent further illegal activities by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. NAUTICAL LOG always calls them a Pirate Group but here we must quote accurately. The Japanese officials warned a senior Australia…


A very serious situation has developed as a result of evidence of equipment aboard the DFC"Ady Gil" is recovered from the oil stained sea. From the Japanese language website come the above photos. They show the DFC "Ady Gil" with hatches open, which may be an attempt to cause the vessel to sink quickly as SS-PG attempts to tow it failed.
In spite of further claims by SS-PG that all fuel had been removed a definite sheen can be seen on the sea surface clear indication of an oil spill. Far more disturbing are the other two photos which show an arrow being recovered from the water and several arrows laid out on deck of the Japanese recovery vessel. These arrows are lethal weapons and if fired from a launcher could quite easily kill somebody.
We now have a case of a lethally armed pirate vessel and this may well be why the crew of the DFC "Ady Gil" wanted the vessel to quickly sink when their towing attempt failed. Captain Bethune of New Zeal…


Latest image of MS "Bob Barker" flying NORWEGIAN flag on stern.

MS "Bob Barker"

The harassment of the Japanese Whaling Fleet continues in spite or perhaps because of the sinking of the DFC "Ady Gil". These are photos from the Japanese website of the latest SS-PG vessel MS "Bob Barker". As you can see she is trailing an entanglement line aft, pretty much standard procedure for SS-PG vessels.

Today Mr. Barker expressed some discomfort about SS-PG operations, how his money has been spent and the possibility of lives being lost. It is always good business to first investigate how ones money is going to be used before dispensing it. Didn't these people learn anything from the Madoff, Stanford, Rothstein crowd.

Good Watch.

UPDATE January 08, 2010:

A NAUTICAL LOG contact in France has heard a rumor, note rumor, that France has dispatched its Ocean Patrol Ship FNS "Albatros". This vessel is a converted deep-sea fishing trawle…


The Media, in its various forms, reported this morning that two vessels had collided in the Southern Ocean. It did not take long to find out that they were the Darth Vader Craft DFC "Ady Gil" and the MS "Shonan Maru #2". For those of you who do not know, the first vessel was operated by the Sea Shepherd Pirate Group (SS-PG) and the second vessel is a Security Force vessel of the Japanese Whaling Fleet. Having read the reports in newspapers from around the world NAUTICAL LOG headed for "YouTube" and of course found video already posted there. Referencing other nautical Blogs we came across an interesting discussion by comments on BITTER END BLOG. A good mixture of recreational and professional seafarers addressed the collision from the point of blame. The comments by commenter Tim Flanagan were particularly interesting because he addressed incident reaction to being under pressure over a period of time. This is a very important consideration for those in c…


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that 2010 is the 'Year of the Seafarer'. Considering all we go through on a daily basis it is nice to be recognized - at last.

However it is also even more important for the IMO to recognize that it must fully enforce the Maritime Laws that exist to protect seafarers. Unfortunately their record is quite deplorable with Laws ignored, unenforced, and closed eyes on far too many occasions. They talk, a lot, about many aspects of seagoing including piracy but totally ignore the behaviour of nautical terrorist organizations such as the Sea Shepherd Pirate Group (SS-PG).

These people have had an entire off-season sheltered in Australia where they are treated with the same admiration given by many to Ned Kelly. During this time not alone was no action taken against them but they refitted their vessel for further acts of piracy!! Neither the IMO, Flag States of the Netherlands and New Zealand nor the Port State of Australia, wh…


Sometime today, after the coffee kicked in, NAUTICAL LOG read about the wren and sailors in "OLD SALT BLOG".

In Ireland and my hometown of Waterford there was a tradition of "goingon the wren". There is a Celtic myth that the robin was supposed to represent the New Year and killed the wren which represented the Old Year. Wren Boys, in old clothes and with blackened faces, would go from house to house asking for money to bury a wren. The money was supposed to be used to buy food and drink for the "wren dance" held that night.

They used to cause great unease amongst many people by their boisterous behaviour, due in a large part to the drink, as they travelled around the houses. As one can see from the last verse of the full song it is a bit threatening demanding silver coins rather than copper.

"The wren the wren, the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze,
Although he is little his family is great,
I pray you good landlady give …