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Those of you who read NAUTICAL LOG know that great importance is placed on safety at sea and this in turn comes from training. It is my opinion that each and every seafarer should hold a license indicating this training has been completed. One of the nautical Blogs that we follow and indeed read each day is BITTEREND hosted by Captain Richard Rodriguez. Captain RR is a well known and excellent instructor resident in the Pacific Northwest. Also he is well known to many of you from his service as a Vessel Assist Captain during the Spring and Summer boating seasons from Friday Harbor WA. The courses he teaches lead to a full United States Coast Guard (USCG) license. There is another excellent source of training and licensing and these are the State Safe Boating Certificates. Putting ones money where ones mouth is NAUTICAL LOG held a USCG Master and also a State of Florida Safe Boaters Certificate.

When NAUTICAL LOG visited the 'Miami International Boat Show' last weekend we had the opportunity to see all the latest USCG and State of Florida maritime reference publications. When we did the State of Florida 'Safe Boating Certificate' in 1999 the booklet "Boat Smart" was version 'A' the latest copy of "Boat Smart" is Version 'G'. It is greatly improved from the original and Floridian boaters should obtain the latest Version 'G' and reference only it contact

Florida Law requires that persons born on or after January 01, 1988 complete a NASBLA approved boater education course prior to operating a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or more. NAUTICAL LOG believes every boater should have this training besides it is a plus when purchasing marine insurance. The NASBLA approved course can be studied on line and after a practice test one can take the real thing. Each State has its own course so a Florida boater should take the State of Florida course and so on. You will receive a credit card style certificate which is kept with a photo ID, such as your drivers license, when you go boating.

When NAUTICAL LOG took the test years ago it consisted of 55 questions, this is now expanded to 75 questions. They are carefully selected and cover all the course subject matter well. So there you are a little effort and you will become a knowledgeable, capable and safe boater.


Just after this was posted my March 2010 "Yachting" arrived with the days mail. For those of you who know Jay Coyle his column is always worth a read. His irreverent style this month is 'Captain Schmaptin' about the joys of license renewal health requirements. Do not miss it!!

As to how this applies to the NAUTICAL LOG Post above well with the State Safe Boating Certificates there are no 'health requirements'. By having your State Drivers License as your photo ID you have already agreed to any testing. So have a laugh with Jay Coyle and go ahead and become a State Safe Boater with no USCG procedures.

Good Watch.


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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


It sometimes happens that one is going to write a Post on a subject when lo and behold there is already an excellent one.  Such is the case today; so rather than repeat everything let me refer you to the source of that Post

At present we are experiencing Perigean Spring Tides which occur when the Moon is at perigee on its oval path that is the closest point to Earth.  One of the principal results are higher than usual Spring Tides as against the Neap Tides.

Should you be interested in the full explanation of this phenomenon then you might like to reference "Old Salt Blog" which has an excellent explanation of this event and uses all the correct terms - quite unlike our Media here in South Florida.

Good Watch.


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.

Good Watch.