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MAKE YOURSELVES USEFUL

Following the COMMENTARY added to the NEXT CHAPTER Post below NAUTICAL LOG would like to direct this Post to the Sea Shepherd ships crews and those thinking about joining these vessels.

The Sea Shepherd Pirate Group have been remarkably quiet since their return to their pirate lair sanctuary Port of Hobart. This is understandable really as they have had a disastrous anti-whaling season without accomplishment. While 'Animal Planet' and 'hollywood types' will no doubt more than cover their expenses it is still nice to actually accomplish something worthwhile. So NAUTICAL LOG has a suggestion for the crew of MS Steve Irwin and possibly the MS Bob Barker.

As it happens there is an opportunity to do just that in the coming weeks and months and truly become the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. During the long planned voyage of 12,000 nautical miles to Europe via the Panama Canal and no doubt with a call at the Galapagos Islands you can get involved in several useful projects. First there is the Voluntary Observing Ships Programme (VOSP) which has ships of many nations reporting the weather every six hours. By contacting the Port Meteorological Officer (PMO) one can obtain forms and a Weather Logbook. The PMO will check the meteorological instruments for accuracy, and explain the programme. Once at sea the Bridge Watch Team completes the Weather Log at designated times, copies the data on to the form which is passed to the Communications Officer for transmission. The PMO's visit when the ship is in port and replace anything needed ready for the next voyage.

In addition there are marine scientific programmes that observe, record and report marine life. Another is reporting flights of migrating birds, pollution, sea hazards or unusual sightings of fishing fleets - perhaps using illegal procedures, that should appeal to SS-PG types. By contacting the local University one is easily directed to those programmes and the information obtained is immensely important as the ship is a marine lab. Over the years at sea NAUTICAL LOG has been involved in all these activities. It was fun and rewarding to contribute something to the World's body of knowledge.

This is a lot more conservationist than the usual 'smash and grab' nautical thuggery existence of the SS-PG and a lot more personally satisfying one would think. Also NAUTICAL LOG hopes that the Master and Officers assigned for the voyage take time to train the crew in nautical skills and encourage other studies in the long hours at sea. Such voyages are an opportunity to discover a lot about ourselves and to improve the mind with interesting useful knowledge.

Here's to a happy and constructive time at sea making a real contribution to maritime interests. NAUTICAL LOG looks forward to your on passage reports. Bon voyage!

Good Watch.

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