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Showing posts from May, 2010

TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS

SUNDAY, MAY 30, 2010.

FURTHER UPDATE: published May 30, 2010.

From the Sea Shepherds there is a reply to the announcement that the Government of Australia is finally taking an action against Japan over whaling.

"We need a definitive international judicial answer to this continuing controversy in the Southern Ocean. We trust that the international court will side with Australia to deliver a stern verdict ordering Japan to cease and desist with their unlawful slaughter of endangered and protected whales inside an internationally established whale sanctuary. We trust the court to understand just what the word 'sanctuary' means."

Considering the style of 'Wats-his-names' latest statements he has clearly tempered his tone. No doubt he is getting sound legal advice now that an internationally recognized warrant has been issued against him personally. Just about any bounty hunter could pick him up and present him to any Japanese Embassy or Consulate. One would point out…

DUTCH COURAGE AND TREATS

Just now NAUTICAL LOG visitor 12,104 was from Friday Harbor, WA and that reminded me to open our Press Release folder, (which by-the-by never includes USCG PR's -wonder why). Readers may know that Friday Harbor, WA is the registered address of The Sea Shepherds. 'Wats-his-name' may have a home there or so one of my commenter's told me. Sure enough there was a Press Release from Sea Shepherds confirming that The Netherlands government had issued a Flag State Certificate/Zeebrievenwet, to the MS Bob Barker.

The Press Release goes on to say that;

"In the face of incredible political and economic pressure from Japan, the Netherlands has not only refused the Japanese demand to strike the Dutch flag from our ship the Steve Irwin they have now officially registered our ship the Bob Barker under the Dutch flag".

You know one really must, in fairness, admire The Netherlands for standing by their principles and putting both the Sea Shepherd Pirate Group ships under the Du…

PHISHING

The Mediterranean bluefin fishing season is now a week into its 2010 season, the quotas have been assigned and they have until June to make their catch. Of course the Sea Shepherds have their vessel MS Steve Irwin stationed off Cannes to - well now that is the question isn't it - to do what?

No one seems to know just what the MS Steve Irwin is going to do least of all the Sea Shepherds themselves. There are no Press Releases at present which is amazing as usually their fearless leader 'Wats-his-name' is flooding the Media with bombastic messages of plans for various 'deering-do'. Now silence to the point where one quite misses him - well in a sort-of-way. Of course he does have that Japanese international arrest warrant hanging over his head. Those can really spoil ones travel plans, never quite know where one stands on occasions.

Doubtless we shall see or hear something this coming week, unless the Med. fishermen really have scared him off. Imagine coming 12,000 nau…

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE

Those of us who make our living from the sea are used to the Rules and Regulations of modern seagoing life. To a degree these now effect the recreational boater as well. We have the USCG, IMO, MCA, SOLAS, STCW, and MARPOL to learn about and follow. In addition we now have MLC 2006 - what you ask?

Lets begin at the beginning. Unfortunately all to many shipowners are hiring their crews from countries that have or enforce little or no fair labour practices. Once the crew is hired pays an exit tax to their government that government could care less what happens to them. When the voyage goes under it is usually left up to The Seaman's Church Institute and the International Transport Workers Federation to find out about them, support them and repatriate them home.

This behaviour resulted in another UN agency The International Labor Organization (ILO) getting involved in maritime affairs. The ILO sets working conditions and regulates labor standards by setting international conventions. Th…

SO THEY HAVE ARRIVED

In a Press Release dated Sunday, May 16, 2010 the Sea Shepherds say they have arrived at anchor off Cannes, France. The passage across the Atlantic from New York some 3958 nautical miles took them from May 01, to May 16, or about 15 days so the MS Steve Irwin is certainly showing her age and lumbering along at 11 knots.

Now that she is in European waters and off Cannes her Port State is France. If not already underway the Gendarme Maritime should give this vessel a complete Port State Inspection as required by International Maritime laws. All her Maritime Certificates and those of her crew, if they have any, should be examined and verified before this vessel is allowed to proceed from her anchorage. It is one thing to allow her a trans-Atlantic passage quite another to have this vessel prowling loose in the relatively confined waters of the Mediterranean. The density of traffic both trans-Med from North Africa plus that going and coming up from the Suez Canal is of concern to seafarers…

OOPS!! FAT FINGER

It now appears that the stock trading panic this afternoon was caused by, as one trader called it, a 'fat finger'. The trade was 16 million shares somehow recorded as 16 billion shares!! The decline was 1000 points - to be accurate 998 points - before the decline stopped and began a climb out of the hole closing at 348 loss.

In truth that is somewhat hard to believe but there it is an explanation by the Stock Exchange one has to live with. Let us see what tomorrow's trading brings, which may be indicative of the truthfulness of the NYSE Report.

Good Watch.

HOW ARE THINGS GOING ?

Just watching the volatile stock market 1000 point leap and the Greek riots all on FOX via split screen HD. Wonder where the MS Steve Irwin is now, since she does not track on AIS. From New York to the Mediterranean entrance is about nine or ten days depending on what speed she is making. This would put her nearly halfway and no doubt they are thinking about what is facing them in negative reaction. Getting a bit tense on board NAUTICAL LOG thinks maybe even some lack of resolve amongst part of the crew. Some second thoughts have set in such as "gee I could have been down in Louisiana making good money hauling boom being a real conservationist - well sort of anyway - but getting paid".

Well the Greeks certainly can be quite worked up with "when in danger or in doubt run in circles scream and shout" an old seafarers saying. In the troubled European Union socialism is backfiring with a vengeance and Italy, Spain and Portugal could well be next. Oh! wait a minute isn&#…

CAVEAT EMPTOR 'SEA CHANGE'

This Post was triggered by an article in the Business section under "Yachting Industry" of a South Florida newspaper entitled "Angry buyer wins suit against brokerage". It is fairly unusual to have a yacht brokerage sued much less have it ruled against them we read on. Since NAUTICAL LOG is not a newspaper so we shall not post the names of those involved just the story.

A Fort Lauderdale brokerage was found liable in a suit for damages by a Rhode Island man who filed the suit claiming the yacht he bought was "unseaworthy". The yacht buyer's attorney said "In the yachting industry it's an important decision - a 'sea change' if you will. Very few people take on the yachting industry."

It is not often realised that while a brokerage house may by knowledgeable about the yachts many of its sales personnel are not. Visit any showroom or boat show and one will quickly see that they are hired for their ability to make deals in high-end go…

GOING ALOFT

TS Royalist
Today's Press Release folder brought the news report of a shipboard death. It is always sad too read of such things and most particularly when it is a young trainee in our trade and industry. A 14 year old Sea Cadet fell from aloft in Stokes Bay, Gosport, Hampshire. The vessel TS Royalist was at anchor and he was climbing the rigging to furl sail. He was rescued from the water immediately by the vessel's crew and transported to hospital by Solent Coastguard helo. Unfortunately he was DOA at Queen Alexandria Hospital in Portsmouth. An Investigation is of course underway by The Marine Accident Investigation Unit and the Hampshire Constabulary. This is TS Royalist's first accident since being commissioned in 1971.

In a career at sea we have been aloft hundreds of times, it is always a risky business and though NAUTICAL LOG foolishly never used one, a safety rig must be used. In a power driven vessel it is even more important as there is no rigging at all. In a saili…