Skip to main content

WEST "GOING WEST"


Chuck and Dick West

From our Press Folder came news of CRUISE WEST which happens to be a part of the NAUTICAL LOG sea career history. On September 08, 2010 the Company stated it was pursuing a number of options with various parties to maintain operations, including investment, selling assets and selling the company. They suspended all new bookings and closed their reservation centre. On September 18, 2010, they ceased operations a Press Release titled Cruise West Ceases Operations stated in part;
"because of the recent dip in the markets and the continued lack of economic confidence, these options have not come to fruition".
It was signed by Dick West, Cruise West's Chairman and Managing Director, the full Release can be read online.

In the 1960's NAUTICAL LOG was living in Canada and was offered a position as Third Officer in the SS Glacier Queen operating from Vancouver, BC. She was under the Canadian Flag and sailed on eight day cruises from Vancouver, BC to Skagway, AK via the Inside Passage. Both the SS Glacier Queen and her sister ship SS Yukon Star where converted Royal Canadian Navy WW2 frigates. Back in 1947 Chuck West had formed Westours and offered Alaska cruises using three small ships operated by Union Steamship Company of Vancouver, Canada. NAUTICAL LOG had previously served as Third and Second Officer in Union Steamship Company of New Zealand. Chuck West was very successful and in 1958 bought the two ships mentioned above and formed Alaska Cruise Lines. Being once again successful in 1971 he sold out to Holland America Line (HAL), as things happen in seafaring NAUTICAL LOG later served in the MS Veendam/Monarch Star as a First Navigation Officer on Holland America/Westour Alaska cruises.

In 1973 Chuck West restarted in the tour business, bought ships and interests now operated as Cruise West the company which was passed on to Dick West. However things began to slip and slid somewhat and the Cruise West safety record suffered. In 2007 and 2008 there were four groundings. The Spirit of Columbia ran aground in Latouche Passage Prince William Sound on August 19, 2007. On November 08, 2007 the Spirit of Nantucket hit an object in the ICW near Virginia Beach, VA. During the 2008 season the Spirit of Alaska hit a rock in Tracy Arm on June 04, 2008. Then on July 07, 2008 the Spirit of Glacier Bay (formerly the Spirit of Nantucket) was cruising Tarr Inlet in Glacier Bay National Park when it grounded on a silt bar.

It is notable that all the incidents involved different ships in different areas which tended to indicate an overall operation and training problem which clearly needed to be addressed. In fact after this latest incident namely the silt bar grounding the United States Coast Guard (USCG) released a statement which stated that the Cruise West vessels were part of a programme designed to review the Cruise West safety procedures and maintenance records due to their recent incidents at sea.

So it would seem that perhaps there is a bit more to the demise of Cruise West than just the current economic situation. Chuck West, whom NAUTICAL LOG knew personally, successfully restarted several times so maybe Cruise West will rise like the phoenix.


Good Watch

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PERIGEAN SPRING TIDES

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.

FAKE NEWS

In recent years there has been a steady decline in the professionalism, accuracy and quality of the various Media outlets and the social media.  In the rush to get there first with a story the shoddy Media - lets call it the really shoddy social media - have resorted to making up stories.  When growing up in the late 30's and 40's this was called lying and got one punished in our house.

Fake news includes inaccurate and unsupported stories all of which in the last year have been published without correction or apology.  Now it seems this attitude has spread to the maritime blogs.  One blog which was generally pretty good about its posts has slipped in accuracy lately including quoting from European tabloids.  A recent post was about H.M.S. Vengeance and its missile launches off the coast of Florida part of its programme to Certify boat and crew  The story was an ill advised, inaccurate choice in subject matter as to what happened and how the incident was reported to a Foreign N…

SS EL FARO VDR TRANSCRIPT

NAUTICAL LOG has published Posts about this tragic ship sinking since the very first report of her loss.  Today the NTSB has released her VDR data in particular the Navigation Bridge voice recorder - it is not good.  This Post is compiled from multiple Media sources.

On October 01, 2015 the SS El Faro a freighter sank with all hands, 33 crewmembers lost their lives and no bodies were ever recovered though one was sighted by the USCG in a survival suit but not picked-up.  By an extraordinary search, resumed at the insistence of a U.S. Senator from the State of Florida, the VDR was found  and now after months of investigation some results have been released. 

The ship left Jacksonville, Fl. bound for San Juan, PR and sailed directly into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane named Joaquin.  Why the ship was where it was in the first place is a question yet to be fully answered but it seems that the Master was more focused on fuel consumption than plotting the path of the hurricane Joaquin an…