Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2010


STV Fryderyk Chopin

This year has seen several accidents, some fatal, in sail training vessels (STV). While it is an excellent way to teach people of all ages about ships and the sea it requires considerable planning. Just this week there have been two maritime incidents in the same general area namely the English Channel Approaches. First there was the FFV Athena which caught fire and the Master wisely evacuated the crew to survival craft keeping a small team aboard to fight the fire. The second incident was of much greater concern to the maritime community even thought things worked out well.
The UK Coastguard had to launch a rescue operation in response to a distress call from the Polish sail training ship STV Fryderyk Chopin which had lost one of its two masts in severe weather and was in danger of losing the second one. Ships in the area headed for her and helicopters were launched from bases in Cornwall and Devon. The ship was located about 100 nautical miles southwest of the Sci…


From our European Union correspondent came an article from the Avaaz Organisation while NAUTICAL LOG is not familiar with the organization the article was about whales. With our natural concern for whales and appalled that whaling is still practiced in several countries here are quotes from the article as sent by our correspondent. We have no way of knowing if the numbers given in the article are correct or even how they were counted.
"There are only 300 northern right whales left and 99% of the blue whales have been wiped out."
"Right now 193 governments are meeting in Japan to try and create a global agreement to create, fund and enforce protected areas covering 20% of our lands and seas by 2020."
Well there it is the meeting is in Japan, is this not rather ironic since the premier country violating the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary (SOWS) is Japan. Under the ridiculous premise that they are conducting 'research' the ICR Japanese whaling flee…


FPB Ocean Adventurer 7 underway flying flag of South Africa

After waiting for an exciting announcement on a glittering Hollywood evening it all went kind of flat. The Sea Shepherd Pirate Group (SSPG) at their soap opera "Night for the Oceans" event were supposedly going to introduce their latest 'Interceptor Ship' - did not happen. No Press Release (there may have been but it was later removed or so NAUTICAL LOG was told) bursting with the usual 'Wats-his-name' bombastic phraseology and no vessel. According to Ecorazzi, who attended the event, there is a vessel somewhere however as yet it is not quite paid for, named or found a Flag State. That latter should not be a problem as the Netherlands flag is given out freely without honour by the Dutch Government and they have already registered the other two SSPG ships MS Steve Irwin and MS Bob Barker. The begging - oh sorry fund raising - continues as 'Wats-his-name' tries to raise $1.5 million to pay for -…


generic iPMS console
In a recent interview the Commanding Officer of HMS Astute, now facing Court Martial as a result of the grounding in Inner Sound, stated that the vessel was controlled by a Platform Management System (PMS). This is the latest in maritime automation and is the integration of human abilities with computer abilities. Generally known as an integrated Platform Management System (iPMS) it is fitted in many warships of different nations as well as merchant vessels and even a few mega-yachts. As can be seen from the photo above it consists of a console with indicators, screens, keyboards and a 'joystick'. One person manning a console can control these applications:

Power management
Propulsion control Ship systems automation
Ship system remote monitoring and control
Alarm system including Extension Alarm Panels
Damage management
Conning displays
Loading and Stability computer
CCTV camera system
Data logging
Provide training
Provide electronic mail
Distribute video
Manage ship&…


UPDATE October 22, 2010: The HMS Astute was floated free by the evenings high tide with the help of three support vessels. Her stern had grounded on a shingle bank in the morning while she was transferring people ashore.
The word 'astute' means clever, cunning, or shrewd however these do not, it appears, apply to the Royal Navy submarine HMS Astute. This morning she ran aground off the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was alerted to the incident at 0819 BST (British Summer Time) and announced "We have sent a coastguard tug to where the submarineran aground on rocks at the Kyle of Lochalsh near the Skye bridge". Since the tide is rising at around 1800 BST it is possible the vessel can be removed then.

The Inner Sound area is well marked with navigational buoys and the sea around Skye and Raasay is used as a training area by the Royal Navy (RN). One would think that naval watchofficers and navigators should be quite familiar with it. Whi…


A generic Corvette-sized Ocean Patrol Vessel
A generic Corvette-sized Ocean Patrol Vessel

A couple of weeks ago NAUTICAL LOG received some information that frankly we thought was a bit far out in left field. This being the time of the year when we hear of preparations for the coming whaling season in Southern waters on both sides of the issue. Then came some other announcements from Sea Shepherds that their anti-whaling patrol vessel MS Bob Barker had completed a major refit in Hobart, Tasmania. Also that there would be a Hollywood event October 23, 2010 to announce their new Darth Vader 2 "interceptor craft". While there has been no Press Release to date about the MS Steve Irwin she is due soon to voyage from the Mediterranean to the Southern seas once again. So where does all this leave the Japanese and what can they do to protect themselves. We turned to that information received to see what could be put together.

According to the data there is an organization namedOceans …


Yangtze River delta

News has reached NAUTICAL LOG by several sources of a collision between the Costa Cruises MS Costa Classica passenger ship and the Belgian Flag State MS Lowlands Longevity a bulk carrier. The damage to the passenger ship is along the starboard side well above the waterline.
It appears both vessels were in the deep water channel of the Yangtze River and both were in bound. According to the Shanghai Maritime Safety Bureau (SMSB) "liner lost control due to a powerglitch". This is the sort of statement made when too deep an investigation would lead to possible embarrassment to the local authorities. NAUTICAL LOG surmises that the pilots were aboard each vessel and this is, once again, a case of things going wrong when Master is in Command and Pilot is advising the Bridge Team.

NAUTICAL LOG suspects that the 'liner' was overtaking the bulk carrier, got too close alongside and the vessels were 'sucked' together by water displacement causing the im…


This week NAUTICAL LOG was asked a question about correcting GPS readings prior to plotting a position on the chart. Apparently what triggered the question was a post in another maritime themed blog about a ship that ran aground because of a GPS reading. Well NAUTICAL LOG did the research and found that the post was a copy from a MARINE LINK article. What caught our eye however was the comment to the post, we quote:
"I assume that the corrections they are referring to are related to the chart vs the GPS horizontal datum. Is that correct?"

Now NAUTICAL LOG thought it was an excellent question, worth further research and comment, so from MARINE LINK here is what happened. During a coastal passage a containership ran aground after the Watchofficer (OOW) altered course about half a mile before he reached the intended alter course position. An investigation suggested that the OOW was reading GPS alone to plot positions and was not aware that a correction needed…


"Water, Water everywhere And all aboard did shrink Water, water everywhere Nor any drop to drink" from "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere" (1797-98)
Today is International Blog Action Day 2010 and the theme is to write about water, not just any water but clean water around the world. For seafarers we are on the water all the time but it is sea water (NaCl+H2O) and so we need places to obtain fresh water (H2O). For thousands of years this was always the seafarers problem how to obtain and then carry clean fresh water for sea voyages particularly the long sea voyages of the world explorers. Then reverse osmosis was discovered at the University of Florida in the 1950's and basically the problem was solved. Now all that sea water could be purified into drinkable fresh water (FW).

Reverse osmosis is the method of forcing solvent from liquids using a suitable membrane. Just about all over the world drinking water purification systems include a reverse osmosis step. On board…


MT Mindoro

MS Jork Ranger (note bow damage)

' Aim for the name'
It is said things happen in 'threes' and there in the NAUTICAL LOG Press Release folder this morning was number three. A Greek tanker and a Cypriot container ship have collided 19 miles off Scheveningen, Holland. First reports are no injuries and since the tanker was loaded with kerosene any cargo that escaped has evaporated. The tanker Mindoro has a crew of 25, and the Cypriot Jork Ranger has a crew of 12. Perhaps they should rename it Jerk Ranger as from the photo she hit the tanker on the tankers port side forward. This was clearly a crossing situation under Rule #15 of the International Rules of the Road. Rule #15 is straightforward, clear and it states:

"When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other ve…


The following M-Notices are now available on the

MGN 423 (M) Dangerous spaces

MGN 424 (M) Safety on Dive Boats

MGN 425 (M) Sleeping on 'Dead Ships'

MGN 426 (M) Means of escape


MIN 399 (M) PBC2

If any difficulties contact the Administrator at 023 8032 9391

Good Watch


Well seafarers and their 'guests' the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is at it again. Starting on August 01, 2011 all heavy fuel will be banned from Antarctica. So what does this mean? Most large ships including passenger ships use heavy fuel to steam on passage. They use lighter marine diesel oil (MDO) to manoeuvre in and out of ports then switch to a blend finally operating on the heavy fuel. Later they switch back to blend and finally operate on MDO to manoeuvre on arrival in the next port. Now with the ban to use and carry heavy fuel many large passenger ships are automatically banned from Antarctic cruises.

These larger ships are at present allowed to visit Antarctica but are not allowed to land passengers. The current limit is 100 passengers landing ashore at a time so landings are impractical for the larger ships that now carry hundreds or thousands of passengers. Smaller ships will still be able to make an Antarctic cruise, land 100 passengers but must carry a…


New Flag State ensign
As of today 10/10/2010 there is a new country, new ship register and therefore new Flag State in the Caribbean. The islands of Curacao and Sint Maarten (an island shared with France) are independent countries under the above new national flag, their capital will be Willemstad, Curacao. Formerly several Dutch islands in the Caribbean where known as the Netherlands Antilles. Now Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba become part of the Netherlands directly as "municipalities". Under the new status former Netherlands Antilles registered vessels will be transferred to the new Flag State and will fly the new ensign. All codes, treaties and governance responsibilities will be in the hands of the new country's Government. It seems likely that this could become a popular new Flag State rather like the Marshall Islands.

Good Watch.


MS Lisco Gloria

For the second time in two days there has been a maritime incident in Europe, first an overtaking collision off Ushant, Brittany, second this fire in Western Baltic Sea. As can be seen from the photos supplied by the German maritime authorities the davits are swung outboard indicating rescue craft were launched. It appears all 250 (approximately) persons on board were saved, 21 are reported injured none seriously. The cause of the fire was an "upper deckexplosion" source at this time is not known. The ferry was en route from Kiel, Germany to Klaipeda, Lithuania.
Good Watch


WOWLook out Japanese whalers
Sea Shepherdess MichelleRodriguez
UPDATE:Relax Japan no Sea Shepherdess after all!! MR has dropped out on plans to join the SSPG for the 2010-2011 is anyone really surprised by this news in early November 2010. The NAUTICAL LOG Press Release folder brought news of open disagreement between members of the Sea Shepherds. Usually 'Wats-his-name' claims that they are one big happy family dedicated to saving whales or whatever is the current object of their affection. In fact a great deal is known about the real situations and conflicts aboard their vessels. In the years before and continuing since the "Whale Wars" film crew were on board, each season as had at least one crew member who in reality is a maritime intelligence operative. Of course 'Wats-his-name' denies this completely and claims crew members are vetted and it would be impossible to place such a person on board. In fact nothing is easier with such an organization because…


This morning NAUTICAL LOG received an e-mail from the Master of the Spanish Hospital ship which was much appreciated. We have posted it with the other comments on our original Post regarding the rescue of Mr. Bennetts. CAPT. Javier de la Andres was on vacation from the ship when Mr. Bennetts was rescued, however on his return he has taken the time to write us. Best regards to the Master, crew and medical staff of SSAM Juan de la Cosa and

Good Watch.