Skip to main content


In the SSCS Press Release this morning came news of an interesting new tactic by the MS Gojira the use of weather balloons. Also we have a new term in use by the SSCS that of "harpoon hooligans" which NAUTICAL LOG really wishes we had thought that one up. But we shall be using it along with "nautical thugs" in our fair and balanced posting describing this seasons whaling and anti-whaling activities. Anyway lets get back to those balloons.

The SSCS are using high altitude weather balloons with cameras attached and radar detection capabilities. If this tactic is successful it will increase the surveillance range to about 150 nautical miles. When the JWF use their radars, which operate continuously when underway at sea, the factory ship MS Nisshin Maru with her powerful longer range radar signal will be detected. From this data a position plot can be worked out and the JWF factory ship tracked from a distance.

The MS Gojira is not currently under surveillance by a JWF vessel so the balloon launching took place without interference. These balloons are somewhat unwieldy to launch and the vessel should be stopped. Having done this many times when serving in both Canadian Coastguard (CCG) weather ships and occasionally in Merchant Navy (MN) vessels active in the weather watch programme, NAUTICAL LOG knows it can be a tricky operation.

In addition the ice blocking the Ross Sea is under movement and channels will open up. At present there is a narrow opening and the JWF must decide if they are going to have the MS Nisshin Maru enter it to whale in the Ross Sea. The danger in doing that is if the weather changes it can cause ice shifts and the factory ship could quite easily become trapped. This would not please the harpoon hooligans and the nautical thugs would have nothing to do!!

Good Watch.


Popular posts from this blog


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.


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…


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.