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Mission confirmed. From New Zealand Dunedin Television Channel 9 comes this report. The offshore patrol ship HMNZS Wellington (P55) is berthed at Harbour Basin Dunedin, South Island, NZ for the weekend. On Monday, February 14, 2011 she will travel southwards to the Ross Sea undergoing ocean trials to test her capabilities. So this would seem to confirm the waterfront gossip of her being detached by the Government of New Zealand to patrol in the Ross Sea an area of responsibility of NZRCC. HMNZS Wellington has a service speed of 22 knots and as a warship is armed with both heavy and light automatic guns. A couple of things NAUTICAL LOG noticed in studying the photos of P55 this morning. In the original photo the naval grey looked dark and the three liferaft capsules in the starboard rack, just forward of the funnel/stack, were also dark grey. However in the video from Channel 9 the vessel looks to be painted a lighter grey overall and the two lower starboard rack capsules are now white of a different make/design to the third top one which seems to match the original photo. Wonder why? It would be interesting to find out why they were changed and not painted grey in the navy way. With a say 2500 nautical mile voyage P55 should arrive in the Ross Sea area in about 5 days. Interestingly this is also when the SSCS Pirate Group MS Steve Irwin is due to arrive in the area she having a much slower service speed.

While the real patrol ship is on passage the pretend self-appointed patrol ships of the SSCS Pirate Group have released more propaganda this morning. Putting the usual dramatic spin and using bombastic terminology according to themselves they are: "escorting ---- at full speed the JWF vessels". What rubbish. From their own photos (see above) with that statement can be seen the wakes of JWF are those of vessels moving quietly and steadily on their chosen course.

The MS Yushin Maru #3 is positioned properly to intercept the MS Bob Barker should she try to close the stern of the MS Nisshin Maru. One can see the adjusting position in each photo as the SSCS closes the JWF the JWF close off the gap very neatly. Should she attempt to steer between these two vessels she would be squeezed into a collision with at least one or perhaps both. As the overtaking vessel in such a case the responsibility to avoid collision, under the Nautical Rules of the Road, is entirely the MS Bob Barker's. More breathless drama awaits no doubt but the difference is that this time the Royal New Zealand Navy will finally be on patrol in the general area.

Good Watch.


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