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Showing posts from April, 2011


My little buddy's the penguins have been returned to the outer Islands after rehab on Tristan da Cunha.  Slowly, steadily and surely things are being cleaned up by the Islanders and those assisting them from South Africa.  These two guys look happy to be home and seem to be doing a little dance on the beach!!

Sport fishing boat standing by Cuban rafters drifting in the Straits of Florida.  The USCG arrived some time later to assist and return them to Cuba under that "wet feet dry feet" policy.  Photo was taken from a passing vessel which also remained on scene until USCG arrived. It is good to know that the traditional fellowship of the sea is alive and well.

For once we do not have a piracy report for Friday Report, we did however have one earlier in the week.  No doubt as the day progresses something will land on the NAUTICAL LOG desk.  

We have resumed CONSULTATION and there is a note in the Blog.  It may be that ship and yacht owners and their crews would like t…


 This week NAUTICAL LOG was directed by a post in OLD SALT BLOG one of our favourite and 'read-daily' maritime blogs to a 'The New York Times' opinion by a writer Rose George from Leeds, England.  Now 'The New York Times' has a reputation in recent times of first forming an opinion, usually well to the left of centre, and then having a writer put together an 'opinion' from what could be biased and or least quite selective research.  This may be why this British writer was chosen for this particular article.  One should perhaps note that Ms. George has written and had published a book on the subject of sewage - "The BigNecessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why it Matters"  - a truly Victorian style  title.  With this as background she is now apparently writing one about the Maritime Shipping Industry and one hopes that her research considerably improves in both quality and accuracy.  From the 'opinion' piece published …


 Finally it is published and so we can all shut up and get on with more important things.  Frankly NAUTICAL LOG and one suspects many others including The Donald, are puzzled why this was not done three years ago during the original campaign.  Our President seems to like to push people's buttons quite a bit.

Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India and others to free them.


Once again from a European correspondent comes news of piracy and once again it is near the Gulf of Aden.  First the background story and then some comments on it.

On April 21, 2011 the 6500 TEU containership MS Hanjin Tianjin came under attack by pirates in the Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden 400 km eaast of Socotra.  The ship and its crew of 20 seafarers, 14 Koreans and 6 Indonesians were rescued by the Korean Navy ship ROKS Choi Young.

The crew of the MS Hanjin Tianjin had stopped the engine "to hold it in position" and hid in the citadel (panic room) to protect themselves".  The pirates did some damage to the ship but left on the approach of the ROKN warship.

Comment: NAUTICAL LOG is not quite sure why this vessel was stopped in order for the pirates to board.  Look at the size of it and the difficulty of climbing the side, perhaps they rig the pilot boarding ladder for the pirates to make things easier for them!!  It may be that these are 'Standing Orders to Ma…


Regular readers - we do HAVE regular readers don't we? - will notice that the NAUTICAL LOG 'Blog List' and 'Link List' have been revised.   Sites visited frequently have been transferred from the 'Link List' to the 'Blog List' so that they can be visited more easily.  Any suggestions - politely please - on these changes are welcomed and will be considered.  Just added to the 'Link List' is a new blog, to us anyway, Marine Cafe and have the Barista Uno point-of-view from the Philippines.

We take this opportunity to wish All Hands a Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Feliz Pascua, Feliz Páscoa and Joyous Passover. 

At the bottom of our Posts we have a statement regarding our fellow seafarers, perhaps the webmasters of other Blogs would like to copy that or do something similar.  The situation has now worsened with selected hostages being kept even after ransom has been paid and the vessel departs.  Also there has been no news,…


The first in class of the new United States Coast Guard cutter Sentinel Class was "launched" yesterday at Lockport, LA.  Named the Bernard C. Webber (154 ft.) she did not as can be seen from the photos have a traditional launch.  Somehow it does not have the same impact, however we at NAUTICAL LOG wish her well and successful patrols once she is commissioned.  Photos courtesy of the USCG Compass with thanks.

Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India and others to free them.


UPDATE: April 23, 2011

We regret to report that Mrs. Richardson has died in Cumberland Hospital overnight, our sympathies to the families.

Regretfully the news regarding Mrs. Richardson, the lady who was dropped from a stretcher into -3°C. Arctic waters is not good.  The doctors say it is hard to estimate if this is due to her underlying medical condition or the traumatic experience she suffered during the transfer from the MS Ocean Countess to the NSSR/Redningsselskapet lifeboat.  There is a full Investigation underway in which all parties involved are assisting.  We at NAUTICAL LOG wish the Richardson family well and hope the work of the medical staff at Cumberland Hospital will have a successful outcome.

Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India and others to free them.


When rescues go wrong they can really go wrong this is one of those occasions.  In a report today from the United Kingdom comes word of a passenger in MS Ocean Countess, Mrs. Richardson, who was taken ill onboard and it was decided to transfer her ashore.  The cruise ship was cruising the Norwegian Fjords and the Norwegian Rescue Service lifeboat responded.  However originally a helicopter transfer was planned but it changed to a lifeboat response.  In transferring the patient by stretcher from the vessel to the lifeboat the six (6) stretcher bearers lost control when the lifeboat lurched and its stern swung away.  Mrs. Richardson fell into the freezing water of -3°C. in which she struggled for some eight (8) minutes.  Fortunately she was wearing a lifejacket and once back in the lifeboat was rushed to hospital in Bodo, Norway which is just north of the Arctic Circle.  She has now been transferred to Cumberland Hospital in Carlisle, Cumbria, UK.  We at NAUTICAL LOG wish the Richardson…


On this the Deepwater Horizon Anniversary of the worst oil spill in United States history that of the Transocean  BP drill platform in the Gulf of Mexico.  The response to which was less than steller by a United States Coast Guard which repeated all the mistakes of the Exxon Valdez disaster plus adding in a few new ones - the Media had a field day and still are from anniversary coverage.  Since the USCG became part of the Department of Homeland Security their added missions seem to have overwhelmed the original purpose of having a USCG.  We now have RHIB's manned by young bosun's mates not yet of legal drinking age racing around with powerful weapons and flashbangs playing at being maritime law enforcement officers.  In recruiting areas well known to seafarers and boaters one can add in latino machismo to the volatile mix of youth, inexperience, weapons and gungho-oorah this latter encouraged by those in command.  It is hard to pay very much attention to some kid in a uniform …


For those of you that know and have watched Doctor Who over the years transporting around in TARDIS his blue British Police Call Box will be sad to learn of the death of Elisabeth Sladen.  Joining the programme in 1973 she became one of the most popular companions in the role of Sarah Jane Smith.  The Liverpool born actress Elisabeth Sladen was known to family and friends as Lis.  She starred in Doctor Who alongside Jon Pertwee the third doctor and Tom Baker the fourth doctor.

Elisabeth Sladen was suffering from cancer and died yesterday leaving behind her husband actor Brian Miller and daughter Sadie.  Lis was 63 which is itself hard for NAUTICAL LOG to believe.  Safe passage and

Good Watch.
Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India to free them.


It is amazing to NAUTICAL LOG and one suspects many others, that vast sums of money can be paid in bribes, graft and payouts to the pirates and their associates.  At the same time the United Nations is rumoured to be running low in anti-piracy operating funds. 

At an anti-piracy conference yesterday Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs agreed to donate $1 million to the fund and around $400,00 was pledged by private companies in the UAE and further $100,00 by Dubai Port operator DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem.  Last year the fund had an operational budget of $4.5 million .  Only $100,000 of that operational fund remains and without this infusion of monies the fund would have ceased operating.

While these contributions by UAE entities are generous it is but a fraction of the payouts to the pirates themselves and somehow this all seems a ridiculous situation to NAUTICAL LOG.  The UN states it needs $20 million annually, this puts furthe…


Cable ships have come in all shapes and sizes over the years and just to the south of the NAUTICAL LOG home port is one named SV Western Union.  Her home port in Key West, FL, which before its present rebirth as an alternative lifestyle tourist resort and cruise ship call port, was a fishing port, US Naval Base, US Coast Guard Base and second home to President Harry S. Truman.
The SV Western Union was designed, timbers cut in Grand Cayman of native woods and shipped to Key West where she was assembled and rigged in 1939 by Grand Cayman and Conch craftsmen.  She is an American coastal schooner of traditional design and served the telegraph company as a cable repair ship for 35 years.  Years later she was tidied-up and used as a local tour vessel in response to a growing tourist trade to replace the reduction and eventual departure of the US Naval Base, though the USCG still has an important Base there to the present day.

When Historic Tours of America ceased operations there was a fear …



Here we are TGIF and the weekend looms, at least for some of us.  Once again we have information from one of our European correspondents and once again it is about Piracy.  No matter how many meetings, conferences and reports are conducted in the maritime world the Piracy continues and no leadership is displayed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) whatsoever.

In a report received by NAUTICAL LOG this morning Katerina Kerr who quotes the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Director CAPT. Pottengal Mukundan and whom both are summarized and quoted by NAUTICAL LOG.

"Figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea in the past three months are higher than we've ever recorded in the first quarter of any year".

The IMB have monitored piracy worldwide since 1991.  The east coast of Somalia, in and around the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden are areas with most reported hijackings and hostages taken, says the report.  Some 299 persons with their vessels held captive an…


It seems that this is the year of aircraft carriers as both China and the United Kingdom are building them.  Of the two China's is rather interesting it is a former Ukraine Navy vessel which China bought in 1998 and towed without an engine and with much of the vessel missing, to a shipyard at China.  The Chinese Navy studied it, used it for training purposes and designed a rebuilding programme which now is bearing fruit.  She is named after Shi Lang an Admiral who conquered Taiwan in 1681, in itself an interesting and perhaps warning choice of name.  On April 28, 2011 Shi Lang may well put to sea for the commencement of a long programme of ship trials and training of Chinese Naval personnel, of all ranks and rates, in operating aircraft carriers and flight operations from them. 

She will be the first of several planned carriers which may be restored from old vessels bought in the last decades or more likely build from Chinese designs in China's shipyards or perhaps a combina…


Now that the required United States Coast Guard (USCG)  publishing and waiting period have been completed the Final Rule on vessel capacity calculation will come into effect on December 01, 2011.  Due to the persons being bigger and heavier the weight per person was increased from 150 lbs. to 185 lbs. as the division numeral.  On making a 'walmartvisit' to your local shopping center and looking around one may feel that is actually quite generous!!  

The International Merchant Shipping Convention Rules state:  No lifeboat shall be approved to accommodate more than 150 persons.  The number of persons which a lifeboat to be launched by falls shall be permitted to accommodate shall be equal to the lesser of;
.1  the number of persons having an average mass of 75 kg /165 lbs.(for a lifeboat intended for a passenger ship) or 82.5 kg /181.5 lbs.(for a lifeboat intended for a cargo ship), all wearing lifejackets, that can be seated in a normal position without interfering …


The Royal Navy submarine HMS Astute has completed her tragic visit to Southampton and has been released by the Investigation to return to her base at Faslane, Scotland.

Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia - let us work with India to free them.



This morning was the first day of the veil being forbidden in the streets and other public places of France, of course there were protests and arrests resulted.  There are, as with all things, positive aspects and negative aspects but there is nothingwrong with this law.  As a colonial nation France had, and still has, vast experience with both Muslim countries and the religion of Islam.  Currently in Muslim countries there are extensive laws as to dress and public behaviour which apply to all men and women, regardless of their nationality or religion, that under Sharia and National Law must be followed.   Similarly in many non-Muslim countries there are dress codes to be followed so as not to give offence, as a guest, to the national population.

So it is the French have had to decide that the veil is no longer an appropriate form of dress in their nation.  Previously the headscarf and other head coverings were forbidden in French Public Schools, which the French Taxes p…


It was recently announced that Direction générale de l'Aviation (DGAC), the French Aviation Authority, has chartered the cable-laying ship MS Ile De Sein to recover the wreckage of Air France flight AF447.  The MS Ile De Sein completed a cable-laying project from Sydney, Australia to Oahu, Hawai'i, some 9000 kilometres of fibre optic cable were laid.  It is hoped that MS Ile De Sein will find and recover the 'black boxes' of flight AF447 and DGAC will finally have some answers to give the public on the cause of the accident.

The wreckage was found by the Deep Ocean Quest vessel MS Alucia under charter to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute who in turn were working under an arrangement with the French Government.  The MS Alucia acted as the support ship and operated a Remus ROV.   MS Alucia is the former French Naval research vessel Nadir, now privately owned and converted to an extremely comfortable expedition/research vessel.

Good Watch.

Please remember the seafar…