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Rockhopper penguins of the Tristan Group
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!!

Cuban rafters drifting in the Straits of Florida

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 to take advantage of a personal touch at a time of their choosing rather than set times at schools.  Perhaps also those who are thinking of buying a boat and would like to learn something of the pitfalls, also how to navigate and handle a vessel privately.  While NAUTICAL LOG does not recommend particular nautical schools we may advise you on one you have selected. Looking forward to hearing from those really interested.

less than respectful Ensign handling
This is not good to see though NAUTICAL LOG is sure it is unintentional. There is an etiquette for handling flags which should be learned and followed particularly aboard ship.  Our National Ensign should be hoisted and lowered on its own halyard/ halliard, not just clipped in some manner to sail rigging.  Look to the USCGC Eagle as an example of how it should be flown, hoisted and lowered from a gaff. Even if it is being dried after getting wet it should be done under cover on its own line.  These points are important and demonstrate a pride in our Nation particularly in difficult times.  Lead by example and many will follow.

Finally one of our own CMDR. Mark Kelly, a graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy, commands the Space Shuttle Endeavour as she takes off this afternoon on her final voyage from the Cape, NAUTICAL LOG will be out there watching from our front porch. 
UPDATE:  Unfortunately we learned on the 1200 local Florida news that the launch is scrubbed for today due to heater problems in two of the three units.  They will try again on Monday May 02, 2011.

Good Watch

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


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Several times during the year NAUTICAL LOG has had visitors searching for lifejacket instructions. With two just over Christmas we decided to publish something for everybody to see and read.
Choose a Coast Guard approved life-jacket and make sure it is undamaged. Make sure life-jackets are readily accessible, never locked away. Check the fit, there are adult, child and infant sizes, the correct one MUST be used. Choose bright colour life-jackets so as to be seen easily by Search and Rescue (SAR).Put your life-jacket ON BEFORE you leave the berth. Make sure you have a light and whistle attached AND they BOTH WORK.
Good Watch


Ships now operate under the International Management Code for Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention (ISM Code).  Since this is a Post on Auditing NAUTICAL LOG, who is a Trained Auditor, will not go through the requirements as these can be found on the Internet and in your local nautical bookshop - you do have a bookshop hopefully as they are a dying breed.  There are two types of Audit an External Audit and an Internal Audit.

The External Audit consists of the Flag State or an outside Auditing Firm coming into the Company and going through all the Protocols, Procedures and associated Manuals.  They may also hold a drill simulating a situation in one of the Company's vessels and observe the results of the Shore Staff dealing with it.  NAUTICAL LOG has been through this experience with two very different Companies and believe me it is a long, difficult, trying day not made any easier by the subsequent debrief.  The External Auditor then prepares a Report which causes a…


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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.