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Showing posts from May, 2011

MEMORIAL DAY


This is the Day we should and do remember the members of the Armed Forces who gave their lives for us.  Growing up in Europe during the Second World War these sacrifices have always been part  of the NAUTICAL LOG education.  All the Senior Merchant Navy Officers who trained me as a Deck Apprentice and Junior Watchofficer had served at sea during WW2 and several had been wounded, sunk in convoy or seen similar action.  These incidents had left their mark and quite a few would not have been cleared for sea duty today.  It is not something one forgets too easily.


This is also a good time to remember the seafarers held captive by pirates off Somalia, let us work with the maritime interests and others who are trying to free them.  The hours of meetings that have been held, the volumes of paperwork generated, have produced results which frankly are pathetic - but one lives in hope.


So enjoy being with the family, your barbecue, trip to the beach or a combination, as it largely is here in …

MORAL TURPITUDE

Within the last couple of weeks some very disturbing information about seafarers shore-leave came across the NAUTICAL LOG desk.  With vessels spending so little time in Ports these days and the Ports themselves particularly container berths being so remote it is difficult to grant shore-leave.  When one discovers it is actually forbidden to certain ethnic groups of seafarers in certain countries then it becomes a humanitarian issue.  This type of second-class treatment of seafarers is absolutely guaranteed to rattle the NAUTICAL LOG cage!!


So what is the actual problem?  It seems that countries are taking it upon themselves to refuse entry, transfer of crews, shore leave, and exit if the seafarer holds Seaman's Papers issued by certain countries.  The data received by NAUTICAL LOG referred to Philippine Seaman's Papers and Brazil.  Brazilian Immigration Authorities have issued a Directive enforceable in all Brazilian Ports that states seafarers in possession of Seaman's Pap…

FRIDAY REPORT MAY 27, 2011

Well NAUTICAL LOG has some thoughts with May ending, wedding anniversary #42 on May 31, and living in South Florida the hurricane season starting.  Already getting weather reports from the National Hurricane Center they are advisories about North Atlantic Tropical Zone formations.  This weekend will see the checking of the 'Emergency Equipment Box', making sure our accordion hurricane shutters are running freely, getting the porch windows and screen door panels down from the storage shelves handy in the garage.  This is an annual requirement and becomes a routine each season from June to November.


We had our piracy piece already earlier this week so can give that a rest after all its mostly talk and paper anyway. 


We were looking at various ship photos recently and the contrasts between the older and newer vessels are quite striking.  That got NAUTICAL LOG thinking are designs and paint schemes done for a purpose or as a marketing and sales tool.  Somehow the older designs, suc…

DUTCH DILEMMA


A Dutch dilemma looms now that Ratko Mladic has finally been arrested by Serbian authorities.  These same authorities knew where he was in the village of Lazarevo, Serbia just as the Pakistanis knew of the Osama Bin Laden residence.   Serbia wants to join the European Union and one of the conditions was the arrest for trial of Mladic.  Ratko Mladic committed many war crimes as a Bosnian Serb General however he is best known for the massacre at Srebrenica.  It is an appalling affair and complicated by the surrender to him of the Dutch Forces charged with the protection of the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica.  Dutch troops under a UN flag failed to protect the Muslims in 1995, their commander was videoed accepting drinks and gifts from Mladic.  As a result the Mladic Forces then massacred 8000 male Bosnian Serbs males of all ages, raped and murdered the females of all ages and pillaged the area. All this in the tragic tradition of European religious ethnic wars.


Now the irony is Ratko Mla…

MON DIEU - UPDATED


 We thought about this as a Post and even as NAUTICAL LOG shudders we decided it was just too good to miss.  The infamous MS Gojira is now the equally infamous MS Brigitte Bardot - we kid you not !!  It is not entirely clear which Flag State has accepted registry, NAUTICAL LOG doubts it is France.  The AMSA now confirms that the MS Brigitte Bardot is registered in Australia, it is listed as a pleasure craft homeported in Fremantle, Western Australia. Once again that nautical con-artist has done it and played on the egos of movie stars, albeit somewhat fading now. 


 He has got the Foundation Brigitte Bardot which being French saves wildlife with rather extreme Right-Wing politics (Front National, FN) to acquire the trimaran and in return named it after her.  It is a tried and true method that he has used for years and it works.  Bardot calls him "Captain of my heart" - oh excuse me - that's better just threw up in the head.  They have known each other since 1977 whic…

IT NEVER ENDS !!

Once again from one of our European Union correspondents we received news of Piracy.  The banner title this time was "Navies must be given the power to immobilise pirate motherships".  To quote from the article:


"Leading shipowners have called for navies to be given a firm mandate to immobilise pirate motherships used to launch attacks on commercial shipping vessels".


Both the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Shipping Federation (ISF) agree by doing this the attacks would be pushed back to the littoral area of East Africa particularly Somalia.  Finally fellow seafarers the maritime powers that be realise that it makes no sense to capture and release pirates to attack another day.  In a joint ICS-ISF statement again we quote:


"Members were also extremely critical of the lack of domestic legislation in many nations - including any offence of 'intent to commit piracy'  which led to the absurd situation that pirates who are captur…

THE POINT OF COMMENTS

From time to time NAUTICAL LOG  has found it necessary to remind our readers of the purpose of this maritime blog.  Usually this becomes necessary because of comments we receive and the content of those comments.  Just recently we received some beauties and incredibly ignorant - at least from our point of view.


In the header statement we clearly lay out the purpose of this Blog, what we write about and our rules for publishing comments.  The Blog is written to express our viewpoint on maritime affairs and on occasions world events.  While comments are welcomed this is not a Blog where persons can vent their frustration with life.  If things are too much for you - get help - but not from us.  We are seafarers and have had to put up with more bovine scatology than non-seafarers can possibly imagine.


If you do not like the content of the Posts we write and opinions expressed - tough !  The answer for you is not to bother reading this Blog, because most likely you are a person who knows lit…

REMEMBER TO REMEMBER

Today is NATIONAL MARITIME DAY here in the United States of America.  It is not a National Day that springs into most peoples minds.   That's fine, we merchant seafarers are used to not getting much attention. 


Yesterday was Armed Forces Day and there were requests for "photos of our heroes in uniform".  It is quite forgotten that the Merchant Marine and Merchant Navy personnel around the world are the people who get all the 'military material' to these good folks. 


We seafarers get hijacked by pirates and all too often are treated like second-class citizens.  So perhaps if you are not to busy out shopping at the Mall or enjoying the beach please remember that most if not all that stuff at the Mall got there by ships, usually from China these days (!).  That ship you see from the beach heading along the coast is manned by us bringing more 'goodies' for y'all to enjoy.


Just once in a while it would be nice for someone to say  "Thanks guys" so …

HEADS UP - CHECK UP

This now SAFE BOATING WEEK and it is a good opportunity to update your knowledge, your equipment and get a Boat Check at your local launching ramp.  There will be USCG Auxiliary and Boating Organization personnel on duty to assist you so ask them to confirm that YOU are a Safe Boater. 


Do not forget to say 'Thank You' as it is a free service and they do it in their own time.


Good Watch.

Please remember the seafarers held captive off Somalia - let us work with maritime interests and others to free them.

FRIDAY REPORT - MAY 20, 2011

Well here we are TGIF the weekend looms, there is maritime news and surprise, surprise it is about piracy.  Grandiose headlines in the maritime trade papers and blogs this morning - IMO Approves Interim Guidance on Use of Private Armed Security Guards On Ships.


We quote and summarize from various sources with our NAUTICAL LOG comments - rarely kind!!   The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Safety Committee (MSC) announced an interim guidance on the use of privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) on board ships.  Wow - how long is it now that the piracy has been going on?  The Horn of Africa is considered the High Risk Area however there are other zones. Great news? - but wait do not go wild with excitement yet fellow seafarers.


This interim guidance in an MSC Circular directed to shipowners, ship operators and shipmasters transiting the High Risk Area and another a recommendation to Flag States.  These latter Flag State guidance notes apply to their vessels alongsid…

TWO NICE PEOPLE

Well now what do you know, it seems after all we converted them and not they us.  They may not have had some "Liffey Water" but Elizabeth Windsor made her speech salutation in Gaelic, which was thoughtful and here her husband is all set for playing hurling with gifts from the GAA. 


Maybe Anglo-Irish politics is on the correct track and can continue on line. These two nice people seem happy.


Good Watch.

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

RINNEADH AISLING DUINN




We Saw A Vision


In the darkness of despair we saw a vision,
We lit the light of hope, and it was not extinguished.
In the desert of discouragement we saw a vision.
We planted the tree of valour, and it blossomed.
In the winter of bondage we saw a vision.
We melted the snow of lethargy and the river of resurrection flowed from it.
We sent our vision aswim like a swan on the river. The vision became a reality.
Winter became summer.  Bondage became freedom and this we left to you as your inheritance.
O generations of freedom remember us, the generations of the vision.


Liam MacUistin


This was read in Gaeligh by Captain Joe Freeley Oglaigh na hEireann at the Garden of Remembrance after a wreath laying ceremony yesterday.  As one of the so described "cynical old hands" we were moved by the minute of silence, the simple drills and immaculate turn out of An Oglaigh na hEireann.  Rarely has NAUTICAL LOG been so proud to be Irish by birth and nationality.


"All changed, changed utterly…

SSCS DUMPED

Finally someone has woken up and decided that the alternative to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is the better bargain. 


Back in March 2011 after their disastrous season in Antarctica the Sea Shepherds fearless leader headed off for some R&R in the Republic of Palau.  While there he inveigled the President and Cabinet to sign an Agreement to patrol the waters of Palau  and "safeguard a unique marine protected area designated as the world's first shark sanctuary".  At the time it did seem that President Toribiong was somewhat wary of "Wats-his-name" however the Agreement was signed and the MS Bob Barker was assigned, once she got repaired, to proceed to the Republic of Palau.  NAUTICAL LOG understands that that vessel is a nautical disaster waiting to happen being quite unseaworthy.  Supposedly extensive repairs are needed and partially underway but as usual with SSCS the true is unknown.


Now comes news, that after discussions with the Government…

NLIN #37

NAUTICAL LOG would like to draw your attention to an upcoming event, the Admiralty Nor-shipping Seminar Programme by United Kingdom Hydrographic Office.

Please visit their website  www.ukho.gov.uk/   for full information.

Good Watch.

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

NLIN #36 - "M" NOTICES

Life goes on and here are the latest "M" Notices:

MIN 407 (M+F)  Pricing and Availability Information

MIN 408 (M)  Written examination dates 2011/12: Deck and Engineer Officers (Merchant Navy)

MIN 409 (M) Written examination dates 2011/12: Engineer Officers (Yachts and Sail Training Vessels)

MIN 410 (F) Written examination dates 2011/12: Deck and Engineering Officers (Fishing Vessels)

MGN 432 (M+F) Safety during Transfers of Persons to and from Ships


If you experience any difficulties, please contact the M-Notices Administrator on 023 8023 9391

Good Watch.

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

TRUTH WILL OUT - WITH UPDATE

UPDATE:  Sunday May 15, 2011.  Two pieces of news with regard to the State Visit of Elizabeth Windsor.  First the following statement from An Garda Siochana Superintendent John Gilligan, we quote;


"If people want to come out and, for whatever reason, protest in relation to the visit, that will also be facilitated within reason, in terms of a reasonable protest will be allowed, a peaceful protest, but up to a point.  Gardaí are prepared, if necessary, to deal with any issues that arise".


NAUTICAL LOG thinks that the statement's repetitive wording and poor grammar shows that the gentleman from the Garda Press Office is under a great deal of stress.  This is the time when poor decision-making occurs and reactions become uncontrolled.  The last word of the statement is interesting because the group giving An Garda Siochana direct problems at the moment is Eirigi which is Gaelic for 'arise'.


The second piece of news is far more problematic and absolutely appalls NAUTICAL…

FRIDAY REPORT - MAY 13, 2011

Today being Friday the 13th. a date considered unlucky by many seafarers including NAUTICAL LOG we are staying away from maritime issues.  This does not mean however that we do not have something to say and it continues our opinion about the visit of Elizabeth Windsor to the Republic of Ireland.  There are two points in particular.  A prominent Irish politician has stated that the State Visit is:


 "premature and to soon.....very aware of the symbolism of a state visit by Queen Elizabeth of England and the offence it will cause to many Irish citizens".


While other Irish politicians welcomed the visit with such remarks as "this historic visit" and would be warmly welcomed by the "vast majority" of the people of Ireland.  This may well be as the Irish are pretty docile these days lulled by decades of civilised-socialism with the Government and European Union handouts taking care of most everything.  It is reported that 81% are in favour of this State Visit and…

THE ELIZABETH WINDSOR PROGRAMME

An 'Outline Media Programme' has been released by An Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha (the Department of Foreign Affairs) ahead of the State Visit of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh to the Republic of Ireland.  It is a document which in and of itself is a mass of controversy and Anglo-Irish Politics.  Why is NAUTICAL LOG covering this at all?  Well the State Visit is a historical event - to some a hysterical event - and Ireland is the birthplace of NAUTICAL LOG and never in our lifetime did we expect to see such a visit happen.


From the first moment of Elizabeth Windsor's arrival in Ireland the places involved mark the history of the British in Ireland and their earning the title 'Perfidious Albion'.  On Tuesday May 17, 2011 - a date that may live in infamy for many Irish persons - to borrow a phrase from history, the controversy starts.  Her flight is due to land at Casement Aerodrome the Irish Air Corps Base at Baldonnel, County Dublin.  The Aerod…

THE STATE VISITOR

As the Irish tourist season gets under way the ferry's and flights disgorge hordes of visitors, the Irish euphemism for tourists.  Very welcome they are too in this difficult economy as everything helps.  Amongst them this coming week will be a pleasant grey-haired lady named Elizabeth Windsor.  This is the name the family took in 1917 during the First World War (1914-1918) because their true family name was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and the War was against their cousins and fellow Germans.  She will be a most gracious visitor, make all the right remarks and be somewhat overdressed on most occasions. For many years she has wanted to come and visit Ireland to see something of the country and meet the Irish people in their own land.  Seems fair enough does it not?  Well yes except you see this Elizabeth Windsor is the Queen of England and she is coming to Ireland on a three day State Visit not a CIE tour. Therein lies the problem.  This is not a Private Visit, as it could have been, but a S…

BEACHED

On Thursday May 5, a pod of 20 Pilot whales stranded themselves off  Cudjoe Key, FL which is one of the Lower Florida Keys.  The Keys stretch from Homestead FL to Key West, FL and are divided into three sections Upper, Middle and Lower.  The stranding point is about 10 miles out in shallow water and it is not really understood by marine scientists why this occurs.   Since that time a large group of volunteers have been trying very hard to save them, some of whom have spent over 6 hours in the water through last night.  A makeshift sea pen was built about 15 miles from Key West and 6 whales were transported there, it is hoped they will be returned to the sea this weekend.  Later a search team found 2 more whales alive and they too were transported to the sea pen.  Unfortunately that search also turned up 12 dead Pilot whales and one of the live whales a female was in such pain she had to be euthanized.


The last large stranding we had was in 2003 when 28 Pilot whales came ashore off Big …

FRIDAY REPORT - THIS SAYS IT ALL

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

STEVE AND THE PIRATES


 Like NAUTICAL LOG many of you remember those now far off days of  The Indochina War, the fighting between the Viet factions, the Legion étrangère, Dien Bien Phu and then the equally disasterous arrival of the Americans forces.  Amongst the betrayals, violence, murders and total corruption of Viet politics there was, named after the cartoon strip character in "Terry and The Pirates" the very petite attractive Madame Nhuthe "Dragon Lady".  She had her own female militia 25,000 strong and an acid tongue in several languages that was - formidable.  She died recently in Italy well into her 80's.


Well today it seems we have "Steve and The Pirates" as the adventures of a Sea Shepherd vessel continue - nothing new there.  Having left Perth, Australia recently she is her way to Toulon, France be way of the Red Sea to the Suez Canal.  Therefore she must cross the Indian Ocean heading up past the Horn of Africa which as we know only too well are Somali pirate…