Skip to main content


Storybook pirates
When most people think of pirates - if at all - they probably have a mental picture of Johnny Depp in those pirates movies. Now  NAUTICAL LOG would be amongst the first to admit he is funny and plays things well for the laughs.  However the reality of piracy today is some semi or uneducated thugs armed with AK-47's in a small boat with a fast engine.  The Horn of Africa has become a continual one-sided battle ground of pirates against seafarers with some 800 seafarers held captive off the coast of Somalia at present. 

It is hard to believe that conditions ashore in Somalia could get any worse than they were.   They have! the latest famine is in full swing and the Somalian thugs ashore with the AK-47's are robbing and raping their own people as they try to take refuge in Kenya or wherever  These are all the same thugs that the Maritime Shipping Companies and Maritime Insurance Companies are paying large sums of money too.  Added to this there are appeals each evening - right at dinner time of course - for yet more monies to be raised and paid to these same thugs!! 

 Food supplies definitely YES, monies definitely NO. 

Besides as the London and spreading U.K. riots have shown there is a lot of social unrest and possible injustice in our own countries.  Put your own house in order first before starting to organize the living conditions of Nations who could care less about their own people.  Nations who are also telling these same people that those who are coming to help them are colonial imperialists who are going to enslave them and turn them into drug addicts.  Remember the Viet Minh propaganda when we first went out to Viet Nam after Dien Bien Phuh and continued by the Vietcong cadres. 

Now to add to the seafarers problems the Coast of West Africa is repeating its piracy of the 1980's with attacks at Ports all along the Bight of Biafra and Gulf of Guinea.  Like the Horn of Africa on the Coast of East Africa seafarers can expect no assistance from the local Governments who do not even patrol their own Ports.

Coast of West Africa

Real pirate thugs
NAUTICAL LOG had hoped that by now many of the nautical Blogs would have joined in placing a reminder after each Post but so far we seem to be alone.  If we do not take a continual interest in our fellow seafarers ourselves it is rather a waste of time to expect others to do it for us.  Y'all will not be doing it to boost the NAUTICAL LOG ego but for the 800 families suffering at home for their missing seafarer family member.

Good Watch

SOS: Please remember the 800 of our fellow seafarers held captive off Somalia without help in sight so far.


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 addition to the recent "Standing Down" of training voyages for its Midshipersons the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has received warnings about the quality, or lack thereof, of its training programme.  The Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) report stated that accreditation was in jeopardy for non-compliance in certain areas.

Coupled with the continuing problems requiring disciplinary actions including dismissal from the Navy the United States Navy (USN) has had in recent years this does not bode well for the professionalism of the seafaring community of the United States.

It is clear to this writer, an International Master Mariner with 50 years of experience, that the training sources for both Officers and Ratings need an immediate complete examination and review.  Currently the Officer commanding riverine craft based in Bahrain has been dismissed.  Another nine Officers and Ratings are under disciplinary action as a result of the capture by…


NAUTICAL LOG has on previous occasions discussed the SS El Faro VDR in a Post titled RELUCTANCE TO RECOVER and two other Posts about the VDR (Voyage Data Recorder) of the SS El Faro

The Ship sank in Hurricane Joaquin on October 01, 2015 off the Bahamas.  There has seemed to be a reluctance by all parties involved to continue the attempt to recover the VDR from some 15,000 feet - admittedly a considerable depth.  However because of the importance of possible data on the recorder such an attempt must be made.

Finally the NTSB has contracted with the USN Supervisor of Salvage to assist in the recovery of the VDR.  The USNS Apache will depart in early July 2016 together with USCG, Phoenix International and an underwater operating vehicle the CURV-21.

Once the VDR is recovered it will be brought ashore to the NTSB laboratory and thoroughly studied to download and analyze the information.  With these results in hand the USCG will conduct a two hearings to investigate the sinking and questio…