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Showing posts from September, 2011

MARITIME INSECURITY

As regular readers of NAUTICAL LOG know we are very concerned about piracy and our fellow seafarers held captive.  It might even be said we are quite obsessed, indeed this could well be true, better that than ignoring the campaign to free them like other maritime themed blogs.

So when another maritime themed blog Marine Cafe Blog (which is currently blocked for somereason) has an article about the piracy it lands on our desk via the Press Release Folder.  One that came to light today was as a result of a Conference in Switzerland which produced the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Companies (ICoC).  One of the firms guided by this is FTS Marine Security www.ftsmarsec.com/  a State of Florida licensed company. They were invited to write an article published in another maritime themed blog, it was written by a James M. Canning Sr.  By using the link one can visit and read the article which NAUTICAL LOG is not going to publish other than raise some points. 

To sa…

FRIDAY JOTTINGS

No more ears or tail


This has been a sad week in Catalonia as last Sunday the last bullfight to be held.  Thanks to the animal-rights activists bullfighting has finished in Barcelona.  The activists were outside the Ring celebrating with sparkling wine.  So far there are not activists preventing wine making as cruel behaviour to grapes - but stick around, in the European Union someone will get to that also.  There were of course some differences of opinion and the Police had to break up some fights between the aficionados and the wine drinking activists.  Of course in all this nobody has asked the bulls how they felt - too much bullshit no doubt!


Piracy continues


All is well with this growth industry on both the West African coast and the Horn of Africa.  In addition the pirates seem to be striking further south as they have been active in the Mozambique Channel.  Expansion is a sign of business success and no doubt the percentages were transferred to those financing these scumbags and t…

FARCE

In the news today is that of the Iranian Navy which is possibly planning a series of "patrols" along the East Coast of the United States and entering the Gulf of Mexico.


Well now it is quite possible to suppose they could actually accomplish this but rather unlikely.  The vessels that would be used would be their Kilo Class submarines consisting of :


Tareq 901 built 1992
Noor 902 built 1993
Yunes 903 built 1997


In turn these could be supported by the British Vosper Marine frigates:


Alvand 71 built 1971
Alborz 72 built 1971
Sabalam 73 built 1972
Jamaran 76 built in Iran 2010


There are a jumble of other vessels acquired from several different countries all of which require differing spare parts and training to operate them.  Also there are reversed engineered Iranian built vessels. It is hard to assess the level of training and the overall skills of the Officers and crews of these vessels.  It seems reasonable to NAUTICAL LOG to suspect that it is not of a high calibre and very unlikely…

FOUND

An ocean exploring organisation has found the wreck of a British-India Line vessel lost in WW2.  The vessel was on passage from India via South Africa to the United Kingdom.  The S.S. Gairsoppa (Captain Gerald Hyland) was a British cargo ship travelling in convoy but had to leave due to fuel shortage.  The decision was made to proceed to Galway in Ireland, a neutral port during WW2, to seek assistance.  In the approximate position 50.00 N. 14.00W. she was spotted by the German submarine U-101 (MENGERSON) torpedoed and sunk with only one crew surviving.  NAUTICAL LOG understands this was the 2nd. Officer.


What makes this vessel of particular interest is that amongst her cargo of tea and iron ingots there was a large shipment of silver ingots worth a considerable fortune today.  Her British Officers are listed on the Tower Hill Merchant Navy War Memorial and her Indian crew on the Bombay and Chittagong Indian Merchant Navy War Memorials.


Good Watch

Still being held captive in deplorable co…

NAMIBIAN OMBUDSMAN

Here is a photo of the Namibian Representitive  "hard at work" during the recent Seal Conference.  Afterwards the Namibian Ombudsman produced and transmitted to Stakeholders the above letter. 


Is this how a modern African Nation "works" politically?


Good Watch

While it is all well and good to be concerned for the seals 400 of our fellow seafarers languish in deplorable conditions as captives of pirates both ashore and off the coast of Somalia.  Is anyone EVER going to do something about their release - like using extreme prejudice to do so?

KEY WEST FLORIDA "DESTROYED"

Relax, relax it is still there but that caught your attention right! 


Key West was for several decades a Navy town, after the Navy left except for the Key West Naval Air Station they still have a Coast Guard Base and the Navy visits.  However it is a cruise and tourist town nowadays. 


On Friday September 23, 2011 the Destroyer USS Spruance DDG111 arrived for a visit and her commissioning on Saturday October 01, 2011.  USS Spruance DDG 111 is the 61st. Arleigh-Burke-Class guided missile destroyer building of the Class started in the 1980's the vessels have a 40 year life expectancy. 


With the demise of "Don't ask Don't tell" what better place than Key West, it is an open town that welcomes all tourists and has something for everyone.  However the vessel's welcome to Key West was not quite perfect and a little thoughtless.  She was assisted alongside by two local tugs which did not cover their black bumpers with white cloths as they do for the cruise ships when …

FIRST DAY OF FALL

NOAA Charts


There is a change in the production of NOAA charts and publications as can be seen in the graphic above.  What this means in practical terms to seafarers is that the system now speeds chart updates to users, presents opportunities for private industry development of products and improves data exchange for multiple maritime uses.  As a result of the new system Coast Survey can now produce more navigational products with flexible access to data and without an increased cost.


The new system went to work this month and the transition of data covering all U.S. Waters will take several years.  Under the new system cartographers will enter the same data for a single system producing both paper charts and electronic charts.  At present there are two different systems for producing these charts.  The chart production will thus be increased as the transition progresses.


MSC Joint high-Speed Vessel (JHSV)


USNS Spearhead the Navy's first of 10 (3 are optional), high-speed vessel has (…

FRIDAY UPDATE

It is hard to believe that a week has gone by since we wrote our 'EDITORIAL'. This is a method of expressing our opinion on a purely personal basis that we shall be using more in the future.  Also we have gone through both MY BLOG LIST and MY LINK LIST as a result a few websites have been transferred or edited out altogether.   One maritime themed blog in particular has been edited from MY BLOG LIST and removed from NAUTICAL LOG altogether.


The Price to Pay


The Blog in question started out addressing issues with regard to the Philippine Maritime Industry, which it calls "the seafarer factory" and many times was quite courageously critical.  Of course it was probably too good to last!!  Bucking the powerful and indeed dangerous Philippine Maritime Mafia one can only go so far.  Sure enough there was silence for a few weeks - then suddenly they published again from a "new location".  However there is now a difference in the tone of their Posts.  With Post comme…

COASTAL CRUISE SHIP FIRE

The NAUTICAL LOG Press Release folder has a Media report from NRK that the MS Nordlys caught fire close to the port of Aalesund in Western Norway.  The fire started in the engine room and has resulted in two (2) deaths and nine (9) taken to hospital.  The vessel built in 1994 has a capacity of 691, the 207 passengers and 55 crew were taken off the ship.  Earlier the crew had been fighting the fire.


The MS Nordlys of Hurtigruten Line operates from Bergen to the northern regions above the Polar circle.


Good Watch.

There are now 400 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates both ashore and off the coast of Somalia.  Since nothing is being done to rescue them and the pirates go unpunished in all but a few cases the piracy is now reoccurring on the coast of West Africa.  A tanker crew of 23 were kidnapped off Benin and the tanker reportedly taken by a pirate crew.

NLIN #43 - M NOTICES

The following M Notices are now available from www.dft.gov.uk/mca


MSN 1672 (M+F)  Ship Inspection and Survey Organisations and European Directive 2009/15/EC Amendment 3


Any problems call the M Notices Administrator at 023 8032 9391


Good Watch.

And continue to remember those 400 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates both ashore and off the coast of Somalia.

LONGVIEW POINT

In a follow up to our Friday 09/09/11 Editorial in which we criticised the MARINE CAFE BLOG for an inappropriate sarcastic remark about the United States of America.  Today the following Media report was in the NAUTICAL LOG Press Folder in regard to arrests made in the Longview labor dispute.


From The Oregonian by Elliot Njus comes the following:


"Sheriff's deputies have arrested a Kelso, WA man in connection with a dramatic clash in a labor dispute in Longview, WA last week.  Police said more than 500 people broke into the Port of Longview early Thursday morning, assaulted a guard, damaged rail cars and spilled grain from the cars.  On Monday the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office arrested Ronald Patrick Stavas 45 on suspicion of first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, intimidating a witness and sabotage, all felonies.  Sheriff Mark Nelson said he expected to make more arrests.


The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 has been picketing the port property …

DEEPENING CONCERN

The Port of Miami is awaiting final approval for a dredging plan to deepen the Main Approach Channel and South Channel (see Chart 11468) leading to the container berths and South Terminal for cruise ships.  This is necessary so that the larger container ships able to transit the Panama Canal in 2014 will be able to use the Port.  Pretty straight forward and it makes sense right - well not exactly. 


The Main Approach Channel was dredged several times, 1986, 1991, 1999, 2005 and the South Channel was created from the old Fisherman's Channel.  Unfortunately the dredging operational record is spotty, in 1999 three acres of seagrass were gauged out from an aquatic preserve that is a manatee habitat. 


In 2005 a hydraulic cutting dredge and scow caused plumes of milky silt to waft around before settling down to the bottom again.  Of course the environmentalists, who grasp at any straw - plume? - to cause an event, were outraged as if this was the end for all manatees.  The South Channel …

GONE - NOT FORGOTTEN

They were only buildings but came to represent the 3000 persons that were lost that  "Day of Infamy" 9/11/2001.  As we remember those lost and their families this 10th. Anniversary never forget that those who are dedicated to continue such attacks are just waiting their opportunity.  Stay Alert - Be Aware.


If it does not look right it is not right so report it the life you could save might just be your own.


Good Watch.

Also suffering today are the families of the 400 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates both ashore and off the coast of Somalia.  There are currently NO plans to assist or rescue them.

FRIDAY UPDATE

Well it seems  we are still connected with piracy; comes the publication this month of BMP 4.  This is the handy Pocket Piracy Guide by ABS Classification Society.  The pre-publishing blurb states that it is laminated and written in easy-to-read format.  It would seem that ABS does not consider seafarers to be particularly well educated - is NAUTICAL LOG just particularly touchy today?  It lists areas of piracy, actions to be taken in the event of an attack, and suggests scenarios for training and drills.  Well now since arming ourselves and extreme response is NOT encouraged by International Maritime Authorities perhaps we could use the BMP4 to beat the thugs over the head as they board - it is after all laminated so should stand up to the abuse.  You're quite right NAUTICAL LOG is really pissed off and very touchy today!!


On another topic there seems to be a conspiracy amongst naval architects to design ships as ugly as possible.  The cruise ships coming off the assembly lines, w…

EDITORIAL

This weekend is a somber time as we remember the 10th. Anniversary of 9/11 a "day of infamy" actually worse than the attack on Pearl Harbor, HI.

As regular readers will know NAUTICAL LOG is very concerned about the plight of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates ashore and off the coast of Somalia.  We are particularly disappointed in the lack of support from the other maritime themed blogs in placing a comment at the end of their posts as NAUTICAL LOG does.  Therefore we have to decide how to proceed, the first step was to not make comments about Posts in other blogs.  The next step which, we have now taken, is to close our maritime consulting interests and that heading has been removed from the Blog.  The last and final step is to consider closing down NAUTICAL LOG entirely.  To this end we are going to make an assessment of the lack of response to the piracy situation both by other maritime themed blogs and the International Maritime Authorities between now and the …

NLIN #42 - M NOTICES

The following M Notices are available at www.dft.gov.uk/mca

MIN 414 (M+F)  Stockton Marine Office - closure of Marine Office.

MSN 1830 (M) Implementation of Directive 2009/21/EC in the United Kingdom.

Any problems contact M-Notice Administrator on023 8032 9391

Good Watch.

Remember our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates both ashore and off the coast of Somalia in deplorable conditions without rescue in sight.

SAIL TRAINING INCIDENTS

Sail training for young persons both youth and adults is an excellent way to teach teamwork learn about the sea and have a lot of fun in doing so.  NAUTICAL LOG fully supports the concept and as regular readers know takes an interest in sail training internationally.  Occasionally there are incidents which should draw the attention of everyone involved in these programmes and cause a serious debrief of the incident.  One has just occurred off the South Coast of England in the English Channel/La Manche which demands such a debrief it involves the STV Leader


Let us first look at what happened quoting (edited by NAUTICAL LOG) from the  "Daily Mail-Mail online":


"Sixteen young sailors  aged between 18 and 25 had to be rescued from a vintage ship after its mast snapped in two in near-gale force winds battered off the South coast near Portland Bill, Dorset.  The 10 metre mast broke off and the boom, sails and rigging went into the choppy 4 metre seas.  The crew being unable …

SOUTH CHINA SEA

After a recent visit to Vietnam by the Indian Naval vessel INS Airavat L24 she has confronted by a unit of the "Chinese Navy".  However both navies have denied the incident so was it a prank or a PLAN officer acting on his own which seems extremely unlikely.  According to the report a Chinese warship confronted the Indian warship and asked the vessel to identify herself.  At the time the INS Airafat L24 was within the Vietnam Economic Zone and International Waters.  The caller stated in English that the Indian amphibious assault ship was entering Chinese waters and they must leave.


Somehow this has earmarks of a dangerous prank but if true sets a very dangerous precedent.  The PLA is making visits and receiving guests worldwide to establish contacts.  At the same time it is expanding its sphere of influence by expanding its Navy.  Claiming the South China Sea as Chinese Waters it now has a Navy capable of enforcing this viewpoint.  The South China Sea is International Waters …

FRIDAY UPDATE

1.  Its still early for NAUTICAL LOG sodrinking coffee and checking websites we found that Sail Training Festivals abound this year and it seems their logos are similar.  Is this intentional or just copying a "good thing"?


2.  Upside down thinking from New Zealand where word comes that some are upset that a rugby cup party ship is berthed just 100 metres from the container ships berthing pier.  Where do they think the money comes from to host the Rugby World Cup in the first place?  Between the blood rushing to your heads adding to the beer listen up - its from trade mate!!


3.  The Registrar of Shipping and Seaman of the United Kingdom has released records of Merchant Navy Seamen from 1918 to 1941.  These may now be accessed at www.findmypast.co.uk/  Some families may object to the realease of these contents due to the fact that on the United States based blog gCaptain quotes from the record of one Officer the nature of his death.  One wonders why out of over 9000,000 records …

ROAR AND FLAME

Entering her homeport Portsmouth, England yesterday is the newest Type 45, HMS Dragon. Associated with Cardiff, Wales she has a Welsh Dragon proudly painted on her bow.   Carrying a crew of 190 she is the Royal Navy's most advanced warship and joins three (3) others of her Class, HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless and HMS Diamond for a total of four (4) of the six (6) in the Class.

All that was learned from the other three Type 45's has been incorporated in HMS Dragon and her sister ships, Defender and Duncan which are still under construction.  It is interesting to note that while these super-modern designed warships have all the latest equipment and gadgetry they still have old-fashioned style Bridges with small open wings.  Some things never get modernised in HM Royal Navy and this spoils the whole effect of a modern fighting warship of the 21st. Century.

Good Watch.

Once again as we do each Post we call attention to the 400 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates both ashore a…