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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 to those in the maritime industry turning a Nelson's eye.  Why not - besides making weekly reports which are published in other nautical themed blogs, but not by NAUTICAL LOG who really cares about us seafaring second class citizens. 

It was good to see the human element addressed in a Post in gCAPTAIN on Thursday, which in the confused world of the United Nations celebrated World Maritime Day on September 29, 2011 but had listed it for September 22, 2011.  Seems par-for-the-course of the UN.

Well NAUTICAL LOG does and will after each and every Post make a statement - when the captives come home someday we shall have done the best we can to help that happen.  Going to be a good feeling!!

More great names

The Chinese successfully launched this week their first space lab module named Tiangong-1or Heavenly Palace-1.  So now we have the Peace Ark heading for the Caribbean while the Heavenly Palace-1 circles above in space.  Fascinating meld of old world China and 21st. Century technology

Not Again!

Yes indeed - in the case of the loss of the STV Concordia on February 20, 2010 the Transportation Safety Board of Canada has found poor training the root cause.  The "Duty Officer" (OOW?) failed to notice the weather effect on the vessel and her heeling both of which eventually caused a knock-down of the vessel and her loss. 

This is pattern in sail training which needs immediate addressing and correction by the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) and the individual National Sail Training Organisations.  TSB Canada also stated that clear International standards need to be put in place.  However NAUTICAL LOG considers these are already in place - they are called "Certificates of Competency"  these must be required to be held by STV Officers and displayed on board all STV's for public examination. 

In the case of STV Concordia it would seem there as little or considerable lack of, stability knowledge an examination in that subject is included in the Certificates of Competency examinations.  A clear understanding and the application of, the vessel's "Stability Book" must be known to all STV Officers.

NAUTICAL LOG would therefore urge all operators of Sail Training Vessels and their Organisation to thoroughly review the qualifications of their Masters and Officers in Stability knowledge.  Their understanding of the "Stability Book", its correct usage and their ability to make the necessary calculations.  Another STV incident might just be averted.

Not again 2!

Never fails does it - the SSCS has announced today that they are off to the Southern Ocean to save the whales again this season to oppose the JWF with "Operation Divine Wind ".  They should know that  the kamakazi in WW2 were not really that successful overall as an operation.  But that fits in with what the SSCS have been doing these last whaling seasons - farting about without really accomplishing anything constructive!!

Good Watch

We would remind our fellow mariners that 400 of us are held captive by pirates ashore and off the coast of Somalia.  While those Catalan bulls are now protected nobody cares a jot about the seafarers.


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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.
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This month saw the commissioning into the Irish Naval Service of a new Class of Irish Naval vessel more of the Frigate size than the previously Corvette size.  However they are all classed as Patrol vessels, the new vessel is LÉ Samuel Beckett P61.NAUTICAL LOG wishes her well and a successful service.

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.


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…