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Chart and Publications production graphic
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 (JHSV) been christened and is under the Command of CAPT. Douglas D. Casavant, Jr. USNS.  With a civilian crew of 22 she will be engaged in fleet support transporting troops and equipment.  JHSV's are aluminum catamarans 338 feet OA designed to be fast, flexible and maneuverable in shallow waters as well as deep sea.

Flag Change

Two vessels now preparing for their maiden voyages under the Marshall Islands Flag will in November 2011 complete the process to change to the U.S.Flag.  They are the MS Maersk Illinois and MS Maersk Texas these 19,00DWT vessels are capable of lifting 480 metric tonnes with their cranes combined.

PLAN Daishandao - Peace Ark
Harmonious Mission 2011

You gotta love the Chinese for these names!!  The Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Hospital Ship Daishandao also known by its civilian name Peace Ark has sailed from China bound for the Caribbean.  She will visit, one presumes to offer medical care and comfort, to several countries such as Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Costa Rica.  So keep your eyes open for this splendid ship when in the Caribbean between now and Christmas.

Piracy Continues

As a growth industry the weekly reports on piracy show it continues unabated, the personnel go unpunished and it is increasing.  With the industry success off the Horn of Africa the Malacca Straits and the West Coast of Africa is picking up nicely.  Just maybe someone will get as pissed-off as NAUTICAL LOG is about it all and activate extreme prejudice to deal with these scumbags.

Good Watch.

We are still hopeful that an attempt to rescue the 400 of our fellow seafarers, held captive by pirates both ashore and off the coast of Somalia in deplorable conditions, will be put into effect.  Note we are not encouraged but just hopeful.


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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.

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Good Watch.


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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.