Skip to main content


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.


Popular posts from this blog


A popular U.S.-based cruise ship style
A popular European ferry style

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.
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…


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.