Skip to main content


NAUTICAL NOTES is a new feature of NAUTICAL LOG which will be added too from time-to-time.

  • There is a M-Notice MIN 417 (M) issued by the UK-MCA regarding the survey of carbon fibre masts and spars in Large Sailing Yachts.  NAUTICAL LOG would suggest to Operators of such vessels to inspect this equipment prior to an official survey.  The standards of managing and operating STV's is clearly in need of Auditing.  The knowledge of STV Masters and Officers in Ship Stability and its associated calculations from the vessel Stability Book is clearly in need of assessment and testing.   Operators, Managers, Masters, Officers and crews would do well to read, study and take-to-heart the Report on the knockdown and sinking of STV Concordia by TSB Canada.  Lack of a Designated Person Ashore (DPA), as required by the ISM Code, for the Operators caused complications after her abandonment. Lack of Stability knowledge by her Master and Officers led to her knockdown and sinking off Brazil.  Those Organizations planning to place persons in STV's for sea experience and training must conduct an Audit of each individual vessel prior to doing so - these are human lives we are dealing with not playing "sailor-at-sea" games.

PLAN Daishandao 866

  • The Chinese hospital ship PLAN Daishandao/Peace Ark has crossed the Pacific and arrived in the Gulf of Panama on Friday October 14, 2011.  She is on a mission to several Caribbean Nations and will transit the Panama Canal.  The hospital ship refuelled from the coastal tanker MT Lorenzo Sea in the Pacific side anchorage area. On the evening of October 15 she transited the Panama Canal to the Atlantic side.  She is now in the Caribbean on "Harmonious Mission" which includes a visit to Cuba and several other Caribbean Nations.

  • The U.S.Government is making arrangements to inspect the Spanish oil rig which will be conducting operations off the northern coast of Cuba.  In the event of any incident that requires response the USCG will have to able to conduct its response to protect the U.S. coastline.  Due to the Gulf Stream spills will quickly be swept along the Florida Keys and up the Florida coastline with the possibility of disastrous results.

suspect speedboat

  • In a first attempt by Somalis and African Union Officials to restrict piracy off East Africa a speed boat with seven (7) aboard, AK-47's, RPG's, and ammunition was arrested at sea.  We shall await to see what happens now.

  • As always please remember that there are 400 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates both ashore and off the coast of Somalia.

Good Watch.


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…