Skip to main content


Sometimes terms are used in the maritime world which are no longer suitable for use due to changes in the society in which we live.

At present there has been a Media stirred up controversy about the name of a hunting camp used by Gov. Perry's family in Texas.  Mr. Herman Cain called the name insensitive - today is so considered. We shall not quote it here but refer readers to "Origins of Sea Terms" ISBN 0-913372-31-5 by John G. Rogers page 120 (fourth word down) published by Mystic Seaport Museum. 

However all parties concerned may be interested to know that the name is a sea term given to the "gipsy head" on a winch or windlass aboard ship or a large single bollard ashore for a mooring rope eye.  The American term was never used in Europe as we always used gipsy head or bollard.

Working with tugs in the United States however NAUTICAL LOG has heard the term used in the distant past by tug and barge crew.

Of course with the Media always looking for the worst in people's lives, rather than good points, no doubt considerable effort and research went into finding and developing this issue which in and of itself is pointless. 

Good Watch

What is NOT pointless is working towards the release of 400 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates in deplorable conditions ashore and off the coast of Somalia.  Perhaps the Media could raise that subject with the candidates.


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.