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MS Pinar del Rio

Passenger seating

Passenger Lounge


understood the service from Port Everglades, FL to Grand Bahama was due to start today December 06, 2010 with a 1000 sailing.  However at 1200 the MS Pinar del Rio (ES) was still in Port according to their AIS.  Even if they have not been successful getting passengers it is important to be seen operating and after all there may be people in Grand Bahama whom would like to travel to Port Everglades, FL.  When NAUTICAL LOG attempted to book a First Class round trip this morning through their website this message came up "Please be informed we do not have the service REQUESTED " - not a very good start for the Spaniards.  Just tried again this evening for tomorrow and once again that same answer.

Over the years there have been several attempts at operating "Ferry's" from South Florida to - well several places actually. Some never really got underway at all there was a short lived Tampa to Key West operation also Miami to Key West which operated for a month or so.  Then we had one company with two vessels one operating from Miami to Grand Bahama and the other vessel from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama, the original Bahamas Express.  NAUTICAL LOG actually worked for them as Chief Officer in 1987, sadly they also folded.  Then there was a dramatic attempt at a Miami to Nassau operation which NAUTICAL LOG was consulted about but they too folded after a short period of operation.

In Europe ferries are quite a popular means of transport and when over there NAUTICAL LOG usually uses the ferry systems and trains, never air travel.  So it is that a Spanish Company Balearia well know in the Mediterranean will start operations on December 06, 2011 from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama.  The vessel that has been prepared is MS Pinar del Rio (ES) according to Balearia Area Manager Pilar Lecha.  The fare is $49.00 which is remarkable because that was the cost back in the 1987, however watch out for the "Operational Charges" when NAUTICAL LOG visited the website those were an additional $25.00 hmmm.  The ferry will depart from Port Everglades at 1000 and arrive at Grand Bahama at 1230.  The return trip leaves Grand Bahama at 1930 arriving in Port Everglades at 2200.  Try a visit to their website at and yes NAUTICAL LOG will be making the trip in the future - if Balearia is able to stay in business long enough.

Good Watch

There remain some 400 of our fellow seafarers held in captivity by pirates off the coast of Somalia.  Lets wish them a Happy Christmas because sadly thats about all they will get from the world's governments.


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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.
Good Watch


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…