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Showing posts from December, 2011


The Wren Song

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds
St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze
Although he was little, his honour was great
Jump up me lads and give us a treat

We followed the wren three miles or more
Three miles or more, three miles or more
Through hedges and ditches and heaps of snow
At six o'clock in the morning

Rolley, Rolley, where is your nest?
It's in the bush that I love the best
It's in the bush, the holly tree
Where all the boys do follow me

As I went out to hunt and all
I met a wren upon the wall
Up with me wattle and gave him a fall
And brought him here to show you all

I have a little box under me arm
A tuppence or penny will do no harm
For we are the boys who came your way
To bring in the wren on St. Stephen's Day

There are several versions of The Wren Song and this is a different one from the version NAUTICAL LOG published last year. 

In my birthplace of County Waterford, Ireland the Wren Boys came around the houses on St. Stephen's Day.  They could…


What with camouflaged ships and drones "Neptune's Navy" sounds like the real thing and it works to attract the young people to this seagoing cult led by "Wats-his-name".  The SSCS now have drones on board both the MS Steve Irwin and MS Bob Barker and they got results for a Christmas present.  The SSCS cult reports that the drones found the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF) at Latitude 37° South and Longitude 100° East.  The longitude is a NAUTICAL LOG approximation but it is fairly accurate and really does not matter that much.  So the JWF and SSCS have some 1300 miles to reach the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary which at say 15 knots average speed will take them about four days. 

Once there the whaling slaughter may begin and the SSCS start its violent counter-whaling tactics.  As most of us know from the actions of the SSCS during past seasons this is were those of us who abhor whaling but also repudiate the SSCS violence, diverge.  Of course those manning the SSCS…


For over a year now NAUTICAL LOG has added a message about our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia at the close of each Post.  We at NAUTICAL LOG had hoped when we started the practice that other Maritime Blogs would join in.  Somewhat to our surprise and certainly to our disappointment this has not happened - we really do not understand why it has not.

However there is a website for EUNAVFOR which patrols the Horn of Africa and it is worth a visit.  There is an article there about the seafarers held captive and how very little has been done for them, also that 60 have died  in captivity, more are missing their fate unknown.

We at NAUTICAL LOG will continue to add our reminding message at the end of each Post during the coming year 2012 to draw attention to our fellow seafarers plight.  We shall also be commencing a letter writing campaign to the Governments of the EU, India and China to encourage and request that in spite of the high risk to those held cap…


Our Blog NAUTICAL LOG is fortunate enough to have readers from all over the World.  It is therefore likely that they follow many different religions and hold many different beliefs - we respect them all.  While NAUTICAL LOG does not follow a particular religion we do hold Christian beliefs.  Therefore with that in mind we should like to share our celebration of this very special time of the Christian year. 

English:       Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Irish:            Beannachtai na Nollag agus na hAthhlianna.
Welsh:         n'Arab Nadolig a'n Ddedwydd 'n Grai Blyddyn.
French:        Joyeaux Noel et Bonne Annee.
Haitian:        Jawye Nowel e Bonn Ane.
Spanish:       Feliz Navidad y Un Prospero Ano Nuevo.
Basque:        Zorionak eta urte berri on.
German:       Frohliches Weinachten und Gutes Neues Jahr.
Swedish:      God Jul och Gott Nytt Ar.
Hawaiian:     Mele Kalikimaka Hau'oli Makahili Hou.
Catalan:        Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Noul.
Breton:         Nedeleg laouen…


Ice is not an area to navigate in without specialised knowledge of it and a specially designed vessel to navigate it in.   Having served as a Watchofficer in an icebreaker NAUTICAL LOG speaks from first hand experience.

Trapped and holed in the Antarctic Region of the Ross Sea is the Russian Flag State FV Sparta.  There are immediately two questions to ask; Why was she fishing in the Antarctic Region ? Why was a non-icestrengthened vessel there at all?

There are two vessels trying to assist her one is another fishing vessel (FV) which could well get in difficulties herself thus making two problems, the other is the Korean (South) icebreaker MS Araon.  She left the Port of Lyttleton, NZ and is headed to the distress area, this should take about another week.

The Deputy Head of the Russian Antarctic Expedition at the Research Institute of the Arctic andAntarctic Regions Vyacheslav Martanov is not pleased.  On the Voice of Russia he said that the area where the Russian FV is in distress is …


The antagonists in the annual whaling confrontation are gathering.  From Australia the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) has announced that their vessels  DVV2 Brigitte Bardot sails from Fremantle, the MS Steve Irwin sailed from Albany and the MS Bob Barker sailed from Hobart.  There has been talk of a fourth vessel but nothing, so far, seems to have escaped to the blogs so one has to wonder if it is blowing in the divine wind.  All these are heading to the Southern Ocean on "Operation Divine Wind" which is supposed to prevent whaling - we wish.

But where is the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF) it seemed according to AIS tracks that the MS Nisshin Maru headed out to sea from Japans Inland Sea but not a word from the Japanese.  Now an article  forwarded from Japan arrived in the NAUTICAL LOG Press Folder.

According to The Mainichi Daily News of December 14, 2011 the Japanese Fisheries Agency has an increased budget of ¥2.3 billion, past by the Diet last month, for its whalin…


Becoming an Admiral is pretty impressive in itself, becoming an Admiral and a General is really something.  Commodore Robyn Walker, RAN has been selected for promotion to Rear-Admiral RAN and appointed as Surgeon-General of the Australian Armed Forces.  In addition to considerable medical experience she is a qualified specialist in diving medicine.  Commodore Walker is a recreational diver.

From NAUTICAL LOG our congratulations to Admiral Walker and

Good Watch

As Christmas approaches our concern for the over 300 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia increases.  We are shocked and awed that nothing has been done in 2011 to rescue them.


Checking our AIS this morning we see that the SSCS vessels are moving.  The MS Steve Irwin departed from Albany, Western Australia, her track shows her moving out through the entrance into King George Sound and on to the Great Australian Bight.  Meanwhile up State Route #30 at Fremantle the DVV2 Brigitte Bardot left her berth in Rous Harbour, went for a run up the coast then turned back, her AIS track shows her alongside a Rous Harbour berth.  Down in Hobart, TAS the MS Bob Barker is still alongside the wharf in the Port.

All this makes nautical sense as the fastest of these three is the DVV2 (Darth Vader vessel #2) and also the most weather sensitive.  The MS Steve Irwin has the longest run to the Antarctic Ice Edge being some 1500 miles from Hobart if she is going to join up with MS Bob Barker to make the passage together - always a good idea for these two worn out old ships.

Well we shall just have to see how it all works out as a heavy sea in a Southern Ocean storm could punch in th…


This satellite photo arrived on the NAUTICAL LOG desk this evening.  It shows the Chinese PLAN Shi Lang underway in the Yellow sea. 

As China's first aircraft carrier she is a refurbished Soviet era vessel (Varyag) by way of the Ukraine.  Now there are confirmed reports of the Chinese building a second aircraft carrier themselves with a third planned or maybe already being built.

Good Watch

It is Christmas time and we still have over 300 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia - no Christmas or anything else much for them.


It seems in South Florida that if you need News of the famous ferry Bahamas Express operated by Balearia Lines of Catalan Spain do not go to that Company's website.  The South Florida papers announced today that there will be at least another week's delay due to "government paperwork" according to the Company spokesperson.  Now as NAUTICAL LOG has said before the only "government paperwork" involved, since the United States is the Port State, is the USCG Passenger Certificate.  So what has most likely happened, it is waterfront gossip, is that the MS Pinar del Rio could not qualify with the USCG as to crew STCW training which principally covers the practical firefighting and emergency evacuation equipment and its correct operation by the crewmembers during USCG supervised drills.

It as happened quite a few times in the past that vessels arrive here from Europe and find that the United States Coast Guard does not let them get away with situations they got awa…


The following M-Notices are now available  if you experience any difficulties please contact the M-Notice Administrator on 023 8032 9391

MGN 438 (M+F) Consolidated European Reporting System (CERS) - Exemption Arrangements under the Merchant Shipping (Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Reporting Requirements) Regulations 2004 (as amended)

MGN 440 (M) Measures to Counter Piracy, Armed Robbery and Other Acts of Violence against Merchant Shipping

MSN 1831 (M+F) Vessel Traffic Monitoring Notification and Reporting Requirements for Ships and Ports

MSN 1832 (M) The Merchant Shipping (Port State Control) Regulations 2011

Good Watch

Over 300 of our fellow seafarers remain held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia.


From one of our correspondents in the paradise of the European Union (and they should really know) came this morning a "NewWord" and its a beauty.

INEPTOCRACY (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy)

A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Now reflect on our New American Society here in the United States since the advent of the Obama Maladministration and add in the Occupy Movement.  It seems to NAUTICAL LOG that this is perfectly in line with his thinking and aims in life.  If the idiotiotic candidates of the Republican Party do not start to make just basic common sense then we are going to have another four years.  We shall then rename our country The Disunited States of Western Europe with two national languages - Chinese and Greek.

Good Watch

And …


Well "Operation Divine Wind" continues to break wind, checking on whose where on AIS we have:

SSCS: DVV2 Brigitte Bardot (ZA) still berthed in Rous Head Harbour, Fremantle, Western Australia.MS Bob Barker (NL) still berthed in Hobart, Tasmania.MS Steve Irwin (NL) berthed in Port Albany, Western Australia.  She went around the south west corner of Australia and into a nice little harbor at the end of State Route 30/Albany Highway.Albany has a very interesting history well worth reading up on. It was the first Port of Western Australia used by the original settlers also the final departure Port for the Australian Armed Forces in World War 1.

Good Watch

As piracy increases there are over 300 seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia without any attempts being made to rescue.



Piracy is a growth industry.  There has not been a serious coordinated crackdown from the start so several areas of the maritime world are seeing a rise in activity.  Just this week the following incidents were reported by ONI :

Alexandria inner anchorageSouth of Suez
Port Harcourt coast
Arabian Sea:
Kas Hilf, Masirah Island, Oman * see map
BandjermasinBalikpapanDumai Port anchorage
Good Watch

In addition to these attacks over 300 of our fellow seafarers remain captive of pirates off the coast of Somalia.  While Armed Guard Detachments on board are not a guarantee of absolute safety they are an effective means of defense.  Extreme prejudice is really the only option.


On checking our AIS this morning we see that the SSCS vessel MS Steve Irwin (NL) has departed from the Port of Fremantle anchorage and at present is on course 194° T at 13.6 Knots. It would appear that she was not particularly welcomed in Western Australia.   She seems to have a passage plan to round the SW corner of Australia and perhaps head to Hobart, TAS. to join the MS Bob Barker (NL).  We shall be watching our AIS.

As a matter of interest to those of you not familiar with the Automatic Identification System (AIS) all passenger vessels regardless of size must have an active AIS when underway.  Other vessels of 300 GT (Gross Tonnes) or greater must also have an AIS active when underway

Regarding the MS Nisshin Maru (JP) she has not had an active AIS for over 2 days since she was in the Inland Sea of Japan.  If she is in the Pacific Ocean or on the coast of Japan she is violation of IMO SOLAS and should be instructed to active her AIS immediately.

Good Watch

Those 400 fellow seafarers …


The "ferry" MS Pinar del Rio (ES) which was originally supposed to start operating between Port Everglades,FL and Grand Bahama on December 06, 2011 did not start.  Waterfront gossip is that they have had a delay in qualifying for the USCG Passenger Certificate to operate from a United States Port. 

When NAUTICAL LOG tried to book on both December 06 and 07, 2011 we had no luck and no information just "Please be informed we do not have the service REQUESTED".  Their website is not particularly user friendly and the fares seem to change by trip and day travelled. Also they are much more expensive than advertised with the addition of an "operational fee" of $25.00.   For a weekend trip this would work out too, after adding up all the fares and fees we could figure out,  $193.00 minimum.  NAUTICAL LOG has operated fast ferry boats on this run and from Miami, FL.  Suggestion, their Business Plan needs a complete review perhaps also their attitude towards poten…


NAUTICAL LOG is becoming an active Navigator again.   Checking my Automatic Identification System (AIS) this morning it would seem, possibly, maybe, could be, the whaling season 2011 - 2012 just might be getting underway.  But then again it may not be and the vessels are going to remain in Port or go to layup berths.  So lets see what the AIS readings are at 1100 U.S. Eastern Time Zone:


DVV2  Brigitte Bardot (ZA), berthed alongside in Rous Head Harbor, Port of Fremantle, WA.
MS Steve Irwin (NL), at anchor off Port of Fremantle, WA. It seems the Australian Government is unhappy with this vessel at present.
MS Bob Barker (NL), berthed alongside at Port of Hobart, TAS.


MS Nisshin Maru (JP), underway in the Inland Sea last position recorded passing Awaji Island SW of Osaka, Japan.  Appears to heading out to Pacific Ocean AIS is not showing up at present.

Australian Customs and Border Protection:

ACV Ocean Protector, believed berthed alongside at Hobart, TAS. There is a Government bloc…

DECEMBER 07, 1941

The greatest generation that served in World War 2 and in the Korean War are passing on.  Someone who was 19 at Pearl Harbor is today 89 years of age.  It seems inadequate to say "Thank you ladies andgentlemen" to such people but we do.  Remember that Day of Infamy but also forgive.  NAUTICAL LOG has had the opportunity and honour to visit the USS Arizona BB39, USS Missouri BB63, and Punchbowl National Military Cemetery, Oahu, HI.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Good Watch

Please also remember the 400 of our fellow seafarers held captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia.


In a recent report about the "Operation Divine Wind" which was due to start today "Wats-his-name" (who looks as if he has lost weight and healthier) stated that their regular helicopter Pilot, a United States Citizen named Chris Aultman, would not be joining in this years Operation due to personal reasons.

Now today "Wats-his-name" states in a Press Release that Mr. Aultman was denied a visa to enter Australia, which being a Sovereign Nation may allow or exclude whomever it wishes and does not have to explain their decisions to anyone - least of all "Wats-his-name". 

It also appears that the Australian Government will not be sending the ACV Ocean Protector, which is at Hobart, TAS we believe, to the Southern Sea.  This from Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke in reply to a SSCS question. The reason stated was that both the JWF and SSCS had requested the vessel be there and both requests had been denied.

Meanwhile the MS Steve Irwin remains…