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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 potential passengers and/or passengers whom are now known as guests (mi casa es su casa) in the Cruise Industry.

The MS Pinar del Rio (ES) is only 225 long, a tiny boat by modern cruise and ferry vessel standards and she has two Classes.  This means that all the nicer parts of the vessel are closed off to the Economy Class passengers.  Their first mistake; this is neither Europe or Uruguay and United States passengers expect to pay for a cruise or trip were the whole vessel is available for their use.  Their second mistake; the fare structure needs simplification to just two rates, one way and round trip, with the same fare for weekdays and weekends plus the addition for Port fees.  They should state it clearly, no confusion no clever games or they are going to join the several unsuccessful small vessel operations that have tried this route before.

So Balearia if you read this, and we suspect you will, you may wish to make note of it because there will be no more free advice from NAUTICAL LOG.  At the rate you are going you will be out of business by the end of this year of 2011 - provided you get started at all.  Sorry but there it is, the writing is on the bulkhead!!

Good Watch

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


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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…