The only New Year Resolution that NAUTICAL LOG has made is to be more fully alert to incompetence in the maritime world. While we may not be writing many comments to other maritime Blogs this year we shall be carefully monitoring them. Then we may very well write and publish a Post on the subject matter and they are going to be rather direct.
During 2011 there was an increasing lack of basic seamanship, careless navigation with far too much emphasis on electronics without the training or ability to do checks on electronic equipment by traditional navigational methods. Even some Instructors in Navigation at the Maritime Schools have this attitude, they need to sit down, discuss, review and revise their teaching protocol. At sea a ships position should be found and confirmed "by every available method". As an example if a vessel is on a coastal passage the position must be plotted every 20 minutes, and if her speed is over 16 knots every 10 minutes. That is plotted because it should be known continuously that is the advantage of that electronic equipment, however the Watchofficer/Navigator still needs to plot cross bearings.
The behaviour of many United States Naval (USN) Officers was disgraceful with Command, and Watchofficer Reliefs in several vessels. The reports of foul language used to Offiers to Enlisted is inexcusable, one of the first indicators of poor leadership is using foul language to emphasis Orders and Instructions. There were several dismissals from Service by Courts Martial verdict. NAUTICAL LOG also got an e-mail stating that Celestial Navigation is no longer taught at the Naval Academy - can this possibly be true? The Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point seems to also have drifted off course, fortunately there is still SUNY which we understand is performing well. Clearly we need a complete review of the course we are following in the maritime world.
And then there is Piracy. Isn't it just wonderful that vast sums of money can be spent on expensive racing yachts, which it seems kept falling apart on previous legs of the Race, to transport them by a specially armed ship from South Africa to Dubai for a leg of the yacht race of interest to a relative handful of extremely wealthy persons who can involve themselves in these trivialities. Meanwhile three hundred seafarers (300) rot in captivity off Somalia without much interest in their well being or a single attempt to free them - SHAME ON THE YACHTING WORLD GREAT SHAME.
But to finish on a more positive note one of the many nice things that happened to NAUTICAL LOG in 2011 was William van Dorp (Tugster) visiting when he came through Coral Gables, FL this Summer. Their is a particularly nice photo in his Blog of this tall talented Dutch-American and NAUTICAL LOG reproduces it here, and without his permission - the presumption of friendship!!
|Tall person "Tugster" at the helm|