Skip to main content


Well here we go FULL AHEAD for 2012 a busy year to improve our economy and in November hold a Federal Election for a President.

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
So then finally HAPPY NEW YEAR to y'all, black-eyed-pea soup for dinner tonight in the best tradition of The South - Roooll Tide.

Good Watch.


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


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…