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1. This has been a busy week on the Blog.  NAUTICAL LOG had the most 'hits' ever both per diem and for the week as a result of the SALVAGE RIGHTS Posts.  Also we were mentioned in OLD SALT BLOG, thank you Rick, and listed prominently as a reference on Google®.  The SSCS also drew attention to themselves with the usual 'Chief Windbag' Press releases and the Post on the SSCS seagoing Cult generated a few comments, remarkably not a single one in their favour - how that has changed over the years since NAUTICAL LOG first wrote about them!!

2. Congratulations to the Captain of the FV Trevignon for a job well done towing the MS Costa Allegra safely to Port on Mahé, Seychelle Islands.  This powerful tuna seiner has earned the salvage rights to a nice award as a result of its successful 'cure' under LOF.  It is remarkable how the Media are always able to find a couple of passengers, 'Americans' this time to moan and groan, about these incidents they never find anything decent to say for the ship's crew.  Of course for us seafarers who understand or at least should the remarks make little sense.  Ah! the joy of sailing in cruise ships NAUTICAL LOG misses those days - or does he?  The same passengers who complain to the Media after an incident are usually the same ones boozing and whingeing about having to go to the 'Abandon Ship' drill prior to departure.

3. One cannot imagine that Carnival Group will be able to support the Costa Cruises brand of its Group any longer.  How they handle that problem will define the Cruise Industry for the immediate future since Carnival Group controls so much, far too much actually, having a virtual monopoly of the cruise industry.

4.  Another aspect of cruising are the inland cruises through the rivers and canals of Europe, Russia, Egypt and China.  Being interested in cruising through the European countries we requested information and are now on the mailing lists for both Avalon® and Viking® inland companies.  The vessels look attractive with professional uniformed crews however there is a problem -SAFETY.  In neither companies brochure is there any information, in addition e-mails to both companies requesting details of their safety equipment and passenger drills went unanswered - NOT GOOD.  Of course they cruise only a few hundred metres or less from the river banks and canal towpaths so in an emergency they can quickly tie up or even go aground on the bank and one can walk ashore.  That is all well and good but passengers need to be informed; are there liferafts? are there lifejackets? where are they kept?  what is the Abandon Ship (Barge?)  procedure..  NAUTICAL LOG as an experienced passenger cruise ship Safety Officer wants to know before going and we should be told - so now answer those e-mails to let us know about your safety protocol.  Is there a European Inland Passenger Vessel Association that tracks safety and does inspections?  If you have cruised recently in these river cruise vessels or know someone who has we should like to hear from you and your opinions.

Good Watch

Fairly close to the shore but far from safety are some 300 of our fellow seafarers held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  They face mutilation and or death every day with no rescue in sight.


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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


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…


Voyage Charter:

A contract (C/P) for hire of the use of a vessel to make a specific voyage between two identified terminal ports. The vessel will be carrying cargo or passengers for and on behalf of the Charterer's. The Charterer's pay for the the use of the ship either on the basis of a lump sum or in the case of cargo at a 'Freight Rate'. This freight rate is so much per tonne carried and delivered. This would not be the form of charter normally used in the business of yacht chartering.

Time Charter:

A contract (C/P) for the hire of the use of a vessel for a specified period of time and can take one of two basic forms,

* Basic Time Charter
* Demise or Bareboat Charter

The Basic Time Charter;

An agreement between the owner of a vessel, or if allowed the disponent owner, and a charterer who wishes to use the vessel for his own purposes without being responsible for the operation of neither the vessel or its day-to-day management.
Throughout the period of the charter the owner/…