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Showing posts from June, 2012

PLAN WORLD VOYAGE

This week the PRC training ship PLAN Zhenghe has been visiting the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  All the usual military ceremonies and courtisies were exchanged. On her world voyage the Officers, Cadets and ratings have gained and continue to gain considerable experience in long range ocean voyaging. No doubt they have also made useful contacts with the local population and militarys as well as the local ethnic Chinese residents. 


With the unopposed take over of the South China Sea the confidence level of the entire PLAN and the other PRC forces will be extremly high.  This is cause for concern as that is the time when rash moves can take place which lead to confrontations and even warfare.


Good Watch.

EYES WIDE OPEN

Further to our recent Posts on the subject the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) continues to establish authority over the island groups in the South China Sea.  On Thursday the PRC Ministry of Defence spokesperson Geng Yansheng announced that the county level administration on Youngxing Island had been abolished and replaced by the higher prefecture level administration established in the City of Sansha, Hainan Island, PRC.  The announcement continued that this would now better control under PRC administration the island groups and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea.


Affected are the Paracel/Xinsha Islands, Macclesfield Bank/Zhongsha Island, and Spratly/Nansha Islands.  The fact that there are conflicting claims to these island groups by Vietnam and the Philippines has been totally ignored.  Neither of these countries has any ability to prevent this administration established by the PRC.


By this action the PRC can claim, under International Maritime Law, Exclusive Economic, …

BACK TO THE FUTURE

Some old vessels end up slowly rotting away somewhere unloved and unkown - not so Mandalay.  Those readers who remember one of the great characters of the sailing cruise ship world Mike Burke, not actually his real name but an adopted one to suit his attitude towards life - his style being larger than life.


His company Windjammer Barefoot Cruises slipped away from him and one day so did Mike greatly missed by many on the Caribbean waterfronts.  Well good news as today in the local Miami, FL newspaper there was an announcement that one Charles Kropke has formed Windjammer  SailingAdventureswww.sailwindjammer.com with the 1923 SV Mandalay and sets sail from Grenada on July 22, 2012 for cruises to and through the Grenadines.


With the hurricane season now in full swing NAUTICAL LOG hopes that this time the Company has its act together on a viable Hurricane Plan with a Master and crew that know how to handle a full-rigged ship in bad and heavy weather.  The last time one of their vessels was…

WHATS MISSING ?

As some of our regular readers may have noticed NAUTICAL LOG has discontinued our usual note under each Post about those seafarers held hostage by pirates.  Also we declined to acknowledge the so-called seafarer day recently and the remarks by IMO. 

This is because we do not believe there is a sincere effort to stop piracy and rescue these hostages at any level of Governments, National Maritime Authority's or of course the IMO itself.  The various organisations which are supposedly concerned about the seafarer hostages our research has shown to be ineffective and merely give 'lip service' to the issue but do nothing to plan and put into operation a rescue of these hostages. Since most of them are seafarers who have had to pay a fee to employment agencies for their shipboard position neither those EA's or their national governments have any interest in their return.  There are after all thousands more persons awaiting this financial bondage allowed, encouraged and shared…

WHOM ?

It was with complete astonishment that on opening the Press Release folder this morning at NAUTICAL LOG one read about this latest appointment at Kings Point the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA).


The current Administration continues to boggle the mind with its behaviour and more and more one has to check that one is actually living in the United States of America.  One is aided in this by the complete confusion of the European Union but this is a sad comparison indeed.


As we Americans know when we vote a President into office it is to support and defend the Constitution of these United States.  The fact that our President is regarded as the leader of the free world matters not a damn to the average American outside the Washington Beltway and the various military contractors.


The departure of the previous USMMA Superintendent was never  fully explained but then that is the behaviour of this Administration.  Similarly the AG declines to correctly inform Congress of the "F…

PINOY PEEPS

With the continuing pressure by the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) on the countries surrounding the South China Sea which claim various sea areas, islands, rocks and shoals these countries are irritable and nervous.  The issues of ratification and application of the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is a current 'International Diplomatic Issue'.  At the recent UNCLOS meeting various Nations many with little or no actual power to apply very much of anything spoke pompously of putting this and that into practice.  One might point out that several of these Nations cannot feed their own people or have developed a viable infrastructure and in this NAUTICAL LOG speaks from long years of personal experience. These were the speeches that when an Observer one took a bathroom break or examined the room to see who was in attendance, who had left a notetaker, and who had finally dozed off after an enjoyable previous night socialising - that was always interesting.


It is three decades…

BLINKED VESSELS

BLINKED

In the South China Sea at present things are a little touchy as the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) having made a 'Rights' claim complete with its own boundary lines over the entire region of the South China Sea is now preparing to enforce it on a full time basis. An article in the maritime blog gCaptain set NAUTICAL LOG thinking about the situation.


The PRC paramilitary agency being used is the China Marine Surveillance (CMS) which has on duty in the South China Sea several patrol vessels.  These are painted white with CHINA MARINE SURVEILLANCE in large blue letters on the hull (see photo above) they are armed but to what extent is unclear.  By 2013 to 2016 the CMS will have 350 vessels, 16 aircraft and 15,000 personnel.  This means that every vessel transiting the South China Sea both civilian and military will be tracked by CMS.


The PRC in claiming 'Rights' to the South China Sea is actually claiming International Waters and has encroached on all the EEC National Wate…

NLIN # 58

UPDATE:Monday June 18, 2012.

If one goes to the IRISH SHIPS website there is now posted an explanation of the message that caused the upset.  NAUTICAL LOG is very pleased to see this explanation and the gracious public apology.  Therefore as a result we will NOT be proceeding with the Action for Libel as this satisfies the insult.

On a personal note, Aiden hopefully you will now reopen your excellent website which we all enjoy.  This would be an excellent reaction to the writer of message #324 one who has identified himself as Joseph Hawkins and signed himself "Capt. Joe". It will show that one person cannot necessarily destroy a reputation or spoil an interesting and successful website.

Good Watch

It appears the website IRISH SHIPS in My Link List is currently unavailable. At the present time there is a controversy over inappropriate messages left on their Message Board.  The site apparently published messages - untruthful messages - without vetting them first.  As a result com…

FLAG DAY

By tradition on the date of June 14 each year we celebrate Flag Day and encourage the flying of our National Flag on homes and buildings both private and public.


NAUTICAL LOG will be heading out to the front porch at 0800 to proudly display the Flag of his adopted country.   Still remembering the country of his birth which unfortunately has changed so much as to unrecognisable except for its ancient cities and buildings.


The socialist entitlement societies of the European Union have destroyed the motivation, values and enterprise of most of the Irish people.  The country in general is rife with drugs largely unchecked add to this the high level of violence including murders many by stabbings - read 'TheIrish Times' online.  For a country proud of its tourist industry this is all hard to understand  looking from the outside.  There is a reluctance to free speech with a common remark when inquiries are made of "ah sure you can't say anything aboutit just makes trouble for…

NLIN # 57 M-NOTICES

The following M-Notices are available at www.dft.gov.uk.  If you have any difficulties call 023 8032 9391.


MIN 429 (M) Designation of North American Emission Control Area.


MIN 430 (M) Written Examination Dates 2012/13: Deck and Engineer Officers (Merchant Navy)


MIN 431 (F)  Written Examination Dates 2012/13: Deck and Engineer Officers (Fishing Vessels)


MIN 432 (M) Written Examination Dates 2012/13: Engineer Officers (Yachts and Sail Training Vessels)


MSN 1829 (M) Ship to Ship Transfer Regulations 2010/2012


Good Watch

There are some 600 of our fellow seafarers being held hostage by pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  With little hope of rescue they face mutilation and death each and every day.What if YOU were one of them would not you hope some one was planning a rescue - sadly no one is.

NO SOLOS

UPDATE Sunday June 10, 2012.

More good news this morning as the vessel MS Last Tycoon rescued Charlie Martell, so two down two saved.

This year there have been several solo seafarers who got themselves into trouble and had to be rescued.  They have been from various countries and sadly one a British male was lost.  Now comesnews of two other British seafarers having to be rescued in the northern Pacific by the Japanese Coastguard fortunately the rescue of Sarah Outen was successful.  Further north eastwards from Japan in the northern Pacific a second British solo seafarer Charlie Martell awaits rescue.


As regular readers will know NAUTICAL LOG is absolutely against these voyages by solo seafarers regardless of their age or capabilities.


But why?


Any voyage which extends long enough to cause a solo seafarer sufficient tiredness as to require rest is extremely foolish.  If the solo seafarer has to get some rest it means of course that while underway there is no lookout posted.  This is very…

D - DAY AT 68

Today June 06, 2012 is the 68th. Anniversary of the D -Day Landings. 


While we see images which are usually of the same small stretch of beach the Landings involved 160,000 troops along 50 miles of French coastline.  The entire coast was heavily defended by German troops however they were not necessarily the best quality except for key areas.  That is what the German High Command considered "key areas" in fact they got it wrong. 


However whether the defending troops are the best or mediocre firing heavy weapons at exposed troops on an open beach is going to be horrific for the attacking troops - it was.  It was touch and go for most of the first wave and the first half of the day and only the extraordinary effort by the "Greatest Generation" won the day and established the beachhead.


At that time June 06, 1944 NAUTICAL LOG was eight years old and remembers the concern of ones parents for relatives and friends.  Finally we heard the words of General Eisenhower on the…

TRANSIT OF VENUS

Today June 05, 2012 we will have a transit of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun.  NAUTICALLOG does not have "hero's" but there are persons we admire one being Captain James Cook.  When serving as a Reserve Officer in the Hydrographic Department of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) we were involved in the most complete survey of the New Zealand coast undertaken since Captain Cook's original work - which was remarkably accurate.  Throughout our career at sea his voyages influenced places where we sought employment such as New Zealand, Pacific island chains, British Columbia, Alaska and indeed the North Sea where James Cook started his career.


His first voyage in HMS Endeavor from1768 to 1771 was a combined expedition of the British Royal Navy and Royal Society so he visited Tahiti.  From a site known since as Point Venus he observed the Transit of Venus in 1769.  NAUTICAL LOG has visited there while in French Polynesia.


We refer to Captain Cook as RN but in fac…

SO TIRED

In the maritime Blog gCAPTAIN® this morning there was an interesting report about the Project Horizon at Warsash Maritime Academy.  Warsash is the alma mater of NAUTICAL LOG who attended in the 1960's when it was called the School of Navigation, University of Southampton, Warsash, Hants. and one had pints of draft Strongs at "The Riser" served by Myles and Diana Formby.  Happy Days!!


The concern is about tiredness at sea particularly for watch keepers who actually fall asleep when on watch in the Bridge.  These days being able to sit down at the controls of course encourages this to happen quite easily.  Crews generally are at a minimum and in spite of masses of IMO Rules and Regulations there are insufficient persons on board to properly mann the Watchs.  This is particularly the case in the vessels on passage coastwise - the very area where the risks are highest for something to go wrong.


When NAUTICAL LOG first went to sea in the 1950's there was a Bridge Watch of o…

ITALIAN CALL

The Chinese PLAN training ship Zhenghe has arrived at the Italian Naval Base in Taranto on a five day visit.  The traditional naval and diplomatic courtesies were exchanged on arrival.  This is the first European port call for the training vessel on its around-the-world voyage.  She is commanded by the Deputy Chief of Staff of PLAN.


The PLAN Zhenghe started its five month voyage at Dalian in northeast China and will pay port calls to 11 countries covering more than 30,000 nautical miles.  It is quite unusual for a naval vessel to make such a long passages on their own but the PLAN Zhenghe is sailing unescorted.


Good Watch.

As the situation in Somalia deteriorates and spreads the plight of 5the nearly 600 of our fellow seafarers being held as hostages by pirates grows steadily worse they continue to face mutilation and death every day.

PEACE NO GO

Today we have some different environmental news at least different for NAUTICAL LOG.   Usually we do not write about Greenpeace® because usually they do not do anything really worthwhile just hang banners and dangle off anchor chains.  At least the SSCS pirates put their money where their mouth is even if it does spout forth bombastic, pompous, hot air - though "Wats-his-name" is rather quiet these days.  Wonder why?


In spite of Greenpeace® having an ice-strengthened vessel the MS Esperanza (which means Hope in Spanish) they do not go to the Antarctic to assist the SSCS.  It would seem the name of their rather ancient ex-Russian Navy vessel expresses their attitude - they hope to stop environmental damage rather than actually stopping it.


Royal Dutch Shell  PLC which has finally been issued permits to start exploratory drilling in the Arctic this Summer  was concerned that the work would be interrupted by Greenpeace® and indeed the MS Ezperanza arrived in Seattle, WA with that…