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The hopeless MS Esperanza, now offering a sightseeing Arctic voyage.
Rig Kulluk

Rig Noble Discoverer

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 planned. 

The U.S. District Court of Alaska issued an Order filed Tuesday against the Greenpeace® restraining them from any interference with the Shell operations.  Royal Dutch Shell are preparing two rigs in Seattle, WA shipyards to be moved to the northern coast of Alaska, the Noble Discover to the Chukchi Sea and Kulluk to the Beaufort Sea.  Areas NAUTICAL LOG knows from Watchofficer days in the Canadian Coastguard Icebreakers.  The Restraining Order prevents Greenpeace® from approaching within 200 miles of the shore and remains in effect until the end of October 2012.

Good Watch.

What also remains in effect is the fact that nearly 600 of our fellow seafarers remain hostage of pirates off the coast of Puntland, Somalia.  As such they face mutilation or death each and every day with no hope of rescue in sight with not even a plan to do so.


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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


It sometimes happens that one is going to write a Post on a subject when lo and behold there is already an excellent one.  Such is the case today; so rather than repeat everything let me refer you to the source of that Post

At present we are experiencing Perigean Spring Tides which occur when the Moon is at perigee on its oval path that is the closest point to Earth.  One of the principal results are higher than usual Spring Tides as against the Neap Tides.

Should you be interested in the full explanation of this phenomenon then you might like to reference "Old Salt Blog" which has an excellent explanation of this event and uses all the correct terms - quite unlike our Media here in South Florida.

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.