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One of the many hazards of the seas is piracy - but what is it ?  Modern piracy was clearly defined under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982. If one opens UNCLOS Articles 100 through 107 and 110 it is all there to read, understand and follow.


As a result of the attempted boarding of a Russian oil rig on the High Seas in International Waters the Russian Law Enforcement Authorities detained activists from the organization Greenpeace.  As a result of their questioning of these activists - maritime terrorists under Russian Law - Russian Maritime Authorities boarded, detained and towed to Murmansk, Russia their vessel MS Arctic Sunrise.

Now after continuing inquires the entire crew of the MS Arctic Sunrise have been charged with piracy under UNCLOS Articles 100 - 107 & 110.  Of course the Greenpeace Organization can whine and moan at the injustice of the charges brought against them but they must know quite well that these are legal charges not really unexpected. 

Prior to taking any action this organization must surely have operational planning meetings to discuss the strategy of the operation.  It would seem likely that during these meetings the subject of piracy would be discussed and probably explained to the personnel directly involved in boarding the oil rig.  NAUTICAL LOG therefore cannot believe that these piracy charges brought by the Russian Authorities can be a surprise to Greenpeace and those involved in this incident.

It is not a valid excuse by one party to break International Maritime Law because they believe the action taken by the other party is wrong.  It this case it is clearly preferable that the Russians to NOT drill in the Arctic Region at all.  From their operational history they seem to make an incredible mess of most everything they do with regular serious disasters involving astronomical environmental damage and loss of life.  However two wrongs do NOT make a right and therefore the Greenpeace pirates must now expect to be punished quite severely by the Russian Authorities for breaking both Russian and International Maritime Law.

Sadly the Arctic Regional drilling by Russia continues and no doubt one can expect the inevitable environmental disaster.

Good Watch.


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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.