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So at last Nelson Mandela has been allowed to die peacefully at home with his family - what an extraordinary man - his body finally rejecting the anti-biotic medications being administered.  Mandela was a Xhosa who speak a distinctive tonal language which has three types of click sound for consonants and is often known as the "clicking language".

The family of NAUTICAL LOG has long connections with South Africa from its British Empire years on my Irish side of the family.  Several of my Mother's (she had a Zulu name in addition to her Irish name) uncles served in the British Colonial Administration, after fighting in the Boer War of 1899-1902 one of my great-uncles William O'Grady served as an Administrator in Swaziland.  When he returned to England in retirement he kept in touch with friends and children of those friends in South Africa.  As a result of this one evening a limousine with outrider escort arrived at our Dublin, Ireland suburban home with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Johannesburg, who was a son of a South African friend, to visit - caused quite a stir on our street as you can imagine.

During my sea career NAUTICAL LOG called at South African Ports many times so got to see firsthand something of the country that had been a regular topic of conversation with my Mom.

While NAUTICAL LOG is not one for having "heroes" there are persons one admires so it is perhaps not surprising that two are from South Africa.  Mahatma Gandhi who born in India was a lawyer in South Africa before returning to India and Nelson Mandela also a lawyer who was born, raised and died in South Africa.

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.