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Showing posts from January, 2014

SLIPPERY SLIPWAY

Well now NAUTICAL LOG is feeling rather pleased!!  It appears that the SSCS fleet has followed a suggestion we made in our Post Operation Relentless and is now guarding the slipway of the MS Nisshin Maru thus preventing the catchers offloading their whales for butchering.  To quote Peter Hammarstedt of the MS Bob Barker:

"The primary strategy of our Antarctic Whale Defence Campaign is to secure the slipway of the Nisshin Maru and allow no dead whales to pass into this floating abattoir.  We have achieved this goal.  We will continue to block the slipway of this poaching ship, relentless in our mission to protect the whales and the sanctity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary."

Wow! heady stuff indeed.  While the language is a little exaggerated and somewhat pompous the end result is the important point that the slipway of the MS Nisshin Maru is blocked preventing whales being hauled on board.

If the SSCS fleet can continue this blockage and shut down the Japanese Whaling Flee…

WHITE HOUSE ARCTIC PLAN

 Suddenly the morning coffee of NAUTICAL LOG tastes a little bitter.  Reading the maritime blogs there is an article in gCaptain about a Plan by the White House to make Arctic shipping safer. Oh! dear me if it is anything close to their ACA (Obamacare) then the Arctic is in further hot water - hmmm.


The Navy Oceanographer Rear-Admiral Jon White announced that an inter-agency team has made a comprehensive assessment after a review of current Arctic sea-ice projections.  By 2020 the Bering Strait is projected to be ice free 160 days in the year.   The U.S. State Department will attempt to reach agreement with Canada on the maritime boundary in the Beaufort Sea.

With all that the current Administration has on its plate, that it already cannot deal with, why would they not wait until the IMO Polar Code is presented for ratification.  The U.S. could then negotiate with Canada to present a Joint Amendment with regard to their part of the Arctic Region.

Good Watch


IMO POLAR CODE

 On January 14, 2014 the Final Draft of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Polar Code was issued.  It was met with disgust by concerned environmental organisations whose representative Mr. Bill Hemmings stated:

"A Polar Code which fails to address the major environmental dangers of increased shipping opens the door to potentially catastrophic consequences should a disaster happen.  Environmental protection has essentially been put on a back-burner through the active lobbying of the shipping and cruise industry which consistently dismisses ecological concerns. 

This is a disgraceful illustration of big business working behind the closed doors to advance its own corporate interests before those of mankind and the unique polar environment.  When the next big incident happens in polar waters the public will know where responsibility lies."

NAUTICAL LOG completely and heartily concurs so has quoted Mr. Bill Hemmings here in full.  As has been the pattern in recent deca…

BOXING SEA SHEPHERDS

UPDATE:
Monday January 27, 2014.
Apparently the reason there are so few reports from Operation Relentless is that they are not doing very much.  The JWF continues catching whales while the SSCS give the impression that they are following the U.S. Court order to stay 400 metres away from the JWF ships.  So it appears  from the relative positions of the SSCS ships ahead and astern of the JWF MS Nisshin Maru.  The Operation Relentless seems to be more an Operation Useless.

Dramatic news from the Southern Ocean - well at least according to Sea Shepherd Australia.  There is a report on their website which claims as usual excellent results from very little action on the part of the SSCS in "boxing-in" the JWF.  According to them the JWF run away at the sight of the SSCS ships.

The report is of course somewhat exaggerated, a bit bombastic and while stating things rather gives itself away in not really knowing what the JWF have been doing.  It seems the SSCS vessels lost track of the…

CAPT. PAUL EMILE FRANCOEUR




The death occurred on Tuesday January 21, 2014 of Captain Paul Emile Francoeur (90).  For many years under different ownerships of Eastern Steamship Lines (ESL) he was Master of their SS Ariadne.NAUTICAL LOG served during 1969 as 2nd. Officer in the SS Ariadne which CAPT. Paul commanded on cruises from South Florida. In fact he was one of the original South Florida cruise ship Masters.

Born in St. Alexis de Matapedia, Gaspe, Quebec, Canada he served in various ships before joining Eastern Steamship Lines.  In 1970 he was accepted into the Biscayne Bay Pilots Association as a Port of Miami Pilot until retiring in 1991.

Eastern Steamship Lines was founded in 1901 by the Wall Street financier C. W. Morse and consolidated several small New England coastwise passenger lines.  They offered service from New York to New England ports and winter cruises to Florida.  Ceasing operations during World War 2 they resumed afterwards.  In 1954 the line was bought by F. Leslie Fraser who transferred…

SOLAS AT 100


On April 14, 1912 at 2340 the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage, the rest is history and the story well known.



On January 20, 1914 100 years ago today as a result of this tragedy 13 Nations held the International Convention of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) it came into force in 1915 with just 5 Nations having ratified SOLAS. 

At that time Europe was involved in the First World War from 1914 to 1918 but eventually most if not all maritime nations signed and ratified the Convention and today it is the normal standard for safely operating vessels at sea.  In each country there is a body which is charged by its government and enforces SOLAS on all ships registered in or visiting its Ports.  Known as the Flag State and the Port State Inspections vessels are inspected to SOLAS standards they may be detained until repairs are made should defects be found by these Inspections. 

In the United States of America this is one of the missions of the United States Coast Guard (USCG…

OPERATION RELENTLESS REPORT

Well now what a nice surprise this morning to open up the Sea Shepherd Australia link in and find a sensible report.  The article covering current happenings was well written, informative and non-bombastic which is quite a change from previous seasons when "Wats-his-name" wrote his nonsense. 
It is however quite amazing to NAUTICAL LOG that after all the reports about finding the JWF and ships following ships the SSCS has lost contact with the factory ship MS Nisshin Maru.  One would think that a SSCS ship perhaps the MS Sam Simon would be assigned to stay with her to keep track at all times.  It may be that there is not a well coordinated plan or the captains of the SSCS vessels are not able to execute the plan or handle their ships in an effective manner.  We shall just have to see if they have the navigational ability to do so.   Instead of racing back and forth in dramatic fashion across the Southern Ocean like the MS Bob Barker transmitting bombastic signals, remain and…

OVERFLIGHT 1

The wasted operations continue in the Southern Ocean as a report from Peter Hammarstedt in the MS Bob Barker confirmed that the Australian Government conducted its first flyover to monitor the Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF).
An A319 Airbus chartered by the Australian Customs flew over the whaling area for about ten minutes just after 0900 on Monday.  The plane flew low enough to be easily identified but did not make any known radio contact with the SSCS MS Bob Barker, it is unknown if the Australian Customs plane was in contact with the JWF.

What this will accomplish if anything is also unknown so it looks as if this overflight is some type of Australian PR, it is also unknown if there will be any other overflights.  As one can see lots of unknowns in all of this which tends to lead one to believe it is nonsense and wasteful spending of Australian taxpayers monies.

The Australian Government will not confirm some of the communications claims of the SSCS coming from the MS Bob Barker so it …

CRUISING TO SAFETY

How time passes it is now two years since the disaster of the MS Costa Concordia.  The Cruise Industry has adopted new rules with regard to emergency drills, ship operations, life jackets and introduced a "Passenger Bill of Rights" all to counter the sagging public relations (PR) of the industry.  Oh and all these "new" rules might actually help the passengers in a real emergency something that could certainly use lots of improvement. 
 All these rules have been in place since the 1920's and were enforced largely by the professionalism of European and American seafarers on the Liner Service across the Atlantic and elsewhere in the World.  National companies took pride in striving to be the best possible in looking after their passengers many of whom sailed with not just a particular Line but with a particular Master in that Line.

Those days have long gone and one might add so has a large part of that traditional professionalism passed on from the Masters to the…

OPERATION RELENTLESS

 Reports on the whaling in the Southern Ocean are less frequent than in previous years by both the JWF and SSCS.  It seems that in spite of Mr. Bob Brown being in charge of this seasons Operation Relentless now that "Wats-his-name" is out of the picture the tactics have not changed that much.

As in previous years the SSCS vessels follow the JWF and then claim they are "chasing" them away - one would ask away from what?  On the other side a JWF catcher vessel MS Yushin Maru No.3 follows one of the SSCS vessels MS Bob Barker which heads towards Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone. (AEEZ)  The JWF vessel then stops one nautical mile outside the AEEZ so as to obey International Maritime Law as the SSCS vessel enters the AEEZ.  What has this accomplished?  Wasting fuel?

All that NAUTICAL LOG can see is that it burns a lot of fuel with no effective results, fuel that is difficult for the SSCS to replace without leaving the Southern Ocean.  This is what happened last…

SOME GOOD NEWS


 Just got my morning coffee and opened the NAUTICAL LOG e-mail to read that both the ships stuck in Antarctic ice are free.  The Russian Master of MS Akademik Shokalskiy reported that the wind shifted to westerly and cracks appeared in the ice he was able to use one long crack (known as a "lead") to manoeuvre and make it out to open water with his crew of 22.

Also on board the Chinese icebreaker MS Xue Long (Snow Dragon) the Captain was able to sail through the floating ice to open water with her crew of 101.  This is particularly good news because it was the Chinese icebreaker's helicopter (Snow Eagle) that ferried all the scientists and passengers from the Russian expedition ship to the icebreaker MS Aurora Australis which was in open water.

All these ships were well supplied with food and water so the danger was from ice only which is more than enough to have to worry about.

Good Watch

SLAUGHTERING AGAIN


UPDATED January 08, 2014.

The Japanese Whaling Fleet (JWF) is already busy welcoming in the New Year 2014 with a new season of slaughtering whales.  The anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) have made contact with the JWF and is monitoring its activities with its three vessels.  Mr. Brown the person in charge of Operation Relentless through SSCS Australia said that the JWF was in an internationally recognized whale sanctuary however the New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said there is no internationally recognized whale sanctuary.  So who to believe as already the annual confusion over whom is doing what starts with the first whales caught.  So far neither New Zealand or Australia intend to sent a government patrol vessel to the Southern Ocean.

From two of the captains of the SSCS vessels, Peter Hammarstedt and Siddharth Chakravaty  both "Wats-his-name" trained, come statements which are once again a repeat of those made in previous years.  How…

LEADING EUROPE BY -

NAUTICAL LOG received some interesting photographs from the European Union Parliament this weekend.  Every five years the Europeans of its 28 Member Nations vote to elect their Members of European Parliament (MEP) 2014 is a voting year.  There are currently 754 Members which for some reason NAUTICAL LOG does not understand is trying to be reduced to 751 Members.

Now the current United States Administration is liberal generally left-of-center so are admirers of the EU.  They have already managed in European fashion to impose upon us all here in America an Affordable Health Care System - "Obamacare".   Folks it is not affordable, when its website opened it was so full of faults even the creators had trouble getting coverage.  Another great purpose of the EU is to achieve Social Equality of course our current Administration is just ecstatic about that one also .  Now the Administration has a "National Maritime Domain Plan" so god knows what that will do to seafarers.  …

IN EFFECT

It always takes a long time for changes to come into effect between the decision finally being reached at the Body concerned, then Ratification by the various Members and so becoming Law.  There is excellent coverage in the maritime Blog gCAPTAIN and no doubt there will be M-Notices coming from the British Government MCA in regard to these Amendments.

On January 01, 2014 a series of Amendments to IMO, SOLAS, and MARPOL came into effect.  Also a change to the 1988 Load Line Protocol which moved the Southern limit of the Winter Seasonal Zone 50 nautical miles southward from the coast of South Africa. 


Considering the huge seas often found off this coast NAUTICAL LOG found it rather strange this change took place after all the recent reports of vessels cracking and excessive working of the huge newly built ships.  We shall just have to see if this was a wise decision to change the 1988 Load Line Protocol.

Good Watch.