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In a previous Post we discussed the decline of the United States Merchant Marine (USMM) now it appears the situation is so bad that basic shipboard discipline cannot be enforced.  Is this due to the Masters and Officers incompetence, the power of the Maritime Unions to overrule them or a combination of both.  From what NAUTICAL LOG has seen and heard it appears to be a combination of both.

The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has announced that it is "standing down" Sea Year.  This is when the Seniors go to sea in USMM vessels to experience directly what life at sea is all about - well the United States Maritime Union controlled version anyway, rather different from other Nations Merchant Navies as NAUTICAL LOG well knows from 50 years as a seafarer.

The concern is that the USMMA cannot guarantee the safety on board USMM vessels of the Midshippersons as we suppose one must now call the USMMA trainees.  One gets the impression that sexual assault is rampant on the campusi of United States Universities including USMMA and this in turn is carried on to USMM vessels. 

The mind boggles frankly at all this.  For this decision to have been made by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) there must be a clear basis for concern.  Truly these United States are  rapidly descending into a cesspool if they have not already done so.

Good Watch -  if one sails in the USMM y'all will need it.


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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.


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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.