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Today is the 15th. Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States and is now known as Patriot's Day.  One can remember with horror watching the second plane ram into the tower and the resulting fires in both towers leading to their collapse and the destruction of The World Trade Center.  Sadly it is now known warnings were ignored which led to this terrible Islamic Terrorism act.

As part of the remembrance of this dreadful event the S.S. John W. Brown based in Baltimore, MD is due in New York.  This vessel is one of two, the other being the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien based in San Francisco, CA., World War 2 Liberty ships.  Both these vessels have been fully restored, are registered as vessels of the United States Merchant Marine and are manned by USMM volunteer Union crews.

As part of their role as active floating museums they are open for daily visits and tours of the ship.  Also offered for about $145 per adult are "Living History Cruises" which depart in the morning around 0900 returning, safely one hopes, around 1700. Why is NAUTICAL LOG concerned about their safety?  Well these vessels are not passenger vessels and  it seems do not have lifesaving appliances to cover the allowed number of persons on board. 

According to the reply to my question of the S.S. John W. Brown they stated -
 "We can carry 730 passengers on a Living History Cruise". 
Frankly one was shocked!!  How can this be certified by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) ?

Having spent many years as a cruise ship Officer in various positions particularly that of Safety Officer one knows at firsthand the incredible nitpicking that goes on when the USCG inspects these vessels, which already meet International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards, for US Passenger Ship Certificates.  Yet here we have two  WW2 Liberty ships allowed to carry hundreds of people on "Living History Cruises".  So it appears that the Rules applied by USCG to non-US flag vessels are different to those applied to US flag vessels.  This was already evident from the disgraceful condition of the S.S. El Faro when she was lost with all hands last year and whose VDR was recently recovered and is being examined.

Remembering all those lost fifteen years ago today and hoping that there is never an accident with those two old WW2 Liberty ships we say

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.