Maritime Monday 123

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August 11, 2008

Welcome to this 123rd edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 73 here. (Published 27 August 2007)

You can find last week’s edition here .

You can find links to all the previous editions at the bottom of this post. You are encouraged to participate using the comment link/form at the bottom of the post. If you have photos or stories to tell, do email me at [email protected]



This Week’s Photos:

This week’s photos come from the website of Chile’s Danvi Ship S.A.:







Their homepage can be found here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Somali Pirates: U.S. Navy thwarts attack in Gulf of Aden“.

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: An Olympic Tale“.

gCaptain has “How 2008 Olympics Brings Down Ship Freight Rates“.

Information Dissemination is covering the war Russia is waging on Georgia, especially on the Naval side. Here is a link to his Sunday afternoon update wondering if the Russians are preparing to take the Georgian port city of Poti. Be sure to scroll through his homepage for the latest information and lots of details on the unfolding events not clearly posted elsewhere.

Reuters has “Ukraine threatens to bar Russian warships“.

KIEV, Aug 10 (Reuters) – Ukraine said on Sunday it reserved the right to temporarily bar Russian warships dispatched to the Georgian coast from returning to their Ukrainian base of Sevastopol.

Good luck with that. Already the Ukraine has told the Russians that they want them out at the end of the current lease agreement. The Russians have ‘suggested’ doing otherwise. istockanalyst has a strong response to the notice to get out in “Russian Black Sea Fleet Must Remain in Sevastopol, Says Moscow Mayor“. The Russian Navy’s action against Georgia is not going to result in them being any more welcome there.

EU Referendum has “Return of the freeze?” noting that it appears that the melting of the Arctic ice cap has halted and that the polar ice sheet appears to already be increasing.

It is early days yet but, if this becomes a trend, we will be seeing the smallest melt-back since the winter of 1997-8. And this would be in a year when, as Booker observes, the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre said it was “quite possible” that all Arctic sea ice might vanish.

Wired‘s Danger Room blog has “Stealth Destroyer Largely Defenseless, Admiral Says“. He would be referring to the DDG-1000 destroyer and it sounds like a major screw-up.

Speaking of screw-ups, Aftenposten (Norway) has “Russian wreck radioactive” and “Fisheries minister knew about hazards” concerning the wreck of the Russian cruiser MURMANSK which has been lying on the rocks in Norway since 1994.

Olaf Braastad of the environmental pressure group Bellona, calls the event an environmental scandal. “Not only is the cruiser, which lies in the middle of a tourist paradise, full of environmentally hazardous chemicals, it turns out that it contains radioactive material as well,” he says to daily newspaper Aftenposten.

Just why was this wreck left to rot? Was it because they didn’t want to upset the Russians? You can bet they would have demanded the US to remove it if it was a former US warship. Then again, it is the west that pays to clean up Russia’s messes so I guess this case is no different. You can see some photos of the wreck at Flickr.

KBS Global (Korea) has “N. Korea Reports Arrival of U.S. Food Aid” as the US delivers a second shipment to the North.

Lloyd’s List has “Bid to water down EU safety directives“.

NATIONAL governments are attempting to water down a European Union directive on accident investigation by restricting compulsory investigations to “very serious” accidents only.

The European commission and European parliament want to see standardised investigations take place after all serious maritime accidents, but by adding the word ‘very’, governments represented in the EU council of ministers are seeking to ensure new Brussels powers are hardly ever used.

The Baltimore Sun has It’s like moving an egg’ as they interview the tug company over plans to move the 154-year-old sloop-of-war USS CONSTELLATION so that it can attend the christening of the USS STERETT. (With video)

Times of Malta has “Pregnant woman dies as over 100 migrants brought ashore“.

A group of 53 illegal immigrants in a nearly-submerged inflatable boat beside a cargo ship. Photo: Rohan Dalli, Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) Maritime Squadron.

FreedomShip‘s homepage has a current update on their project to build the world’s largest cruise ship:

We are still in business and still working on the project. But we did run into a little bump in the road. I set up, as our President, a man who had the “Financial Experience” we “engineers” do not have. His education and Financial Experience, as well as his personality, seemed to make him the perfect person we needed to move forward on the project. And he assured us he had found our financing, so we were all excited. But then I discovered that our $400,000 bank account (which we were using to do a public IPO so we could sell Freedom Ship stock to the general public) abruptly went down to nothing. It appears he turned over our entire bank account to a man who promised him a “Peruvian Gold certificate” worth a billion dollars. Before this we could not believe that anyone (especially a well educated and successful person) could believe something like this. This was “learning experience” number 4. He did this without our knowledge. He also took the money out of our bank account even though he did not have “signature authority.” So, as you might guess, we have a major law suit against everyone involved. Per the laws of the State of Florida, the crime of “racketeering” brings a fine of 3 times the money you take. So, we are going after everyone involved for $1,200,000. This crime also brings a jail penalty, but we are willing to overlook this as long as we get our $1,200,000. This is more than we need to complete our IPO. Then is all we need to build the ship and move forward.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that they were promising an update. This is not exactly what I expected nor is it anything that would change my opinion that the Freedomship Project is nothing more than a pipe dream. According to the website, it seems that the CEO has a backup plan of running for President of the US.

BitterEnd encounters a sailboater not only in trouble but also completely lacking in skills (or at least failing to display them) in “I Don’t Think we’re in Kansas Anymore“.

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has the podcast “Lessons From The Danica White” wondering how it was possible for the ship’s crew to properly do everything they were expected to, given the low minimum manning level as approved by the Danish Authorities. I criticized the Dane’s approval of a minimum manning certificate of 5 persons in “Danica White Hijacking – ‘Minimum Safe Manning’ Partly to Blame?“.

Village Soup has an interview: “Capt. Wilson recalls seafaring, war, love“. He is a 95 year old Merchant Marine veteran.

MarineBuzz has “E-Ship 1 with Sailing Rotors to Reduce Fuel Costs and to Reduce Emissions” including shipyard photos.

MarineBuzz also has “Zemships: Zero Emission Ships Powered by Fuel Cell to be Ready by 2010“.


The Sun (New York) has “The Argument for Offshore Drilling“.

The Sun also has “Iran Threatens Strait of Hormuz – Key Oil Shipping Passage Could Be Blocked for a Month“.

Samizdata quotes from the book The Command of The Ocean in “Reflections on UK naval history“.

boingboing TV has video: “WWII Boatpunk: Aboard the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, with Todd Lappin“. (Found via Instapundit)

Empire Movie News has “Mimi Leder To Direct World War II Flick“. The name of the film is Remember Their Names which will cover the WWII adventures of Woody Guthrie who served in the US Merchant Marine.

Times Colonist (Canada) has “Navy should rely on our shipyards“.

Sun-sentinel has a reader response to the critical letter covered in Maritime Monday 117 (“Merchant Marine hopes for $1,000 a month compensation; for what?”) “Call them what they are: merchant seamen, war heroes“.

Barents Observer has “Icebreaking independence for Norilsk Nickel” as the company takes delivery of the ice-protected cargoship MONCHEGORSK.

The Monitor has “BC Ferries moves to Cambodia“. The ship is the QUEEN OF ESQUIMALT.

The BBC has a video report of a cat that stowaway’d inside a container from Taiwan to inland UK and survived. Watch the video for the details of the journey.

Sea * Fever has the amazing time-lapse video taken by Houston ship pilot OneEighteen with “Foto Friday – Time Lapse of Houston Ship Channel Navigation“. This time it is a night transit. See gCaptain post “Houston Ship Channel – 500 Knot Transit” for video he took of a previous daytime transit.

Freaque Waves has “The case of Yacht Kaz II” covering the official report explaining what most likely happened to each of the three people onboard. Seems that they did leave behind a video camera with footage taken shortly before they ran into problems.

Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has “Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2 Begins Mapping Oceans” as the new Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason 2 oceanography satellite becomes operational.

Life at Sea takes a break from blogging to join a VLCC tanker for the next five months. The ship has no connection to the internet.

Novinite has “Bulgarian Sailor Goes Missing in Mediterranean Close to African Coast“.

The National Review‘s ‘the Campaign Spot’ covers natural seepage of crude oil into the Pacific ocean off California in “Save the Whales By Building Offshore Oil Platforms“.

IMC Brokers has video and story covering the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch“.

Skipper’s Scrivenings has the rescue story of an Australian Hiker who went into a coma in “I’m on a WHAT?!” It’s a great story.

Kennebec Captain calculates “Shipping Cars, cargo per ton fuel” and relates the savings per car if the ship reduced speed to save fuel.

Greenpeace has an update on the fishing vessel that ran aground in Bali in “The neverending story of the Ho Tsai Fa 18” as the ship goes up in flames. Photos are posted at


Port2Port has “Israel Shipyard delivered first cargo ship to European buyer“.

Homeland Security Group has “A Maritime Security Gap – The Water“.

Japan Probe has “Japan Coast Guard cuts down on training to save on fuel costs“. I would think that there are better places to cut expenses, but I guess they can get away with it until someone dies.

Sail-World has a story of being prepared in “When the Superyacht Scares the Pirates…“. (Found via EagleSpeak)

Chaotic Synaptic Activity writes about former President John F. Kennedy’s path to the PT Boats.

Freight Dawg looks at the benefits of a possible takeover in the container world in “NOL Possible Buyer for Hapag Lloyd?“.

Tugster has “Hwyh2o“.

International Trade Law News has “New U.S. Container Seal Requirements Go Into Effect on October 15th“.

Aftenposten also has “‘Christian Radich’ wins first stage of Tall Ships’ Race“. This tall ship was the first one I ever visited. It just happened to be the first tall ship to arrive in New York Harbor. I think it was there for OpSail in the 1980’s to celebrate the Statue of Liberty.

SY-SHIMMI ….CIRCUMNAVIGATION has some questions about ‘living the dream’ of sailing around the world “A MOM’S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY“. The funny thing about this is that their older kid will have only some memories of the trip, probably about being trapped on the boat, and the younger one will remember nothing. That is if they survive the trip. I have my doubts as mentioned before.

Yahoo News covers an attack on another pair of global sailboaters in “US tourist hacked to death in Guatemala“.

Mr. Boat Blog has “Serious Tow In Surfing.“. This time using a car.

deputydog has “turkey’s $50m engineless cruise ship“. It is the impress hotel Queen Elizabeth.

The Miami Herald has “Cuban trio win suit against Curacao firm – Cuban workers who accused a Curacao company of slave labor won their federal case by default.”

The men — who now live in the Tampa area — said the company made them work double shifts against their will in substandard conditions and kept their passports to prevent them from fleeing. On off hours, they were forced to watch hours-long videotaped speeches of then-President Fidel Castro.

Countries like Cuba would not be able to exist without enablers like this company that assist in funding it. Hard to say which is worse, the Cuban Government, the Shipyard Company or the Curacao Government that turns a blind eye to it all.

Bloomberg has “Brazil May Lack Merchant Marine Officers in 2013, Globo Reports“.

The Local (Sweden) has “Fatty Baltic fish threaten male sperm production“.

Finland For Thought has coverage of what happens when you don’t check all the little details when shipping goods in “Customs stopping import of jet-skis from Amerikka, customers accuse of price protection.“. Seems that the jet-skis are missing some sort of ‘CE’ certification. It’s the little details that get you every time…

Ocra Worldwide has “EU Rejects Plans For Polish Shipyards And Sets Deadline For Final Resolution “.

MarEx Newsletter has “Preservation of 1936 U.S. Coast Guard Cutter INGHAM Begins“.

Helsingin Sanomat has “Research vessel Aranda to chart distribution of comb jellies in Baltic Sea“.

PajamasMedia has “Gore Hits the Waves with a Massive New Houseboat“. The name of the boat is BIO-SOLAR ONE or as some have called it B.S.1. I would have liked to see it named the M/V CARBON EXPLORER I. Along those lines, Michele Malkin has “Name Al Gore’s hugetastic boat!

Dark Roasted Blend has “The Last Victorian Leviathan Steam Ship“. The ship is the GREAT EASTERN. (As found on BitterEnd)

Molten Eagle has “The ‘Littorals’ – Part 2 – Submarines and NASDS“.

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has “Millionaire Skipper Abandons Ship Off Australia“.

The Merchant Marine Express has “Making a stop at the Coast Guard Office” to get a replacement for a lost Merchant Mariner ID.

blue water: news of my escape has some photos taken onboard the PAUL T MORAN.

An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has “The Georgian Coast Guard in Review“.

Bass Fishing Techniques has “Bass Fishing Boats“.


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

California – container fee bill approved by State Senate – The Senate of the California Legislature approved an amended version of a measure that would, if enacted into law, require the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland to collect a user fee from the owner of container cargo moving through those ports at the rate of $30 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU). The monies collected would go into funds to improve the flow and efficiency of container cargo and to mitigate air pollution caused by the movement of container cargo to and from the ports. The measure now goes to Governor Schwarzenegger for consideration. Senate Bill 974 (7/14/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

This seems like the wrong time to increase the cost of shipping cargo through California. They must be banking on companies not shifting cargo bound for inland states to ports outside California.


New Zealand – allision due, in part, to faulty GPS – Maritime New Zealand issued a media release stating that the skipper and helmsman of a cabin cruiser were convicted and fined for violation of the Maritime Transport Act. The cabin cruiser was transiting Auckland Harbor at night at considerable speed when it allided with Illiomana beacon. The skipper suffered serious injuries and the cabin cruiser was a total loss. The skipper was not using radar, had no paper chart, and knew the GPS system was unreliable. (8/7/08). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

Crew held after complaints, ITF says – CREWMEN are being held on a bulker off Australia after accusing the ship’s officers of mental and physical abuse, according to union officials.

The International Transit Workers’ Federation said the four Turkish crewmen were being detained on the Marshall Islands-flagged Cape Eregli (pictured) in Whyalla, South Australia.

The captain has refused to co-operative with the ITF, Australia’s ITF chief Dean Summers said, “and rather than fix the problem has resorted to legal threats against the federation and inspectors”.

The 83,850gt vessel is on charter to BHP and has 18 Indian and six Turkish crew, said the ITF, which is “seeking the urgent intervention of state and federal governments” to get the seafarers off the ship “and repatriate them as quickly as possible”, Summers added.

Earlier this week, the ITF accused the Greek master of the Cypriot-flag bulker Pontoklydon (16,722gt) of refusing to sign an international minimum standards accord and allow inspectors to speak to 16 Filipino crew at Geraldton, Western Australia.

“We are asking Australian exporters like the AWB, BHP and Rio Tinto, who charter foreign shipping, to tighten their ship vetting system,” Summers said.

But the Australian Wheat Board, the charterer, said its fixture of a vessel without an ITF agreement derived from an “administrative error”. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


ILO warns of dirty shipping – COUNTRIES that do not adopt the 2006 International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention will risk becoming targets for dirty ships, Cleopatra Doumbia Henry, director of the ILO’s International Labour Standards Department, has warned.

“If you do not ratify the convention, substandard shipping will be diverted to your country,” she told a workshop on the ILO convention today. The session was held in Colombo to help Sri Lanka and the Maldives adopt the convention.

“This could have great consequences for the environment and ecosystems in those countries,” she said. “We do not want to see that happen as it will have serious consequences for island economies – not only [for] the maritime sector but also [for] tourism.”

Countries with more sophisticated port state mechanisms, like those in the EU and the US, have already agreed to implement the convention and discourage substandard shipping. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Submissions for future editions:

Please submit articles for inclusion in next week’s edition using the following submit form at Blog Carnival. You are also welcome to email stories and photos to [email protected] for inclusion in future editions as well as suggest areas of coverage.


Previous Editions: As linked below or click on the tag ‘Maritime Monday’ for all gCaptain editions.

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