Maritime Monday 126

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September 8, 2008

Welcome to this 126th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 76 here. (Published 17 September 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 the Republic of Georgia’s Poti Sea Port :

For Poti Sea Port (PSP) the year of 2008 is exceptionally remarkable, port celebrates 150 years of anniversary from its foundation. I would like to congratulate with this event to whole staff of Poti Sea Port, all companies that are directly related with their business to Poti Port and have significant contribution in port’s success and development.

The year of 2007 was especially successful in the recent history of PSP: total throughput was increased by 16% compared to previous year and made 7.7 million tons, container handling was excelled by increase rate of – 46% in comparison with previous year and made 185 000 TEU.

During the last 2 years total throughput has increased by 26% and container handling by 74%. – Link

And concerning the recent Soviet/Russian invasion:

09.04.2008 – Poti Port is back to normal after the tragic events of the past couple of weeks which resulted in loss of life and damage to some port infrastructure and equipment

Vessels are entering and leaving the port normally and all berths in the port operated by the Lease companies and by PSPC are fully operational, the railway is also back to normal and rail traffic is moving smoothly in and out of the port.

The Berth 7 Container Terminal is also back to full operation with all the shipping lines previously calling at Poti Port having resumed calls and containers are moving in and out of the terminal and the off dock storage facilities without any problem

Poti port is also ready to receive calls from any vessels carrying humanitarian aid for the citizens of Georgia that still require help and assistance in returning to a normal life

The Port of Poti is expecting to play a role as the major gateway to Georgia for the importation of materials for reconstruction of its infrastructure whilst still maintaining its role as the gateway to neighboring countries of the Caucasus for the importation of raw materials and the exportation of finished goods

Further information can be obtained from:Tel: +995 (393) 70105; +995 (393) 70139, Fax: +995 (393) 70105, E-mail: [email protected]Link




US-Flag cargo ship JUNEAU


Port Map

Their homepage can be found here.

Many more photos can be found here including photos of US-Flag cargo ships ARGONAUT, CLEVELAND, LIBERTY GRACE and the Car Carrier INDEPENDENCE.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Somalia Pirates: “Unidentified warship” nabs 14 pirates, sinks their boat” and “Gulf of Aden Trickery: Somali pirates using captured yacht as a “decoy?”“.

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: Hickman’s Sea Sleds“.

gCaptain has “Incident Photo Of The Week – Hurricane Gustav” and “Heavy Lift Crane – Photos“. Can anyone name the ship in the New Orleans photo?

Solo Pacific Rower Roz Savage arrives in Hawaii. While I am no fan of these solo ocean attempts, it looks like congratulations are in order. This leg of the trip took 99 days and just short of 9 hours. She still has a long way to go, but I bet the rest of the trip will not include watermaker problems. Sea * Fever has more with “Waypoints – 500 and 99 days at Sea, respectively

The Sun (New York) has “Putin Pledges ‘Answer’ to NATO Black Sea Deployment – ‘You’ll See,’ Russian Leader Warns“.

The Maritime has “US unloads aid to Georgia, Russians eye every move” and remembers the 1988 Black Sea ramming by the Soviet frigate BEZZEVETNIY of the USS YORKTOWN.

Yahoo Australia has “Expert rules out HMAS Sydney theory“. I don’t know. Some of the ‘expert’ evidence sounds lots more like a personal opinion.

Shipping Times has “Container payload scams cost billions and risk lives“.

Deliberate under declaring of shipping container weights costs shipping lines and governments billions of pounds in lost revenue every year and places ships and their crews at risk. Remarkably, container shipping is the only sector of the industry in which the weight of the cargo is not known and there is no requirement for containers to be weighed at a European port before loading a ship. This issue of container payload weights is left to packers and consignors whose word is taken entirely on trust but that trust has been grossly abused for years, leading, in some cases, to disastrous consequences. The motive, as in passenger shipping, is to save money, regardless of the consequences for safety.

I am pretty sure that most every container leaving the US is weighed as it enters the terminals. Why wouldn’t they do this in Europe? Then again, how much heavy cargo is being shipped out of Europe, other than Heineken beer?

Tims Times has “Be nice to the spanners” as a not-so-smart deck cadet plays a nasty prank on the ship’s engineers.

Deep Water Writing has some commentary on Vessel Security Officers as he attends a VSO class.

As with all overburdening regulatory requirements we face at sea I did the best I could with my security duties emphasizing the importance of being vigilant and prepared to the various crews I worked with. Operating in hostile waters, such as the Gulf of Aden, without arms, escorts, or any other tangible way of repelling boarders convinced me that even with the best security plan or lectured crew, we would stand little chance if ever faced with an armed and motivated security threat.

Of course each of those vessels taken by Somali pirates should have had onboard a vessel security plan and officer to carry it out. The Sealand Econships (Maersk Series CH / Sea-Land Atlantic Class) were supposed to be ‘pirate proof’ with no external way of getting to the bridge and only six points of entry into the ship. But back then I doubt they expected pirates to be shooting RPGs.

Kennebec Captain has “Commercial vessels and pleasure craft“.

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has the podcast “The Case Of the Fallen Saviour“.

BitterEnd has “That’s a wrap – Record Breaking Year” as this summer’s boating season comes to an end.

BarentsObserver has “Russian trawlers to return to world seas“.

MarEx Newsletter has “Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation & Maui County Farm Bureau Announce Partnership With Hawaii Superferry“.

MarineLog has shipyard news in “First vessels leave Austal Tasmania“.

PoliGazette has “Brazilian President Inaugurated Deepwater Oil Extraction“.


Lloyd’s List has “China to drive tanker demand“.

Lloyd’s List Newsroom Blog has “An alarming prospect“.

THE prospect of a ‘significant number’ of single-hull very large crude carriers continuing to trade from the Middle East to Asia past the sign-posted phase-out date of 2010 is a flabbergasting abrogation of responsibility by owners and charterers – if it happens.

Helsingin Sanomat (Finland) has “Finnish experts visit GTS Finnjet in India“. I think it is time to admit defeat in saving this ship. Has any ship avoided scrapping in India once it has been beached? Finnjet Web also visited the ship and has their own report with many photos here. (PDF Link)

Independent Online (south Africa) has a reminder why you can’t always depend on assistance from ashore in “‘Waves so big it’s dangerous’“.

IceNews has “Norway not hunting enough whales“. The title is a little deceptive. In actuality, Norwegian fishermen have failed to catch more than half the whale catch quota permitted by the Government.

Skipper’s Scrivenings (USNS MERCY) has “It still hasn’t set in…” as the ship completes its last port call and heads for home. Almost 18,000 patients were seen while in Micronesia. Just a small number of the total number treated during the ship’s voyage.

Molten Eagle clarifies former President Jimmy Carter’s interaction/service with submarines in “Editors Deservedly Zinged in Latest Submarine Error” noting that the former President never served on a nuke submarine as appears to be commonly believed.

Kiwi at Sea continues to have bad luck and now has to go back to sea as someone emptied his bank account in “Life sucks“.

LiveLeak has dramatic video of the reception the Gaza Blockade ‘Peace Boats’ were expecting on their arrival which they actually received on their departure in “Palestinians and human rights workers fired upon by Israeli naval boats“.

The Telegraph (UK) has “Lauren Booth still ‘trapped’ in Gaza after protest“. She is the Sister-in-law of Tony Blair and one of the fools who rode the peace boats to Gaza and elected to ‘stay and help the locals’. The previous stories I linked to mentioned that almost all of the activists got seasick on the trip over and I suspect that nine of them were not going to experience that again, mistakenly thinking the Israelis would let them go home.

the elder of ziyon has word of a third ‘peace boat’ Gaza blockade trip in ““Free Gaza” rescue mission“. This may be a way out for the activists now trapped in Gaza, provided that Israel lets the ship(s) in again.

Robin Storm – In Search of Severe Weather has “Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna disrupt cruise plans in the Caribbean“.

Hellenic Shipping News has “Dry Bulk Drowns“.

The rising dollar and declining commodity prices have caused investors to jump ship despite the strong outlook for dry bulk shipping stocks. It does not help that worries about a global economic slowdown, especially in China and Europe, and lower steel prices in China have cut into demand for shipping in the near term.


Ocra Marine Newsletter has “Major Container Port To Open In Vietnam” as DP World prepares to build the Saigon Central Container Port.

An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog has “Verdict on the MORRO BAY is in” as the US Coast Guard decides not to relieve the ship’s commanding officer in response to a collision with the Block Island Ferry.

An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog also has “National Fleet in Action: Navy-USCG Delivering Humanitarian Aid to Haiti“.

The Merchant Marine Express heads back to sea on the Crowley Marine ship CHEMICAL EXPLORER.

blue water: news of my escape also heads back to sea and includes a photo of his stateroom in “why? Why? WHY?“.

The Local (Germany) has tall ship news in “Gorch Fock sailor missing at sea” and “Hope of finding missing German sailor fades“.

Freaque Waves has New Zealand news in “Caused by a freaque set of waves“.

FayObserver has “More respond regarding the S.S. Robert Rowan“. You can read a summary and see photos of the 1943 explosion that was the Liberty ship/ammunition carrier SS ROBERT ROWAN here.

MarineBuzz has “Olympic Sailors Praise Virtual Sailing Simulator“.

MarineBuzz also has “Work Safely at Sea with Regatta Fisherman Work Suit“.

Information Dissemination has “Black Sea News Update” although he is due to post another update, provided that anything is going on.

International Herald Tribune has “Sunken ships and bomb damage scar Georgian coast“.

Her Captain’s Voice has “Special Edition: The Delhi class Destroyers“.

AP has “Vast model ship armada on display in Germany” as Hamburg welcomes the new International Maritime Museum.

UPI covers ethics questions for Greece’s Merchant Marine Minister in “Greek official responds to ethics claims“.

IndyStar has a bitter commenter concerning compensation for WWII Merchant Mariners: GET OVER IT! Be grateful you came home alive’.

Maritime Global Net has no surprises in this endorsement: “US SEAFARERS’ UNION BACKS OBAMA“. The only way Obama wasn’t going to get their endorsement is if he ran as a Republican.

Logistics Management has “Ocean cargo: Proposed Mexican seaport gets new attention“. The feedback isn’t all positive.

Shirlaw News Group has “USNS Saturn Aids Stranded Fishing Vessel“.

The Wall Street Journal has “Wind Power May Gain Footing Off Coast of U.S.” (Found via Instapundit)

LiveLeak also has crazy video of “Jumping into giant waves and loving it“.

Greenpeace has “Illegal logging shipment halted in Paradise“. How good is a ship security plan that lets Greenpeace get aboard?

Tugster has photos from the ROSEMARY and ANDREW McALLISTER christening.

Mr. Boat Blog has “Fishing for profits on world caviar market” as Israel farms sturgeon.

THE PRIVATE ISLANDS BLOG has “Al Capone’s Island“. It is in Florida.

Daily Tech has “Arctic Sees Massive Gain in Ice Coverage“. The report also explains better understanding for why there was so much melting in 2007 and why there was such rapid growth this last year.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has ““What Happens On WestPac…”” wondering if the press are going to investigate what Naval Officer McCain might have been up to during liberty port calls. I don’t think this is a problem, unless team Obama wants more investigation into what he did while at Columbia University.

Google Video has posted “Tugboat Timelapse” taken in Antwerp, Belgium.

Maritime Compass points to a source for maritime photos in “Maritime Flickr” as the Smithsonian and Library of Congress upload photos from their collections.

Bain News Service,, publisher. Holland America Life Boat Drill – stripping the boats [between 1910 and 1915] 1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller. – LOC Flickr Collection

The Horses Mouth has his latest bikini-clad fisherwoman in “Fish On Fridays [Vacation Edition]“. Its (probably) safe for work, but still your female coworkers might not like it.


Haight’s Maritime Items has:

Kingman Reef a possession of the US Government – The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the claim of a private investment company to Kingman Reef, a low-lying coral atoll approximately 930 miles south of Honolulu. The court found that the federal government had not abandoned its claim of interest in the atoll. Note: The atoll has no intrinsic value, but the surrounding waters and seabed are rich in natural resources. Kingman Reef Atoll Investments v. United States, No. 07-16817 (9th Cir., September 4, 2008). – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)


Fire on MORRO CASTLE – 1934 – On the evening of September 7, 1934, as the passenger ship MORRO CASTLE was returning to New York City following a vacation cruise to Havana, the master was found dead in his cabin from an apparent heart attack. At about 0300 on September 8, fire was discovered in the passengers’ Writing Room. The fire spread quickly through the ship, which contained fancy wood paneling and expensive cloth curtains. The acting master steamed for the nearest land – Asbury Park, New Jersey. The fire was faster than the ship; 137 passengers and crew died by the time the ship was beached. The casualty led to numerous fire-safety improvements in future passenger ships. – Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

Fairplay Daily News has:

PROVING again that people are a difficult cargo, passengers aboard Carnival Miracle are protesting about a course change made to avert Tropical Storm Hanna.

The ship, whose home port is New York, was originally scheduled on an eight-night voyage to the eastern Caribbean, but Hanna’s path forced its crew to divert north to Newport, Rhode Island.

According to passengers’ online postings, this elicited “chaos”. A crowd gathered at the purser’s desk chanting: “refund! refund!”

The crew could suffer, because passengers are reportedly “adjusting gratuities down to zero”.

Cruise reroutings, caused by storms or technical snafus, have spurred passenger revolts before, most famously aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 in 2006, when passengers were angered that the ship missed Caribbean ports because of a faulty pod.

Shipboard internet access has allowed passengers to draw media attention to their anger in mid-voyage. – 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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