Maritime Monday 156

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April 6, 2009

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 156th edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 106 here. (Published 13 April  2008)

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 are of the Royal Mail Ship ST. HELENA taken by former passenger Iain Bell:

About the RMS – The RMS St Helena is unique.

She one of only two ocean-going vessels in the world still to carry the venerable title of Royal Mail Ship, held in the past by so many famous British passenger liners.

In addition to carrying passengers in well-fed comfort, she is almost the sole source of supply of all goods for her island namesake. From wind turbines to automotive parts; sheep, goats, and Christmas turkeys to furniture, food and paint, everything has to be carried by ship to the island. This is part of the fascination. RMS ST Helena is not just a passenger vessel; it’s a working ship, plying the Atlantic Ocean, carrying goods and people nearly halfway around the world. When you sail on the RMS, you are following in the wake of the generations of travellers and explorers who crossed the world’s oceans in the leisured days before air travel. A voyage on the RMS is an unforgettable experience: a blue water voyage on a working ship to lonely and remote tropical islands.

Quality, comfort and peace of mind – The Royal Mail Ship St Helena was built in 1989 specifically to supply the island of St Helena, the British Overseas Territory deep in the tropical South Atlantic. She is British registered, 6,767 gross tonnes and has berths for a maximum of 128 passengers plus 56 officers and crew.

She has all the most modern facilities; stabilisers, air conditioning and for those who worry about being too remote from their normal humdrum existence, fax, telephone, email and satellite communications.

She also carries a doctor and has well equipped medical facilities. Classified as A1+ at Lloyds and sailing under the British flag means that RMS St Helena is subject to some of the most rigorous safety regulations in the world. Her repeatedly high classification in the Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships is a sure indication of the high quality of her facilities, crew and standards. – Royal Mail Ship ST. HELENA Website


* ‘RMS at St Helena’ *


* ‘RMS loading at Ascension’ *


* Leaving the RMS *

You can read about Royal Mail Ships here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Background Reading: Chokepoints: Maritime Economic Concerns in Southeast Asia.

Also be sure to check out EagleSpeak‘s weekly series “Sunday Ship History: “Devil Boat” Movies

gCaptain has “Aquapod Subsea Fish Farms – Bizarre Maritime Technology“. Interesting in that it is actually being used.

gCaptain also has “Jones Act, Get Your Act Together – YOUblog Featured Article“.

China Confidential has “Sitting at the Dock of the Bay: Best Sea-Based Radar Against N. Korean Missile Still Not Deployed“. That would be the Sea Based X Band Radar Platform.

Portsmouth Today has flooding photos “Exclusive: Inside the Royal Navy ship which almost sank“.

The Age (Australia) has “First US ship sunk in WWII found off Vic“. The ship was the CITY OF RAYVILLE.

Deep Water Writing heads back to sea with “Leaving is the hardest part“.

Information Dissemination asks “Whose Fighting Off the Coast of Somalia?” as somebody kills a pirate in the process of sinking two of their boats this last week.

The Old Salt Blog has “Icebreaker “Lenin” to become hotel and museum“.

Cruise Bruise has “Passenger On Cargo Ship Of Gold & Silver Abandons Ship As It Sinks In Storm“.

BitterEnd has Chicago’s U-Boat museum with “U 505“.

MarineBuzz has “MV City of Dublin under ICRC Flag on Humanitarian Mission in Sri Lanka” and “Hyuga: First Helicopter Destroyer of Japan MSDF to have Female Crew“.

Puget Sound Maritime has “Bloggers Roundtable with Admiral Blore“.

Three Sheets Northwest has “Former NOAA research vessel to become $50 million luxury yacht“. The ship is the SAHARA.

American Shipper has “Congress’ mood shifts on scan-all mandate“.

Meanwhile, 27 countries have indicated that they expect the United States to reciprocate and inspect export cargo too if the U.S. imposes such a requirement on ports around the world.


The Merchant Marine Express deals with a new Captain in “Under new command!

Imagine heading to work, proud as a peacock, only to witness the change of managers unfold and now you have to change your habits-and quickly. This much can give you indigestion. has “Zero tolerance urged amid piracy threat to shipping“.

A GCC naval officer has called for a zero tolerance policy on pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden, an industry analyst claimed on Tuesday.

Dr Theodore Karasik, senior researcher at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said the officer advocated shooting pirates that attempt to board merchant ships. The officer’s name and nationality were undisclosed.

Bob Couttie’s Maritime Accident Casebook has “Should Masters Go Gunning for Pirates?

True, many masters quietly have a sidearm locked up in the ship’s safe. It’s not there for derring-do against today’s version of the Barbary pirates, however, more of a last option if the crew get too uppity.

Shipgaz has “State won’t save German yards“.

Professional Mariner has the feature story “Columbia River: riding the high water“.

HAWSEPIPER: The Longest Climb has ““Heave away, boys, Heave away!”

Naval Open Source INTelligence has “China aircraft carrier said years away“.

Northland’s Newscenter has the story and video report: “Power Of The Port: Part 2“.

The tonnage of taconite and coal shipped out of Duluth-Superior has made this the biggest port on the Great Lakes.

But many experts fear those days could be numbered.

Both taconite and coal are non-renewable resources and both are facing challenges from alternative materials.

Alaska Journal of Commerce has “Other regions’ low salmon supplies could benefit Alaska fisheries“.

The Register has “Cape Cod Commission flags discrepancies in Cape Wind plan“.

The NY Times has “Boats Too Costly to Keep Are Littering Coastlines“.

The Journal of Commerce has “Boxship Lay-Ups Level Off“.

Blank Rome has available American jobs going to foreigners in “Where Have All of the U.S. Citizen Offshore Workers Gone? Foreign Personnel Continue to Fill Employment Gaps on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf“.

National Geographic has for it’s 31 March ‘Photo of the day’: “Atlantic Walrus, Norway“.



Yahoo News has “6,000 Rare Dolphins Found in South Asia“. They are Irrawaddy Dolphins.

Helsingin Sanomat has “Finnlines’ ropax ferry Finneagle responsible for 5,000-litre oil spill in Turku archipelago” and “Decrease in cargo volume in first months of Vuosaari Harbour“.

Towmasters: the Master of Towing Vessels Assoc. Forum has “Back On Deck!

He was there to serve as a roustabout: to assist the crews and do whatever needed doing with no task being beneath him. What he got was a valuable lesson and a solid reminder of what can happen to the thought process when you’ve become too far removed from the action, an inevitable occurrence once you decide to swallow the anchor or even, to a certain extent, when you move from the deck to the wheelhouse. For those who’ve never worked a day on deck it’s nearly impossible to relate or understand. This isn’t a character flaw or personal shortcoming, it’s just a fact of life.

Maritime Information Centre has “Keppel Offshore & Marine awarded three projects worth S$300 million“.

The Maritime Executive has “Maine Maritime Academy Begins Search for Next President“.

Casco Bay Boaters Blog has “Doormats From the Bottom of the Sea?

What do you do with hundreds or thousands of pounds of useless rope? New federal laws are making lobster float-rope – the multi-hued ropes used by Maine lobstermen to tie underwater traps together – illegal. According to activists, the rope endangers whales by snagging and hurting them.

Float-rope, which rises just a bit above the ocean floor to prevent snags, must be replaced with sink rope by April. And hundreds –perhaps millions – of pounds of float-rope will become unusable.

Springbored’s Springboard has “Austal: Makin’ ’em Bigger!” as Denmark orders super-sized, (Hawaii) SuperFerry ferries.

The Monitor has “Shipping’s parking lot“.

WNYC has the radio report: “Sailing Round Manhattan on the Sludge Boat“. (Found via Going Coastal)

Thomo’s Hole has “Mongolia’s Merchant Marine“. Mongolia is landlocked, but that doesn’t stop them from flagging vessels.

Offshore Magazine has “No job shortage in Lafourche Parish“.

Danos says the most pressing needs include specialized disciplines such as offshore and onshore crane operators, I&E technicians, mechanics, logistical personnel, production operators, welders, project managers, and a wide range of maritime positions. He adds that the skill sets of any number of workers displaced from other industries as well as soon-to-be-discharged US military personnel can be transferred with specialized training and development to the offshore and the onshore support environments.

Hellenic Shipping News has “U.S. May Have 115 Billion Barrels of Oil Offshore“. That would be about the same as is in Iraq and almost twice as much as in Russia. And almost all of it remains untapped.

The U.S. may have as many as 115 billion barrels of “technically recoverable” oil in federal waters, a report Friday from the Interior Department found. The report, prepared by Interior’s Minerals Management Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, also said the Outer Continental Shelf contains as much as 565 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and that the Pacific and Atlantic coasts hold more than 1,900 gigawatts of potential wind energy.

The assessment is part of a U.S. effort to reduce dependence on imported energy and respond to climate change brought on carbon emissions. The Obama administration is working to get an increasing share of electricity from coastal renewable resources, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today.

Freaque Waves has the photo and story: “Surfing this 100 ft wave“.

CNN has “Endangered right whales appear to be on the rebound“.

US Naval Institute Blog has “Live Blogging from the USNS Comfort (T-AH-20)“.

NewsOK has “Ocean mining to step into different era“.

MosNews has “Georgia sells ships sunk in war with Russia“. They are still pierside sitting on the bottom.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished has “British MoD Reveals Number Of Royal Navy Submarine Fires And Collisions“.

IceNews has “Iceland to rent coastguard ship to Norway?

Neptunus Lex has the going rate for committing treason by selling out your Navy ship with “Ten Years“.

Tims Times has “Water rations” as they sit waiting for cargo to transport.

Maritime Compass has “New Villiers resources, and pirates!

The Horse’s Mouth has the illustration: “Handout Of The Day: Points Of Sail.

Marine Log has “Most powerful offshore vessel yet“. It is the FAR SAMSON.

Best Scuba Diving Equipment and Snorkeling Gear has “Hawaiian Dive Boat Virgins“.

Marine, Water & Boat Safety Equipment has “02- About the Titanic – The Most Sumptuous Palace Afloat“.

Lloyd’s List Newsroom Blog has “What Dead Parrot?

IT seems that some of the industry’s more optimistic operators wish to register a complaint. As Monty Python once almost put it: shipping’s not dead, it’s just resting.

The newbuilding over-supply is not as bad as the headlines suggest, Seaspan’s buoyant chief executive Gerry Wang insisted last week. Reports that over 10% of the containership fleet are being laid up are plain wrong. They are not laid up, just “idling to be activated”.

Lloyd’s List has the decline of the Royal Navy in “Report says UK naval bases must be ‘Europeanised’ to protect shipping“.

BRITISH naval bases around the world should be at the service of the European Union to protect shipping lanes, according to a report under study in the European parliament.

Naval bases in Gibraltar, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands need to be part of an EU “forward presence” for securing vital trade routes, says the report.

YouTube has video of traveling through the ice with “Silja Line M/S Symphony ice skating“.


Fairplay Daily News has:

The soft target that wasn’t – PIRATES picked the wrong target and are being held today by the multinational patrol force.

Attackers failed in their attempt on Sunday to ambush a ship that turned out to be a German naval tanker. The vessel radioed for warship help after the pirates opened fire and tried to board the tanker.

They were soon outnumbered by German sailors from several warships. Naval defenders chased down seven suspects and arrested them, with helicopter support from a Dutch NATO warship.

The botched attack was on the tanker FGS Spessart, which is attached to EUNAVFOR. It was attacked 85 n-miles north of Bosasso, according to co-ordination centre MSCHOA.

The attack and arrest followed discovery of a migrant smuggling operation involving a nearby skiff. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


Jones Act JV disintegrates – Lenders are foreclosing on the Golden State.THE FINANCIAL crunch at US Shipping Partners crisis has left an order for nine Jones Act product tankers at the San Diego yard NASSCO in disarray.

The first of the newbuildings, Golden State, was delivered in January to the joint venture between USS and private equity firm Blackstone.

In SEC filings this week, USS disclosed that Blackstone claims a termination event has occurred and has moved to remove USS Product Carriers LLC as the managing member of the joint venture.

USS countered that Blackstone’s action was improper.

USS also disclosed that the lender agent for the venture’s facility is asserting that an event of default has occurred and intends “to foreclose on the Golden State”. USS claimed that the foreclosure of Golden State is “invalid and unauthorised”.

The venture has financing responsibilities for the first five newbuildings, but declined to exercise its option for rights to the final four. USS has been advised by NASSCO that the yard is wants to sell and assign rights for the final four newbuilds.

A NASSCO representative previously told Fairplay that the second newbuilding will be ready for delivery this summer, the third by year-end. THE FINANCIAL crunch at US Shipping Partners crisis has left an order for nine Jones Act product tankers at the San Diego yard NASSCO in disarray. – 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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