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Maritime Monday 172

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July 27, 2009

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

Welcome to this 172nd edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 122 here. (Published 4 August 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 come from the website of Russia’s FESCO Transport Group:

Our company has been working for you in the transportation industry for well over a century. Time is flying fast, technologies are progressing, generations follow generations. The world is changing, and so we are. We made a long way from a regional shipping company to the national champion in transportation and logistics, spearheading the integration of Russian transportation system into the global landscape, contributing to the implementation of strategic goals of the nation.

FESCO today became the country’s largest private intermodal transportation group, providing a full range of logistical solutions through a combination of shipping, rail, trucking and port services offered to clients through a world-wide network of sales offices.

But there’s one thing left unchanged: our values and traditions of commitment to highest standards of quality. Just like 128 years ago, we strive to constantly expand the range of our services, reduce delivery time and optimize the costs. We commit to offering modern solutions, meeting today’s challenges and contributing to the competitiveness of our clients both domestically and internationally.

Hundreds of companies around the world have been using our services for decades, and remain our loyal partners thanks to FESCO’s deserved reputation, high quality and reliability. In today’s new economic environment we remain a stable and efficient partner for our clients. We have all the necessary facilities and experience and putting it to the best use to offer sophisticated solutions. I am confident that our fruitful cooperation not only helps all parties remain more stable in the stormy days, but creates solid foundation for the future success. – Sergey V. Generalov, President, FESCO Transportation Group


* Dry port terminal in Vladivostok – Overview of the terminal *


* «FESCO Gavriil» in port of Vladivostok *


* FESCO UELEN near the Vladivostok port berth *




* Ice management near the platform *




* Anchors in ice *

Their homepage can be found here.


This Week’s Items:

EagleSpeak has “Philippines: “Security in ports tightened after bomb found”“. The bombs were found onboard a ship ready to sail.

gCaptain has more on the fight over treasure in ““Black Swan” Treasure Debate – Odyssey vs. Spain“. I thought this case was clear, but now I am not so sure. And not for anything, but the Spanish Government does not seem to be very honorable concerning anything maritime-related. The PRESTIGE incident as one example.

Odyssey’s Objections to the recommendation include arguments that:

1. The applied legal standard of review is incorrect.
2. There is no coherent vessel located at the “Black Swan” site.
3. There is clear and convincing evidence of the commercial nature of the Mercedes’ mission at the time of her demise which Odyssey believes legally nullifies the claim to sovereign immunity of that vessel.
4. A distinction between cargo and vessel is allowed and even required by settled admiralty law.
5. The majority of the coins aboard the Mercedes were merchant-owned, commercial cargo being shipped as freight for a fee and were never owned by Spain.

Wired has “Tuna Ranch Hormone Cocktail Could Save Bluefin“. Think Tuna farming.


NY TUGMASTER’S WEBLOG has some suggestions for those with active licenses and who need to renew with “My N.M.C. Renewal Experience“. He points out that it is a good idea to give it a good six months!

Today (July 18th) I call the center and speak with said supervisor who agrees I have been shortchanged and now will send a note to my evaluator so they can dig my files out of the archives. I was told there is only one guy at the NMC that handles these kind of errors…….I’ll let that one sink in. One guy.

Tugster has undertaken a very interesting project in which he is doing a photo post for each letter of the alphabet. Go check it out. Here is one of the latest: “Meditations R“. (Where is this guy’s hardhat? I always wonder about stuff falling from the East River bridges, simply given the pounding they get every day.)


Put a sign like this on the side of your vessel in mid-sixth boro, look up a lot, and you’ll generate some excitement, I’m sure!

The US Naval Institute Blog has “Happy 100th Birthday to a Navy and American Hero” Go read the Medal of Honor citation for Chief Petty Officer and retired Lieutenant John W. Finn who is currently the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient.

HAWSEPIPER: The Longest Climb has “My family is back home safe. Thank God.” after being trapped in Brazil for a couple weeks more than planned. He also has tug photos in “Old school“.

The Maritime Executive has “Collision Course: eLearning Meets Maritime Education“.

Perhaps the most telling part of the symposium came on Thursday morning when the U.S. Coast Guard’s Mayte Medina, a Senior Member of the US Delegation to the IMO, gave a lecture on the future IMO training requirements now looming large in the windshield. Medina told the gathered throng that very little was scheduled to go away in terms of the training requirements already in place and several new initiatives were underway. All of that, she said, will impact the time and expense involved with mariner training. And, for those sitting in the home office thinking that none of this has anything to do with you; think again. Actively being discussed at the highest levels is a proposal to ramp up the requirement for shipping companies to more closely monitor the certifications of their mariners.

And yet, none of that training will include basic firearms instruction, because it requires ‘special training’.

Trade and Logistics Malaysia has “Slight recovery in two major shipping routes“.

Maritime Information Centre has “Delayed newbuilds pose storage problem“.

China Law Blog has another danger when you make your stuff in China instead of back in the US with “China Hostage Situation. Now IS A Good Time To Pay Your Debts.

Oh yes we have. Many times. But if we had been retained, our advise would have been so different that I would like to think things would have never reached this point. We would have told this company to get ALL of its personnel out of the country before letting suppliers know (from far far away) that you had just filed for bankruptcy and that payment would be slow, at best.

MarineBuzz has “Bermuda 2009: 400th Anniversary of Sea Venture Wreckage” and “India Launches First Indigenous Nuclear Powered Submarine Arihant“.

The New York Times has “As Mexico Border Tightens, Smugglers Take to Sea“. I think this is an issue mainly for the smuggling aspect of drugs and possible terrorists. We would have nowhere near the illegal alien problem if everyone had to make the trip by sea. That is all the more reason to build real fences along the border.

For generations, people have tried to swim, surf and ride boats, sometimes carrying contraband, into the United States from south of the border.

But Commander Pearce and other officials in the Department of Homeland Security say those sporadic efforts have accelerated to unprecedented levels recently — a doubling in the number of illegal immigrants — more than 300 in the last two years — caught on boats or beaches and a sevenfold increase in maritime drug seizures, principally several thousand pounds of marijuana.

—————————————- has “NMMC exhibition commemorates the last commercial windjammer Cape Horn voyage“. (NMMC = National Maritime Museum Cornwall, UK)

In the early 20th century the British public gambled on which ship carrying grain from Australia to Europe would make the fastest trip of the year in what were called the grain races. At the time, this was one of only a few trade routes that remained viable for the world’s big sailing vessels.

Lighthouse NEws has “Lighthouse For Sale In France“.

Be still my heart. This is a once in a lifetime chance to purchase the property containing the Pointe d’Aiguillon lighthouse on the north bank of the Loire estuary on the east side of Saint-Marc-sur Mer, about 8 km southwest of Saint-Nazaire, France. This marvelously restored keeper’s home has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a view to die for. That view is of course the active lighthouse, which comes with the property. And the price? A mere €780,000. Okay, so that’s almost $1.1 million US dollars.

Congressional Budget Office Director’s Blog looks at the potential savings of using similar platforms in “Modernization of Coast Guard Cutters and Naval Surface Combatants“.

According to CBO’s estimates, all three alternatives and the services’ plans would have similar costs, regardless of whether they are calculated in terms of acquisition costs or total life-cycle costs. CBO’s analysis also indicates that the three alternative plans would not necessarily be more cost-effective or provide more capability than the services’ existing plans. Specifically, even if the options addressed individual problems that the Navy and Coast Guard might confront with their small combatants, the options would also create new challenges.

Famagusta Gazette has “Cyprus police halt North Korean ship” for cigarette smuggling. A million cartons.

The Triton – Megayacht News has “The history, importance of tonnage“.

Freaque Waves has a “Tragic end to fishing trip” in Australia.

Bryant’s Maritime Blog has “Stockholm-Andrea Doria collision – July 25, 1956“.

The Swedish passenger ship Stockholm and the Italian passenger ship Andrea Doria collided on the edge of a heavy fog bank off Nantucket on July 25, 1956. The Andrea Doria sank several hours after the collision, but not before 1660 passengers and crew were rescued. There were 46 deaths. While the exact cause of the casualty has never been determined, it appears to have been a “radar-assisted” collision, with the officers of the watch on both vessels misinterpreting the radar images and taking the wrong actions. The wreck of the Andrea Doria has become a popular, though notorious, destination for deep-sea divers. The Stockholm was rebuilt following the collision. It has gone through a number of owners and names and now sails as the cruise ship Athena. On December 3, 2008, it was attacked by pirates while transiting the Gulf of Aden, but was able to evade the attempted boarding.

Sea * Fever has awesome video of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium’s Kuroshio Sea.

Casco Bay Boaters Blog has “Ferry Links Big Apple to Martha’s Vineyard“. Cool. Not only that, the ferry does not take that long, given that you would probably be trapped in traffic for as long trying to drive there.

iCommandant – Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen has “Honoring the Coast Guard’s Prevention Program“.

This month marks the 171st anniversary of the Coast Guard’s Prevention Program. On July 7, 1838, the U.S. Congress passed a law to “provide better security of the lives of passengers on board of vessels propelled in whole or in part by steam” (5 Stat. L., 304). This act was the genesis for the Steamboat Inspection Service; one of five agencies brought together to form today’s U.S. Coast Guard.

CG Blog has “The 2010 USCG Budget: Visually“.

Lloyd’s List has “Nautilus slams UK low carbon plan“.

Unlike other European Union member states — notably France, Spain, Portugal and Italy — Britain has not been active in developing proposals and services in line with the motorways of the seas concept, he said.

Instead, water transport is consistently overlooked as a way of cutting carbon emissions and reducing congestion in the nation’s roads, despite the availability of more than 300 commercial ports around the country, and over 2,000 miles of rivers, estuaries and inland waterways capable of carrying freight.

Freight can be carried on coastal ships and inland waterways with 80% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than from road haulage. Carrying cargo by water rather than road also reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by around a third.

Yet goods lifted in UK waters have dropped by 11% in the decade to 2007 and coastwise traffic has declined by 5% since 2000.


Watts Up With That? has “Another look at UC sea level data“.

BarentsObserver has “60 new vessels for Gazprom“.

EU Observer has a wise move in “Iceland ‘unwilling to share fishing resources’ in EU“.

The EU’s 26 year old Common Fisheries Policy, maligned by environmentalists for being unsustainable, sees EU waters as a shared resources open to any member state and managed by quotas.

But the policy has decimated resources and each year results in millions of tonnes of fish thrown back into the sea on quota grounds – failures acknowledged in a damning paper by the EU fisheries commissioner earlier this year ahead of a planned 2012 overhaul of the policy.

Shirlaw Newsgroup has “Seven foreign ships detained in the UK during June“.

Naval Open Source INTelligence has the latest confirmation that the Indians got suckered by the Russians in “Gorshkov 60% more expensive than a new carrier, says CAG“.

In a scathing report on the 2004 Gorshkov deal, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said the government is acquiring a second-hand aircraft carrier that has half the life span of a new ship and is turning up to be 60 per cent more expensive.

Danger Room has “Russian Navy Declassifies Cold War Close Encounters“. I sometimes joke that some of these sci-fi movies have been made as cover for an actual UFO incident. That way if the story ever comes out, they can just go, ‘You liked the move E.T. right? Well here he is!’ Then again, the way life works, it won’t be E.T. It will be Aliens (or ‘V’, or They Live, or Predator…)

Terra Daily has “Safety concerns at huge China dam project: auditor“.

70.8% has an exhibition on tattoos and the sailor in “Skin and Bones” with lots of photos of the tools of the trade.

MarineLog has “WindFloat project moves ahead“.

WindFloat is one of several floating offshore support concepts currently under development. “Treating these concepts as an offshore structure makes sense,” says Dominique Roddier, Chief Technology Officer, Principle Power Inc. “When designing the unit we looked at the synergies from oil and gas concepts—from fixed platforms to Spars to a semisubmersible,” he added.

Breakbulk Industry News has “Portland breakbulk traffic plummets“. It is down almost 60%.

Springbored’s Springboard has “Don’t Forget Logistics! A WWII Lesson For Modern-Day Arms Builders:“.

The Stupid Shall Be Punished asks what is your “Dream Shore Duty Job“. Shoreside Navy of course.

The Old Salt Blog has “HMS Victory Keel Laid – 250 years ago today“.

Welcome to the Fast Lane: The Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation has “No question: the Recovery Act is putting Americans to work on transportation infrastructure“.

BitterEnd points out that if you own a boat, you should know some “Basic Skills” since help is not always so close. It does not take much to stop an engine. In many cases, it does not take much to get it going again.

BitterEnd also asks “What’s Up with calls at 01:00“.

THE ISLOMANIAC has “Island With Causeway For Sale” in Canada.

Mr. Boat Blog has shipbreaking video: “Hazards of the Ship Wrecking Trade.

Telegraph has photos of “Former oil rig worker spends 15 years making model of oil rig out of four million matchsticks“. (Found via Mr. Boat Blog)


Deep Water Writing is “Bermuda Bound” on a sailship where he is getting back in touch with real sailing, if it does not kill him first from exhaustion.

The Horse’s Mouth has the have to see it to believe it video: “From The “I’m A Wacked In The Head Guy” Files, Tyler Bradt Goes Over The Falls. [Video]“.

I found this video over at, it shows Tyler Bradt kayaking over the 186-foot-high Palouse Falls. He broke the old waterfall world record of 127 feet.

The Wall Street Journal has “A Letter to the Somali Pirates“.

Now, large constituencies in the economically advanced nations make it difficult for their governments to act, e.g., against terrorists who for decades remained free of even symbolic retribution. The governments of these countries, often reflecting their most timid and conciliatory citizens, seldom dare to dare. Although President Obama approved an assault upon three of your employees, this was politically not much more than a S.W.A.T. action authorized by a police chief. Despite your 84 attacks in the first quarter of 2009, and the totally rag-tag nature of your followers, a Pentagon official, one Edward Frothingham, claims that the resources of the United States military are too limited to commit against you without “grave implications for us.”

As you well know, the previous American president was held in check by his underestimation of the time and forces required by his policies in the Middle East. The current president’s most war-like virtue is the ability to apologize to people who should be apologizing to us—an extraordinary skill no doubt, but questionable. You might worry a bit more about Messrs. Sarkozy and Berlusconi, either one of whom could drive you out of business, but as for the rest, though the quivers are full, no arrows are likely to be loosed in the near future.

AMVER Blog has “Amver Recognizes Australia“.

The visit serves as an opportunity to recognize the Australian government for our strong partnership. Amver and Australia have an information sharing agreement where Australia’s regional version of Amver, known as the Australian Ship Reporting System, AUSREP for short, allows participants to have their vessel position reports sent to Amver at no charge. Amver allows ships to have their position reports be sent to AUSREP.

Puget Sound Maritime has “Sea Otters rebound from extermination” and he joins the ranks with “Good to go: Merchant Mariner Credential arrives in 24 days“.


Fairplay Daily News has:

N Korean newbuildings halted – ITALY has stopped the sale of two luxury yachts to the family of North Korean President Kim Jong-il, IHS Global Insight reported today.

Such use would violate UN Resolution 1874, which tightened arms and financial embargos after North Korea’s second nuclear test in May, Global Insight commented.

Azimut-Benetti, one of Italy’s leading luxury yacht manufacturers, an order was placed in February through standard commercial channels, the report said. But Italian authorities traced the final destination to North Korea, and the $17.8M contract was terminated this month.

“North Korea derives significant financial profits from its weapons trade with other countries, including Syria, Iran, and Myanmar,” Global Insight noted.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed concern yesterday that North Korea is transferring nuclear technology to Myanmar, its military-ruled ally, Reuters reported. – Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)


UK to press EC on French ports – THE UK’S small businesses and road hauliers are today lodging an official complaint with the EC, demanding that action is taken against France to prevent more port blockades.

A delegation from the British Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), backed by UK members of the European Parliament and hauliers, will hand in a petition to the EC in Brussels today at 1300.

“We’re quite confident because of the support we’ve got,” FSB spokesman Mark Shoffman told Fairplay. “We want to take advantage of the recently convened European parliament and the fact that the MEPs are quite fresh.”

IHS Global Insight reported today that French fishermen block the ports at least once a year, costing UK companies about €1M ($1.42M) per day.

The delegation wants up to £6M ($9.8M) in compensation for British carriers suffering heavy losses because of the disruptions.

“Almost all British transport companies are small or medium-sized and a blockade of a French port, where many of them operate, could result in bankruptcy,” Global Insight commented.

Meanwhile, the French Maritime Cluster and the Institute Français de la Mer have complained about the omission of merchant shipping from French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s shipping scheme.

Sarkozy also recently proposed sweeping changes to French ports by privatising box operations. The share of European box traffic at France’s ports has been cut nearly in half, from close to 12% in 1989 to 6% in 2006, and it is still shrinking. – 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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