Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Like Dust The Mexican Drug Cartels Get into Everything, The Maritime World IS No Exception

Mayor of Mexico Port City Arrested Over 'Cartel' Connections   LINKS CONFIRMED 2/21/2015)

According to a recent report by the BBC: 
"The mayor of the Mexican port city of Lazaro Cardenas has been arrested on suspicion of taking part in kidnappings and extortion.
Arquimedes Oseguera is also accused of having ties to the Knights Templar drugs cartel, all of which he denies.
Lazaro Cardenas is one of the main port cities on the Pacific coast and a stronghold of the cartel.
The city's treasurer has also been arrested on suspicion of having links to the Knights Templar."  TO READ MORE: 

RELATED STORY:   Mexican Military Takes Over Port:




File:CPO collar.png

An old Chief and an old Gunny were sitting at the VFW arguing about who'd had the tougher career. "I did 30 years in the Corps," the Gunny declared proudly, "and fought in three of my country's wars. Fresh out of boot camp I hit the beach at Okinawa , clawed my way up the blood soaked sand, and eventually took out an entire enemy machine gun nest with a single grenade. "As a sergeant, I fought in Korea alongside General Mac Arthur. We pushed back the enemy inch by bloody inch all the way up to the Chinese border, always under a barrage of artillery and small arms fire. "Finally, as a gunny sergeant, I did three consecutive combat tours in Vietnam . We humped through the mud and razor grass for 14 hours a day, plagued by rain and mosquitoes, ducking under sniper fire all day and mortar fire all night. In a fire fight, we'd fire until our arms ached and our guns were empty, then we'd charge the enemy with bayonets!" 

"Ah," said the Chief with a dismissive wave of his hand, "all shore duty, huh?"


Tuesday, April 29, 2014






The Associated Press Green Peace's Target ,the Mikhail Ulyanov oil tanker on its way from the Prirazlomnaya oil drilling platform in the Pechora Sea to Rotterdam, Netherlands  .Photo released by Green Peace International.
A AP article posted yesterday noted:
  "By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press
AMSTERDAM (AP) — Greenpeace International is sending out a ship to protest a tanker bringing the first oil produced at a new Russian offshore platform in the Arctic Circle to Rotterdam.
The environmental group said Monday it has sent the "Rainbow Warrior III" to meet the Mikhail Ulyanov, a tanker chartered by Russia's state-controlled oil company, Gazprom OAO.
Greenpeace spokesman Ben Ayliffe would not comment on what kind of protest is planned."
 Our regular readers are well aware of the fact that we don't trust the Bear , especially in the Arctic. We regard Russia as a thug state and their intentions in the Arctic as suspect. Having said that we came down squarely on the side of Russia when the Russians captured and prosecuted ( for vandalism like charges)  Green Peace crew members who boarded a Russian Arctic drilling rig. We do not believe that having amateurs board and attempt to damage marine drilling, or fishing, or exploration equipment is anything but an immediate threat to the environment. We also intensely dislike boat tactics used by Green Peace that create dangers of collision. Finally we really hate Green Peace announcing some sort of protest and refusing to describe it, forcing coast guard like authorities to have to plan for the worse. So once again on the basis of maritime safety of ships, crews, and the environment we find ourselves having to once again condemn Green Peace International for ill conceived, ill planned, and physically hazardous protest tactics.

 However, in this particular case ,Green Peace may be inadvertently helping western political interests. By protesting the arrival of Russian oil from any source they help point out to Russia that their oil and gas economic leverage over Europe may not be as strong as they think. If Russian behavior continues to be as aggressive as it has been of late Europe may increase its resistance to Russia as an oil and gas source. Europe does have other options and one big one is waiting in the wings. If the United States lifts its 40 year old oil export ban Russia would be facing not only a Western preference for a reliable supplier of Western political persuasions, but some serious price competition as well. Of course, the laudable effect of helping to raise resistance to Russian economic hegemony over Europe isn't the intention of Green Peace, but once in a while even the loose cannons of the maritime world produce a contribution to progress. Let's hope they don't create an oil spill while doing it.
 All that said, we again remind our readers that Russia so far is operating well within her own recognized Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and there is no evidence at the moment that their operations are environmentally unsound in any fundamental way. They are within their legal rights per international law. Our concern has always been with their excessive EEZ claims which encompass most of the entire Arctic Ocean. That's the thing with maritime international law. If you are going to complain about a violator, you can't extend that complaint to their legitimate EEZ activities.  If the law is to mean anything,.you have to accept the legal activities of even the biggest bully on the playground. Green Peace has to remember that any right of protest that they may claim, like their navigational rights of way on the seas, never extend through the other guy's boat.. 





 Taiwan vehemently denies being part of China except when it is to their advantage proving that in the end "all politics is local". Last month Taiwan launched its largest military exercise in the South China Sea since 2000.  The exercise was held on the Taiwan-administered island of Taiping, in the Spratlys a chain claimed in whole by China, and in part by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Bruni. On April 10th two companies of Taiwan marines equipped with mortars and anti tank rockets landed on the island from approximately 20 amphibious transports. This was the first time that regular troops set foot on the island since 2000 when occupying marines were replaced by a force of 135 coast guards. In addition to the 20 amphibious transports seven frigates and a tank landing ship also participated in the exercise which was very pointed designed to practice skills and tactics involved in retaking an island captured by an opposing military force. When it was over the island was returned to its normal status as a coast guard garrison of 135 troops but with the edition of a new pier and some permanently deployed long range artillery and mortars. Taiwan would declare that the exercises weren't aimed at any particular nation. We are sure that both China and the Philippines took note.

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File:Boeing 777-200ER Malaysia AL (MAS) 9M-MRO - MSN 28420 404 (9272090094).jpg Boeing 777-200ER Malaysia AL (MAS) 9M-MRO - MSN 28420/40. Photo by Laurent ERRERA from L'Union, France, license: Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license-additional restrictions may apply.

"KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - The countries searching for the missing Malaysian jet are assessing a claim by a resource survey company that it found possible plane wreckage in the northern Bay of Bengal, Malaysia's defense minister said Tuesday.
The location is far from where the underwater and surface search has been concentrated for weeks. Australia-based GeoResonance Pty Ltd. stressed that it is not certain it found the Malaysia Airlines plane missing since March 8, but it called for its findings to be investigated." Story by AP, published on AOL: Read More

EDITORIAL OPINION: No one can be sure if the findings of GeoResonance are in fact the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 without additional investigation. The evidence is highly indirect but much more reliable than the layman in forensics and remote sensing technology might think. It is slightly reminiscent of the indirect way that astronomers detect and describe distant planets too small and too distant for direct observation. Planet hunters look for changes detectable in the observable star's  light spectrum and projection that would normally be caused by an orbital body like a planet.  After detection of such preliminary signs they intensify their observations until they pick up such anomalies in the incoming light spectrum that give an indication of the size and composition of the planet ( gaseous, rocky, etc.), and its orbital distance from the observable star. In a like manner GeoResonance reviewed its multi-spectral analysis records of the Bay of Bengal and found anomalies indicative of aviation fuel, and typical air craft metals that were absent on earlier readings and then showed up in later readings close to the date of the disappearance of flight 370. The problem that most flight reconstruction experts have with the location is that it is so far off the linear plots projected from the last reliable sensor data on the flight.
 We however think the location is right on target for one of the two places we have always suspected the air craft or its remains would be found. We believe that the rapid ascent to above cabin pressure altitude and rapid descent repeated several times were deliberate maneuvers designed to kill or disable passengers and crew , assuming no colluding crew, after the terrorists gained control of the cockpit. We think that this maneuver signals that this was no suicide by a fanatic or depressed pilot or co-pilot. The object of the well planned and technically astute operation was to get the plane for future use in an enhanced 9/11 type attack on Western interests. The passengers were simply in the way, not wanted as hostages, just killed , justified in the minds of these fiends as "collateral damage" in securing a major component in what they saw as the fabrication of a weapon of mass effect , if not mass destruction. We suspect that the destination was some place in the deserts of Iran, where the airliner would be reworked for its ultimate mission. To get there the airliner would have had to change it's signal to something that would not arouse the suspicion of Indian air traffic control. By making a southern diversion and descending to low altitude the hijackers mimicked a probable crash. They then could have made a dogleg, emerging from their automatic tracking / identification radio silence to "squawking"  like an air cargo over flight of India. The biggest problem in this scenario is that it is a tight squeak on fuel and we may assume that an in air aircraft  to aircraft refueling was not planned.  
 The plan may have revolved around some mix of fuel conservative flying techniques and some sort of improvised addition of small amounts of fuel smuggled onto the air craft probably in the cargo bay, which the hijackers could access at the low altitude of the flight immediately after the turn away from Australia and towards India. If anything went wrong, the plane would probably run out of fuel somewhere near or over India. If the hijackers were willing to commit suicide  in order to preserve some back up team's future attempt at acquiring complete control of an airliner for modification and future attack usage, then if it became obvious that they had not conserved or added enough fuel to over fly India they may well have  decided to ditch in the Bay of Bengal, but in any way that would make it easy to identify the air craft and with no intention of preserving any lives. 
 Again, our proposed sequence of events and terrorist intentions is speculative and flies in the face of the apparent "hard evidence'.  But our experience in maritime search and rescue  efforts tells us that aviation tracking radar doesn't really give us the point of impact of a downed aircraft but rather the point where its flight path dips below the radar. We have to factor in  a "glide path" to determine a likely "datum point" below the lowest level of the aviation tracking radar to use as a starting point for a search.  At the point that the searchers have been using as the "datum point" off of Australia, the plane still would have had a lot of fuel. Our suggested scenario, and that is all that it is, a suggested scenario; simply has the plane in controlled flight beyond the presently accepted datum point which we feel is a distinct possibility. Consequently we urge that the site suggested by GeoResonance be thoroughly, physically checked out.  If it turns out that the final resting place of flight 370 has been found that shouldn't be the end of the investigation.  If Flight 370 is in the Bay of Bengal then our scenario is more probably than not true and the destination was a remote air field in Iran for conversion work and eventual employment in a high profile terrorist mission. 
 That means that the master minds have learned valuable lessons from this attempt and are already planning a second attempt. Western intelligence needs to pull out all of the stops to find the conspirators and operational; teams involved. If Flight 370 is found in the Bay of Bengal this is way bigger than anything Malaysia could possibly do on its own. The West needs to rally around Malaysia and stick  with our friends down there until all is known and counter measures taken. We've said it before, Malaysia is on the freedom's front line and punching way beyond their weight class. It was mostly their families who were lost, and the airliner operated under their flag, but this is not their problem alone. Freedom loving peoples need to rally around Malaysia now. We think it highly unlikely that the disappearance of flight 370 was the result of the act of a single mad man, or suicidal flight deck officer. We think that plane was going to be taken somewhere and put to no good purpose.

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Monday, April 28, 2014




Iran’s fake aircraft carrier features fake F/A-18 Hornet in Jolly Rogers livery

Links checked 2/21/2015
This official U.S. Navy Photo illustrates a real U.S. Carrier Task Forces at work. Click on the "Indian Defense " link below to see an image of a fake U.S. aircraft carrier under construction in one of Iran's shipyards. What purpose they intend to put it to we have no idea.
  But if all an potential enemy has is smoke and mirrors we suggest that they pay real attention to our Navy's jack:
  The ships flying this jack in earnest are not stage props. The same is true for the Indian Navy, so often the target of smoke and mirrors of both Iran and China. Be sure to click on the INDIAN DEFENSE link below for the entire defense journal article. If Iran wasn't so ill intended it would be entertaining to watch. 

 You can read the full story in INDIAN DEFENSE by David Cenciotti  


 An Iranian newspaper has reported that the mock up of an American aircraft carrier that we reported as under construction in an Iranian yard is for use during upcoming planned war games. The Haft-e Sobh Daily quoted Admiral Ali Fadavi, Chief of naval services of the Revolutionary Guards as saying that Iranian forces should target the carrier in trainings, after it is completed"." We should learn about the weaknesses and strengths of our enemy. Our guess is that that scaled up the plans from one of those plastic Revel Model kits to barge size and started building, with no more idea of the Carrier task force's ( carriers don't run about alone) defensive capabilities. We seriously doubt that the model can give Iranian forces any real insight into super carrier defenses, though it might give some unwitting small craft coxswains and aor craft pilots a false sense of confidence as in "we rehearsed this attack a dozens of times. When the first reports of the replica came out Iranian state television reported that was a movie prop. It may well be a movie prop that will eventually be used as a drill target. What the Peacock is doing now is milking it for domestic propaganda value. To the untutored in naval affairs it may well appear that the thing has real training utility relative to actually taking on a U.S. carrier. To those who understand something of how a U.S. carrier task force actually operates it appears that the Peacock again displays its delusions of grandeur. Iran is not yet a prime time player.


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Sunday, April 27, 2014



 Namazu, Giant Japanese Catfish, former demigod, now featured analyst .

EDITOR'S NOTE: 1/24/2015 There may have been mid term elections since April 2014 but so far nothing has changed . What Namazu was saying back in April is as true today as it was then. However now with Republicans taking control of both houses it is actually possible to accomplish the energy reforms the Great Catfish describes. Even as we await an act of common sense out of Congress as described in another post, the oil export band has been dying a slow death of regulatory exceptions and at least one LNG plant export conversion has been permitted. In another post some time ago the Great Catfish explained gasoline prices at the pump explaining how the most expensive gas to recover usually drives pump prices. The minute that the previous "system" started to work to U.S. advantage our "friends" the Saudi's decided to take actions that cost them dearly, but are driving the price of gas so low as to make economic production of the vast U.S. reserves uneconomic. While Americans are generally enjoying drastically falling gasoline prices at the pump, the situation is artificially induced and unsustainable. The U.S. is already shutting in wells, and the Saudi treasury is suffering. Gasoline prices at the pump will start to "yoyo" as the world struggles with a glut of oil from sources with unequal production costs. In the long term the price of gasoline at the pump, heating oil , and lubricants should eventually settle well below peak prices of two years ago. Hwere is how the Great Catfish saw the situation last Spring. 

America it is time to fish or cut bait on your oil and gas reserves. 

 As most of you know I don't take human form and travel to the AAB /AAIS offices in New Orleans or Annapolis very often. Most of my contact is via our special hydrophones while I work from the relative comfort of my own living room on the floor of the sea of Japan. I'm not able to get cable or satellite TV but obviously I have access to the internet, and the internet gives one quite a bit of access to American news sources. If one follows American so called news sources one would still think that America suffers from a terrible dependence on foreign gas and oil. NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and to a lesser extend FOX net works, as well as most radio and print media have barely mentioned the fact that the U.S. is now in possession of more proven and producible oil reserves than any other nation on earth. Nor has the fact that America has more natural gas than the nation could consume in centuries been seen outside of gas producers commercials. * Since original publication the national media has finally begun to notice America's tremendous oil and gas production, and they don't approve.

 America also has a mountain of debt. There are a lot of things that need to be done about that, becoming an oil and gas exporting nation is one of them. among the other things that need to be done is an expansion of the tax base so that the rich, the corporations, and the 41% of Americans who now pay virtually no income tax join the shrinking middle class in supporting the cost of government. Of course that would require the Republicans to tax their biggest campaign donors, and  the Democrats to tax their voter base. Don't hold your breath. However, there is a chance that the excuse you have for a federal government might actually cross the isles and sing "Cum Bi Ya" over exporting oil and gas. * They actually now seem ready for this but acted too late to prevent Saudi counter measures.

 There are Democrats holding office in oil producing states who are in favor of drilling, producing, refining , and yes, exporting petrochemical products. The Republicans invented the "Drill Baby Drill" slogan and the Democrats will split on the issue, but somebody has to bring it up. Does every member of your own Congressional delegation even know that we are now in a position to export oil?  Despite the popular image of the United States as desperately dependent on foreign oil, that just isn't the case. The United States is already the world's largest exporter of refined product. The lack of decrease in imports of late has nothing to do with a domestic oil shortage. We still have a ban on exporting domestically produced oil. The U.S. is importing crude stocks in order to export refined product at a profit and net contribution to our balance of payments. The U.S. would do much better cutting out the middle man and exporting our own growing excess.

  America , your Congress and White House desperately need adult supervision. The electorate is the only available source. Dump the Democrats whole sale at every opportunity but be sure the Republicans know that they have to produce pragmatic solutions that incorporate contributions from everyone including their fat cat donors and corporations. Elect independents and third party pragmatists at every opportunity. Eventually these folks will force some common sense on the Republicans without making every issue an ideological battle royal and making it impossible to govern.

  Some members of Congress, even the Democratic energy secretary, many energy analysts, and energy company officials are all on record being in favor of lifting the ban. If you think America is in bad shape our economic problems are a minor headache compared to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Their government wasn't strained with debt, it was dead broke. Their armed forces were having a fire sale on equipment, people were going hungry. Not today! Russians are living a lot better and the Russian armed forces are on the rise. How'd they do that? Well, it wasn't the sudden on set of capitalism generally, its called being an oil exporting nation. * Of course now (January 2015) the Russians are suffering economically from the Saudi driven fall in oil prices.

 Don't get me wrong, exporting oil isn't going to lower gasoline prices at the pump, pretty much nothing will. * Even the Catfish acknowledges this proved wrong in the short term. If enough shale oil comes on the market too soon, the cost difference between U.S. on shore produced oil and the more expensive offshore U.S. oil could widen, which in the short term wouldn't be good for the domestic offshore oil industry. But U.S. offshore oil is competitive with a lot of other offshore oil out there and India and China aren't consuming any less, the offshore industry would recover, and if managed well perhaps not suffer at all. Its time to authorize exports. And with Russia threatening to cut off natural gas supplies to parts of Eastern Europe if NATO doesn't roll over and play dead, liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the U.S. could fill the gap with a big boost to our balance of payments. The hold up? The Obama administration still hasn't signed off on the permits to reverse engineer our former import terminals to export use. We don't anticipate any need for import terminals for at least 100 years even with maximum exporting. 

 American bipeds regardless of party affiliation, tell your Congressional representatives and senators that they really need to get working on this immediately. They should be able to handle it, it is after all....a "no brainer". *But now since the moment was lost due to Democratic obstructionism and an Administration intending to ruin the U.S. economy the needed response has to go beyond just lifting the export bans. We will probably need some national security based laws that assure a preference for domestically produced product, enough to assure national independence from Saudi manipulation of minimal acceptable U.S. production. This would mean some pain at the pump for American motorists due to the elimination of the artificially low Saudi manipulated price. That price has to come up eventually anyway because Saudi Arabia can't sustain their loss forever. Will the Republicans have the moral courage to incur voter anger over the necessary measures? Will the Saudi's blink in time for Congress to take action after a "natural price rise" so that the true cost of national energy security wouldn't be so noticeable?  The situation is so unstable that even the Great Catfish doesn't want to make predictions, and that is unusual. Johnas Presbyter, editor



UPDATE: 4/4/2015 UPDATE 1/15/2020

Members Clip Art TO OUR 17 "MEMBERS" THANK YOU! 

Unfortunately we have to admit that while we are genuine, certified, commissioned, licensed, published, and recognized maritime experts of various sorts we are flat out cyberspace novices. We here at American  Admiralty Books have all been members of crews

 Photo courtesy MORE THAN A LIST OF CREW site.
This site is a terrific historical research resource. Please visit and support :         

  But somehow we think that members of a blog look different, since many don't post a photo, just a facial symbol so we are sort of left with a vague impression sort of like this: Rayme Bollinger
Some "members" have left us comments and we certainly appreciate those and feel that we "know" these members better than others now that they have "spoken up". But we are in a bit of a puzzlement. You see the blog dashboard arrived with the "member" program installed. Thankfully some members "signed up" but we haven't figured out yet what our role is relative to our "members". Besides eternal gratitude for clicking in as members and thus assuring us that we aren't putting a lot of work into transmitting information into cyber space only to disappear, we're not sure what our obligations are supposed to be to "members".

  Perhaps our members can tell us. Perhaps if you click into us regularly we should invite you to become a "member". Another word in cyberspace that seems to be associated with "member" is "Follower". We certainly appreciate anyone who "follows" our site with any regularity. But we think our "members" have done more for us than "follower" would indicate. 

 We aren't quite sure what we should be doing for our "followers"/"members" at this stage of our development, but we know they have helped shape us so far. So at the risk of seeming to look at this blogger/"member" relationship as a one way street we'd like to invite more of you who "follow" us to click on the "Membership" button and join us as "members". We'd like to ask all "members" to comment more often and help us shape the future of the blog/website. We can assure you that "membership"is free and that we intend to keep it that way. But we really would appreciate it if you would consider "membership" in terms of a commitment to comment when you feel that you have something to add to a post, or a constructive criticism. Help promote the site by "liking us (actually "Johnas Presbyter, our editor) on Face Book. And retweeting Johnas Presbyter tweets on Twitter.  So far we have one member who has become a "Correspondent" by actually submitting several posts that we have published. If you have something to say about a maritime subject consider sending us a post. Of course we don't pay for such and can't offer any sort of copyright protection. But if we are able to publish your post your idea gets exposure to an audience that now numbers in the hundreds of thousands. So as our friends at the U.S. Naval institute say "Dare to think, speak, and write". 

 Here are some of the things we are working on where we'd appreciate constructive criticism. (1) We were developing two "parallel blogs", these consist of expanded sections of our existing "special interest pages such as SAILING , FISHING, ADMIRALTY LAW, SURFING, DIVING, etc. that will allow us to pack in more content without more scrolling . As the content has expanded in the blog we've found that the scrolling format is getting lengthy and cumbersome. Tell us how you feel about that. We tried reducing  advertising to virtually nothing in the blog but used one of the parallel blogs to create a virtual on line shopping mall that was much more than a book store. Then a democrat was elected to be governor of our state of incorporation and immediately decided to charge sales tax on Internet sales. We lost all of our advertisers and commissioned portals such as Amazon.  We eventually have to make enough money with this effort for it to be self sustaining.Unfortunately the "Shopping Mall" is no longer a viable idea. We continue to carry hot links to the Amazon book section wher ewe think it is a reader convinence but we receive no sales commissions.  Tell us how we are doing and how to improve.   (2)We are using one of the parallel blogs to create an archive expanding the RETAINED HEADLINE SERVICE of our NEWS SECTION. In that Archive section we are also trying to sort and organize for rapid retrieval the collected works of NAMAZU, and our series "HOW FAR WILL THE DRAGON SWIM?". We are considering for the archive permanent storage of our in progress on line book "PROTOCOLS" first published as a series of posts titled "SPACE AS AN OCEAN". We are also considering storing for on line reading there the NMA's maritime labor work "BLOOD ON BROWN WATER".  (3) In our AUTHORITATIVE LITERATURE section we have now published three of the five American Admiralty Bureau's COMMENTATORS. Should we move them to the archive to shorten the scroll in the Authoritative literature section? We would describe them in AUTHORITATIVE LITERATURE  and provide a hyper link to them. How far should we expand the on line legal research services of our Admiralty Law section? What do you think? (4) Finally we are considering going to a sort of PBS style of advertising on the blog itself, disallowing non Amazon display advertising but allowing credit lines and links to "sponsors" and content providers. Use the comment section below this post, or below the  HOME PAGE AND NOTICE BOARD to tell us what you think.  When you clicked on the membership button, we didn't quite know what that meant, but we presume that you took some level of ownership in our content. We need you to tell us how we can improve, and how we can generate revenue to continue to improve. As we near the finish of year 7 with our parallel blogs we are already experimenting with software to shift from blog to web site. When that shift comes we hope to have much more developed content than what we have now.  If you read us here with any regularity please consider becoming a member and help guide and direct THE PORTAL TO THE MARITIME WORLD.

Johnas Presbyter, Editor

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Saturday, April 26, 2014



File:Varyag during refitting.jpg
School ship and show piece the PLAN Liaoning  Photo byYhz1221 license:  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. do not copy or redistribute except under terms of license cited

 The Real Deal,  Photo U.S. Navy, U.S. Nuclear propelled carrier taking on aviation fuel at sea.

 The Chinese have finally launched and have started to operate their former Russian carrier now called the LIAONING, formerly the Russian VARYAG acquired by China during one of the post Soviet era fire sales of old Russian equipment. For years the Dragon said it was going to convert it into a tourist attraction. Now the Dragon  is touting it as a serious commissioned naval combatant. Well it certainly looks a lot better in its new paint job. It actually does have some carrier capable aircraft aboard.  We know that the Dragon's pilots can actually take off and land from the carrier, at least under ideal conditions. We haven't seen any demonstration of their ability to engage in under way replenishment, a key skill set for long distance carrier operations, nor have we seen the LIAONING demonstrate the level of flight deck operations needed in a real combat situation. But the ship is pretty enough, and the aircraft formidable looking enough, and the crew camera friendly enough that the People's Liberation Army's Navy has started to use it for propaganda videos.  

 The U.S. also produces some flight deck operations videos set to music but these are generally not navy sponsored or produced. Some are produced by vendors who sell to the carrier force and quite a few , and probably the most entertaining, are produced by the crews as a recreational activity and posted to YouTube. We have posted a number of these crew produced recreational videos in our "SUNDAY FUNNIES" that we publish on a highly irregular basis. TIME  recently published on line a two video essay contrasting the Dragon's recent highly polished ( complete with white suited professional singer on deck) propaganda video, with a of carrier deck operations. Experienced naval professionals will no doubt note the contrasts.

 The Chinese video has better production values. Apparently the carrier was at a near stop and faced into the wind while filming. The U.S. carrier was actually conducting real operations from a deck full of air craft being launched one after another in rapid succession. The Dragon's bird farm was launching a single air craft which is followed from the elevator up from the hanger deck and through the launch sequence from a freshly painted and clear deck in picture perfect weather. The U.S. sequence just shows plane after plane being launched into less than photogenic weather. The flight deck crew of the Dragon's bird farm are in colorful, new, immaculate uniforms. The U.S. crews present a decent picture of military dress code adherence but they have obviously been at work a while in a gritty environment. The "dash cam" mounted in the Dragon plane is almost as vibration free as the camera they used to shoot the flight deck sequence and captures some really beautiful footage of Chinese fighter jest pulling out of tight formations. The U.S. aerial footage is simply from black and white battle damage assessment cameras and shows U.S. ordinance shot from our carrier based planes blowing up stuff.

 We can't read Mandarin but the sheer length of the title of the Chinese video tells us it has a really impressive title. The American video's title is; "SHOOT 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM". Videos can be a force in a campaign for territorial conquest. China's seems to be intended to impress their own people with the idea that that their one half trained carrier crew and ship is a match for the U.S. Pacific fleet ( Its good to dream), and to tell the true owners of the islands they keep trying to steal the Dragon is all powerful and resistance is futile . The U.S. video by contrast seems to just be some gritty footage of men at work, dealing out death with industrial efficiency. The Dragon's show boat wouldn't last 15 minutes in a single carrier task force on carrier task force engagement with the U.S.. It won't always be that way, especially if the Democrats continue to under cut our Navy. But China is still a decade away from fielding even two really competent carrier task forces, there is just more to it than being able to take off and land at a leisurely pace from a carrier deck under optimum conditions.  Assuming that the democrats can be slowed in their march towards unilateral disarmament the U.S. should continue to have about 11 nuclear carriers , with 9 fully operational and ready at all times well into the next decade. The Dragon just doesn't get it. The fastest way to get the oil flowing from the China Seas reserves to their industrial complexes is to cooperate with their neighbors vice demanding the surrender of their resources. All the fancy videos in the world won't make those U.S. carriers with their highly experienced and combat ready crews go away.....only the American Democratic Party can do that. By the way, Japanese, Philippine, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Indian naval professionals are just as capable of seeing through Dragon's posturing as we are. Nice production values though. If you want to watch the two videos here  is the link: TIMES .
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File:Alexander von Humboldt-selfportrait.jpg File:Alexander von Humboldt II (3) cropped.jpg

Alexander von Humboldt, Self portrait in Paris, 1814{PD-US) ,  S/V ALEXANDER HUMBOLT (CCO)


As our site has grown, and it is still just getting started, we have found it necessary to use some visual markers to help the casual visitor through the site. Most particularly, we found the actual daily blog postings have become quite numerous and give every indication of becoming more so.  

 We try to provide information to our very diverse audience who share a community of interest in things maritime, nautical, or ocean related. While that broadly stated interest is a unifying theme for our community of readers, the maritime world is very broad and generates a lot of information. So, as an aid in making the blog postings easier to understand visually, we have originally decided to start each "cyber publishing day" with a "Station ID and Notice Board". The highly recognizable though changing "STATION ID" marked the start of a new day's postings since its instigation. It also provided us with a sort of community bulletin board where we may exhibit things we want to bring your attention to as the cyber publishing day wears on.Unfortunately as year one faded into year two an dthe blog continued without revenue staff hours had to be reduced. The daily "Station ID and Notice Board" proved time consuming and drew time from analytic research and writing. So we changed to WEEKLY and WEEKEND editions of what we took to calling simply our HOME PAGE / NOTICES. Which look very much like our old daily "STATION IDENTIFICATION and NOTICE BOARD", but we make only minor changes daily until the week end arrives. 

 We chose as our ID images visually interesting vessels of significance to the search for, publication, analysis, and preservation of maritime knowledge. In the case of the ALEXANDER HUMBOLT this criteria is as true of the ship's name sake as the ship. The ship's name sake was Fridrich Wilhelm von Humbolt.  Humbolt was born on September 14, 1769 and died May 6, 1859.  A Prussian by birth he was considered a leading geographer, naturalist, and explorer of his day.  Humbolt's quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the modern field of biogeography.
He explored South America between 1789 and 1804 and over the space of 21 years produced extensive volumes of descriptive literature on the biodiversity of South America.
This hyperlink will take you to a more complete biography:


 The sailing ship ALEXANDER von  HUMBOLT II was built as a training ship and educational excursion vessel. To view a four minute video of the ship, its educational mission, and life aboard click on this hyperlink: This next hyperlink will take you to a site describing the ship's original owners the German Sail Training Association:,-Bremerhaven/Alexander-von-Humboldt-II.html

If you would like to nominate a ship for our future station ID drop us a comment. Or let us know what you think of the ALEXANDER von HUMBOLT II as a permanent Station ID. We presume of course based on a due diligence search that the photo we have been using is in the public domain. While we believe that, we caution that such determinations are sometimes inaccurate and our use of the image does not constitute any permission to reuse an image that is not ours license. Should anyone connected with the original owners of the vessel have information that the image is not in the public domain, or have an objection to its use of any sort please use the comments section below to alert us. Should we decide to utilize the image on a semi permanent basis as our Home page image we will run it with a notice that we make no claim of intellectual property rights and a caution against assuming any implied license of reuse. 

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Friday, April 25, 2014


 We here at American Admiralty Books as our regular readers are aware, are very proud of being the first to hire a Japanese giant catfish and former demigod as an analyst and feature writer. The Great Namazu has been an excellent audience draw and we now believe that our original and controversial decision to hire him has paid off well. We then hired the large mouthed shark "Beastie" to serve as fishing video editor. We think we are pioneers in diversity of hiring practices across species lines. But we are not the "pioneers". 

 That honor goes to the anonymous publishers of the Commander Salamander Blog the first naval blog that we know of to hire an amphibian as their lead feature writer. Commander Salamander may not be a 3,000 year old former demigod like our Namazu but his insight and humor rival the earth shattering pointed delivery of the giant catfish, but is more focused on naval subjects. We first brought our readers attention to the Commander's blog about a year and half ago in an introductory post.

 Our favorite occasional contributor Vic Socotra of recently brought our attention to the Commander's blog once again in one of his recent posts to his own blog We think we have been remiss in not putting the Commanders blog address link  Commander Salamander Blog in a logical easy to find place within our site. Today we are going to remedy that situation by adding this link at our NAVAL INTEREST page and in our Big Links locker. 

 Our Naval establishment here in the United states is very big on the social goal of diversity. All three services; the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard have gone to extraordinary lengths to achieve racial, gender, gender preference, religious, ethnic, and linguistic diversity in our crews and cohorts. This laudable goal has often been pursued to the detriment of combat readiness, budget considerations, and even common sense. Yet diversity of species is far from achieved in the naval establishment. For example dogs, and dolphins have long been pressed into naval service but are denied enlistment contracts. This is blatant discrimination and must be addressed. Dolphins and dogs have died in naval service with no survivor benefits going to next of kin due to the lack of an enlistment contract. Even when the services wake up and finally allow enlistment contracts for non humans will they go all the way as required by principles of justice and open the road to obtaining a commission? It is after all a proven fact that some salamanders and catfish are more intelligent than a few of our still serving commissioned officers at every grade level. As co-pioneers in non human integration into the maritime writing and analytic profession we salute the earlier pioneer Commander Salamander and look forward to the day of true equality of species within our naval establishment.

Johnas Presbyter, Editor
Written under duress from Namazu



File:USS Taylor (FFG-50) leaving Mayport in January 2014.JPG
USS TAYLOR , PHOTO No.  140108-N-MJ645-059, U.S. Navy
   According to the Russian source ITAR TASS the frigate USS TAYLOR entered the Black Sea on or about April 22, 2014. The U.S. Navy did not make any big formal announcement of the ship's movement that attracted much  national media notice, but one can't pass into the Black Sea without passing through the narrow isthmus at Istanbul so there just is no such thing as a secret movement into the region. With the addition of the USS TAYLOR, NATO's naval presence in the vicinity of the Ukraine has increased to three units including the USS DONALD COOK, an Aegis missile defense system equipped vessel, and the French intelligence ship DUPY de LOME. In the U.S. Navy's  official statement the mission of the TAYLOR is to" reassure NATO allies of the U.S. Navy's commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working toward mutual goals in the region." This appears to be the USS TAYLOR's second time in the Black Sea , the last apparently was between February 5 to March 5. The Taylor obviously was ordered to linger because of the Russian invasion of the Crimea. Their presence didn't stop the Russians from invading but it ticked them off since the continued presence violated the Montreux Convention which limits the presence of any war ships not home ported in a Black Sea Port to a 21 day maximum stay. Since Russia has a Black Sea fleet they may transfer anything they want from their Atlantic fleet to the Black Sea Fleet by merely changing the vessel's home port. This leaves Russia as  the only Black Sea power able to build up naval power, from outside the region. The Bear prefers that NATO and the US always adhere exactly to all conventions of International law while the Bear adheres only to his own interpretations . The other two ships have been in the Black Sea since April 10 so they don't have a very long stay left if the Montreux convention is observed. Displaying little regard for the convention signals Russia that NATO is willing to launch naval task forces into the Black Sea is needed, that there had better be limits to Russian expansion in the region. Unfortunately when it comes to blinking first the Obama administration and the French are not a combination that we'd care to wager money on.


Thursday, April 24, 2014







 NOTICE: Today we speak out for the final time on the loss of the South Korean Ferry SEWOL, as relevant facts on the causes of the capsize have now come out. To read our full analysis starting with our first post, scroll down , keep scrolling to read all three posts in chronological order and our final observations and conclusion.
1. To Reach The Latest Blog Posts simply Scroll down

2. The list of Special interest pages to your right are direct links, simply click on any page of interest. Once there simply scroll down or use the various internal and external links provided

3. NEW VISITOR?  Click here for a short video explaining our purpose and mission, a basic site guide, short cuts etc.   INTRODUCTION

4. Looking for maritime links? We link to maritime information sites throughout the special interest pages based on the special interest subject. But we also have an indexed collection of most of the world's English language maritime web sites. Click here: THE BIG LINKS LOCKER

5.  Looking for past essays by the our top analyst, Namazu, former Japanese Giant Catfish demigod. His stuff is spread all over the blog but we are building an archive so you might want to check there first: EVERYTHING NAMAZU

6. We've been following the aggressive actions of the Chinese Navy and Coast Guard for nearly two years now. We are working on an archive for those posts as well: How Far Will The Dragon Swim?

7. On line books?  We have a growing collection for reading on line or use as a reference: Our authoritative literature section is where we are editing, up dating and posting the entire collection of American Admiralty Bureau Guide and Commentators, references that should prove vital to admiralty lawyers working with expert witnesses. This is an on going project but about four complete volumes are on line now: After you enter the Authoritative literature page simply scroll down to the start of the American Admiralty Bureau Guides and Commentators.
AUTHORITATIVE LITERATURE INCLUDING AAB PUBS.  We also have our popular serial posts on the parallels between space exploration and the earlier age of maritime exploration originally published as a serial blog post under the continuing title "SPACE AS AN OCEAN" and now posted as an E-Book in Progress titled PROTOCOLS: Click into our MARITIME LITERATURE page and scroll down until you see the words "E Book In Progress". Then you may continue to scroll down to read as many of the essays as you like. Each one is complete in and of its self so you could red the entire collection painlessly by reading just one a day, about five thought provoking minutes. To view the essays click here: MARITIME LITERATURE, Including PROTOCOLS. We also have in our MERCHANT MARINE INTEREST SECTION the National Mariner's Association book: BLOOD ON BROWN WATER. Just enter the MERCHANT MARINE INTEREST SECTION and scroll down:  MERCHANT MARINE INTEREST:  "BLOOD ON BROWN WATER"

8. Book Reviews: Are sorted via the special interest pages, just click on any of the special interest pages in the column margin to your right to select a subject area. Book reviews are spread throughout each section along with links to free videos on the pertinent subject, links to specialized web sites on the subject etc. Each book review will have a link to a vendor where you can obtain additional information or purchase the book. If you are interested in a library loan look for the International Book Binding Number (ISBN) either in our review or at the vendor's site. The ISBN number is a big aid when your librarian has to arrange an inter library loan.

9. To look at books that we haven't reviewed yet, shop for water sports books, videos, clothing, and equipment, boat building tools, fishing equipment, or surfing and diving gear visit our shopping mall.  The shops are open while we're under construction. 

10. Need Boat Building Plans? Links to designers with building plans for sale are in the BOAT BUILDING section.  BOAT BUILDING SECTION

11. If you need additional guidance through this very large site try our  SITE GUIDE AND INDEXS

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