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About neutrino78x

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Silicon Valley
  • Interests
    computer software, astronomy/space exploration, maritime stuff, traditional martial arts
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    none yet. US Navy 1999-2003 STS3(SS). :)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
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  1. I would trust sailing on a Costa ship in 2020, in terms of COVID-19, since it is Italy Flag. 🙂 Same with the P&O ship that is UK Flag. 🙂 Both countries are NATO allies, and each has a strong Navy. The ones from other companies that do Flags of Convenience, not so much.... 😮
  2. So, in the British "Merchant Navy", do they call it "plankowner" if you're on the initial crew of a new launched ship? That's what they call it in the US Navy (combatant Navy). 🙂
  3. Yale University is extremely well regarded throughout the world. People associated with Yale wrote: " As Singapore-based writer Michael Richardson shows, drugs, banned weapons, and contraband items are hidden in the cargo hulls of ships officially meant to be carrying goods as innocuous as timber or scrap iron. In the most recent extension of the global war on terrorism, however, the US is considering partnering with allies to interdict suspect ships on the open seas. Whether Washington will pursue this without a mandate from the United Nations is still uncertain. One course would be to tighten shipping regulations and enforce them better. But if there is any indication of an imminent transfer of weapons of mass destruction to a likely hostile group or nation, Washington - in its current mood - may decide that the end justifies the means. - YaleGlobal " https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/crimes-under-flags-convenience FishWise is a credible organization associated with various famous marine biology and oceanographic research aquariums such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Aquarium of the Bay here in California. They say: " Unfortunately, fishing related industries–most notably shrimp peeling and processing operations in Thailand and “Flag of Convenience” (FoC) fishing vessels throughout South East Asia and West Africa–have been linked to human trafficking. " https://fishwise.org/human-rights/human-trafficking-and-imported-seafood/ It's a big issue for many reasons. Labor issues, safety issues, national security issues. Others can do what they feel comfortable doing, but personally, I definitely would not support FoC under any conditions. Of course, that has nothing to do with Viking, because their ships are registered under the flag of Norway, a NATO ally which is NOT a Flag of Convenience. I would gladly sail with Viking any time, because of that. But I would never sail on the FoC ships that NCL operates, for example, for the reasons I have already stated, among others. I would sail on the US Flag ship operated by NCL, however, since it is not a FoC and doesn't have the issues associated with FoC.
  4. "The exploitation of factory sweatshop workers in countries with cheap labor is well-known. There is also serious exploitation in another sector of the labor market. Seafarers are essential to the operation of the global economy with about 90 percent of all international cargo transported by sea. These workers are underpaid, overworked and subjected to dangerous onboard conditions. Limited international regulation of maritime labor and "flags of convenience" exacerbate the problem, leaving crews with little recourse against exploitative practices." https://www.globalpolicy.org/nations-a-states/state-sovereignty-and-corruption/flags-of-convenience/49819.html?ItemId=1032
  5. I was United States Navy, so I know something about the subject myself. I will NEVER ride on a ship flying a Flag of Convenience. It's a human rights issue and a moral issue. Norway, of course, is a NATO ally with a decent Navy, though not as powerful as ours or that of Britain, so definitely not a FoC. Places like the Bahamas, Bermuda, Panama, etc., those are your flags of convenience. " Flags of convenience are a huge problem that enable many illegal practices, including forced labor, " --Abby McGill, International Labor Rights Forum https://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/flags_of_convenience_are_another_wrinkle_in_human_trafficking_tragedy
  6. Exactly my point, shipmate. I would only cruise on ships which do not fly Flags of Convenience. You are/were a US Merchant Mariner so you should be among the first to criticize this practice. As a Navy man I would never condone or support it in any way. Life is hard aboard ship, and I do not support any effort to make it easier to treat the crew badly or not pay them well. https://www.itfglobal.org/en/sector/seafarers/flags-of-convenience Britain is not a FoC, nor is ours, that of the USA, or that of Norway or Italy. The Bahamas is an example of a FoC and I would never ride on a ship flying under that flag.
  7. So I've seen some web sites that mention certain Costa ships that have water slides. But it looked like they were for kids. Are there any Costa ships that have water slides for adults? (or at least "adults" like myself, lmao.) How about bowling or miniature golf? It looked like there was one that had a golf simulator. I'm not a golfer, but I imagine that if I were on a cruise, I would try the golf. 🙂 Same question for bowling...any of them with bowling alleys? I'm attracted to them because they fly the Italian flag, rather than a FoC, and yet don't seem to be as formal as, for example, Viking (Viking is also not FoC, which makes me interested in Viking also). So what can you guys tell me about that? 🙂
  8. Are you kidding, it is very much about the flag state. If the ship were flagged in the Bahamas, they wouldn't be required to pay at least the minimum wage in Norway, they wouldn't be required to fulfill the crew safety requirements of the Norwegian (equivalent of the) Coast Guard, etc. It's a big issue for the sailors who operate vessels upon the High Seas: https://www.itfglobal.org/en/sector/seafarers/flags-of-convenience No FoC for me. As a Navy veteran I would never support that. That's why Viking would be a top choice for me, and I would cease sailing with them if they changed flags to a FoC. :)
  9. I would definitely feel safer on a ship under the flag of Norway -- a NATO ally with a descent Navy (though not as powerful as that of the USA or Britain) -- than on one flying a Flag of Convenience! And I would know the crew is taken of better too! 🙂
  10. twodaywonder, maybe the civilians have different terms for certain things than we do in the Navy...a submarine obviously doesn't have any of these structures that they're talking about. Also on a submarine, the propeller is almost always referred to as the "screw". We have stern planes (depending on the class of boat) and a rudder, and a screw, and that's all on the most afterward part of the boat. To me, all those things would simply be "the stern". :) We also don't have decks on submarines, since every compartment where the officers and crew would normally be is below the waterline, with the exception of the superstructure and the sail. So when you go down the Forward Compartment Logistics/Escape Trunk (the main way to enter the forward compartment when you are on the superstructure), you're in Forward Compartment Upper Level. There's Upper Level, 2nd Level, 3rd Level and Lower Level. On a Trident (see my pic above), the superstructure is the structure above the Trident missile tubes. We have to go inside that during refits to clean it out, chip out rust, repaint, etc. Man I hated deck div. One thing that deters me from joining the Merchant Marine or MSC, because most of my sea time wouldn't be counted since we were underwater, so I would be a E-1 seaman recruit all over again... Knowing how hard some of the work is on a ship is one of the reasons why Flags of Convenience are a big issue to me. I would never want to be on a FoC ship. It sounds like a lot of ship registries, even the good ones, which are NOT Flags of Convenience, like the British and Italian flags, allow their civilian ships to have crew that are not citizens. Of course they are still in a union and the labor laws of the British and Italian governments apply, so they have to be paid at least minimum wage and the union would require them to be paid a lot more. At least the US Flag and Japanese Flag both require the crew to be citizens. :) There's only one Japanese Flag large cruise ship that I know of, the Asuka II. She does world cruises, so I would like to do one aboard that ship someday. :)
  11. Transom, interesting, never heard that one before. We don't have that on submarines (see my pic above). 🙂 Thanks shipmate, I'll have to remember that one! 🙂 And, thank you for your service 🙂
  12. Generally, large ships like a cruise ship are not referred to as boats. 🙂 however, the exception is, THIS is definitely a "boat": Reason we submariners refer to them as boats is that the first submarines were very small and made of wood. The pic above is my first boat, USS Florida SSBN-728 (Submersible Ship, Ballistic missiles, Nuclear powered, hull 728). 560 feet long with 100 enlisted people and 20 officers. The enlisted sleep in bunkrooms the size of an office cubicle that hold 9 people, and the officers sleep in staterooms, again the size of an office cubicle, that hold up to 3 officers, and have room for two fold out desks. The above is a ship, but we never call it that; we call it a boat. If you want to be punched, go on a submarine and tell a Qualified member of the crew that his (or her, now...I supported females on submarines so I'm glad about that) boat is a ship, lol. It's a boat. 🙂 In this pic, the Officer of the Deck would be standing on the rectangular part coming out of the front, where you can see the US Flag...that's the "sail". I've stood many watches as Lookout, standing up there with the OOD. It's a great ride up there. 🙂 In the Revolutionary War, a single person submarine was built for the purpose of putting a bomb under a British ship and destroying her. Definitely a boat, because it had to be taken to the area of use by a larger ship and dropped in the water. pic of the turtle In 1861, the Navy built one made of iron which was 47 feet long and driven by oars and a hand-cranked propeller. That was USS Alligator. But the USS Alligator was lost at sea...to go long distances she needed to be towed by a larger ship, and one time they were in rough waters and the towing line snapped, and the Alligator was lost, all hands presumed dead because the boat has never been found. The first one that could go long distances under her own power was USS Holland SS-1 (Submersible Ship, hull number 1). A little more room than the Alligator, and could go under her own power; she had a gasoline engine, and batteries for running while submerged. An interesting thing about this boat is that there's a photo of the most senior enlisted man, a chief (E-7), and on the back, someone wrote (back in 1900), "This is the Chief of the Boat". The name stuck and even today, the most senior enlisted man or woman on a USN submarine is called "Chief of the Boat" or "COB". It's a formal position now, and it's always held by a Master Chief Petty Officer (E-9). 🙂
  13. You're right that compression ignition is correct...I also could be remembering the wondering incorrectly...it might well have said "compression ignition"....this was 17 years ago. What I was trying to say is that I eventually figured out, from reading the manual, that there is no spark plug in a diesel engine. Within my field of expertise, I can't think of the Navy getting things wrong in their technical manuals. Maybe not necessarily wording things the way I would have, but per se getting it wrong, I do not recall anything like that. I don't even remember anything being wrong in any of the submarine technical manuals. Might be a surface Navy thing. The point of the story was that the a-gangers ("machinist mate, auxiliary" as opposed to nuclear machinist mate) are playing a joke on electronics guys, making us hunt through manuals, when a car guy or mechanical type of guy would say, off the top of head, "there are no spark plugs on a diesel, shipmate"...but it's actually a good thing because submariners are expected to be able to solve problems outside of our field of expertise -- that's the whole point of getting Qualified in Submarines -- so I support the practice, and am amused by it. :) lol :)
  14. An older woman is more likely to be a similar place in life as me...her kids, if any, would be adults now, she is not looking for more and probably not looking to get married again. 🙂 I wanted children when I was younger, but no one has ever liked me back and I've always had financial and logistical issues that would be a problem for a relationship, at least a conventional one, and definitely a problem for raising kids.
  15. lmao disregard my post...I realized we were just looking at the stern from a funny angle. 🙂
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