News

Wheelhouse Weekly – April 17, 2012

April 17th 2012

 

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 16 . . . . . Number 16. . . . April 17, 2012

STORIES COVERED

Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.


HORIZON LINES ANNOUNCES DEBT REDUCTION, END TO CHARTER OBLIGATION ON FIVE SHIPS

Horizon Lines said last week it had reached an agreement with Ship Finance International Limited (SFL) to terminate vessel charter obligations related to its discontinued trans-Pacific service. The company also said it had “substantially deleveraged” its balance sheet through agreements with more than 99 percent of the individuals and organizations which hold its corporate notes.

“These transactions successfully close a chapter in the history of Horizon Lines that we have been working diligently to complete for these past many months,” said Stephen H. Fraser, the company’s interim President and Chief Executive Officer, in an official statement. “Horizon Lines moves forward today from a stronger financial position that will enable us to better focus on customers in our core Jones Act trades and to invest in the future of our business. We greatly appreciate the support of our noteholders and SFL during the final steps of this process, and also thank our associates, customers, labor partners and vendors for their loyalty and faith in Horizon Lines.”

The transactions announced last week eliminate virtually all the remaining $228.4 million of the company’s 6.00 percent Series A and Series B Convertible Secured Notes, partially offset by the issuance of $40 million of debt to SFL as part of the final settlement of the vessel charter obligations, resulting in a net debt reduction of $188.4 million. The company said its earnings and cash flow will be further improved by the termination of $32 million in annual vessel charter obligations for the five ships leased from SFL, as well as the elimination of approximately $3 million of annual lay-up costs for the idle vessels.


BLUE & GOLD CAPTAIN AL LEWIS JR. PROFILED IN BAY CROSSINGS MAGAZINE

Capt. Al Lewis Jr., a long-time member of MM&P’s United Inland Group, has been interviewed for an article in “Bay Crossings” magazine, a publication for passengers on San Francisco Bay Area ferries. Journalist Matt Larson conducted the interview, which was published in the monthly column, “Who’s at the Helm?”Lewis, a former college basketball star, has worked at Blue & Gold Fleet for 26 years. He says that one of the greatest challenges of captaining a San Francisco ferry is working in the fog “You’re in concentration mode for an hour all the way down into the city and all the way back,” he says. “Not everybody can do what we do.” Lewis says he uses his college basketball skills to help him concentrate while navigating in conditions of low visibility. “I’ve played in front of 25,000 people,” he says. “I just go into ‘focus mode.’ You block those people out, and you focus. When I’m in the fog, I do the same thing.”


NOAA LAUNCHES FREE HIGH-TECH WHALE ALERT iPAD AND iPHONE APP

Mariners along the U.S. east coast can now download a new iPad and iPhone application that warns them when they enter areas of high risk of collision with critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. The free Whale Alert app provides a single source for information about right whale management measures and the latest data about right whale detections, all overlaid on NOAA digital charts.

“Whale Alert represents an innovative collaboration to protect this critically endangered species,” said David Wiley, who heads the NOAA project. “Whale conservation is greater than any one organization and this project shows how many organizations can unite for a good cause.”

A key feature of Whale Alert is a display linking near real-time acoustic buoys that listen for right whale calls to an iPad or iPhone on a ship’s bridge showing the whale’s presence to captains transiting the shipping lanes in and around Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. “The idea that right whales are directly contributing to conservation through their own calls is pretty exciting,” said Christopher Clark, whose team at the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helped develop the acoustic detection and warning system.

North Atlantic right whales, which live along North America’s east coast from Nova Scotia to Florida, are one of the world’s rarest large animals and a species on the brink of extinction. Recent estimates put the population of North Atlantic right whales at approximately 350 to 550 animals. Collisions with ships are a leading cause of right whale death.

“We are working with our cruise and shipping vessel partners to educate mariners about the whales, and the importance of this great new tool,” said Michael Leone, port director for the Massachusetts Port Authority. “The maritime community has always sought ways to increase right whale survival. Whale Alert does this by using science and technology to let mariners know where their vessel is in relation to the whales and conservation measures. Our port is proud to be part of this effort.”

The link to the listening network is only part of what Whale Alert does. The app uses GPS, Automatic Identification System, Internet and digital nautical chart technologies to alert mariners to NOAA’s right whale conservation measures that are active in their immediate vicinity. NOAA, through its NOAA Fisheries Service, is the U.S. agency with responsibility for protecting and recovering this endangered species.

“Endangered right whales are particularly vulnerable to being hit and killed by ships, but we can save them,” said Patrick Ramage, global whale director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare and one of the collaborators on Whale Alert. “Right whales need dramatic conservation progress to survive. This new iPad app gives these whales a fighting chance.”

Whale Alert is a free app that can be downloaded from the App Store. More information on Whale Alert and the groups responsible for its development can be found at http://stellwagen.noaa.gov/protect/whalealert.html


NEW WEBSITE COMPARES THE TITANIC TO THE SS UNITED STATES

As part of its year-long campaign marking the 60th anniversary of the SS UNITED STATES’ historic maiden voyage, the SS United States Conservancy has launched a new web site comparing the TITANIC to the SS UNITED STATES. Visitors to the site can see the two ships through a side-by-side comparison of their dimensions, speed, weight and safety features.
 
“One hundred years ago, the RMS TITANIC left Southampton and sailed into history,” says a spokesman for the Conservancy. “In contrast, the SS UNITED STATES, America’s flagship from the era of the great trans-Atlantic liners, is still afloat today and symbolizes speed, power and a bygone era of sea travel in grand style.” The UNITED STATES was not only the safest ship ever built, she could travel faster in reverse than the TITANIC could go forward.
 
“The SS UNITED STATES is the greatest ship that never sank. In her day, the ship was a symbol of American might as well as post-war pride and technological innovation,” says Susan Gibbs, executive director of the Conservancy and granddaughter of SS UNITED STATES’ designer William Francis Gibbs.  “It is our hope that the fan-fare surrounding TITANIC will make more people appreciate this proud American icon. The TITANIC is resting at the bottom of the ocean, but we still have a chance to save the SS UNITED STATES.”
 
The conservancy, which purchased the 990-foot-long ship last year, is currently raising funds to care for the historic vessel, begin the restoration process and develop portions of her more than 650,000 square feet of interior space into a museum.  The group is also engaged in a process to contract with a developer to turn the SS UNITED STATES into a stationary, mixed-use destination in a major American port. The SS UNITED STATES is currently laid up in Philadelphia. To learn more about the SS UNITED STATES, visit www.SSUSC.org


UNION PLUS OFFERS AUTO BUYING SERVICE FOR UNION MEMBERS

Union Plus has announced the launch of a new auto buying service, Plus Auto, that offers the following benefits to labor union members: online pricing information from dealers in their area in three minutes; a $100 rebate on purchases of new union-made cars; a $200 rebate for purchases of new union-made, EPA Green Cars; up to a $350 rebate for those who use the Union Plus Credit Card for a portion of their down payment on a union-made car. The no-hassle car buying service helps union members save time and money when buying a new or used car or truck. Union members can receive information on what others paid and a target price for new cars and trucks without having to negotiate with the dealer. To find out more, go to www.unionplus.org and click on “Auto.”


PIRATES RELEASE MV LEILA AFTER SOMALI ELDERS INTERVENE

Pirates have released the Panama-flagged ro/ro MV LEILA. After nine weeks of captivity, all 24 crewmembers are reported to be in good physical shape. Much of the cargo aboard the vessel was said to be owned by Somaliland businessmen, who put pressure on the pirates to release the vessel without payment of a ransom. “Religious elders played an important role and finally succeeded in releasing the vessel from the pirates,” according to an article published on the website Somali Report. “The elders had asked the pirates before to release the vessel unconditionally, but the pirates refused. Finally, the elders asked this group to accept a sum which covered the expenses of the hijacking, and the pirates accepted.” The ransom paid was reportedly $150,000.


INDUSTRY VIPS TO SPEAK AT MARITIME EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE MAY 7-8

The agenda for the May 7-8 conference on strategies for the future of the U.S.-flag maritime industry features experts on maritime policy, law, infrastructure and funding. The speakers and panelists will address topics that include: why short sea shipping makes sense for America: how public/private partnerships will be key to maritime industry job creation; and how the next generation of Jones Act vessels and related infrastructure can be funded. To read the entire agenda, and to register for the event, go to: http://tiny.cc/marex


SCHEDULE FOR 2012 OFFSHORE FAMILIARIZATION COURSE

The Offshore Familiarization Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2012.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): May 29-30 in New Orleans; May 30-31 in Charleston; June 8-9 at MM&P Headquarters; Sept. 7-8 at MM&P Headquarters; Oct. 9-10 in New Jersey; Oct. 10-11 in Los Angeles; Nov. 7-8 in Houston.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are urged to attend.

If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to MM&P Membership Secretary Mary Seidman: mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


MAERSK GROUP’S MAERSK MC-KINNEY MOELLER DIES AT 98

Maersk Mc-Kinney Moeller, long-time head of the A.P. Moeller -Maersk Group and son of the company’s founder, has passed away at the age of 98, the company said Monday. Moeller led the company from 1965 to 1993 as chief executive and chairman. He continued as chairman through 2003. During his tenure, Maersk grew to become the world’s largest liner shipping company.

“He was famous for his business talent and his vision and he supported initiatives which changed the company’s direction and influenced society, near and far,” said the company’s current CEO, Nils Andersen, in an official statement. “Moeller was a legend,” said the MM&P International President. “His vision of an integrated transportation system led to the creation of the world’s greatest shipping line.” A.P. Moeller-Maersk is the largest employer in Denmark.


DUTCH CRUISE SHIP LOSES POWER IN SOUTH ATLANTIC

The Dutch cruise ship MV PLANCIUS has been stranded in the South Atlantic since it lost all means of propulsion on April 9. Conditions aboard the vessel are said to be good, the vessel is still being heated and all passengers and crew members are reported to be safe. A rescue ship from Argentina is scheduled to transport those on board to Montevideo, Uruguay, by April 24. The 31-day “adventure cruise” was supposed to terminate in the British territory of Ascension, after stops at a number of remote islands.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class: http://mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar/

For class availability, contact Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 5/21, 6/11

AIS-1 – Automatic Identification Systems (one day): 5/10, 6/6

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 4/30

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  5/9, 6/7

BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/25

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/11

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN):  5/14

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 6/25

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 5/21

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/4

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/30

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 5/14, 6/11

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/21, 6/18

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/18

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 4/30

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 5/11

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 6/4

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 5/21

EP – Emergency Procedures: 4/25

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/25

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 6/6

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/11

LAP-ORG 3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 6/4

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/18, 5/9

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 6/11

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 5/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/11

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/21, 6/16

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/4

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/4

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/8

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 4/18, 5/2, 5/6, 6/13, 6/27

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 4/23

SAR � Search & Rescue: 4/23

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/7

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 4/23, 5/14, 6/25

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 5/7

TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 5/21

…Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”


Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org.
For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.
 
April 2012

23-27     Medical Care Provider
23-4       Medical Person-In-Charge
30th       Radar Renewal
30th       Flashing Light Exam

May 2012

1-4          ARPA
7-11       Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
7-18       GMDSS
14-18     ECDIS
14-1       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
21-25     Radar Observer Unlimited
22-24     Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

June 2012

4-6          Emergency Procedures
4-22       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
7-8          Search and Rescue
11th       Radar Renewal
11-22     GMDSS
18-22     ECDIS
18-22     Management, Communication, and Leadership (Horizon Lines)
25-29     Medical Care Provider


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 4-13-12

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,849.59 2,990.74 1,370.26
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
56.17
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
126.36
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
43.55
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.09
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
20.04
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
28.01
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.06
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
35.88
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.82
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.84
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.70
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.44
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.30
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.00
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.12
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.53
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.95
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.02
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
34.23
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.47
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.88
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
20.00
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.96
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
71.25
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
70.21
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.45
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
49.41
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
27.76
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
29.00
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.56
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.26
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.84
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.98
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.82
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.98
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.29
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.04
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
38.86
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
48.60
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
33.56



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2012, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.