Monthly Archives: March 2015

A tale of two ships

Las Palmas for the weekend? Margate for the weekend? Hmm, scratch chin and check the online weather forecast. So be it, Gran Canaria gets it, but only just.

One port, two ships, two surveys and two VERY different experiences.

I’m  not one of those who bang on about stereo-typical Johnny foreigners and I’m really not one of those (honest your honour) who carp on about workers rights and social justice ……………… usually.

‘Atropos’ was a Greek owned, formerly Russian run and owned, baby product tanker of around 3000 tonnes deadweight. She earned her living as a mobile bunker station, refuelling the vast (mainly Russian) fishing fleet that is currently exterminating all marine life off of the the coast of Mauritannia. A round trip lasts around 2 weeks before, tanks depleted, she returns to Las Palmas to reload Gas Oil and IFO.

An internet search revealed that she had been arrested by port state authorities 4 times  during 2006, mainly for non-compliance with Statute  regarding little things like, certification, missing safety gear, engine room awash with oil fuel and holes in the side (or similar). Not a good indicator of what I might find. Fourteen months ago, her law dodging Russian owners had sold her on to some PO Box, behind the hot water pipes outfit in downtown Athens and the arrests had stopped and some money had been spent on her. To be fair to the new owners, they were making a bit of an effort to make the heap of Sh*t+ into something half respectable. Well, compliant anyway.

For a vessel that was 18 years old she didn’t look too bad from a distance, despite being in drydock. The paint-work was new, the name was shiny and bright and there weren’t too many dents in the hull. Accompanied by the demonic, crew bullying, very shouty superintendent, I went into every cargo tank and every ballast tank. They were, gasp with surprise, in very good nick. They’d spent money and it showed. So far so good, half the day gone and only the machinery, accommodation and management systems to check.

The pumproom was likely to harbour a few unpleasant surprises but even that came up smelling of roses, so to speak. It was more diesel smelly than rosey obviously but I’m sure you get the point. Her reputation seemed to be worse than the actuality of it.

That all changed when I enterd the accommodation.  Blimey, how people can be expected to live like that in the 21st century. Manky, tattered, penny budget, ‘treat them like shit’, minimally furnished, dark and sadistic. Awful. That was the just the start, the galley was falling to pieces, the food stores looked like they’d been maintained sometime after the Battle of Trafalgar but before the start of the Russo-Japan conflict and in the gaping holes that once housed items like fridges and dough mixers I was assured by the bullying super, that the cardboard boxes of garbage would be dumped, once they got a chance!! Goodness me it was depressing.

The mixed Greek, Fillipino and  Ukrainian ( now there’s a mix that says  ‘synergy’ ) were expected to do 6 month trips, they had no email access on board, no Iridium phone (for cheap phone calls when out of range of GSM), no library, no sat telly, a minimal DVD library, no public domain computer, no internet access, holes in the carpet and a wage regime that would have made a nautical Dickensian Scrooge proud.

When I pointed out to the superintendent (who, poor sod, was under great pressure himself and  had no control of those matters in anything but the most modest form) that the owners should be ashamed of themselves, he simply smiled, said it was all in the improvement programme and then asked  if the damned thing has ‘passed’. The really sad thing is, it had, albeit only just. That it did kind of, I suppose, asked more questions than it gave answers. I’ve a feeling I’ve said the same the thing before, and not too long ago either.

So, Atropos owners happy, back to the Hotel Melia, a four star, chain affair with a pretty stiff tariff, for a bit of grub. Nope!! They didn’t do food except at brekky time. Hmm. This however not the end of the world because Las Palmas is, in addition to being a busy commercial port and drydock town, a tourist resort. Zillions of aging Northern Europeans, EVERYWHERE. Restaurants EVERYWHERE too, so the grub problem was soon sorted, and well sorted at that. Rounded off the evening in a Finnish Kareoke bar where a gin and tonic the same size as Atropos’s centre cargo tanks could be had for 5 Euros. Gran Caria, I lurv yooo.

Next day bright and early and a friendly Dutch voice says at brekky, ‘You for the Englishman?’ Well yes I was (and how could he tell I was the surveyor, surely someone as slim, tanned and healthy as myself would have been invisible amongst the tourists that half filled the vast hotel dining hall) and what time was she due alongside?

Englishman, a German built tug of a certain vintage and I’d seen her before, but 3 years ago at Ravenna and for a different kind of tow. Thirty three years old and worked hard in that time, yet she was gorgeous and cared for and the crew were bursting with pride. A salutory lesson for those  that owned the Atropos. When a vessel is well run, is fully and properly certificated, when the management systems are in place and understood by those aboard, when the crew are competent and professional and when the company that owns (operates) it are competent and professional, a suitability survey is a doddle. A pleasure. A ship spotter’s paradise. A holiday and an adventure, all rolled into one. Englishman was that, I loved her and her crew. Thank you Polish Salvage Association, that’s how to do things, despite the vessel’s age.

That was it then, job done. Reports written. No seats back to London until the following evening, damn!! So, a long stroll along the seafront promenade, no oiky British holiday makers around, so all very pleasant. Back to the Finnish place for a 12 litre gin and tonic and the start of the mental preparation for the flight home. No room in Business class (:o)), the ignominy of economy class beckoned. What a snob!!!

Next weekend and it’s Congo. Eeek. Not been there for 11 years and I still sweat and shake at the thought, awful place. Hermod however, needs a good (ahem) looking at, and I’m the man (it seems).

Wish I wasn’t.

Anyone seen the patron saint for mariner/sailor types people recently? I rather feel the need for a bit of help.

Mummy, wine, mariners.

My 73 year old mum popped round last night she’s slightly built but super healthy. She also likes the odd glass of wine. I don’t know if it was weakness on my part or an altruistic gesture but I matched her litre for litre. If by chance you are reading this and own the the Vino Delisiasso vinyards and winery in North Eastern Italy, then it’s down to my mum and I that your turnover has significantly increased this year. While you’re here I’d like to thank you for a fine drop of Rosso.

I’ve been combing the web, the news sites in particular for an update on the Viking Islay, but have found nothing except for the initial, brief and fact free piece that I found on the BBC site last sunday.Three men died on board that small ship last weekend. Industry gossip has it that they were overcome by fumes and died “in the focsle head while securing the anchor cable”. Now three men dieing in one incident in one small (UK flagged) ship in home waters is a pretty major catastrophe and yet hardly anything has been said about it in the media. I don’t think it even made the TV news, if it did, it was as a minor item.

The deaths of merchant sailors (mariners) hasn’t excited news editors or the great UK public for many years, decades in fact, ( the exception to this would involve the Titanic), so this lack of media interest is no surprise. Many years ago I survived an incident on a  VLCC (a supertanker), a British ship, in which three young British men were killed in a gassing incident. On that occasion, it made the radio news for one bulletin and then nothing more was heard about it in the public news domain. There are many examples of this occurring and it’s no great shakes really. The incidents would still have happened whether they were wall to news for a week or if coverage was limited to one paragraph in Lloyds List. Deaths of sailors aren’t ‘sexy’ enough to be newsworthy. There is one small item of concern on this matter though. There is a common theme running through the incidents I have in mind. BP. They don’t like and never have (and who can blame them) bad publicity. I can’t help wondering if they have the clout to keep the lid on these stories. With Texas City and Prudho Bay the whole thing was far too massive and in the public eye (and in the USA of course) to be concealable, but for lesser things, like dead sailors on British Renown, Viking Islay and others, it’s frighteningly possible.

Did a bit of sporting at Sturry this morning. One hundred of the those little black discs came hurtling out of the tree-line, coquettishly begging to be dustified by my marksmanship. Sadly the Vino Delisiasso from last night seemed to come into the equation somewhere along the line and 36 of the little devils carried on, passed my Beretta’s barrels, to land gently and unscathed in the long grass, out of bounds. In fact on one stand (out of 8), I managed for the first time, to “not trouble the scorer”. To add insult to injury, this debacle was witnessed by the Perazzi toting, Mercedes driving, “go on my son”, tattooed, Essex brigade.

The phone hasn’t rung with any last minute requests to zoom off on a jaunt so it looks like it’s the 0630 to Cannon Street tomorrow. Hmm, that’ll be nice.


The week’s travel has firmed up. Off to Malta on wednesday, just for one night followed by a tug survey the following day then back to blighty at teatime. This warranty lark is travel centric, you either love it or hate it. That said, I’m just ambivalent towards it. The airport bit is what does it for me, the London airports with the exception of LCY are the worst in Europe at processing punters. They are closely followed in the hall of shame by Aberdeen. The common thread here, BAA. Whether it’s to do with the new (ish) awful Spanish owners or they just like to use the current ‘security’ climate as an excuse to humiliate and abuse as many passengers as possible for the longest achievable time with the most dimwitted, dunderheaded and cretinous staff that it’s possible to recruit from the ‘no hoper’ dole queues of Britain’s industrial wastelands, is anyone’s guess. It’s probably a combination of both. Deep joy.

I just wish I lived 10 minutes from Schipol, now that’s how to run an airport. BAA, please remove heads from own anus’s and try and emulate their example. Thankyou!!!!

If it hadn’t been Malta I had a choice of Inchon in Korea (imagine going through the 2 hour humiliation at LHR knowing that all you’ve got to look forward to is a 12 hour flight to the most homogenised nation on earth) or Almeria (possibly spelled a bit wrong) in southern Spain for 3 days looking at pipeline sections being offloaded from a freighter. The Malta choice was easy to make.

Anyway Moon tug, I hope all is in order and I can give you a shiny new certificate of approval. Please, I hate having to be horrid and saying ‘No’.

Drunky nuncky is still drunky (that said he’s a bit less so today) and seems to be hiding in the garage (his workshop) behind a small cone of empty voddy bottles. If anyone here has got shares in the org that owns Smirnoff, expect a big dividend this year. On a nautical note, empty 750 ml bottles have an angle of repose of around 28 degrees. If he repeats the normal routine of sobering up, self recrimination, being pleasant for a few days and then adding alcohol to become an ‘instant arsehole’ …. again, then we’ve got about 10 days of normal family life ahead of us. Better enjoy it while it lasts. The Voddy adverts on the telly and in the mags never seem to mention this impact on lives. It’s all smiles, beautiful people and stunningly well selected clothes on perfectly proportioned bodies. Nothing about smelly, shambling burblers wearing sick splattered rags. C’mon addy people, be brave, lets have a healthy dose of ‘reality’ commercials.

Enough said, I’m off to down a litre of Voddy and then to be sick everywhere. It’ll let Nuncky know that he’s not alone.


It wasn’t a long bash offshore this time and  we weren’t even that far offshore because with a fim squint I could just about make out, on the horizon, between the vast mobile warehouses  (container ships) that crowded the area, the tedious flatness that is the Dutch coast, the signal on my mobile phone crept in at times too. The food had been good (if it’s free, clean and cooked with a bit of passion then it’s always good) and the client was polite and seemingly impressed with my controlled nods of assurance at critical times (if only they knew) so the jaunt had been no hardship.

That said, I was till keen to get home and re-assure memsahib that all was well in the world and also to satisfy my curiosity as to how well drunky nunky was progressing with his attemptat being continuously bladderd during 2007.  So there it was, that at  nine pm on monday night I got home, this depite the efforts of scuriously under dimensioned flight immersion suits, the Dutch railway system having an offday and the dubious scheduling of flights from Schipol to Gatwick.

Good news, drunky nunky was living up to his name and memsahib believed my view of world events and accepted my sentiments that if only people smiled a bit more at each other and weren’t quite so self important  (at this point I look at myself and cough self conciously) then all would be happiness and light.

Logged on to the company webmail and expected the worst, another trip to start almost immediately. Goodness no, I hoped not. That was my 28th wander since Jan first and it was getting a bit tiresome. Ah good, I could have 2 days off and show my face in the City offices on thursday and friday. Splendid, actually quite excited about the prospects of wandering London’s streets again, haven’t been there for 3 months and have rather missed the teeming pavements and endless distractions from pubs, foody places and interesting shops. The novelty will wear off very quickly if past  form is any guide but it’s lovely while it lasts.

Tuesday morning and at my fave local sporting ground. No it’s not footy or the like; but clay shooting and  ‘sporting’ is the name of the particular discipline that goes on there. I’m pretty  naff at it. A charitable chap might describe my efforts as ‘competent’, that’s polite talk for ‘pretty crap really’. That said, I enjoy it and on some (rare) days I actually do quite well and enjoy it even more than normal.

Crikey, the sea air must have effected something important in my grey thing cos I’ve gone tree stands and not dropped a target. The, my phone rings, stupidly I haven’t turned it off. Can I go to Turkey? When? Tonight, I need to be at the site for a heavy lift first thing tomorrow morning. No NO NO. The damage is done however, I have a 10 minute huff and miss everything that goes passed my barrels before chilling and resuming normal mode, eg barely adequate. 74 hits out 100, not a discrace but I was doing so well at first. Sigh.

Wednesday, Skeet shooting at the other local gound, local but not as local as the first one. It’s a 90 mile round trip by car. Ninety miles in the scheme of things is not far at all when compared to travelling to say  Korea or Angola, but it is to me because it involves sitting in  a car and that’s the most horrid and dangerous way to travel. I try and minimise car travel. The shooting’s ok, I like skeet, less variables than sporting and higher scores are the norm. I score 90%, that’s brills for me. The two chaps accompanying me, neither one under 70, both manage 100%. I wonder if I should get my coat but they say ‘don’t worry, you’re a competent shot, really’. I get my coat. Friday night and I’ve survived two whole days in the London offce, my first desk work since June. I’d forgotten how humdrum it was and yet stressful at the same time. I know, I know, stress is simply the inability to deal with pressure. I can’t. But all is not lost because I managed to wangle a tug inspection next week in Malta. A bit of sunshine, a change of scene, two days chargeable time and few more BA airmiles, can’t be all bad then. Besides, I like tugmen, they’re not usually pretentious and tend to be good seamen. No old nonsense from them ….. usually. Watch this space.

Alexandria, Primark and Westbrook Club shenanigans.

There’s word, on the streets of Margate, of revolution in the air. There’s talk on the streets of Margate, of change and downfall and old guards being trampled, of change and new order and the settling of scores.

Indeed there is, Primark will leave the High Street shortly so goodness knows where this household is going to go to buy suitable vestments and knickers. It’s a puzzle and that’s for sure. While I’m on, does anyone out there in blog-reader-land know where a chap can get his hands on popadoms, the raw variety? Locally that is, Thanet central and all that?

Rumour has it that the yard at Petrojet, near Alexandria, is home to all things good. This will not be disputed from this household but we would like to point out that it is has a very odd concept of ‘objective accident investigation’ and the grated walkway is decidedly unfit for purpose, in our ‘umble opinion of course.

The Westbrook Club, Margate. Dubbed ‘scum shovel’ by those in the know, lived, by all accounts up to its name this Saturday (28th March). The lager fuelled trash that use the place decided to beat the hell out of each other (again) to such an extent that the local testicle scratchers had to be dragged away from their station telly screens to quell the ensuing mayhem and carnage. Damage to ugly mugs, club furniture and cars parked outside ensued. Deep joy and quite common to boot. Let’s hope our enlightened magistrates remove the drinks licence form the shitehole pronto. No doubt the long suffering neighbours would welcome that development. I know we would.

How Nemtsov’s murder could force Putin into a big decision
A month after the politician’s killing in Moscow there are signs of a Kremlin power struggle – and Russia’s president may soon have to take sides

When Boris Nemtsov was shot dead, as he walked home on a drizzly Friday night in Moscow last month, Russia’s beleaguered liberal opposition realised tthe rules of the game had changed in the most shocking way.

But there are also signs the highest-profile contract killing to take place during Vladimir Putin’s 15 years in charge could have triggered a battle inside Russia’s power structures, the consequences of which could reach far wider than the insular world of the minority opposition – and be much harder for Putin to control.

Given the opacity of the Kremlin, the small circle of decision-makers around President Putin, and the use of various media outlets to leak “versions” of the politician’s murder that may have varying degrees of proximity to the truth, piecing together what is really going on is extremely tricky. Much remains unknowable. But decoding the signals coming from the Kremlin and those around it, the outline of a conflict between influential members of Putin’s security apparatus is emerging.


Five men have been arrested and remanded in custody for carrying out the crime, including Chechen Zaur Dadayev, who investigators believe pulled the trigger. Given that Dadayev was a member of one of the battalions answering to Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin’s man in Chechnya, suspicion has naturally fallen on him.

Independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta published an investigation that suggested the killers had been working for figures close to Kadyrov, who has been implicated in all manner of rights abuses and extra-judicial killings, though he has always denied any involvement.

Suspicions were raised further by another suspect “blowing himself up with a grenade” when police tried to detain him in Grozny, the Chechen capital, and by Kadyrov’s surprising gambit of writing on his Instagram account that he knew Dadayev personally and believed him to be a “patriot” of Russia. The next day, Kadyrov was awarded a medal by Putin, as rumours spread that Moscow-based security forces were trying to question people close to him over the murder.

For many, the picture was clear: powerful people were trying to pursue Kadyrov over the murder, and Putin was telling them he still backed his Chechen protege.

“People in Moscow have never liked Kadyrov; he has always ruled only with Putin’s personal backing,” said one former Kremlin insider. “In Chechnya, there are no normal prosecutors, no normal judges, no normal courts, no normal FSB [the Russian security service]: it’s all under Kadyrov’s control. But what was the other option? Think about what Chechnya was like 10 years ago. Kadyrov has brought stability.”

Some of Nemtsov’s colleagues have suggested Kadyrov could just be a useful excuse for those higher up who wanted the politician dead, while publicly, officials have suggested two possibilities: that the killers acted alone, perhaps out of fury over Nemtsov’s condemnation of the Charlie Hedbo killings in Paris, or that they came from abroad. Hardly an hour after Nemtsov was shot dead, Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said it was “100% a provocation” aimed at framing Putin and making Russia look bad.

What seems to be clear is that investigators believe Dadayev shot Nemtsov before hopping into a car driven by Anzor Gubashev. The men then allegedly swapped cars a number of times, before arriving at an apartment and flying to Grozny the next day. Dadayev initially admitted guilt, according to the judge in the brief court hearing held to remand the suspects in custody, but later told human rights activists who visited him in prison he had been tortured into confessing.


Piecing together the thinking in the investigation team requires reliance on a number of anonymous leaks given to different Russian publications by officials from the security services and police. Many directly contradict each other and, taken together, they give the picture of a behind-the-scenes struggle between parts of the government that may have interests in pursuing different “versions”.

Last week, the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda published an alleged interview with an unnamed “source in the FSB”. It said the agency’s main thesis was that Nemtsov’s killers were hired by people working for Andriy Parubiy, the former head of Ukraine’s national security council. This is seen by analysts as significant not because it is plausible but because it suggests some elements in the security services want to push this version rather than pursue other lines of inquiry to their logical conclusion.

Many of Nemtsov’s allies believe the Kremlin was directly involved in the death of their friend and colleague. His associate Ilya Yashin said Kadyrov was likely to have been involved in the murder, and the investigation had revealed that Chechnya remained out of federal control. It has been reported in recent days that Dadayev’s close associate Ruslan Geremeyev is holed up under guard in Chechnya and is inaccessible to investigators trying to question him.

Riva Trigosa

Riva Trigosa

“Of course there is rivalry between different groups, and I am sure that some of the flaws in handling the case will be exploited by those trying to gain points, but I don’t believe that it was done on someone’s own initiative,” said Vladimir Milov, who co-authored reports with Nemtsov about corruption in the elites. “This is a highly centralised system based on loyalty. Why breach that loyalty, risk your families and everything. For what?”

Milov said Nemtsov was an important figure both as a connector of opposition figures who had little in common, and as an advocate of sanctions against Putin’s inner circle on the international stage.

“Whenever I met people in the west, I had the feeling that the door had just closed behind me and Boris had just left. He was a very strong advocate for sanctions and people in the Kremlin considered him guilty of that.”
Nemtsov colleagues try to continue investigation – but face wall of silence.
Kadyrov has said Dadayev should be tried if he is indeed guilty, but has spent more time praising him as a patriot than criticising him. He also posted an ode to Putin’s “wise policies” on his Instagram account, with repeated declarations of loyalty to the president.

“We are the Russian president’s foot soldiers! I will always be thankful to Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] for everything he has done for me personally and for my people. I will always be his loyal ally, whether he is the president or not. To give your life for such a person would be easy. I guarantee that I would carry out any order, will solve any problem for him no matter how hard it is and how much it might cost me!”

All of this has led many to see an epic power struggle behind the scenes, but the former Kremlin insider was dismissive of talk of a shift in the tectonic plates under the Kremlin: “I wouldn’t worry about it too much. They will fight a bit and then everyone will come back into line,” he said.

Others are not so sure. The Novaya Gazeta article, which first set out the details of the Chechens it claimed were involved in the killing, suggested that eventually Putin would have to choose between Kadyrov and the security apparatus. The article, which ran without a byline, concluded: “The result of [Putin’s] decision will determine not just who ends up in the dock, but the future political configuration of the country, which has found itself on the verge of war between different pillars of the regime. The decision will have to be taken who is a patriot and who is not.”

Some even suggested that Putin’s mystery disappearance recently was connected to a need to withdraw and take difficult decisions. Others said he simply had a cold. The lack of reliable information adds to the mystery, and many agree there is a confusing but portentous atmosphere about politics at the moment.

A thousand years ago

A thousand years ago

“There’s just this extraordinary feeling in the air,” said the editor-in-chief of a Russian media holding. “You don’t know what is going to happen, but you know it’s probably going to be really bad.”

Long Live Opera.

From our limpy gooey left friends at the Grauniad.

So Microsoft has decided to “retire” Internet Explorer, its web browser. So what? For most internet users the news probably ranked somewhere near the latest information about bond yields on Romanian debt. But for old timers like this columnist, it draws a line under an interesting chapter in the modern history of the computer industry.

So let’s spool back a bit – to 1993. By then, the internet was roughly 10 years old, but for its first decade had been largely unknown to anyone other than geeks and computer science researchers. Two years earlier, Tim Berners-Lee had created and released the world wide web onto the internet, but initially no one noticed. Then in the spring of 1993, Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina released Mosaic – the first graphical browser – and suddenly the “real world” realised what the internet was for, and clamoured to get aboard.

But here’s the strange thing: Microsoft – by then the overwhelmingly dominant force in the computing world – failed to notice the internet. One of Bill Gates’s biographers, James Wallace, claimed that Microsoft didn’t even have an internet server until early in 1993, and that the only reason the company set one up was because Steve Ballmer, Gates’s second-in-command, had discovered on a sales trip that most of his big corporate customers were complaining that Windows didn’t have a “TCP/IP stack” – ie, a way of connecting to the internet. Ballmer had never heard of TCP/IP. “I don’t know what it is,” he shouted at subordinates on his return to Seattle. “I don’t want to know what it is. But my customers are screaming about it. Make the pain go away.”

But even when Microsoft engineers built a TCP/IP stack into Windows, the pain continued. Andreessen and his colleagues left university to found Netscape, wrote a new browser from scratch and released it as Netscape Navigator. This spread like wildfire and led Netscape’s founders to speculate (hubristically) that the browser would eventually become the only piece of software that computer users really needed – thereby relegating the operating system to a mere life-support system for the browser.


Now that got Microsoft’s attention. It was an operating-system company, after all. On May 26, 1995 Gates wrote an internal memo (entitled “The Internet Tidal Wave”) which ordered his subordinates to throw all the company’s resources into launching a single-minded attack on the web browser market. Given that Netscape had a 90% share of that market, Gates was effectively declaring war on Netscape. Microsoft hastily built its own browser, named it Internet Explorer (IE), and set out to destroy the upstart by incorporating Explorer into the Windows operating system, so that it was the default browser for every PC sold.

The strategy worked: Microsoft succeeded in exterminating Netscape, but in the process also nearly destroyed itself, because the campaign triggered an antitrust (unfair competition) suit which looked like breaking up the company, only to founder at the last moment. So Microsoft lived to tell the tale, and Internet Explorer became the world’s browser. By 2000, IE had a 95% market share; it was the de facto industry standard, which meant that if you wanted to make a living from software development you had to make sure that your stuff worked in IE. The Explorer franchise was a monopoly on steroids.

But it turned out to be a double-edged sword. Companies and large organisations built their IT infrastructure around Internet Explorer. The NHS, for example, has hundreds of thousands of PCs, and for years, if you wanted to sell software products to it, then they had to be able to run not just on IE but on a specific version (6) of the program. For all I know, that may still be the case.

So the very success of Microsoft in dominating the browser market in effect locked some of its biggest customers into an increasingly dysfunctional and insecure time warp. But Microsoft’s monopolistic grip on the PC operating system and office software market also rendered it blind to what was happening in the computing industry generally. Just as it missed the internet when it first appeared, Microsoft also missed the switch to cloud computing and mobile devices.

And because Internet Explorer was so dominant, Microsoft had little incentive to update and improve it. So, in the end, other – more innovative – browsers like Opera, Safari, Firefox and eventually Google Chrome appeared. In comparison with these newcomers, IE looked increasingly tired and impoverished, the software equivalent of a former heavyweight champion grown fat and arthritic. And the intriguing thing is that the contender that triggered its decline was Firefox, the product of the Mozilla Foundation, an organisation created from the ruins of… Netscape. Who said there’s no justice?

condor liberation

The Austal-built trimaran ferry Condor Liberation arrived yesterday for the first time into Guernsey’s St. Peter Port harbor to begin mooring trials in preparation for the kickoff of passenger services later this month.

The 102-meter ferry came at a price of roughly £50 million to Condor Ferries and will provide ROPAX services between Poole, Guernsey and Jersey.

According to Austal, the vessel has a maximum speed of 45 knots, but will operate at a service speed of 35 knots while carrying up to 880 passengers and 235 vehicles.  The ship features a central T-foil on the main hull forward and T-foil roll control fins on each of the vessel’s bottybott to provide a more stable ride at high speeds.

austal trimaran 102

Vessel Particulars:

  • Length overall: 102.0 metres
  • Length (waterline): 101.4 metres
  • Beam (moulded): 27.4 metres
  • Hull depth (moulded): 7.6 metres
  • Hull draft (maximum): 4.5 metres
  • Main engines: 3x MTU 20V 8000 M71L (9,100 kW)
  • Gearboxes: 3 x ZF 53800
  • Waterjets: 3 x Wartsila LJX 1300
  • Generators: 4 x MTU S60

Trips and falls and a visit to hospital in Alexandria

The first attachment is a Medical report

Dated 11.03.15

Patient name : allatsea                                            File No: 254300

Check in date: 11.03.15                                                          Check out date: 11.03.15

Treating physician: Yehia X                                       Specialist General Surgeon

The patient has entered the hospital suffering from multiple wounds in his face, the wounds was stitched surgically under general anesthetic, the patient has left the hospital after his health has improved, recommend to rest for three days with drug therapy.


Hospital Manager

Dr. Mohamed FaXXX XXXXX


The second attachment is the Hospital receipt

Cash receipt

Patient name:  allatsea                                                         File No. 1

Room number: 608                                                               check in date: 11.03.15

Check out date: 11.03.15

Class: first special

Patient address: Petrojet company


Type                                                               Amount

Accommodation                                           125.00

Anesthesia fees                                            262.00

Surgery room                                                 400.00

Surgery fees                                                  1172.00

Medical supplies- Room                           19.45

Medical supplies- Surgery room            224.53

Medical supervision and care                 22.50

Nursing -Surgery                                           66.00

Nursing – Room                                            17.50

Total                                                                  2308.98

Service                                                              71.02

Stamp                                                                20.00

Gross total                                                       2400.00

Paid by visa                                                      2400.00