Wednesday, January 19, 2011

THE NAIVE SAILOR , STREAMING SHIPS LOG , WALKER CHERUB - CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL


I am NOT gonna takes names here-- to respect the dead-

I went for my 2nd Mate's certificate of competency orals in Mumbai in 1977.

The aged grand examiner asked me the first question--

What are the three L's of navigation.

I told him " The answer you look for is LEAD, LOG and LOOKOUT "

Next question " Did you steam a log on your ships as cadet "?

 i said --" Yes! we streamed the Walker Cherub log on all my ships as Cadet!"

How do you stream the Walker Cherub log? "

Something snapped inside my head and i cried : "This is the most STUPID instrument i have used in my life so far!"

This kind old man was taken aback--but he indicated that i must continue and justify what i said.

I said " If you have an digital counter odometer in your car-- why should you have another stupid odometer on the rear fender connected to a stupid rope dragging a roller behind your car wheels? "

There was pregnant silence for a while. Then he broke into hearty laughter and said " Carry on ! You have passed !!"

So i passed my 2nd mate's orals exam in 5 minutes.( I passed my Master's orals even faster !--that is another story )

So when my 90000 tonner ship has a fixed propeller with a FIXED propeller shaft hooked on to a digital counter to give the propeller RPM , why should i stream another log .  --which has a rope driven " jumping up / down , prone to kinking " shaft connected to a stupid portable propeller, fish and governor.

This governor is a wheel  attached in the middle of the line --to steady the revolutions ( sic ! ). Basically it indicates that the 50 metre long line  is rotating, and the floating propeller affected by ship's wake is NOT lost or the propeller has sunk due to lack of speed..

The young GPS generation , must skip this post. Only the old generation will understand this and have a nice laugh!

And imagine Walter Cherub and party scratched the back of the Admiralty and went into the museum only as late as 1994. Yeah-- the same Admiralty who wants you to use port anchor in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa, because the wind will veer and back and blah blah -- No wonder why Admiralty lacked seamanship, as rich Rothschild decided who ruled the Admiralty who ruled the Britanica seas--.

This bullshit instrument was meant only for FAST sailing boats. Slow boats will sink the propeller. yeah--it has a brass fish too--the contraption with a hole --

extracts from their Internet site:--


Thomas Ferdinand Walker (1837–1921) first patented the Cherub log in 1878 (no. 4369). It was one of the first logs in which the recorder was placed on board the ship rather than being part of the rotor. The Cherub Mark III series proved to be very successful and was produced in great numbers between 1930 and 1994..



Made by Thomas Walker & Son, Ltd of Birmingham, England whose name is synonymous with patent logs.  It features a self contained  instrument head with a distance measuring calculator which was mounted on the vessel's taffrail. The instrument section has a white porcelain face, and three analog counters with black Arabic numbers for distance run. A very large spinner or fish is trailed in the water behind the ship and its rotation is transmitted to the counter by means of a line (not included).


This instrument is a recorder for determining distance travelled and thus ship’s speed. It is made of brass with a ceramic dial, with the main scale marked from 0 to 100 miles and two inset dials marked from 0 to 1000 miles and 0 to 1 mile. It has a fixing plate, on which it can turn, with which it would have been attached to a suitable part of the ship, typically the taffrail, the rail at the stern of a ship. As a result, this type of log was often called a taffrail log. The recorder would have been connected to a rotor that was towed behind the ship. The revolutions of the rotor registered on the indicator, thus measuring the distance travelled. For this model, 900 revolutions of the rotor registered as 1 nautical mile.
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CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL
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