Home MarketsChartering The BDI@960 …drawn your sorrows

John Faraclas

The BDI (Baltic Dry Index) lost twenty points earlier on today and at 960 creates a critical dry market. John Faraclas’ briefing:

The Capers down 42 points saw the BCI 2014 at 1,590…

The Panamaxes BPI down 31 at 925

The Supras’ BSI down seven points at 771 and

The Handies’ BHSI was down two at 505 points.

Is this yet a disastrous dry market or things can get even worse? Will it stop falling or are we going to see figures alike last year below the 500 point mark?

The Wets also on a falling mode; the last published BDTI (Dirties) and BCTI (Cleans) stood at 737 – minus five and 522 – minus 14 respectively. CAUTION…

We have long ago warned you of this situation so let’s see how you tackle same!

The price of WTI was up a bit at US$ 48.92….

The Geopolitical front might bring a huge tsunami; all issues of yesterday and more or less those referred to during the last six months remain unfortunately the same. Wonder what the diplomats are doing as they are under his masters’ voice from the politicians and they (politicians) from their business masters; any objection? If there is one we provoke you for comments and a live debate on any A1 media TV channel – that includes the world’s ten top in ratings… Is this the world to live in? How deep down Democracy is buried? What happened to all these values and ethics given what three  generations have witnessed post WWII?

On another tone the first day of The Nautical Institute’s AGM and London Command Seminar on “Navigation Accidents and their causes” at Trinity House, was more than a success and continuous tomorrow.

Capt David Pockett

The first day’s  speeches were very meticulous prepared and delivered. They received a good number of interesting questions which is really what matters these days, an impromptu straight dialogue / debate with the audience.

The first speaker was Capt David Pocket, a marine consultant at LOC; his speech was on “Navigation Accidents and their Causes”; mentoring was on top of his agenda.

Very interesting point was also the one on: Knowledge and Experience equals less risk, where risk stands for probabilities x consequences…

Capt Mark Bull


He was followed by Capt Mark Bull an independent consultant from Trafalgar Navigation Ltd; his presentation was on “Navigation Assessments”.

A well construed presentation having the advantage to discuss same more on its various issues at the coffee break which followed.


Capt Nick Nash


Capt Nick Nash from Carnival surprised us all with his video presentation on “Bridge teamwork”, which  was one of the best of its kind presented.

A difficult exercise which must be followed on such events. He received a great number of questions and he responded with great easiness and simplicity.


Capt Paul Armitage

Capt Paul Armitage, a shipmaster,  took the podium. His slides presentation was on “Preparing for Command”; a very timely presentation! He ended by saying: “A master must be seen as a safe pair of hands. They should be a person who makes the right calls at the right time, who doesn’t shirk duty and who is confident in providing safe passage for the crew, passengers and cargo. It should be an individual who is trusted by everyone to to the right thing, and a person of impeccable personal integrity”. There were nine questions and two statements, one coming from Captain Nikos Chalaris, a Master Mariner with  a vast experience also on Cruise ships; this is his question and point/statement he made/put forward:

…in the centre: Captain Nikos Chalaris putting forward his question / statement-point

“In regards of Master’s readiness for taking command my personal insight is that the IMO model course can be improved  as to become more accurate in ensuring preparedness of the new Master. This could be integrated in following groups of tasks to be tutored and  examined:

  • Shiphandling, Seamanship, Nautical knowledge etc
  • Leadership skills, managerial elements, administration and human resources management.
  • Technical knowledge, advanced navigation etc
  • Regulations & rules, Legal- Insurance knowledge
  • Emergency preparedness and handling

Each nominate Master should be able to attend respective training course and be examined either in simulator or theoretical tests respectively whenever he or she is ready to proceed with such examination(s). Successful candidate should be the one that will pass all exams and after having respective sea going time in hand. This will allow each potential master to become officially certified in competence in a more practical and realistic way than now.”

Transas’ Frank Coles

After an excellent lunch, intense networking and meeting old and new friends we were …warmed up by Frank Coles’ speech.

The CEO of Transas Marine Limited delivered in his usual outspoken style and wording a paper on “The changing landscape in shipping and the impact on operations”.

Wonder if the Secretary-General of the IMO was present together with respective officials how was going to be the debate!

Indeed “What does the Future hold?”

Dr Andy Norris

The very eloquent Dr. Andy Norris delivered an important paper on “New Mindsets”. “Increasing our concentration on relative position” was more than a very good heading. In conclusion he said:

  • “Safe navigation is centred on relative position
  • We should be very wary of over-concentrating on absolute position
  • The optical technology used to aid relative positioning on bridges has been virtually stagnant for more than 100 years
  • Difficulty in the use of optical data has led to most of its fundamental value enhancing relative position knowledge being wasted
  • BUT.. affordable base technology exists today to be able to readily utilise this independent souce of valuable information
  • This will form a major contribution to ever-safer navigation, including making vessels more resilient to pirates, hackers and jammers

Robots will be using processed optical data – why not humans”

Steamship Mutual’s Chris Adams

The Clubs turn come with Captain Chris Adams FNI, head of European Syndicate and Loss prevention, Steamship Mutual, friend and supporter of this medium with a valuable contribution titled “Navigational accidents and the cyber dimension:  a P&I perspective”.  Issues covered on his overview centered on “the impact of navigational accident claims on the P&I Clubs; recurrent causes of navigational accidents and the cyber dimension”. A lot discussion after his presentation was on the case of the “Ovit” grounding in the English channel with views from … both sides of the channel!!!


Capt Duke Snider, president of The Nautical Institute concluding his speech

The final speaker of the day was The Nautical Institute’s president; Capt Duke Snider’s speech, content and delivery will remain as one of the best ever I have personally attended in London for over 30 years; a view shared by all in the room! His presentation was on “Developing ice navigators: a case study” More than interesting, among other issues he touch was that of the definition of the Ice Navigator:

“An individual, in charge  of a navigational watch, or available to advise the navigational watch, who has the skills, knowledge, experience and training in ice navigation that  will ensure  as safe as practicable, a transit of or operations within an ice regime

The individual will have completed  a minimum 6 months as an officer in charge of a bridge watch while  navigating in ice, or have completed a recognised course in conjunction with 12 hours as an officer in charge of a bridge watch  while navigating in ice”.

There were lots of questions and given the very special status of the entire regime in the Arctic – politics, conditions you name it, we hope to have the chance soon to hear these issues again!

Capt Panagiotis G. Foinikis with his Fellowship Certificate

After an interesting tea break we attended the AGM and the award of the Diplomas / Certification ceremony of new members by Capt Philip Wake, one of his last tasks as CEO of the Nautical’s Institute before handing over his position to Capt John Lloyd. A very touching ceremony too. Pleased to witness compatriot Capt Panagiotis G. Foinikis from Costamare Shipping Services receiving his Fellowship Certificate; together with four more Greeks we felt exceptional pride for his achievements!

The reception which followed was also exceptional in the palatial environment of Trinity House and its classic decorations. Music was unique too performed by Mrs. Wake, the wife of Capt Philip Wake who after 18 years in The Nautical Institute, the  last fourteen as CEO, handed over to Capt John Lloyd.

Worth to remember the buzz words of today’s event: Mentoring, Maritime Education and Training, Seamanship, Risk, Discipline, Confidence, Fatigue…

We will revert tomorrow for the second and concluding day of the event.

Another great event, a charity one, took place at Tramp’s in Jermyn Street, off Piccadilly in support of the Hellenic Hope; organised by the Hellenic Bankers Association and with the support of six more charity organisations surpassed the success of last year’s event. Many congratulations to all!

Have a nice evening and be on guard from any eventuality from Pirates and Terrorists where ever you are.

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