Bareboat charter or charter with crew?
If a vessel is hired or chartered with crew then they must have the obligatory professional qualification for their activity, according to the size of the boat and the area of navigation. In yachts flying the Spanish flag the qualification must be the one issued by the Spanish Authorities or a foreign one duly endorsed by the correspondent “Capitanía Marítima”. This always providing that the international Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) requirements are fulfilled.
The Spanish legislation permits the recognition of the professional qualifications of yacht master, skipper, officials and radio operator from other countries that are part of the STCW Convention if such qualifications were obtained according to that standard. This recognition and acceptance means a direct endorsement in case of certificates issued in EU member states, or in case of third countries if accepted by the EU. However if the vessel is flagged in a country outside of the EU the qualifications of the crew must conform to that of the said flag state.
If the vessel is Spanish flagged the skipper or master must be Spanish, or a citizen from any other EU member state, provided that it has reciprocity with the other legislation. In other words, that the other EU member state must also permit a Spanish master or skipper to command their vessels.
At this point we have to mention again, the newly created Certificate of Professional Skipper for Pleasure Crafts (“Certificado de Especialidad de Patrón Profesional de Embarcaciones de Recreo”) that will allow pleasure qualification such as Capitán de Yate to sail charter boats. However before this enters into force for leisure craft the Maritime Authorities have to develop the new Real Decreto establishing the requirements and type of examinations which are required to obtain the certificate. Spanish vessels and their crew also have to be recorded in the special regime of the Seaman’s Social Security system.
For bareboat charter any of the charterers must have the minimum pleasure craft sailing qualification for the boat and area required, such as established in the Order from Ministry Fomento that rules qualifications for pleasure craft. (“Orden FOM/3200/2007, de 26 de octubre, por la que se regulan las condiciones para el gobierno de embarcaciones de recreo.”) This regulation has a list in its Annex XIII that includes all the pleasure craft qualifications from different EU and non EU countries which are automatically accepted. This list of accepted foreign certificates is an advance notification. Meaning, that there is no need for foreign charterers to get their home qualifications expressly authorised for a Spanish bareboat charter as was the case before. It is the charter agent’s duty to check if the charterer’s qualification is included in the list.
However nothing is said in the law of qualifications about other countries not included in the list. We suggest in such cases prospective charterers should consult an expert.
Wishing you a Merry Sailing Christmas, and a very Happy 2010!
A Christmas Tale
The clock ticked past 6.00 pm on Christmas Eve and a candle flickered and nearly went out from the draughts that were blowing an icy wind through the office.
Outside the laughter of voices, merry making, floated upwards bringing for one slight moment a faint glimmer of cheer to an otherwise desolate scene.
Not Drugs and Alcohol Again!!!
Prompting this article was a major row which blew up in the UK recently regarding the relative dangers of cannabis/ecstasy against those of alcohol/smoking.
The Government’s chief advisor has been sacked and colleagues on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs have resigned in protest. The crucial argument is not whether the scientific report just published is flawed (showing that alcohol and smoking do indeed cause more deaths than cannabis) but whether a scientific advisor should enter the political arena by publicly disagreeing with the government’s policy.
Cannabis is used at one time or another by about 40% of European young adults and as the scientist pointed out, alcohol can kill in overdose whereas cannabis cannot.
Within the yachting industry, more vessels are now asking for random drugs checks and we, as doctors, have been asked to administer these on board on a number of occasions. Ten drugs, including cannabis can be detected in urine; some up to four weeks after the drug was last taken. Since the result could mean instant dismissal, the specimens are collected fresh, carefully bar-coded, and taken to the laboratory for quantitative analysis should a positive result occur.
Some boats want to keep their chosen crew so let them know well in advance of the planned visit, whereas others want simply to catch the culprits and give no warning at all!
So why do owners and captains bother about a drug which is used by so many people and causes few deaths? Why should you bother? Cannabis can often cause irrational behaviour and poor decision-making, which you don’t really need at sea, and there is good evidence that regular use can cause psychosis and personality disorders in some people and subtle brain damage in the long-term! The individual may also be involved in the wider drug scene including the use of cocaine which is one of the most sought after drugs amongst the yachting population.
The speed of the high with cocaine, and the alertness and increased confidence which make it so attractive, also make it more addictive. The rise in temperature and heart rate, and risk of convulsions and sudden death are not enough to put off some users. The slow “come-down” phase can last several days with depression, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts and the desire to take more may be irresistible.
Its use can have other implications and not just for the individual Yachtie. If found on board, it is deemed to be the captain’s responsibility and this can lead to imprisonment (even if completely unaware) and impounding or confiscation of the vessel. As you look further, one realises why most first-world governments have criminalised this drug—cocaine fuels much violent crime, exploits workers in the poor producer countries and leads to the abuse and death of children and women forced to act as “mules” to carry it. Do we really want to support these things by our behaviour and our demand to have a “good time”!
To return to the recent controversy in the UK, what has not yet been emphasised sufficiently is the take-home message; that alcohol and smoking are the real killers.
Here in Palma, asking about alcohol consumption raises a shrug, a grin and the reply “Well, I’m a Yachtie!” This means, not much during the week, and as much as you can get at the weekends!
Binge drinking is the most dangerous sort as the body doesn’t have time to adapt and you get drunk more quickly. Even leaving out the frequent reports of Yachtie’s having their drinks spiked prior to robbery from the person; there are every week reports of deaths, head injuries and admissions to hospital as direct results of alcohol. Gangs of money-strapped youths pounce on the Yachtie who is thought to have more than enough for all! In an inebriated state, the Yachtie retaliates, and the rest is history. In the States, some of the most famous regattas report deaths every year due to alcohol-related injury or drowning.
So.....”It’s the yachting culture, and we can’t do much about that, can we?” “I know plenty of senior crew who use cocaine but never abuse it”. “We work very hard and are cooped up for long periods. What do you expect when we get to shore, everyone just heads for the nearest bar!” “If you go to bar ‘x’, you know you’re going to come out legless. Surely, THEY bear some responsibility” ....are just some of the comments I have heard recently.
The answer, of course, is that you CAN buck the trend. Culture is what you, the Yachtie makes it, and if you make it, you can also change it.
Set yourself limits, space your drinks, and stop before you start down the slippery slope! Watch for spiked drinks and tell your friends if you fear you have been targeted. As for cannabis or cocaine just leave it! Why should YOU risk your job, your career and your life just to be in with the culture?
What Makes Santa Pause?
It occurs to me that there are a number of conditions and situations here on Mallorca that could well make Santa think twice about visiting each Christmas Eve and just leave everything to the Kings in January.
They are every day trials and tribulations that face us all and cause frustration and annoyance but have to be accepted as part of living on our beloved Island.
On the plus side should he wish he could get an NIE number and resident certificate as easy as falling off one of his homeland logs as Lapland being part of Finland is a full member state of the European Union; so no having to join the long queue of hapless souls who were unfortunate to born outside of the boundaries which give automatic entitlement in Spain. However, he would have to be a patient early riser with no expectation of anything happening in most official offices once the witching hour of 2.00 p.m. has been reached. Also I wonder what he would make of a system where the Police Station opens at 9.00 a.m. or thereabouts but the banks in the area who take the administration payments for the NIE numbers and resident certificates only do so between 8.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. and then only on certain days of the week?
I am told on good authority that whilst he covers the globe zooming through the sky he has to alight to ground level in order to refuel the reindeer. This can result in some bizarre driving practices being experienced including “who decided to teach the Mallorquins where to position themselves on the roundabouts?” Santa needs to know that there is no inside lane, even when wanting the extreme left hand exit, the trick is drive all the way round the outside, cutting up anyone trying to move from the inside to the outside lane in order to exit. This is the way that all learner drivers on Mallorca are taught to drive and I believe that if one was to be involved in a collision in this situation, regardless of the teachings of the good old Highway Code, the driver in the outside lane would be held to be in the right.
Then what about if he needed to park, especially in Palma? A full size sleigh, loaded with toys and goodies and preceded by a team of reindeer needs a bit more space than the usual Smart car. So even finding such a space, how long would his pristine, gleaming sleigh remain intact given the normal practice of parking by touch?
No wonder he prefers to stay up in the sky and land on rooftops! I hope this tongue in cheek article finds you in good health and that you enjoy a very happy Christmas and that you are looking forward to the opportunities that a New Year brings.
Product Club or talking shop?
The creation of a Product Club for the Balearics nautical tourist industry is good news, not only in respect of its principle (it is obvious that the sector needs external promotion), but also for the formula that the Department of Tourism has chosen for its operation.
The Great Gadgets and Gizmos Christmas Special.
As my loyal reader will know, in previous years, I’ve had great fun reviewing some very entertaining gadgets for the Christmas issue, and this year is no different!
It makes a change from the serious and admittedly very dull technology that I review throughout the rest of the year. My mission, on your behalf, is to search out stuff that is just plain daft, entertaining, funny and, occasionally, quite useful. In several cases, the most amusing aspect is the seriousness with which the supplier treats his product. I like to think that their descriptions are tongue in cheek, but I’m afraid that’s not always the case.
How about this first item? It has nothing to do with technology, but it certainly cheered me up!
Pawz Rubber Dog Boots
Benefits of the Pawz Rubber Dog Boots:
* These Rubber Dog Boots go on easily without straps or zippers
* Use them as winter dog boots to protect paws from road salt, ice and cold. In summer they protect paws from hot pavements or lawn chemicals
* Pawz Rubber Dog Boots protect without padding, so dogs can feel the ground they walk on
This is a serious pooch product and they have stock! Can you believe it? Maybe the photo has been photo-shopped, as these would last a maximum of 30 seconds on my dog, and in our garden, it’s the lawn chemical containers which need to be protected from the dog, rather than the other way round! Also, is it me, or does this dog look like it’s wearing four cacti on its paws?
However, back to technology. This Christmas, how about getting your loved ones some new wearable technology, and I’m not talking about watches, hearing aids or iPod headphones. No, these are the latest in EL clothes, where EL stands for “electroluminescence”.
Firstly, how about the T-Clock? As you can probably imagine, it’s a t-shirt with a large clock displayed on the chest. But here's your dilemma. Is it a t-shirt that thinks it's a clock? Or a clock that thinks it's a t-shirt? And if you look in the mirror, will time go backwards? It even ticks like a clock, and it beats the pants off that old SuperYacht Cup t-shirt you keep wearing. But, disconnect the battery before washing, swimming or going out in the rain!
The T-Clock is a minor technological miracle, in the form of a fashionable black t-shirt. It looks like the common or garden variety beloved of rock musicians and teenage emo girls, until the timekeeping modification is switched on, and your chest lights up to display the current time!
In the future, all t-shirts will be made this way, for wearable technology is very much the shape of things to come.
Wi-Fi Detecting t-shirt
The next one I found is the brilliant and practical Wi-Fi Detecting t-shirt. When the Wi-Fi Detecting option is enabled, your chest shows a digital display panel bearing the current strength of Wi-Fi in your immediate vicinity. How about that? Every yacht crewmember should wear one to help the guests locate the hottest spots onboard. The technology at the heart of the Wi-Fi Detecting T-Shirt is a fully functional electroluminescence panel that practically lights up like Piccadilly Circus.
Graphic Equaliser t-shirt
The next EL t-shirt is a novel way to demonstrate what a hip groovy dude you really are. Turn yourself into a living, breathing graphic equaliser and make a dynamic response to every sound around you. The T-Qualizer is a minor technological miracle, in the form of, again, a simple, fashionably black t-shirt, until the equaliser feature is enabled.
A sonic activation device connected to an electroluminescence panel is what really does the business. Plug in the battery from its discreet pocket, then rock on to the latest chart-topping sounds, or the hushed tweet of birdsong in the garden. With a bold set of dynamic yellow and red colour bars that change as your environment changes, it's bound to make a splash in the nearest club. Kids, be afraid, be very afraid, of Dad getting up to dance, as he becomes a one-man illumination visible from space to the sounds of Abba’s “Dancing Queen”… Again you must disconnect the battery before washing or, for old men, sweating too much!
Sorry, back to animals again. Animal gadgets are clearly not designed for pets at all, rather for their indulgent owners, and there are some great gifts out there for your four-legged mate this festive season. How about an Inflatable Dog Wash, an Indoor Dog Restroom, a Pet Booster Seat for the back of the car so that Rover can see out of the window, Leg Extensions (surely not?) for the shorter dog in your life, or a Remote Pet Feeder N Camera Kit. No idea what that is! However, let every dog have his day and the perfect present for that day is.......
This new dog collar with attached LED flashlight just might be the most important pet product since the leash! It illuminates 70 metres forward and 25 metres to each side, so your dog is more visible to traffic at night, and your path is lighted so you can see any potential hazard to you or your dog. Besides the obvious safety benefits for owner and dog, it also makes it easier to clean up after your dog in the dark, scares off wild animals like skunks and coyotes (not a regular hazard in Mallorca), helps older dogs see better in the dark, and makes your dog easier to find when he's off the leash!
The light has 3 ultra-bright white LEDs, is practically weightless, and the adjustable elastic band fits 8" to 26" neck size (so pretty much every pooch from Chihuahua to Great Dane). It even incorporates a full headlight dipping action activated by a single bark to avoid blinding oncoming dogs! It is specially designed to keep the light out of your dog’s eyes, and a fur guard keeps your dog’s fur out of the light, thank goodness. This gadget is endorsed by the American Canine Association and made in the USA. Well, where else??
And now for the feline fans. How about this for your favourite kitty? Specially for you, I have discovered a Casita and Bungalow Cat Tree, a Feline Recreation Room, a Kitty-Go-Krazy Cat Toy and a Kitty-Flies-Out-of- Window Toy for grown men.
Any ideas? What can it be?
This is a cat toy that someone has actually spent time designing, developing, producing and bringing to market! Evidently, it is outrageous fun for both cat and owner. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself on youtube. An elastic loop runs through the battery-operated motor, pulling a silky string randomly about. Evidently kitty will go completely bonkers. Winner of Best in Show at the Global Pet Expo, and it attaches usefully to any standard doorknob. Made in the USA, of course.
Cat Russian Roulette Laser Beam Toy
Keeps your cat entertained for hours on end, so you can get on with the rest of your life. Just lift up the lid, and the beam inside will bounce its light off the lid's mirror onto a nearby wall in quick circles, then pause for a second or two, then start right up again and pause somewhere else. This should keep Kitty busy! The sting in the tail is that if Kitty slows up, she could be blinded or cut in two. Three AA batteries included. Where is it made? No, not in the USA, but in our very own workshop in Portals.
Indoor "Holiday” décor
I´ve intentionally used the word “holiday” in the title as I have copied it directly from the catalogue I have been reading. Needless to say, this is also from the USA, where the “C” word seems to be politically incorrect these days.
Grow your own Christmas Tree
If you´ve got a few years’ spare time on your hands, how about a wonderful stocking stuffer for the baby that he or she can grow up with. It´s a grow-your-own Xmas Tree!
Everything's included to grow your own Christmas tree: peat growing medium, Douglas fir seed (just the one), ceramic pot -- even a jingle bell ornament. With the Christmas Tree Grow Kit, your baby can enjoy watching the tree get bigger for each Christmas. Let the little fella grow up with his own tree or you can transplant it to your landscape. Lid doubles as plant saucer. How useful is that? And it’s green…
When moving the tree you have so lovingly moved between your house and your landscape year after year since you were a baby, what you need now is the handy Needle Nabber.
Before you drag your natural tree out the door, wrap it in this Needle Nabber "tarp" first, to avoid leaving a trail of needles and sap, and scratches on walls and hardwood floors. Tree-shaped wrap has sewn-in nylon ties, plus drawcords at the ends to keep needles contained. Tear-resistant, and reusable, unlike an old plastic garbage bag! For trees up to 8-1/2' tall. Must have one of those!
And finally more dogs, well Huskies actually...
Too many reindeer on your street? I understand they’re becoming a real pest in Calvia. Be the first on your block with handsome Huskies pulling a gift-laden Sleigh.
This unique charming yard display dazzles at night, thanks to 300 clear mini-lights, and looks colourful even during the day, thanks to the vibrant, soft tinsel fabric covering. Stakes, extra bulbs and fuses included. Assembly required. Express delivery by dog sled only across the frozen north. I know some one whose got one in Binnasalem!
I hope you enjoyed my light-hearted selection of Christmas gadgets and gizmos. Have a great Christmas HOLIDAY.
It´s been a tough year, so relax, enjoy and recharge for 2010.