On the occasion of Shakespeare’s birthday…   “The Tempest” Shakespeare; audio/abridged; w/ Sir Donald Wolfit (Youtube)

A suitable soundtrack, as it is also Bilal Erdoğan’s birthday, whose fleet of ships in the BMZ Group we have been keeping an eye on, as concerns the suspected export of ISIS oil and other material. Here follows a diary of these tankers’ recent navigation…

Begim Aslanova – Last position received was 2016-03-15 22:00:17 (UTC) heading East off the S. Crimean coast. With irregular AIS data, as of 03-16 15:30 it was  in the SE Black Sea off the coast of Novorossiysk, before resuming AIS data at 03-17 15:06 near the port of POTI, just S. of its next port of call KULEVI (Georgia), where it arrived at 03-21 05:46 and departed at 2016-03-22 14:23. Last position received at 03-23 14:54 in S. Black Sea, resuming at 03-25 03:10, prior to crossing Bosphorous. Irregular AIS data through Aegean and Mediterranean Seas – an anomaly occurs where AIS pings occur several hundred miles apart in the space of a few minutes (03-28 17:14-17:18) when the ship suddenly “appears” on its approach to PORT SAID. Upon completing transit of SUEZ at 03-30 15:58, AIS data dark through much of transit of Red Sea, particularly between ports of Sudan and Jeddah on April 2-3, also through most of passage along coast of Yemen, from S. Red Sea through Gulf of Aden to area between Yemen and island of Socotra. AIS data highly irregular through passage to Gulf of Oman. Goes AIS dark for over 24 hours from late 04-11 to early 04-12 upon near completion of journey, apparently anchored (ATA listed as 2016-04-11 22:02) near UAE port of FUJAIRAH (ETA 04-09 09:00), where it finally arrives eleven days late at 04-20 07:51, departing 04-21 06:41, then anchoring from 06:55 to 14:44, before heading East to destination unknown. At 04-22 05:58 it briefly goes AIS dark and then meanders off the southern coast of Iran…

There is some discrepancy with the AIS data and itinerary between MarineTraffic.com and VesselFinder.com, whose recent departure times for Begim Aslanova are listed as follows:

Apr 21, 2016, 06:02 UTC – AL FUJAYRAH, UAE
Mar 30, 2016, 01:04 UTC – PORT SAID, EGYPT
Mar 14, 2016, 17:02 UTC – YUZHNYY, UKRAINE
Mar 06, 2016, 09:10 UTC – HAIFA, ISRAEL
Mar 02, 2016, 09:00 UTC – DUMYAT, EGYPT
Feb 15, 2016, 09:04 UTC – BREST, FRANCE
Feb 04, 2016, 17:00 UTC – ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Shovket Alekperov – Arrives at CANAKKALE at 03-14 11:43, departed at 03-15 09:47. Last AIS data just N of Bosporus at 2016-03-17 10:23. Proceeding to port of ODESSA, instead went to Romanian port of SULINA, departing at 03-18 11:30, then navigating up the Danube as far as Ukrainian town of Orlivka at 03-18 19:28, with limited AIS data for over 12 hours, then proceeding back, with no AIS data between 03-19 10:30 and 03-20 04:20 near Romanian city of Tulcea. Reentering Black Sea sometime after 03-20 17:23, heading due East with no AIS data while circumnavigating Crimea, before anchoring near Russian port of NOVOROSSIYSK, docking at 03-24 21:01 and departing 03-27 18:39. Passes through Bosphorus on March 29-30, AIS dark through much of Sea of Marmara and Aegean. Irregular AIS data with approach to ALEXANDRIA on April 1, ETA: 04-02 06:00. Arrival at 04-06 05:42,  ATD at 04-07 14:42. Arrives in ISTANBUL at 04-10 18:49:00, departs at 04-10 20:13:00. AIS dark through most of passage of Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Sea en route to Ukrainian port of DNEPROBUGSKY, ETA 04-12 12:00. Stops off coast of Odessa on early 03-12 before proceeding towards port, arriving 04-12 16:52, departing approximately 04-14 06:30. Passes through Bosphorus on 04-15 18:00-19:00, Canakkale on 04-16 11:00-15:00. Goes AIS dark from 4-16 22:30 to 04-17 03:00 on approach towards Athens, near which it departs PIRAEUS ANCH at 04-17 09:16, and AGIOI THEODOROI ANCH at 04-17 11:20, before passing through CORINTH CANAL 04-17 11:50-13:22, en route to RAVENNA (ETA 04-20 08:00), going AIS dark from 04-18 20:39 to 04-19 00:08 in passing near city of Bari. Anchors near Ravenna at 04-20 04:48, then goes AIS dark until 04-23 01:51.
VesselFinder.com departure times for Shovket Alekperov:
Apr 07, 2016, 14:18 UTC – EL ISKANDARIYA (= ALEXANDRIA), EGYPT
Mar 27, 2016, 18:04 UTC – NOVOROSSIYSK, RUSSIA
Mar 11, 2016, 14:04 UTC – HAIFA, ISRAEL
Mar 08, 2016, 14:03 UTC – HAIFA, ISRAEL
Feb 28, 2016, 01:04 UTC – FOS-SUR-MER, FRANCE
Feb 23, 2016, 06:03 UTC – FOS-SUR-MER, FRANCE
Feb 18, 2016, 16:04 UTC – CEUTA, SPAIN
Mecid Aslanov – Arrived in HAIFA at 03-13 01:22, departed 03-20 14:40. Crossed Bosphorus at 03-24 12:00. No AIS data through Black sea until 03-25 18:20 off the coast of Ukraine, then irregular navigation and substantial AIS dark periods amidst stops in YUZHNY and NIKOLAEV (ATD 03-29 22:49). One hour stop in Istanbul, departing 03-31 22:49. Stops in CANAKKALE at 04-01 10:17, departing 04-01 12:37, then AIS dark until approach of MERSIN (ETA 04-04 06:00). Irregular logs in and around Mersin: anchoring at 04-04 02:46, arrives at Mersin at 04-04 13:10, departing Mersin anchor at 04-04 14:42, departing Mersin again 04-05 21:49, finally departing Mersin anchor at 04-05 22:30. Irregular navigation between Mersin and next stop Haifa, lingering off coast of Turkey and again just East of Cyprus. Arrived in Haifa at 04-08 03:43, departed 04-09 14:41. AIS data fairly regular in passage through Aegean Sea and Bosphorus, with stops in Canakkale and Istanbul (April 12 and 13) en route to Moldovan port of Giurgiulesti, ETA 04-14 20:00. Stops in Ukrainian port of RENI (arrives 04-15 14:44, departs 04-16 01:03), GIURGIULESTI (arrives 04-15 15:32, departs 04-16 15:39), Reni again (arrives 04-17 03:39, departs 4-17 03:55), Romanian ports of TULCEA (arrives 04-17 05:54, departs 04-17 06:21) and SULINA (arrives 04-17 09:52, departs 04-17 10:52). It then proceeds NW and stops in international waters near Odessa, going AIS dark from 04-17 19:30 to 04-19 00:00, then with sporadic AIS “pings” in same position before turning around en route to the Romanian port of CONSTANTA (ETA 04-20 09:00). Goes AIS dark from approx. 04-20 03:00 to 05:40 on approach to port, where it arrives at 04-20 22:59, departing at 04-22 12:07  en route to Georgian port of BATUMI, ETA 04-24 19:00.
VesselFinder.com departure times for Mecid Aslanov:
Apr 22, 2016, 12:00 UTC – CONSTANTA, ROMANIA
Apr 15, 2016, 06:06 UTC – SULINA (PORT ET ZONE FRANCHE), ROMANIA
Apr 09, 2016, 13:02 UTC – HAIFA, ISRAEL
Apr 05, 2016, 21:03 UTC – MERSIN, TURKEY
Mar 29, 2016, 23:04 UTC – NIKOLAEV, UKRAINE
Mar 27, 2016, 18:05 UTC – YUZHNYY, UKRAINE
Mar 08, 2016, 19:04 UTC – IZMIR, TURKEY
Feb 29, 2016, 23:03 UTC – CEUTA, SPAIN
Feb 22, 2016, 09:02 UTC – LEIXOES, PORTUGAL
Feb 15, 2016, 22:04 UTC – BILBAO, SPAIN
Feb 06, 2016, 05:03 UTC – VALENCIA, SPAIN
Poet Qabil – At French port of SETE on 03-22, departing at 15:43. Anchored near BARCELONA at 03-23 06:23, where it lingers for a week. Departing Barcelona at 04-01 11:59. Arrives at FOS SUR MER at 04-02 09:20, anchors at 04-02 08:05, departs LAVERA at 04-03 16:37. Proceeds to Spanish port of HUELVA, arriving at 04-08 18:17, departing 04-09 16:44. Next stop Barcelona, ETA 04-12 12:00. Spotty AIS pings in crossing Strait of Gibraltar to and from Huelva. Regular AIS data along most of the Spanish coast until arriving near Barcelona, where it goes AIS dark from 04-12 11:53 to 04-14 12:19. AIS data then resumes as the ship remains stationary until 04-15 20:00 when proceeds to VALENCIA, arriving 04-16 12:16, departing 20:56, then to meet its sister ship Armada Fair after arriving at CARTAGENA ANCH at 04-18 22:34, then docking at 04-20 08:07, and departing at 04-22 10:58, en route to the Turkish port of GEBZE, ETA 04-29 20:00.
VesselFinder.com departure times for Poet Qabil:
Apr 22, 2016, 10:04 UTC – ESCOMBRERAS, SPAIN
Apr 16, 2016, 20:03 UTC – VALENCIA, SPAIN
Apr 03, 2016, 16:03 UTC – PORT-DE-BOUC, FRANCE
Apr 03, 2016, 01:00 UTC – FOS-SUR-MER, FRANCE
Mar 22, 2016, 15:04 UTC – SETE, FRANCE
Mar 21, 2016, 07:03 UTC – SETE, FRANCE
Mar 15, 2016, 09:03 UTC – CEUTA, SPAIN
Mar 07, 2016, 02:00 UTC – TERNEUZEN, NETHERLANDS
Mar 07, 2016, 00:04 UTC – GENT (GHENT), BELGIUM
Mar 06, 2016, 08:04 UTC – TERNEUZEN, NETHERLANDS
Mar 05, 2016, 21:04 UTC – ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS

Armada Fair – Last received ship position 03-14 21:47 in international waters off the coast of Algeria. Then stopping 03-16 15:04 in TUNIS, TUNISIA. Departed at 03-17 10:39. Crossing paths with Mecid Aslanov (both at about 10 knots) off SW coast of Turkey at approximately 04:00 3-22. No AIS data on approach to MERSIN from circa 03-23 06:30 to 03-25 07:20, when it turns around listing next destination as Ukrainian port of IZMAIL (ETA 03-29 23:00), with considerable AIS dark periods through transit of Aegean and Sea of Marmara. Makes brief stop in ISTANBUL, departing 03-29 16:25 going AIS dark through Black Sea until approach of Danube at approx 03-31 00:01, tracking cuts off at 03-31 12:22 with approach to Izmail, arrival logged at 04-04 07:28, ATD at 04-07 09:47. Arrival at Romanian port of TULCEA at 04-08 03:42, departing 04-08 04:07. Arrives at SULINA at 04-08 07:50, departing 04-08 08:51. Stops in Istanbul at 04-09 17:30, departs 04-09 18:51. Next destination: CARTAGENA, ETA 04-17 09:00. Frequent decelerations to less than 1 knot in Aegean on April 9-10. Heads NW into Ionian Sea on 03-12 before changing course towards Malta on 03-13, in the East vicinity of which it stops from approx. 04-14 00:00 to 06:00 before proceeding to Cartagena, arriving at 04-18 09:51, departing 04-18 17:16, arriving again at 04-19 02:11 (note: there is a glitch with the AIS playback at 04-19 02:10 to 02:11 – it traverses the Punta de los Aguilones and lands into port), then departing 04-19 03:59, at 04:13 passing within approx. 1500 meters of the Poet Qabil en route to the port of BILBAO, ETA 04-24 06:00. Irregular AIS data – going dark and wobbling directional pings – after passing through Strait of Gibraltar, near Cadiz; AIS data resumes as it passes along the coast of Portugal.

VesselFinder.com departure times for Armada Fair:

Apr 19, 2016, 03:03 UTC – ESCOMBRERAS, SPAIN
Apr 08, 2016, 08:04 UTC – SULINA (PORT ET ZONE FRANCHE), ROMANIA
Mar 25, 2016, 01:04 UTC – MERSIN, TURKEY
Mar 17, 2016, 10:44 UTC – TUNIS, TUNISIA
Feb 29, 2016, 17:19 UTC – NANTES, FRANCE
Feb 28, 2016, 15:00 UTC – NANTES, FRANCE
Feb 28, 2016, 03:04 UTC – DONGES, FRANCE
Feb 26, 2016, 10:04 UTC – BREST, FRANCE
Feb 15, 2016, 23:00 UTC – BILBAO, SPAIN
.
Here are a few stories that perhaps correlate with BMZ Group activities…
Several ships among the BMZ Group fleet have been frequently stopping in southern Spain:
The Shovket Alekperov stopped in the nearby Russian port of Novorossiysk on March 24-27:
The Poet Qabil passed through the Kiel Canal on Feb. 18:
There have been several stops in the Spanish port of Ceuta, opposite Gibraltar on the N. African coast:
Shovket Alekperov, Mecid Aslanov, and Armada Fair was present in Black Sea during “Deniz Yildizi” Turkish naval exercises of March 28 -April 5…
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Editor’s note: we are experiencing technical difficulties with inconsistent html code on WordPress.
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