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Tall ship sinking - the question that will linger...

Concordia - so many questions, but only one has wider ramifications  West Island College Class Afloat
QUESTIONS about the sinking of the Concordia, the floating classroom tallship that sank in waters off Brazil this week – but with all 64 on board rescued safely - will go on for a long time.

There will be questions about the microburst explanation by the Captain, questions about why the rescue was so delayed, and questions about the safety gear and processes aboard the sailing vessel.

However, the question that will have the most ramifications into the future will be the question of the righting moment of tall ships in general. The righting moment of a yacht – its stability under pressure from wind - is already high on the priority list for the organisers of yacht races.

In the days when tall ships commanded the seas they were most often used for cargo, and their stability aided by the weight of the cargo. Many tall ships were lost with all hands and no-one to tell the tale, and it wasn't always because they hit rocks. The sinking of the German tallship Pamir back in 1957 caused some serious thinking about stability, but the Pamir, whose cargo shifted, was overwhelmed in a hurricane, not merely rough weather.

I anticipate that we will be hearing for a long time about the sinking of the Concordia, but the fact that there was no loss of life this week is to be celebrated for all its reasons.

There's a wonderful smorgasbord of news and articles again – both 16-year-olds solo circumnavigating the world are sailing well and ticking off their milestones; there are a couple of good products introduced; cruising sailor Lynn Fitzpatrick reports from Haiti, where she went with tons of sails for the making of tents; and we report on one of the great cruising opportunities that doesn't need a single sail.

And there's much much more too, so browse down the headlines to find the subjects that interest you.

Sweet sailing!


Nancy Knudsen, Editor



Microburst blamed for sinking of tall ship Concordia, all 64 rescued
Sail-World Cruising,
48 students and the 16 professional crew and teachers from the Concordia, which sank 300 miles off the coast of Brazil, have been rescued successfully. The story of their rescue might be worthy of a scene in a novel, but it's also a good example of well-trained sailors.... [more]
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Abby Sunderland over the equator, Jessica Watson at Cape Agulhas
Nancy Knudsen,
Latest Photos from the ocean: Teen solo sailors Abby Sunderland and Jessica Watson have each reached a milestone in their voyages this week. Abby has crossed into the Southern Hemisphere, and Jessica is crossing into the Indian Ocean.... [more]
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The Gathering of the Swans - on again in the British Virgins
Cailah Leask,
The annual ClubSwan Caribbean Rendezvous is set to take place at the Bitter End Yacht Club (BEYC), British Virgin Islands, 15 – 20 March 2010. The Rendezvous fleet will sail around the spectacular British Virgin Islands taking in the outstanding scenery and natural ambience the area is famous for.... [more]
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'The Great Loop' - 7,500 miles cruising and not one sail
Lisa Mylchreest,
It's usually not a voyage by sail but the camaraderie is the same. It's not a rally, but there's lots of help from fellow cruisers. It's called a circumnavigation but it doesn't encircle anything. It's a journey that covers up to 7,500 miles of water, yet it's reputed to be the safest voyage in the world. It's called 'The Great Loop'.... [more]
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Thieves, Bureaucrats, Politicians and the Needy in Haiti
Lynn Fitzpatrick,
The moment I set foot on land the chaos would start. Something as simple and beneficent as delivering disaster relief supplies to people in need, proved to be difficult beyond belief. At every turn in Haiti, there is a thief.... [more]
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BoatU.S. EPIRB rental great for USA boaters - and getting better
Sail-World Cruising,
A rental program for EPIRB's from the Boat Owner's Association of the USA has been benefiting American boaters to the tune of 62 lives saved over the last 14 years. Now the system, which could well be copied by other sailing nations of the world, is getting better, with GPS enabled models.... [more]
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Product of the Week: Yacht Sentinel (Don't let this happen to you!)
Sail-World Cruising,
Our boats are commonly the second largest investment we make after our house. Yet many of us rely on good fortune, rather than good planning, for our prized possession to stay anchored and above water. It could sink, it could be robbed, it could be stolen - but not with a Yacht Sentinel.... [more]
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NATO Commander warns off seafarers from the Gulf of Aden
Sail-World Cruising,
Yachts are advised not to enter the Gulf of Aden at all, but Admiral Sir Trevor Soar has warned the maritime world against 'complacency' because of the reduction in the number of successful pirate attacks... [more]
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America's Cup - a waste of time, or will I benefit?
Sail-World/Aaron Kuriloff,
Was the America's Cup a waste of time? Years of wrangling and then just two races? Were you 'over it' by the time od the tenth court visit? Aaron Kuriloff suggests that cruising sailors might benefit in the future from the extravagances of the lead up to the race:... [more]
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Marine reserves mend food chains, link by link
CSIRO,
Conservation managers need to take a long-term view when assessing the value of marine protected areas, according to a paper in today's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.... [more]
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A rally reborn, and open now: Darwin to Dili Rally
Nancy Knudsen,
A rally that was begun as an annual rally in 1973, found instant success for both international circumnavigators and local boats, then disappeared a couple of years later when political upheaval overtook the region, is about to be reborn. Timor Leste is about to reintroduce the Darwin to Dili Rally, to coincide with the flood of yachts that depart Darwin around July bound for South East Asia.... [more]
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Another pirate attack in Venezuelan waters
Des Ryan,
Cruising sailors are attempting to spread the word on pirate attacks in Venezuelan waters, and complain that the Yacht Services Association of Trinidad and Tobago are not communicating with cruisers about the security situation. A piracy attack on SV Triton that is only now coming to light was reported by cruising sailor Dennis Pelletier on SV Sweet Dreams:... [more]
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2010 Ports of the World - out now
Sail-World Cruising,
As a cruising sailor, you'll already know the importance of accurate, up-to-date information. But if you are going further afield than your local cruising ground, a well-found yacht library is a great boon. For instance, cruising and marina guides are one thing, but do you know where to find key contact details for the world's commercial port facilities and services?... [more]
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Ady Gil's Bethune boarding of Shonan Maru 2 not illegal at law
WcP.Observer,
The whalers decried the boarding as illegal. However, Donald Rothwell, a professor of international and maritime law at the Australian National University, said Bethune's boarding was not illegal under international law unless he planned to do harm to the crew or imperil the safety of the Shonan Maru 2. Merely making a demand or presenting a letter and a bill did not constitute terrorism or piracy... [more]
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Product of the Week: Ultra Solar,green antifouling without shore power
Tina Mansell/Sail-World Cruising,
Maybe you already know about ultrasonic antifouling. For the health of the water where you sail, you'd like to use ultrasonic antifouling. However, you're not in a marina and can't connect to shore power. Now Ultrasonic Antifouling has the answer. 'But anyway,' you might be saying if you haven't encountered it, 'what is ultrasonic antifouling, how does it work and why should I use it?'... [more]
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WHOI Team finds subtropical waters flushing through Greenland fjord
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),
Waters from warmer latitudes — or subtropical waters — are reaching Greenland's glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team of researchers led by Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)... [more]
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Glowfast Cruising Series – Just as bright, half the price
Brita Fowler,
At Glowfast we're always working on making our products better, brighter, more durable and of course more cost effective which is why we're thrilled to announce the release of Glowfast Luminous Draft Stripes – Cruising Series. The Cruising Series will be a permanent addition to our range offering the same high quality glow for half the price of the original.... [more]
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