25 Mar 2010                          If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE                To respond to this email CLICK HERE




















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Life as it happens on the oceans of the world

Plastiki departs from San Francisco, March 2010 - (Photo Catherine Sparkes)  
The telling of news for sailors is always a rich experience for the writer - the humour, the tragedies, the practical, wild tales of the adventurers, the traditions, the quirks, the environmental concerns, the new innovations, the heroes - and the cruising tales of those who've escaped the rat race and run away to sea.

This week is no different. Over in San Francisco, the Plastiki departed this week for Sydney – a boat made of 12,500 plastic bottles. Banking family heir David de Rothschild is trying to draw attention to the plight of the world's oceans – it's a bizarre way to do it, and let's hope that it's not David and his crew of experienced sailors that end up in a 'plight'.

How can a yacht vanish during a short coastal sail? No debris, no squeak from an EPIRB, a fruitless grid search by planes and helicopters, no sign from ocean sweeps by satellites. Read the mystifying account which has left the family and friends of South African Paul Janse Van Rensburg distraught after his disappearance off the New Zealand coast. It's reminiscent of the disappearance of the legendary Silicone Valley identity Jim Gray off the coast of San Francisco in 2007 – he had only gone for an afternoon sail and no trace was ever found. We'll all pray for a better end to this story.

There's the news of a new rally from Darwin to Indonesia, a new twist to the sock-burning ritual in Annapolis this year, some good ways to 'think green' when the time for anti-fouling rolls around, and an extraordinary report that the pirates have given the kidnapped cruising sailor Rachel Chandler a gun, 'to protect herself'.

Then there's the account of some unlikely heroes who saved the lives of a couple of yachties in horrendous conditions; an update on the teen solo sailors – now there's news that the Dutch teenager Laura Dekker is definitely planning to depart around July in a newly acquired boat; and more tales still from the oceans of the world.

Browse through the headlines to find the stories that interest you, and...

Sweet sailing!


Nancy Knudsen, Editor



Mariner warning for drifting yacht Pacific Ocean NE of New Zealand
Sail-World Cruising,
Seven days ago the yacht Tafadzwa left New Zealand for a short sail south off eastern coast of the north island of New Zealand. In spite of an intensive search and the EPIRBs on board, no sign of the yacht has been seen since. Authorities now warn that one possibility is that the vanished yacht is sailing with no-one at the helm, north east away from New Zealand into the vast waters of the Pacific... [more]
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Teen sailor girls - now there's one more...
Nancy Knudsen,
While two sixteen-year-old girls circumnavigators sail the occasional gale - Australian Jessica Watson half way across the Indian Ocean and on the home run, and Californian Abby Sunderland, in the 40's in the Pacific Ocean and heading for Cape Horn - another still younger teenager is preparing for her own circumnavigation.... [more]
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'Call of nature' responsible for MOB death
Nicole Harnishfeger, Inquirer/Sail-World,
An overnight sail, a step in the dark onto the deck to answer the call of nature, no tether, a life lost, children orphaned and a wife widowed. Going on deck at night without a tether has caused countless previous tragedies, and has now claimed another life. Jo Hemingway, 36, father of two, disappeared from his 23ft Maritime boat as the family were on an overnight sail in Massachusetts in the USA... [more]
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Class40 skipper onboard David de Rothschild's Plastiki
Oliver Dewar,
David Thomson, who raced as co-skipper aboard Class40 Mowgli in the 2008-09 Portimão Global Ocean Race and is signed up to race the 2011-12 Global Ocean Race with Alex Alley, is currently undertaking another extraordinary high-seas adventure. On Saturday 20th March, he sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge and out of San Francisco Bay as co-skipper aboard the trans-Pacific expedition vessel Plastik... [more]
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The Spirit of Swan - Caribbean Rendezvous
Carolyn Lashmar,
Little could the Finnish craftsmen of boats who worked on the first Swan back in 1967 have imagined the future of this iconic quality yacht in world sailing. The latest Gathering of the Swans has just been completed again in the British Virgins.... [more]
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Sailors' Sock-Burning turns to Sock-Giving
Rob Kasper,Baltimore Sun/Sail-World Cruising,
In the spring tradition of the USA's sailing-mad Annapolis, a sock-burning practice which was initiated in the late 1980s by Bob Turner this year has a different, more gentle slant. Some sailors decided, instead of burning their socks, they would donate them to the poor and homeless.... [more]
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Adult Educational Sail aboard the Spirit of South Carolina tall ship
South Carolina Maritime Foundation,
The South Carolina Maritime Foundation's is hosting an educational program focusing on marine science and maritime history for up to 40 adults aboard the Spirit of South Carolina tall ship.... [more]
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A look aboard the new JP54: Above decks a one sided yacht!
Richard Gladwell,
The JP54 is based on the technology developed for high speed short handers of around 60ft in length. She is the brainchild of Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) a renowned short handed racer, most recently of Paprec Virbac 2 and the Vendee Globe fame. There are many innovative feature above deck - and a revolving galley and navigation station below.... [more]
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62 yachts register for Sail Banda 2010
Antara News,
Sail Indonesia 2010 will depart from Darwin on July 24, and during the following 3 months the participants are invited to participate in a series of Cultural Festivals at the different stopovers across Indonesia on the islands of Timor, Banda, Ambon, Buton, Lembata, Wakatobi, Flores, Sulawesi, Bali, Java, Borneo, Belitung and finally on to Batam or Bintan just south of Singapore.... [more]
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Keeping butts out of the water: Boaters do their part
BoatU.S./Sail-World,
Should the sea be an ashtray? Surprisingly, cigarette butts were the most common item on the world's beaches at the 2009 International Coastal Cleanup - there's a good chance they all didn't get there by careless sunbathers. When a cigarette butt is discarded at a marina, there is a fair chance it will find its way into the water, and the USA's boat owners' association is doing something about it... [more]
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Antifouling: More than one way to think green
Canadian Yachting,
These days when it comes to antifouling paints we need to consider not just the cost to ourselves, but also the cost to the environment. With a little education, and as responsible yachties, we can make both a green and a cost-effective decision for our antifouling paint.... [more]
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Canadians safe after grounding in the Galapagos
Sail-World Round-up,
Sixteen Canadians and eight Ecuadorean crew members were rescued from a yacht that ran aground in the Galapagos Islands. No injuries were reported in the Wednesday evening rescue by navy and national park vessels, which the 140-foot (46-metre) yacht's operator described as 'safe and orderly.'... [more]
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Innovative Product of the Week: Fender Tender
Sail-World Cruising,
Having to move fenders quickly is often necessary when manoeuvering a yacht in close quarters, and this product is particularly convenient if you have stainless steel rails for life lines. So now, to move, adjust and re-secure fenders, there's a convenient, cost-effective solution, and the boat will also look better and tidier than having knots with messy line endings.... [more]
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Pirate on Chandlers: 'No freedom, but we've given her a gun'
Sail-World Cruising/Daily Mail,
In new interview with the Somali pirate gang who are holding kidnapped cruising sailors Paul and Rachel Chandler for ransom, spokesman Ali Gedow has told Britain's Daily Mail 'We don't care about mercy, we just want the money.' This came after hopes had been raised that the Chandlers would be freed 'within a fortnight'. He also confirmed that they had given Mrs Chandler a gun to protect herself.... [more]
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Sailing to the Andamans - oceans of flat water
Ley Langford,
I remember when we announced to our families that we were buying a yacht, my brother in law Peter said 'Ley, you're in love with flat water sailing - wait until you find out what it is really like out there!' Eventually I did ...... [more]
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Fiji cyclone Tomas claims yacht: Cruise ship heroes save yacht's crew
Des Ryan,
While Cyclone Tomas was ravagiing Fiji this week, crew members of a local cruise ship were battling 125 knot winds and raging seas to save the owner of a capsized yacht trapped below deck.... [more]
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Plastiki - she's off, San Francisco to Sydney
Carl Nolte, SFGate/Sail-World Cruising,
After years of planning and preparation, the boat built of 12,500 plastic bottles was set to sail this morning from the Sausalito Yacht Harbour in San Francisco on its Pacific crossing adventure, to end up in Sydney.... [more]
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Joint Australian New Zealand Antarctic whale expedition returns
Commonwealth of Australia,
The world's largest, non-lethal whale research expedition has returned from Antarctic waters with a range of new information that will help inform future marine mammal conservation.... [more]
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ISAF Chief warns yachts against the Gulf of Aden
Nancy Knudsen,
In a quick response to Sail-World Cruising's story of the 20 yachts which last week successfully transited the pirate riddled Gulf of Aden, an ISAF Chief has warned that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has forecast that piracy is expected to worsen, with an increasing involvement of the feared Islamist terrorist faction the Al Shabab.... [more]
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Internet Images 101 for Events, Sponsors and Event Photographers
Brendan Maxwell - TetraMedia,
Sailing is one of those sports which is much more followed on the Internet, than in magazines, newspapers or on television. It is therefore vital that marine events and marine industry professionals pay careful attention to the needs of Internet consumers.... [more]
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Search called off for missing South African sailor in New Zealand
Kiri Gillespie, Gisborne Herald/Sail-World,
Mystery surrounds the search for a sailor missing off East Cape on the North Island of New Zealand. Solo sailor Paul Van Rensburg has not been sighted since leaving Tauranga in his 11 metre yacht Tafadzwa heading for Gisborne last Friday 12th March. He is well overdue as the trip normally takes 32 - 36 hours, but none of his emergency apparatus has been set off.... [more]
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