07 May 2007




Diary Dates



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Hello from the Galapagos

Academy Bay   .
This week's newsletter is coming to you from the Galapagos, where Blackwattle has just arrived into Academy Bay on the Island of Santa Cruz.

It's a quaint seaside town, cobbled streets, nothing garish, pretty even, but with some extraordinary differences. There are seals swimming between the boats and lazing on black volcanic rocks, and all around us a great profusion of seabirds: pelicans, frigates and others, gliding, hunting, dropping vertically at incredible speed into the water. We can't wait to get the boat maintenance issues over to go exploring.

It's whale season again, and talking about big things that can go bump in the night, by popular request in this issue is the first of a four part series on 'Container Ships and the Cruising Sailor'- important reading for all who venture into the ocean. There's lots of other news – Skype, Earthrace's latest, the success of the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show, even news about better weather radar, and the latest update on Queensland's ghost yacht mystery.

British yachtsman Tony Bullimore reported early today that the 40-50knot winds that gave his 102ft catamaran Doha such a battering over the past 2 days, have dropped to a more manageable 25-30 knots.

While Bullimore is just starting, read about Australian yachtsman Ken Gourlay who's just finished setting an Australian record, and circumnavigator Donna Lange, whose greatest contribution to sailing is that she is an inspiration in having succeeded to act out her dream. Sadly, the solo circumnavigation dream is broken for a 77 year old Japanese sailor who has been rescued off the coast of Tasmania.

ARC goes on to bigger and bigger successes, having signed up 200 entries for the 2007 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers more than six months before the departure.

...and of course there's the latest news on Blackwattle's journey, along with a little nonsense as she crosses the equator, after four years in the Northern Hemisphere, really homeward bound at last!

Read on, have a great week, and

Sail Safe


By Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor



Tasmania’s Ken Gourlay breaks RTW record
By Al Constable & W.M. Griffiths,
Gourlay has unofficially broken the Australian record for circumnavigating the globe solo, non-stop and unassisted, by around 24 hours.... [more]


Improved weather radar - Australian roll-out
By Al Constable,
Weather radar images from the Bureau of Meteorology are increasing in usefulness for the marine community. The BOM's radar network display is being further improved with people now able to select additional map and topographical backgrounds in South East Queensland and in Adelaide, as part of a national upgrade.... [more]


Container Ships and the Cruising Sailor – Part 1
By Sail-World Cruising/Richard Chesher,
It’s just after a chilli lunch in the cockpit. The skipper is sitting next to the companionway looking aft. His friend and crewmate is sitting on the starboard cockpit seat – it’s his watch - looking into space. They are distracted by the fact that the visiting wife is seasick, and the two wives have just gone below. The skipper is looking out to starboard, past his friend, at the gently curving horizon. Then it happens.... [more]


She sailed ’round the world, and found herself
By Alex Kuffner, The Providence Journal,
Over 17 months and across 31,000 nautical miles, Donna Lange sailed the world in search of something. Peace. Understanding. It’s hard for her to describe what she was looking for. Whatever it may be, she found it in the midst of a storm.... [more]


Sanctuary Cove Show sets exhibitor record
By Kate Duryea,
The 19th annual event is now the largest marine display in the southern hemisphere with more than 4km of on-water marina displays plus pavilions and open-air exhibits. The Show is staged at Sanctuary Cove from Thursday, May 24 to Sunday, May 27.... [more]


Fleet grows for the second Dent to Dunk Rally
By John Graham,
The Rally features stops at seven mainland and island resorts and anchorages, over the course length of approximately 240 nautical miles, to finish at Keith Williams’ Port Hinchinbrook. The Rally fleet will anchor overnight at Cape Richards Wilderness lodge on Hinchinbrook Is, (recently acquired by Keith Williams) and Magnetic, Orpheus and Dunk Islands. The mainland anchorages include Cape Gloucester Eco resort and Cape Upstart where a day fishing or crabbing or just relaxing, will be enjoyed by all.... [more]


Injured Australians rescued from Southern Ocean
By Rob Kothe,
The search for an Australian sailor missing in the Southern Ocean will resume this morning, after South African rescuers successfully plucked his injured shipmates from the dismasted Swan 57 Cowrie Dancer.... [more]

77 year old Japanese RTW sailor rescued
By Rob Kothe,
A Police rescue helicopter has winched a 77-year-old Japanese sailor from the ocean off south-west Tasmania after he abandonned his world record attempt.... [more]


Skype for the Cruising Sailor
By Nancy Knudsen,
‘How long has this been going on?’ that’s what a cruising friend said to me recently when I showed her my Skype set-up. I had to admit I didn’t know the answer to that, but it certainly must be every cruising sailor’s dream.... [more]


Unravelling the mystery of Knots
By Rod Chapman,
The Adelaide-based Academy of Maritime Training is set to expand its range with its latest title, Knots, Bends & Splices. The DVD examines 12 knots, three bends, six hitches and five splices, the latter covering both rope to chain and braided rope to wire – a total of 30 examples in all, which will stand your sailing in good stead for years to come.... [more]


Simrad’s interactive exhibit at boat shows
By Ben Sandman,
The massive Simrad product range will be displayed as if it’s installed on a real vessel, with flush-mounted autopilot and wind instrument panels, right through to various radar units fitted to a replica bridge tower – all functioning in simulation mode for show patrons to discover their internationally-renowned power and precision.... [more]


‘Life at the Extreme: the Volvo Ocean Race'
By Helen Hopcroft,
As soon as the book, ‘Life at the Extreme’, entered my household there was a fight about who got to read it first. My editor had warned me that this was going to happen. ‘It’s a boy’s book’ Rob Kothe said as he passed the handsome hardback edition to me. ‘You’ll probably find that your husband won’t put it down.’... [more]

Aussie sailor missing from yacht off South Africa
By Sail-World,
One sailor has been washed overboard and the mast of the Australian yacht, Cowrie Dancer broken, in a fierce storm in the Southern Ocean, approximately 750 miles off Port Elizabeth, South Africa.... [more]


NSW Cruising Ports
By Ocean Magazine,
The NSW coastline is well known for its famous beaches, world-class fishing, diving and its pristine marine habitat. It has both a temperate and sub tropical climate and has a thriving fishing and aquaculture industry.... [more]


Earthrace heads for Singapore
By Rob Kothe,
The bio-diesel fuelled 78 footer trimaran Earthrace left Palau yesterday bound for Singapore. She is now less than 1000 miles from the half way point in her round the world voyage.... [more]

ARC 2007 - World Cruising Club signs 200th entry
By Peta Stuart-Hunt,
Whilst the ARC does not commence until November, World Cruising Club's sister event, ARC Europe is about to start from two locations on the western side of the Atlantic. Timed to coincide with the end of the Caribbean cruising season, two separate groups of yachts will set off on 11 May - one from Antigua and another from St.Augustine, Florida, to rendezvous at the mid-Atlantic island of Bermuda.... [more]


Blackwattle's Double sighting - Whale and King Neptune
By Nancy Knudsen,
When I hear the first huge breathy sigh, it's very loud behind me. I swing startled to the direction of the noise, and there she is, quietly, as if she had always been there, just 20 metres off the port stern. A whale. Part of a whale. The long, so long curve of the back is dark grey shiny as it arcs gently out of the water.... [more]



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