24 Jun 2007






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Oz Deja Vu in the Pacific

Mary Constance in the Pacific setting sun  BW Media
Six months ago, in the middle of an Atlantic Ocean crossing, Australian boat Mary Constance broke first one lower shroud, then the other. Fortuitously, within a hundred miles of them, were two yachts who were able to assist – Meitli, a Swiss yacht, who were able to offer fuel, and we on Blackwattle, who happened to have a spare shroud on board. None of the three yachts were acquainted with each other at the time.

Two weeks ago, crossing the Pacific, Blackwattle found herself on emergency power generation, but without enough petrol to power us for the balance of the journey. There were just two boats within VHF range at the time. Incredibly, they were, you guessed it, Mary Constance and Meitli. After some 2000 miles of sailing independently towards the Marquesas, and having left on different days, the two came to our assistance. Mary Constance was able to rendezvous to transfer petrol to us, with Meitli standing by in case we dropped the jerry cans in the process.

We all then went our separate ways with mutually shared goose bumps.

The WHITSUNDAYS are going to take on a new exciting look with Bob Oatley's plans for a superyacht regatta, there will the first taste of it at this August's Audi Race Week.

What's not too exciting is the report from the James Cook University in Townsville that tells of the threat to reef sharks because of over-fishing.

If you are thinking of getting out of the cold and chartering a boat this winter, think about Sunsail's incredible offer of 30% off catamarans during Race Week in August.

Right now is the window of opportunity for cruising sailors to make the Pacific Crossing. We all have to make it out of the cyclone belt before the cyclone season.

This week several stories from those crossing – the challenges for Wanderlust who seems to have her sails in a pickle, she is a brand new Hunter 49 aiming to get to Sydney International Boat Show and for Aussie boat Bali Hai who is stuck in Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas with a serious engine problem.

Coincidentally Bali Hai is just a boat length or two from Blackwattle. Having been helped into the anchorage by some angelic Samaritans, we are also waiting for repairs to allow us to continue our crossing.

Several solo adventurers also in the news this week – Dee Caffari deserves her MBE, Tony Bullimore is again looking for sponsors, and great news for Adrian Flanagan, the would-be north south solo circumnavigator, who had to leave his yacht last year in Alaska for the winter.

Lots of sage advice from authorities too – the Top Ten Tips for boating safety, and all the best advice from an insurer about preparing for hurricanes. No matter how many years you've been sailing and caring for boats, there just might be one tip that's useful!

And plenty of other news, information about new technological developments and entertaining tales from many corners of the world

So read on, enjoy, and

Sail Safe.


By Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor



Blackwattle in Nuku Hiva - with a little help
By Nancy Knudsen,
As we approach Nuku Hiva, with no working engine, no pole to turn our yankee into a viable downwind sail, and about 5 knots of wind, we hear from yacht Chatti, whom we first met in Gibraltar many months ago, on the VHF.... [more]


30% off Sunsail catamarans during Audi Race Week
By Helen Hopcroft,
Sunsail has announced a 30% discount on its fleet of Hamilton Island charter catamarans during Audi Race Week, 17-26th August. With boats ranging from a Lagoon 38 to a Sunsail 47, it’s the perfect time for a relaxing cruise around the beautiful Whitsunday islands. However if high speed fun and excitement is more your thing, Sunsail’s fleet of monohulls will be available for chartering as race boats during Race Week.... [more]


Environment Friendly Fuel Cell - Sailing Trials
By Cruising Editor,
Just when we on Blackwattle have decided that the best idea is to go Simple Simple Simple.... Just when we have decided we don't want any more problems in remote areas where you can't get complicated systems fixed...... Just when we have come to the conclusion that even in sophisticated sailing areas of the world the level of installation expertise out there is suspect........ [more]


Dylan and Jim's Surfventure still stalled
By Dylan Gill-Vallance,
I am now anchored in Taiohae bay on the island of Nuka Hiva in the Polynesian Islands. I have been here for around three weeks now, and am destined to stay at least another two weeks due to engine problems. Only a couple of days after pulling into port I got a hole in the head of my engine, the only welder on the island is out of gas and has to send his bottle to Australia to be filled.... [more]


Save the sail - South Pacific: Triple Wrap Part 2
By Mike Harker,
On the plotting chart I had put three waypoint marks near small atolls and islands that were near my route. I wanted to know exactly how close they would be when I passed them following my route from Nuku Hiva to Suwarrow and then Samoa.... [more]


Tahiti Nui Cup October 14 – 26
By Media Services,
The Tahiti Nui Cup October 14 – 26. This famous event is still open – but only just, so if you want to sail among the stunning Leeward Islands of Tahiti, enjoy an island hopping festival of traditional food and entertainment and when the parties are over cruise the turquoise waters of the most beautiful lagoons in the world contact Mariner Boating Holidays now.... [more]


South Pacific: Triple Wrap, Part 1
By Mike Harker,
A 'wrap' on a sail boat can mean three different things according to what is being wrapped. The foresail, either the Jib, Genoa, Staysail or even a Spinnaker, can wrap itself around a shroud or even its own lines or sheets. That can be difficult to undo but it happens a lot in racing, especially when the foresail is up and the boat changes direction from downwind to upwind.... [more]


Win America's Cup History - 2 volume set
By Media Services,
Enter the Sail-World online competition to win a copy of Bob Fisher's An Absorbing Interest. The definitive history of the America's Cup. Its two volumes covers the drama, boat design, personalities and sheer fascination of the America’s Cup.... [more]


Bullimore looks for sponsors
By Rob Kothe,
British sailor Tony Bullimore is looking for new sponsors to keep alive his campaign to set a new round the world record aboard the 102 foot catamaran Doha 2006.His Hobart-based spokesman, John Brierley, said Bullimore was flying to Britain in an attempt to drum up sponsorship deals. 'The next challenge very much hinges on money. If Tony cannot find backers, he will not be going anywhere.'... [more]


Tugs prepare for Pasha Bulker salvage
By Rob Kothe,
The bulk carrier Pasha Bulker grounded near the entrance to Newcastle Harbour on Friday June 8th when she has hit by 8-12 metre seas. One of sixty bulk carriers waiting to load coal from Australia’s major bulk coal seaport, she lifted her anchor and attempted to head seawards when the strongest East Coast Low in 30 years produced huge seas.... [more]


Reef Sharks Threatened by Overfishing
By ARC Centre of Excellence,
William Robbins and colleagues, based at James Cook University and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, found that grey reef shark numbers had already declined to around 3% of unfished levels, and are currently declining so fast that they could collapse to one thousandth of their unfished levels within 20 years if current conditions continue.... [more]


Superyacht Regatta confirmed for Hamilton Island
By Rob Mundle,
Bob Oatley, the owner of the supermaxi Wild Oats XI, has confirmed that he is to establish an annual international superyacht regatta at Hamilton Island, on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.... [more]


Preparing your Boat for a Storm
By Sail-World Cruising,
Seaworthy Magazine, a publication of BoatUS Marine Insurance, has just published the latest advice, based on actual experiences, for securing a boat in preparation for a storm.... [more]


Scope out Simrad - Melbourne Club Marine Boat Show
By Samantha Bennett,
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]


Halyard Marine Wins Award for Engine Silencer
By Powerboat-world,
If you're like many boaters and hate the sound of your boat's engine, there's good news around the corner. Halyard Marine Ltd, a UK manufacturer of marine exhaust systems, has won the Spirit of Innovation Award for its new Resonator Silencer at this year's Seawork exhibition in Southampton.... [more]


Wolverines and Oceanis 523 head north for Winter
By Helen Taylor,
The Wolverines are once more sailing north - Sydney to North Queensland and all ports in between. This time it’s the Wolverines Sail for Kids Tour, designed not just as a concert tour, but also to raise awareness and funds for less fortunate kids along the way... [more]


Boating Safety: The Top Ten Tips
By Carla Ferrara, ACE/Sail-World Cruising,
US based insurance company INAMAR, has once again released their Top Ten Tips for boating safety. While aimed at a US audience, the Tips are still mostly relevant to the Australian community, where similar lifestyle and love of the water makes spending time on a boat a favourite pastime for many Australians.... [more]


The not-Knot that Raised the Alarm
By Cruising Editor,
How good is YOUR knotting ability? The owners of yacht Eos were presumably having a good time, enjoying life in a bed and breakfast at Fishguard in the UK. Little did they know that a RAF rescue helicopter, a Fishguard lifeboat and shore based rescue teams were all involved in a desperate search to save their lives.... [more]


Sir James’ Nerida sunk in Sydney Harbour
By Rob Kothe,
Sir James Hardy’s gaff rigger cutter Nerida sank in Sydney Harbour over the weekend. Nerida won the 1950 Sydney to Hobart yacht race.... [more]


How strong is that wind?
By Peter Edwards,
Sydney weather bureau's chief meteorologist, Rob Webb, warned people to 'stay indoors if you can because it could be quite a dangerous situation' But how strong are those winds?... [more]


Dee Caffari is made an MBE
By Media,
Record-breaking Hampshire solo sailor Dee Caffari was made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. She became the first woman to sail solo non-stop around the world against prevailing winds and currents in 2006... [more]


Gipsy Moth V - Salvaged items bring back memories
By Media Services,
Gipsy Moth V, was the last yacht of Sir Francis Chichester (1901 - 1972), the pioneer aviator, gold prospector, adventurer, navigator, real estate promoter, publisher, author and racing enthusiast.... [more]



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