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 18 Aug 2011
 


15-year-old solo sailor in for some sleepless nights

Laura Dekker on her Jeanneau Ginfizz ketch Guppy -heading for "the labyrinth"  .
Single-handed sailor Laura Dekker, 15 years old and with plenty of spirit, is sailing her bright red ketch into one of the most challenging parts of her round-world voyage. At times when the water is deep, it's too remote for fishing boats and an AIS will warn of ships, it's possible for the solo sailor to have a good sleep every now and then.

But in front of Laura now lie many islands and reefs as she nears the coast of northern Australia, heading for the tip of Cape York. Captain Cook memorably described this area as 'a labyrinth' of coral, and nothing much has changed in the intervening 241 years. Be vigilant Laura!


There's always something to be amazed at in the world of the cruising sailor – this week the first ever 'Sail-in' cinema was patronised by more than 100 yachts, and the ultimate in 'toys for the boys' was introduced to the market – an underwater Dive Scooter for those who don't care to swim but want to examine the world underwater. You'd have to have quite a large yacht, however, to stow one of these on the aft deck.

John Jamieson (Captain John) reminds us what a handy knot the rolling hitch is; Grant Headifen urges us all to practise heaving-to when there's no emergency, while imparting some heaving-to tricks; and Ley and Neil Langford share with us the punishment meted out to them when they broke the cardinal sailor's rule of never leaving port on a Friday!

Many other articles and stories too to keep you amused, entertained or up to date with what's going on in the sailing world, so browse down the headlines to see what catches your interest.

Sweet sailing!


Nancy Knudsen, Editor



Skipper rescued by helicopter after rogue wave sends him overboard
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
The experienced sailor had a life jacket on (full marks), but no tether, when a rogue wave sent him overboard this week, leaving an untrained sailor as the only person onboard. This is a lesson in minimal training for casual sailors, and the value of being tethered even when the weather is fair... [more]
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Compact inexpensive send/receive satellite communicator turning heads
Charlie Conley/Sail-World Cruising,
An inexpensive satellite communicator not on the market yet is earning awards and turning heads in the USA. The Iridium-based inReach, a small unit that will send and receive text messages has just won major awards from both Outside Magazine and GearJunkie.com. It could be very applicable for any sailor going out of reach of mobile phone coverage - receiving is the big breakthrough.... [more]
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Balvenie's red-letter-day: Goodbye to the Med
Amanda Church and Mark Farrell.,
New Zealander cruising couple Amanda Church and Mark Farrell continue to cruise in their 47ft fractional rigged sloop Balvenie, in which they have already covered over 25,00nautical miles. They have been cruising in the Mediterranean, but the day has finally come...... [more]
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Dutch solo sailor Laura Dekker heads for Australian coral reefs
Nancy Knudsen,
It's coming up to a year since Dutch solo sailor Laura Dekker, now 15, left Gibraltar on her planned circumnavigation on 21st August 2010. She is now more than half way round the world, heading for the labyrinth of coral reefs that surround the northern coastline of Australia. She left Vanuatu on the 8th August, heading for the northern Australian city of Darwin.... [more]
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Heaving-to: a simple skill that needs practice
Grant Headifen, Nauticed,
Have you ever had to heave-to? If your answer is 'yes', then you will have been glad that you had practiced first. If the answer is 'no', now is the time to practice, BEFORE the need arises. Here Nauticed's Grant Headifen offers some great hints about the subject:... [more]
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Foreign yachts fined in Europe for 'wrong' fuel
Lucy Chabot Reed, The Triton/Sail-World Cruising,
Admittedly they were megayachts, but the warning is clear for all cruising sailors are headed for Europe after being in America, even for a short time. Two megayachts have been boarded and fined thousands of dollars by German customs officers in Kiel for having red-tinted fuel in their tanks.... [more]
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Never leave port on a Friday - a sad tale from Crystal Blues
Neil and Ley Langford,
Most of the time Sail-World's real-life tales from cruising sailors are of dreamy destinations, stimulating land adventures, stunning sunsets and good times with other cruising sailors. However, just to balance the equation, the following story may help to bring some reality to the dream. Neil and Ley Langford have been cruising for many years, with their fair share of exotica, but not this time:... [more]
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A world first at Cowes - the Sail-in Cinema
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
First there were grand picture theatres, then there were drive-ins, then came the era of watch-it-at-home, and it seemed as though the days of the movie house were over. However, giant screens and 3D arrived to bring the movie industry back from the dead - but that was all long before a new world first which has just taken place - a Sail-in Cinema.... [more]
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An ultimate gizmo - the AS2 Underwater Dive Scooter!
Lee Mylchreest,
At Sail-World Cruising we like to bring you up-to-date with all the latest gizmos, even if you wouldn't have a use for them immediately. I know there will be some cruising sailors reading this who may NEVER opt for one of these, but when you next see it on the high seas, you can say 'We heard about it on Sail-World.' It's the AS2 Underwater Dive Scooter!... [more]
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Aussie Skipper required for High Adventure
Graham Hughes,
Hi, my name is Graham Hughes. I'm currently in the midst of a rather epic challenge – one that I hope you might be interested in joining me in: I'm trying to step foot in every country in the world, and attempting to do so without flying. I'm doing this to raise funds and awareness for the international charity WaterAid.... [more]
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The No.1 Most Important Hitch for Sailing and How to Use It!
John Jamieson,
Master rigger and author Brion Toss calls the rolling hitch the single most 'ridiculously underused' nautical knot today. And for good reason... Not many knots can be tied or untied under strain or loosened when wet, or will hold without slipping on a wet rail or spa r- or save your life when other less worthy knots might give way. Check out this list of uses for the super reliable rolling hitch... [more]
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Sailor set to inspire us all with solo challenge
Lee Mylchreest,
There are some stories that are so engaging they are quite inspirational. The story of Dennis Howard is one of them. Dennis is a humble man who is about to take on one of the greatest challenges in the world - to sail around the world solo in a 20ft boat. The difference is that Dennis Howard, 62-year-old San Diego resident, has only 7% vision and is legally blind... [more]
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Phuket ready to launch one-stop-shop online check-in for yachts
Phuket Gazette,
Karokot Khotcharit, a SIPA systems analyst, explained that the system will reduce the time it takes for yacht owners to submit forms to Immigration, Customs and the Marine Department. 'It combines three forms into a single form. Yacht owners can fill in their information in advance via the internet before they reach – or leave – Phuket,' Mr Karokot said.... [more]
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