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 21 Jun 2012

Latest News for the cruising sailor - at home and away

Lord Howe Island - such an alluring destination  .
As racing fleets continue to decline, the slack is picked up by the cruising fraternity, evidenced again by the record fleet for the tenth Lord Howe Island Cruise. Over in the West, organisers are also delighted by the early interest in the Fremantle to Bali Cruise, although, unlike the Lord Howe event, racers are still involved this year.

The announcement about the new Marine Parks around Australia - which will not affect recreational sailors or fishers - has created a storm in the marine industry. Most cruising sailors, who have experience of just what we could lose, are keen for the areas to be protected, but this news magazine contains the opinions of all sides.

Some sad outcomes to report this week, as one Californian sailor, on the last leg of his around-the-world voyage, collided with a whale which sank his boat. He was luckier than his boat, as you will read, but hopes are sadly fading for the two Australians who hit a reef in Tonga after they left the Caribbean this season. It's a curious story, for which there may never be any answers.

It was most interesting that Britain's Maritime Coastguard Agency suggested, after a recent incident, that the sailor should have carried a satphone – no mention of HF radio. Are we seeing the beginning of a seismic shift in in safety advice?

The GFC followed by the Euro crisis is having a devastating effect on the yachting industry in the Med, and for a change on the superyacht industry, which has seemed to keep flourishing in the last few years. Maybe it's time to think about chartering in the Mediterranean...

Our quirky story of the week is about the small cabin runabout which sailed the Pacific on its own but couldn't negotiate the surf on arrival in the USA; there's an adventure offering to circumnavigate Africa in a tall ship with a purpose, the Astrid; boat builders and designers will want to know about the new online Keelchecker, and there's some good advices about how to splice two lines together.

Diving on my anchor - and everyone else's  .. .

One can read plenty about the smart gear you should have when you go cruising, but this week I have confessed to the five pieces of gear – all simple – that I wished I'd known about before I went long range cruising.

Finally, a female sailor who skippers her own sailing dinghy has just celebrated her 90th birthday, and the club gave her a party. Can anyone top that?

Browse down the headlines to see what catches your interest, and...

...Sweet Sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Whale collision sinks boat on final leg of around-world voyage
Nancy Knudsen,
A long range cruising sailor on a 50ft Perry Cutter has been rescued after being hit by a breaching whale off the coast of Mexico, on the final leg of his journey round the world. The collision damaged his steering and caused the boat to start sinking.... [more]
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Hopes fade as searchers fail to find shipwrecked Australian sailors
Sail-World Round-up,
Hopes are fading after searchers combed a Tongan island with no sign of two Australian men missing since their yacht was wrecked last Thursday night.... [more]
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Online keel checker - free until June 2014
Des Ryan,
Are you thinking of building, designing or engineering a boat any time soon? The maritime industry is benefitting from new small craft engineering software, developed by a senior lecturer from the Maritime and Technology Faculty at Southampton Solent University, and, at the moment, free to the user.... [more]
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90-years-young and still skippering her own sailing boat
How old is too old to go sailing? To skipper your own sailboat? There's one Australian woman who might be nearly the oldest sailor in the world to be skippering her own sailing boat.... [more]
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Taxpayers paid $330,000 for hoax rescue call
A hoax call about a yacht explosion earlier this week risked the lives of rescuers, diverted resources, and cost taxpayers at least $330,000, US Coast Guard officials have now revealed.... [more]
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Five bits of gear I wish I'd known about before I left to go cruising
Nancy Knudsen,
Our anchor checked, I swim round the other boats. The CQR's and plough anchors, which most of the charter boats seem to have, are all lying on their side, one point catching lightly into the sand. The boats seem to be held by the mere weight of the anchor and its chain.... [more]
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Miracle boat sails the Pacific, but toppled by surf
Lee Mylchreest,
Next time you are thinking of abandoning ship, think carefully. A 20ft runabout boat has miraculously sailed solo across the Pacific after being apparently sent to sea by the Japanese Tsunami in March 2011, but couldn't survive the surf on a beach in Cape Disappointment State Park, south west of Seattle in the USA... [more]
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Research shows massive reduction in Antarctic Bottom Water volume
New research by teams of Australian and US scientists has found there has been a massive reduction in the amount of Antarctic Bottom Water found off the coast of Antarctica. Scientists estimate there has been as much as a 60 per cent reduction in the volume of Antarctic Bottom Water... [more]
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Superyachts just got 'cheaper' in the Med
Sail-World Cruising,
If you always hankered after chartering a Superyacht in the Mediterranean but found they were too expensive, this could be your year. The crisis in Europe has left many Europeans thinking about more important issues than lounging around in the Med, and the prices are plummeting.... [more]
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Tall Ship Astrid - a circumnavigation of Africa
Sail-World Cruising,
There's nothing finer than the sight of a tall ship with sails flying and the organisers of the Africa-Europe Challenge(AEC) are using a tall ship as their flagship. The Tall Ship Astrid, in what organisers are calling their Promotional Year, will circumnavigate Africa, and have already set out from the charismatic port of Malta. The best news is YOU could join a leg of the voyage.... [more]
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Satphone - to become mandatory for offshore sailors?
Nancy Knudsen,
'For offshore voyages leisure sailors are recommended to carry a satellite form of communication.' These are the words of Britain's Maritime Coastguard Agency. This statement was the final statement at the end of a press release concerning the rescue of a solo sailor in a 22ft sailing boat headed for the Azores this week.... [more]
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Splice of life
Sherry Galey,
So, we needed to have a line spliced. Two lines joined together as one. Bob and I had travelled to Florida from eastern Canada this winter with our two Westies to buy a lightly used Hunter 356. Our plan was to spend a few months sailing the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay while becoming familiar with the boat, equipping her and doing any repairs that were necessary.... [more]
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If seeing is believing, then trying is buying a FLIR (part 2)
John Curnow,
In Part One of ‘If seeing is believing, then trying is buying a FLIR', we got to see just how many devices FLIR can offer all types of mariners for a multitude of tasks. Safety is certainly a primary component of that, but in Part Two, we'll also get to see that as the world of technology marches ever on, there are some things you may have thought infra-red thermal imaging could not take on, let... [more]
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Phone call home triggers search for two yachtsmen missing off Tonga
Sail-World and Maritime NZ,
A second full day of searching has failed to find two men missing since their yacht was wrecked off the island of Late, west of the island of Vava'u, Tonga, on Thursday night. RCCNZ is coordinating the search for an Australian and an Englishman (also an Australian citizen), both in their sixties, who reported that they had run aground and their 50ft Bavaria yacht, Navillus, was breaking up.... [more]
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Search underway for two - English and Australian - shipwrecked sailors
Mailonline/Sail-World Cruising,
A desperate search for two sailors, an Englishman and an Australian, is underway after their yacht the Navillus was wrecked on an island in the Pacific Ocean yesterday.... [more]
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Sabbath laws and 'who will pay' hampers search for missing sailors
Lee Mylchreest,
Tonga's 'sabbatical laws' against Sunday trading and a question about who will pay the fuel bill for the rescue have hampered the ongoing search for two sailors - one British/Australian and one Australian - whose yacht broke up last week on the Tongan Island of Late. (See Sail-World_story)... [more]
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Update: Searchers ashore to start search for wrecked sailors
Sail-World Round-up,
Finally, after delays caused by bureaucracy and three metre swells, 16 searchers, locals familiar with the island terrain, have today been put ashore to make a land-based search of the island of Late, west of Vava'u, Tonga, for two sailors, an Australian and a British Australian, missing since their yacht, Navillus, was wrecked there last Thursday night.... [more]
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Tonga Wrecking: Wednesday - Land search resumes today
A party of nine searchers have spent the night on the island of Late, west of Vava'u, Tonga, with the land-based search continuing for two men missing since their yacht, Navillus, was wrecked last Thursday night.... [more]
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