It's no exaggeration to say we have had a year's disasters in the past month, as all over Australia we have had fires and then tropical cyclones - and both over the Australia Day long weekend.
Not much boating could take place where I am, but ironically, RIBs and rescue boats have been deployed all over Queensland, with the Army's Black Hawk choppers, saving people from their flooded homes from Rockhampton to Brisbane, with the worst around Bundaberg.
Our thoughts are with businesses and residents again mopping up and counting the costs, just two years on from the horrific floods of 2011.
For current weather alerts across Qld and NSW visit www.bom.gov.au. All offshore and navigation warnings are available from http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/campaigns/offshore.html
So, back to the news - there's plenty to pique your interest this week, including a local arm for Peak Sails North America, now operating from Ulladulla NSW and crafting the same quality sails, offering great value for money. Director, Murray Jefferys tells us about the company, its product range and commitment to local customers.
There's an update on boat shows from Melbourne to Miami, plenty of new gear, a consumer initiative called 'On the Water Weekend' by British Marine Federation in the UK aimed at getting people active in all types of watersports, and awesome news about Auckland securing its place as host city for the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The importance the Mayor of Auckland and government of NZ place on sailing and the worth of the VOR broadcast audience and visitors it attracts, for both tourism and business is evident. If only the Councils and administrations in Australia would see the light.
For those planning the pilgrimage to the beautiful Whitsundays this August, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week has announced date changes for its 30th anniversary edition, starting Sat 17 and running til 24 August. Bound to be a biggie, so get your accommodation organised early.
Also, big news for exporters, AIMEX has launched the first full-length online edition of The Australian Marine Export Industry Directory. As well as listings, there are articles on manufacturers and exporters, innovations and new products, as well as update on the industry - all with links and flash player compatible, making it easy to view on any iPhone/android phone. Order your copy or view at www.aimex.asn.au
Wherever you are on this sunburnt and sodden country, in NZ, Asia or beyond, enjoy your time on the water and keep safe!