sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Whatever happened to Sandy Island?
Whatever happened to Sandy Island?

'Sandy Island on an old chart'    .    Click Here to view large photo

Where did Sandy Island go? Captain James Cook is a revered seaman with an unparalleled record of surveying the countries and islands that he visited. He surveyed Sandy Island as between Australia and New Caledonia in the Coral Sea back in 1772. It was also mapped by a British whaler, the Velocity, in 1876. It's been on world charts ever since. But last week, another vessel went to the location and found only deep water.

Sandy Island location - but no more -  .. .  
The island appears on many world maps spanning several hundred years and was supposedly located at 19° 13' 12? S, 159° 55' 48? E. Even Google Maps displayed the island until 26 November 2012, when it was removed.

It was removed because of the reports by some Australian scientists aboard the RV Southern Surveyor who were studying plate tectonics in the area. During the voyage, they noticed a discrepancy between different maps and decided to sail to the supposed location to investigate. The crew found no island and stated their nautical charts showed depths of 1,400 metres (4,600 ft). They found that 'The ocean floor actually didn't ever get shallower than 1,300 meters below the wave base…'

So how could this island, which has been on official charts, not only British, but also German, French, Italian, Japanese, US and Russion charts, have simply disappeared? The short answer, is, of course, that it couldn't.

While no explanation as to why Captain James Cook surveyed an island that is not, and never could have been there, many other islands have also been charted in the past, from such clues as 'a long cloud' or 'breaking waves' indicating the existence of an island. Such islands have been charted, as a precautionary measure, but later found to be non-existent.

What is amazing is that, while the island persisted on charts until this month, this is not the first time that Sandy Island was proclaimed not to exist.

In 2000 a group of radio amateurs headed to the Chesterfield Islands on a so-called DXpedition, hoping to find the remotest dry land possible from which to send a ham radio message.

In order for the Chesterfields to qualify, they scoured its surroundings for land, found Sandy Island on the map, but not where it should be in the ocean. Nobody took much notice of them.

The original report of their expedition does mention that Sandy Island is marked on some maps, but not on others, and quotes a Senior Editor of National Geographic Maps as saying that their cartography is 'hopelessly outdated for this area', and would be updated ‘soon’.

Just in case there are any adventurous cruising sailors out there who would like to test the existence or otherwise of Sandy Island for themselves, be warned. The Chesterfield Islands are an uninhabited archipelago in French territorial waters, west of Sandy Island’s supposed location.

They are a collection of about a dozen islets, some still shifting, and numerous reefs, spread out over an area 75 by 45 miles, but totalling less than 6 sq miles in dry land, and thought to be charted vicariously. These are significant hazards for the cruising sailor, and very likely to be inaccurately charted.


by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104250

9:22 PM Wed 28 Nov 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World







470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander by International 470 Class Association,










































Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,


















2014 Chicago Match Cup - Four go through to quarter finals
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard
ISAF Sailing World Champ - Buckingham finishes with career-best result
America's Cup: Oracle's Larry Ellison to step down as CEO
Classic Yacht Regatta - Sonny takes top classic prize
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham finishes with career best
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 RS:X spots claimed
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Leaderboards shaping up in Santander + Video
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott continues to extend lead
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 7 images by Sailing Energy
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Laser and Radial winner images by Jesus Renedo
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Medal Race images by Sail-World.com
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Dutch dominate Laser and Radial in Santander
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing more than doubles overall lead
J/24 World Championship - Excitement builds for Newport racing
Volvo Ocean Race - Seb Marsset joins Team Alvimedica
Fall Seamanship training opportunities at New York Yacht Club
Rolex Big Boat Series: More images from San Francisco - Final Day
AWT Hatteras Wave Jam action commences on day 3
Rolex Big Boat Series: Images from San Francisco - Final Day
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Watch medal races live here   
Hobie 16 Open North American Championships and Pan Am Games qualifier   
ISAF Sailing World Championship - Videos from Santander   
ISAF Sailing Worlds: Buckingham into Medal Race, 470's stay consistent   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Vadlau and Ogar into pole position   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Defending champion on top   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Big breeze on day 6 + Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham into Laser Medal Race   
U.S. Multihull Championship - Hobie Alter Trophy to be decided   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - The kind of form most sailors only dream about   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing ahead of target   
ISAF Worlds Santander - 19 Rio 2016 Laser Radial spots awarded   
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - 21 broadcasters to take live coverage   
Rolex Swan Cup - Looking forward to the next 30 years   
America’s Cup: The Future is foiling – AC45s to be modified   
Volvo Ocean Race: Win a stopover trip by designing an ECsix T-Shirt   
Red Bull 49erFX: On the eve of the Worlds in Santander   
America's Cup: Ben Ainslie Racing launches partnership with Yamaha   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Starts tomorrow   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT