This week’s issue comes to you from Colon in Panama, where Blackwattle is preparing to go through the Canal. It’s pretty scary just watching from the viewing platform, so for practice we crew are going through as line handlers on another boat, probably as you are reading this. I’ll report on THAT adventure maybe next week.
Cruise Crime is unfortunately on the increase, according to a recent report by Fuerteventura, but there are bright spots – the MALACCA STRAITS, used to be a danger zone for cruisers, is off the Lloyds list of dangerous zones, even for the shipping world. So go for it! The beautiful cruising grounds of Thailand and Malaysia are waiting for you!
This week a huge variety of news – the latest on Earthrace’s problems after their collision, and on that hardy sailor Donna Lange; luscious details about sailing Corsica and Sardinia, and the Seven Rules to keep bugs off your boat.
The latest innovation is a loopy keel that may not be so loopy after all; a sweet story of how a great supplier, Hoods, showed their mettle with world-roving After Sales Service, and we analyse just why a cruising couple had such a hard time in a passage from Bonaire to the San Blas.
Finally, there's Blackwattle's own experience in the San Blas - visiting the Kuna Indians, one of the smallest peoples on earth, with a unique culture refreshingly preserved. No tourist mock-up here, it was the real thing.
Read on, have a great week, and..
By Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor
Cruise Crime Increase but Malacca Safe By Des Ryan, Fuerteventura reports that worldwide crime against boaters is on the increase mainly due to economic problems in various countries but also due to the increase in the number of yachtsmen who live aboard their boats while sailing all over the globe.... [more]
Help slow to arrive after Guatemalan Collision By Earthrace.net, The Earthrace crew claim that the refusal of local fishermen and authorities to help after the collision of the powered trimaran with a local fishing boat nearly cost the life of a second fisherman.... [more]
Loop keels? Not loopy at all..! By James Macnaghten, HMT Marine, Howes-Macnaghten Technology Ltd in the UK has patented a radically new keel design that is said to offer significant benefits in both speed and seaworthiness. The 'Loop Keel' is a new form of keel that creates a faster, safer, more seaworthy yacht, but with the added advantages of a kinder motion and greater comfort at sea.... [more]
Bugs on Boats – the Seven Quick Rules: By Lisa Mylchreest, 'Shock horror! Not bugs on the boat again!' Anyone who has owned a boat has probably been through the difficult process of trying to rid the boat of bugs, once they are there. Of course, some bugs are worse than others.... [more]
From Bare Poles to Paradise (but Why?) By Dianne Nilsen/Sail-World Cruising, Being wise after the event is not a difficult task. However, if the goal of reading other people’s experiences is to improve one’s seamanship, any story of hardship at sea deserves to be examined for lessons. Sometimes, an alarming story retold often can give a sailing area an undeserved reputation, and discourage others from sailing the area.... [more]
Earthrace crew in court after collision By www.stuff.co.nz, The skipper of a pioneering New Zealand trimaran says he saw the body of a Guatemalan fisherman sink before him after diving into the ocean to try to save him after a midnight collision.... [more]
Rescue is an example of how the system works By The Comet, Four sailors were rescued off the coast of Italy as the liferaft they were in began to sink. The crew, who are from Hitchin, were in the raft after the boat they were in had caught fire and they were forced to abandon ship on Tuesday evening. Not having a phone number for the coastguard in Italy, the crew used the only number on their phone - that of the Solent Coastguard in Lee-on-Sea back in England.... [more]
Bavarias at Auckland International Boat Show By Jane Pares, International Marine Brokers, The 2007 Auckland Boat Show was heralded as one of the best as far as International Marine Brokers are concerned. We welcomed a considerable number of visitors to the stand, which was larger than ever.... [more]
Donna Lange: Flying fish for breakfast By Donna Lange, Crossed Equator 14.08 UTC Mar 9, exactly a month after crossing into the South Atlantic on Feb 9th!! I crossed the Equator in hazy clouded skies and light winds, as expected for the ITC zone. noon yesterday until into the evening the winds continued light and then the breeze strengthened and steadied as the sky cleared.... [more]
Visiting the Kuna Indians-Sail-World's Blackwattle By Nancy Knudsen, I am standing on the bow of Blackwattle, bare feet planted each side of the anchor on the varnished gunwale, back against the fabric furler of the forestay. It’s a cotton wool cloud day, and there’s a sweet smelling 15-knot breeze tickling the sea into a small chop, more like a chopette. Polaroids on, loving the sun on my skin, I’m staring over the deep blue waters ahead looking for tell-tale signs of coral reefs or shoals. There are thirteen palm-tree-sprouting islands dotted around me, looking like ragged broom tops, yet I know that incredibly somewhere out there are more than 300 of these magic islands. I am in the famed San Blas.... [more]
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