Australian Marina of the Year 2007.. Polar circumnavigator off again... floating containers.. tropical seamanship...and much more

16 Jul 2007

Diary Dates


Bastille Day in Papeete - What? Who? Je ne sais pas..

web Papeete esplanade  BW Media
For the crew of Blackwattle, arriving into Papeete is a visual and ear-splitting shock after so long trailing a route through the islands of the Pacific – suddenly there are blaring discos, manicured lawns, traffic noise, pedestrian crossings, vast department stores, buses, cappuccinos, superb food – we'd half forgotten....

So we go to find Bastille Day, and instead find that the locals are hardly aware, or care. We get three different times for the parade, we're told there is/is not a fair tonight, there are/are not fireworks – given winks and told to go to the Museum instead – there are cultural displays. But you can't get there because the buses aren't working as it's a public holiday and there are no taxis. - so Polynesia has its own very distinct way of being French – French, without the French....

Great cross section of news here and overseas this week – the latest news update on the coming Sydney International Boat Show, and the 2007 Marina of the year is in – Port Stephens!

You'll be interested to read the latest piracy report, but the good news is that old hotspots of piracy on yachts are either not hotspots any more, or there are significant improvements in the trend. In the Malacca Straits there has been no piracy activity, and in the Gulf of Aden Yemen is paying good attention to their coastline, and the International Maritime Organisation is trying to reinstate via the UN Security Council the ability for foreign warships to intercept pirates in Somali waters. The Coalition in the area is also actively assisting yachts.

Would-be polar circumnavigator Adrian Flanagan is back in the water, and, courtesy of now-received permission from Russia, will soon set out to from Alaska back to the UK by taking a route north of the Asian continent – he was scheduled to depart today, 15th June, but no word so far....

At a more practical level, technology for the sailor is reaching new heights – soon you'll even be able to find that scary floating container at night! From Garmin, similarly amazing technological advances, and from Blackwattle, we share our own personal Ten Rules for Tropical Seamanship.

Lots more, so read on, enjoy, and

Sail Safe

By Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

Australia Marina of the Year 2007
By Bob Wonders,
For 2007 that honour was accorded to the Soldiers Point Marina, on the shores of Port Stephens and Bob Wonders believes no award was more deserved.... [more]

Excitement-Education-Entertainment at Sydney Show
By Bob Wonders,
The Sydney International Boat Show (August 2-7) will throw open its doors at Darling Harbour to a festival of boating allied with excitement, education and entertainment throughout its six action-packed days.... [more]

Blackwattle's Ten Rules for Tropical Seamanship
By Nancy Knudsen,
On Blackwattle, devoted to warm water sailing as we are, we have developed a few simple rules that make us feel as secure - and comfortable - as possible when sailing in these areas.... [more]

Barrabas safely back into the water
By Adrian Flanagan,
There was one heart-in-the-mouth moment as I went to try the engine for the first time having spent hours working on it, replenishing fluids, cleaning, aligning and disassembling and reassembling various components. I turned the key. Nothing happened. My pre-start checks were rusty. The engine battery was not switched on. I tried again... [more]

Floating containers – a hazard to boating
By Kim Lyneborg, Scaletronic and,
It must be a shock to hit a floating container at sea. For large vessels it might only cause a scratch, but for powerboats, fishing vessels or sailing vessels it could be fatal.... [more]

Mike Harker heading for Sydney via Vanuatu
By Mike Harker,
On the 2nd July, I left American Samoa heading for Sydney, Australia. I will stop one day in Port Vila Vanuatu to pick up a friend who will be my crew for the next leg to Sydney. American Samoa is a US territory and as such is a benefit for me, a US citizen and US registered boat. There are no restrictions or taxes and the formalities are easy. The prices for food and diesel are 20 - 30% less than in America and the cheapest so far in the South Pacific (except for $1/gallon diesel in the Galapagos).... [more]

Garmin BlueChart® g2 Vision™ takes charts to the future
By Kyle Matthews,
Amazing developments in chart plotting. The Garmin BlueChart g2 Vision has set the industry standard in premier electronic chartplotter-based marine charting. Simply by plugging an optional g2 Vision SD card into your new Garmin chartplotter you can tremendously expand its full graphical capabilities. BlueChart g2 Vision SD cards enhance the preloaded maps on your chartplotter and add a whole new dimension of exceptional features.... [more]

IMB report cites spike in piracy
ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) research indicates that acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the second quarter of 2007 have jumped by 37% when compared to the second quarter of 2006.... [more]

Vale Stan Zemanek
By Robert Mackay/,
The sailing community is advised of the death of well known personality Stan Zemanek, on Thursday 12th July 2007 at home, after a long illness.... [more]

Traditional Marquesas – On Its Deathbed?
By Nancy Knudsen,
One of the delights for the long range cruising sailor is the opportunity to meld into a local culture for a while to discover, to learn, to appreciate. We had yet another one of these opportunities recently in the Marquesas, in the middle of the Pacific ocean and came away with mixed emotions.... [more]

Weather watching and tough drills for Sea Stallion
By Henrik Kastoft,
Tonight a week ago the Sea Stallion sought out Båly Harbour just a few kilometres from the most southern part of Norway. Since then it has rained heavily and the wind has been hard West – practically impossible for our ship and crew sailing towards the Orkney Islands.... [more]

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