Blackwattle crew Ted and Nancy holed up in Bora Bora Lagoon waiting for the weather BW Media
On Blackwattle we are holed up here in Bora Bora, waiting to continue our journey across the Pacific heading for Tonga. We're waiting for a 'disturbance' with very close isobars to pass south of us, and there have been reports from yachts of high winds and very rough seas.
In the meantime, there's lots of news across the world this week for the cruising sailor.
Several rescues beg questions of ethics - manufacturing responsibility, carrying of safety gear, and what are the answers to many vexed questions about who is rescued and why and who pays?
On a practical note, we ask whether you are ready to charter with friends and make it a success - or will it be the end of the friendship?. We offer some checklists that may help.
Handheld GPS's are getting smarter every day, and some sailors have taken part in a real-life study of liferafts and how well you can survive in one.
In cruising tales, there's an update from Adrian Flanagan who is waiting for the ice to melt north of Russia; the Treleavens have sent another charming 'Letter from the Med'; and we on Blackwattle are having considerable trouble with - floating coconuts.
Lots more too, so read on, enjoy, and..
By Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor
Rescued Sailors - 'More Safety Gear next time' By www.goldcoast.com.au, TWO men who survived 15 freezing hours lost at sea say the most terrifying moment was when something went bump in the night. Joel Wilson and Scott Warren, both 26, were airlifted to safety yesterday morning when their catamaran was found 12km off Brunswick Heads on the northern coast of New South Wales. They did not have safety jackets, an EPIRB or a torch. The pair were lucky to suffer only mild hypothermia and dehydration. They had no food or drink on board.... [more]
'I didn't want to be rescued'-Says Rescued Sailor By Sail-World Cruising/Daily Mail, A recent story in London's Daily Mail again illustrates an issue which is constantly bubbling below the surface in sailing and non-sailing circles. Should good taxpayer's money, which finances rescue organisations, be used to rescue sailors who deliberately put themselves in danger, whether they be racing or simply adventuring where others would not dare?... [more]
Capsized Hooligan V Damning Report By Sail-World Cruising, Britain's MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) has now published a report into the capsize of the Max Fun 35 yacht Hooligan V, whose keel became detached while sailing from Plymouth to Southampton on the night of 2nd February this year.... [more]
Letter from the Med-Les Sables D'Olonne to Bayonne By Andrea Treleaven, The morning of the 9th August we wake to high winds whistling through the rigging and not what I wanted to hear on our first sail down the coast. I tell myself it sounds worse than it is but there is no holding Ian back, as we have to be in La Rochelle the next day.... [more]
Sailing the Atlantic on Ice-Block Sticks By Floris Dogterom/Sail-World Cruising, If there's anything stranger than the idea of building a sailing boat from ice-block sticks, then it must be building one and then deciding to sail it across the Atlantic - but that's what American Rob McDonald (no not that one) has done, and intends to do.... [more]
So you Want to Go Chartering By Des Ryan, It won't be news to you that a sailing holiday like this with friends can be either a disaster of a triumph. You'll either go on to many happy future holidays, or maybe you won't ever speak to each other again. But what makes the difference?... [more]
Adrian Flanagan Waits for the Ice Melt By Sail-World Cruising, Update: Adrian Flanagan, attempting to become the first solo polar circumnavigator in his steel sloop Barrabas, is high in the Arctic Ocean attempting to cross north of Russia during the precarious summer melt. He is travelling westwards towards the North Sea. This week...... [more]
Handheld GPS's get National Geographic Topomaps By www.tmcnet.com/Des Ryan, It's a start. We use a handheld GPS in our cockpit, clamped to the binnacle by a bicycle handlebar attachment. If you have an old fashioned boat without a cockpit data console, you may find, with us, that this is a great solution for easy single handed sailing. So the news that you'll soon be able to load National Geographic Maps directly offers the hope that it won't be long before we'll be able to load the world's oceans and waterways - maybe Cmap.... [more]
Survivors by choice : Liferaft Test By Sail-World Cruising, Yes you do (or should do) a SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) course, and you bumble around in the swimming pool with hard hearted tutors spraying you with cold water while you scramble clumsily into the raft; but the rest of the time that liferaft sits mysteriously under its cover on the deck, and you hope that you'll never have to use it in a real-life situation.... [more]
Blackwattle and the Floating Coconuts By Nancy Knudsen, There's one thing that I really don't like about sailing among the islands of Polynesia. It's the coconuts. They float around the lagoons and out to sea. It seems that everywhere you look you see another floating coconut. And the problem is it's just too hard to tell the difference between a coconut and a dead body.... [more]
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