On Blackwattle, along with other cruising boats, we're still waiting in Tonga for a weather window to cross to Fiji. The winds outside have been topping 35 knots constantly and the seas reported at four to five metres. We need to be in Vanuatu in time for the Rally to Bundaberg on the Australian east coast, so we will probably step out in the morning anyway, with plenty of reefs in the main.
This week a huge variety of tales from various parts of the world - informative, adventurous or just plain quirky.
Read about Star Clipper's incredible new sailing ship plans, about how the Norwegians are going boat mad, and the difficulties that sailors are having getting through the North West Passage – not with ice, but with bureaucracy!
The dauntless Treleavens have sent us another Letter from the Med. They'll soon be crossing the Atlantic with the ARC; and talking of the Atlantic, read how even model sailing boats are crossing the big pond these days. .
Read on, enjoy, and
By Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor
Cruising round the Horn - the Easy Way? By Nancy Knudsen, We meet in the quiet of Neiafu Harbour in Tonga. In the deep protected anchorage a long way inland from the high seas outside, this seems like a normal friendly seafaring Belgian family. While the friendly part is true, they are definitely not a normal cruising family.... [more]
OceansWatch heads for Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea By Jane Pares, Chris Bone, founder of OceansWatch, leaves New Zealand this month to lay the groundwork for the first OceansWatch projects. He will combine the delivery of a 45ft yacht to Hong Kong through www.pacificyachtdeliveries.co.nz with exploration work for OceansWatch, spending five days in each Vanuatu, PNG and the Philippines courtesy of the yacht owner.... [more]
South African Yachtie – How lucky can you get? By The Cape Times, The Cape Times reported this week that a yacht owner rescued 13 years ago must have counted himself lucky when the NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) saved him again at the weekend - but then he thought his luck had run out when his boat 'disappeared'.... [more]
Norwegians Going Boat-Mad By IBI News - www.ibinews.com/Sail-World, The number of Norwegians spread around the world in small sailing boats was the first indicator, reported by Sail-World several weeks ago. Last week Norway had its best boat show ever. Now IBI News and Norboat have confirmed it. Norwegians are going boat-mad.... [more]
Blackwattle-Didn't Know What was in Store... By Nancy Knudsen, Blackwattle sets out for an easy four day sail from Palmerston Atoll to Neiafu in the Vava'u Island Group in Tonga. Little does she know that probably her most exciting trip for years is ahead.... [more]
Letter from the Med: Vigo, Spain to Porto, Portugal By Andrea and Ian Treleaven, After three days in a port you have worked out the geographies to getting an electronic train ticket, where to get the best bread and a tourism office. Then you leave only to start all over again in the next port.... [more]
Arrival advice disease spreads to the Caribbean By Des Ryan, First it was Australia who required 96 hours notice by yachts intending to visit the downunder island continent. Then Fiji, who seems to go in for aping the worst of Australian bureaucracy, started requiring 48 hours notice from intending seafarers. Now the disease seems to be spreading.... [more]
Luxury Yachts Of The World-Coffee Table Luxury By Nancy Knudsen, Love drooling over luxury yachts? Then whether your pocket goes to a purchase or not, you'll just love this beautifully presented, 532 page high quality 'coffee table' book.... [more]
BFA recalls Liferafts for corrective action By BFA Marine, Important Safety Notice - Recall by BFA Marine of life rafts for corrective action. BFA marine (*) has identified some overpressure valves failures (**) on life rafts in use (***), which may lead to a complete deflation of the compartment when broken.... [more]
Robot sailboats to race across Atlantic By Lewis Page, The Register, In the Irish Sea off Wales this week, a new kind of robot is taking to the waves. For once, this is not a military kill-droid or powered surveillance machine. Instead, we are seeing the debut of the fully-autonomous sailboat, which uses its own software to navigate out at sea. For now the uninhabited windjammers will stay relatively close to home, but next year their successors will race across the Atlantic.... [more]
Sailing under a Harvest Moon – What Better... By Sail-World Cruising, Down there on the Gulf of Mexico the local sailors know how to make things enjoyable – what sounds better than a 'Harvest Moon Regatta'?. Imagine yourself on an overnight off-wind sail during the full moon, held in one of the best weather times of the year.... [more]
Sail Malaysia before the Crowd Finds Out By Cruising Editor, With an overcrowded and mostly expensive Mediterranean, a Caribbean that is the same, where do you go for an idyllic sailing holiday, before the crowd gets there?... [more]
Star Clipper to Build Biggest Clipper Yet By Sail-World Cruising, Star Clippers, those doyennes of modern sailing ships, have announced that they will build their largest sailing ship so far. It will be an astonishing 518 feet (158 metres) long, and the rest of the dimensions are similarly astonishing.... [more]
North West Passage-- Ice is Not the Problem By SARA MINOGUE ,The Globe and Mail, As the Northwest Passage becomes easier to navigate, more seafarers are running into problems registering their travels... [more]
South Pacific Calling By Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor, .... [more]
Where Am I Really? - GPS to Chart Corrections By Cruising Editor, One of the most amusing – and of course potentially dangerous – aspects of using electronic charting is watching your boat sailing through rock walls, across protected breeding islands, through towns, to anchor on the nearest mountain. (See new reader's comment at end of article)... [more]
Flanagan waiting on the ice By Adrian Flanagan, I thought I’d tell you a little of what I’m doing here in the freezing Arctic while I wait for the ice to decide whether it’s going to open up for me or not. The short answer is .. nothing. Nothing active that is. It’s too cold to be on deck for too long.... [more]
Blackwattle - Memories of Palmerston Atoll By Nancy Knudsen, Was I dreaming? Now, our sailing visit to Palmerston has a surreal quality, images that won't go away, like a bad nightmare, but the opposite – in retrospect, Palmerston seems like a Nirvana.... or maybe like visiting Robinson Crusoe who has somehow married and now has an extended family.... [more]
Island Brand - New Economy Products By Cruising Editor, As sailors, we first came upon the Island Brand when given some cleaning fluid by an American cruising friend: ''This stuff is like gold,'' he said effusively. ''It will clean anything, even your grandmother's teeth.''... [more]
Letter from the Med: Cape Finisterre to Vigo By Andrea and Ian Treleaven, It’s September 1st and we have woken anchored behind an island in winds that feel like they are off the snow capped Pyrenees. By lunchtime we are inland at Santiago de Compostela and its 30 degrees Celsius.... [more]
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