Why boats sink and how to keep yours afloat...North West Passage open for sailing...Blackwattle's homecoming...sailing duo swim for their lives...and more

06 Mar 2008                                      To respond to this email CLICK HERE

Diary Dates


Where have all the fish gone? - Ask the Longliners

Turtle caught by longliner hook  .. .
On Blackwattle we sailed the Pacific Ocean this year staying in loose contact with around 50 other transiting yachts. In sundowners the conversation recurred again and again – away from the coastlines we all caught few, if any fish, and saw no wildlife – no turtles, no dolphins, no albatross. This was so unlike the other two oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian, where wildlife abounded.

The suspected culprits are the longliners, who fish with multiple lines sometimes more than two kilometres long and over 2500 hooks which catch everything indiscriminately, even the albatross who dive on caught fish. Read about whom sailors should call if they sight these ships so they can be tracked in the effort to have the process banned internationally.

If you must sink your yacht, make sure you do it next to a luxury cruiser! Read the tragicomedy story of some sailors who did just that, and finished their sail in luxury they would never have dreamed.

With the warming of the Earth the North West Passage is now relatively free of ice and open for sailing. Read this week's analysis of this good news/bad news issue.

On a practical note, are you prepared for a failing shroud which could bring your mast down? A compact emergency shroud kit is a great solution

Lots of other stories – the long saga of retrieving S/V Legacy is finally over, with the superyacht finally freed from her hurricane induced grounding nearly three years ago; Russian adventure sailor Fedor Konyukhov talks about the ice fields that surround him; Internet at sea is getting better – and cheaper – all the time; and some innovative companies have won awards in Monaco for their Green solutions.

As for Blackwattle, she has had her final circumnavigation homecoming in this issue, and hasn't decided where to go next...

Read on, enjoy, and..

Sail safe!

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

Why Boats Sink (and how to keep yours afloat)
BoatU.S./Sail-World Cruising/Powerboat-World,
Who better than an insurance company to give the answers? So the insurance arm of BoatU.S., the Boat Owners Association of the United States, tells here - statistically from their records - why they sink, and how to to best make sure they stay afloat. Daring boaties will be pleased to know that according to their records, for every boat that sinks underway, four boats sink in their slips.... [more]

Sailing Duo Swim for their Lives
Dominion Post/Sail-World Cruising,
A husband and wife sailing couple had to swim for their lives, then huddle together freezing on an island after their yacht capsized and threw them into churning seas off Northland.... [more]

North West Passage: Open for Boats - and Business
Scott G. Borgerson/Sail-World /Powerboat-World,
The news that the North West Passage is fast melting might be glad news for the pleasure boating community, but is potentially bad news for the wildlife of the region, and sad news for the ordinary guy who wants to keep the planet's remaining natural regions safe from the onslaught of the Western World.... [more]

Got a Superyacht? Royal Navy can train your crew
Michael Evans, Times,
You've got the superyacht with pool, helipad, minisub and missiles. Now get the Royal Navy to train the crew. The craze for vast “superyachts” – the ultimate status symbols of the billionaire set – has become an unlooked-for money-spinner for the Royal Navy.... [more]

If you must sink your yacht, choose the Right Spot
Erica Silverstein, Cruise Critic/Sail-World,
If you are going to run into storms which shred your sails and break your mast and destroy your radio antenna, if you're then going to have the engine break down and the water start flooding into the hull, just make sure you are close to a six star luxury passenger cruise ship.... [more]

Hydrogen and Clean Diesel Win the Day at Monaco
Sail-World Cruising,
In the search for green solutions for the fuel for your powerboat, yacht, tinny or powerboat, many companies are making inroads. Hydrogen as fuel and clean diesel solutions were the key attributes which have enabled two companies to win The CleanEquity Monaco 2008 Award for Excellence at CleanEquity Monaco 2008, Europe's international cleantech investor conference.... [more]

Iridium unveils Enhanced Marine Bandwidth
Sail-World Cruising,
IridiumĀ® Satellite, has unveiled its new Iridium OpenPort enhanced bandwidth marine communication system at the Satellite 2008 conference and exhibition in Washington, D.C. The vast majority of yacht owners will not be able to take advantage of Iridium's new broad-ish band communications any time soon, but it is getting closer... [more]

Russian Solo Sailor - surrounded by ice
Robert Williams,
Russian sailor Fedor Konyukhov is the first solo sailor to attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica, alongside the Antarctica Race Track. He set out from Albany, Western Australia, on his solo non-stop record attempt around Antarctica on 26 of January 2008 – Australia Day. He is sailing his 85ft monohull ‘Trading Network Alye Parusa' Here is his latest report... [more]

How to Help Stop the 'Longliners'
Sail-World Cruising,
Dolphins, Albatross and Turtles. The long line fishing boats are killing them all as they indiscriminately fish the Pacific Ocean - but now if you are on a cruising yacht you can help report the activities of these marauders of the sea.... [more]

Shroud frayed? - Where's your Shroud Kit?
Des Ryan,
For the cruising sailor, so often away from the protection of the company of other boats or the overseeing organisation of the racing system, a shroud that it beginning to part is one of the most frightening problems to find on an ocean inspection. Now there is a new solution.... [more]

Better Internet at Sea: iDirect+ SeaTel+ Intelsat
Business Wire,
Intelsat Ltd (commercial satellite services), Sea Tel Inc (marine stabilized antenna systems) and iDirect Inc (satellite-based IP communications technology) today jointly announced a product enhancement of Intelsat's Network Broadband Global Maritime service... [more]

Stuck S/V Legacy Floats Free after 2 1/2 Years
Sail-World Cruising,
S/Y Legacy, which Sail-World Cruising has been reporting on for the last couple of years, has floated free this week after being marooned off of Key West for almost 2 1/2 years.... [more]

Last Leg of Round the World- Blackwattle's Arrival
Nancy Knudsen,
It is a bleak gray morning, cold for this time of year as we approach the coast. Barrenjoey Lighthouse is appearing and disappearing in the fine skudding rain. It's not how I imagined our final approach to our home port after five years absence. (In my mind I had us hurtling down the coast in bright sunshine, me on the bow in shorts and sunhat)... [more]

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