Sail Tonga in July...what's killing the dolphins?...Yacht Club destroyed by your mast with the emergency shroud kit... Blackwattle's homecoming...and more

06 Mar 2008

Diary Dates


Where did all the dolphins go?-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.

It will be a great weekend to be around Sydney Harbour this weekend. At Darling Harbour there's the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival, over at Birkenhead Point Bavaria is showing of their latest yachts, and in the main harbour is the Sydney Superboat Grand Prix Race. In Geelong, it's also the weekend of the Geelong Wooden Boat Festival, both Saturday and Sunday. Information on all of these below, as well as other March events.

Very sad news that Bendigo Yacht Club has had a devastating fire, in the Mooloolabah River boaties are complaining that the bar is dangerous and forecasting an incident, and in Port Stephens some instructor trainees didn't know a real-live rescue would be part of their training.

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, always such a magnet for adventurous sailors, 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

A Boating holiday - Tonga in July
Julie Major,
With the beginning of the cooler nights my thoughts start to turn to winter escapes. Time is often an issue when we are thinking of a warm holiday escape and I hate those long flights to Europe. If I want to take the kids I want to find a kid friendly environment with as little travel hassle as possible. Last July we took our two children aged 5 and 7 on a Mariner Boating Holidays rally in Tonga.... [more]

RYA/Yachting Australia Trainees Save Snorkeler
Alistair Snell,
Trainees in the new joint RYA/Yachting Australia instructor course got more than they contracted for this week in Port Stephens. When they were in the middle of a MOB (Man Overboard) training session they had to perform a real-life rescue.... [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]

Boaties fear Tragedy at Mooloolah River entrance
Mark Furler,,
Sunshine Coast boaties are calling for the Mooloolah River mouth to be dredged again, saying a build-up of sand has left it extremely dangerous to cross. Maritime Safety Queensland issued a shoal warning on the river entrance on Tuesday, saying it had put in new buoys to mark a safer entrance and exit to the river.... [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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Electrical Fire Devastates Yacht Club
Bendigo Advertiser,
BENDIGO Yacht Club members have been left devastated by a fire that destroyed more than 20 sailing boats used for training and rescue work on Lake Eppalock. The fire is the latest blow for the proud club, which was forced to halt sailing on the lake two years ago because of the low water levels.... [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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Victory - Council votes for No Road Through
Steve Harrison,
Now there is an even greater reason to attend the 2008 Huon Tasmanian Salmon Port Esperance Regatta at Easter. While last year we were wondering if it would be the last – with the Huon Valley Council's proposal to re-route the coast road through the Dover foreshore looming over us – this year we can celebrate.... [more]

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2008, Coming Soon
Sail-World Cruising &,
With a fleet of more than 150 wonderful boats, craft demonstrations and displays, a variety of food stalls and a non-stop program of live entertainment, this year's Classic & Wooden Boat Festival at Darling Harbour in Sydney on 8th 9th March promises to be the brightest ever.... [more]

Evening aboard the replica of Cook's Endeavour
Shirani Aththas,
Step back in time for an 18th century tall ship adventure with the National Maritime Museum's Evening on Endeavour from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm on Saturday 29 March. Endeavour was built in Fremantle in the early 1990s. Now based permanently at the Australian National Maritime Museum, the ship continues to make regular voyages to various ports around Australia.... [more]

Geelong Wooden Boat Festival 8th, & 9th March
Bob Appleton,
The 2008 Whyte Just & Moore, Geelong Wooden Boat Festival this weekend 8th, & 9th March. Over 50 entries have been received promising to make this year's event bigger and better than ever before... [more]

Sydney Superboat Grand Prix Race
NSW Maritime,
2.00 - 3.00pm Saturday 8 March 2008 Pole Positioning 3.30 - 4.30pm Sunday 9 March 2008 Racing NSW Maritime has issued the Australian Power Boat Association Offshore Council (APBA) with an Exclusive Use Aquatic Licence to conduct the events associated with the Sydney Superboat Grand Prix. Exclusion Zone details below.... [more]

West Marine looking for a SVP of Marketing
West Marine,
West Marine, the world's largest boating equipment retailer wholesaler, with 372 Stores, Catalog, Online, and Business to- Business channels, is seeking a Senior Vice-President of Marketing.... [more]

See Bavaria Yachts on Sydney Harbour this weekend
North South Yachting,
New Bavaria 38 on display at North South Yachting, Birkenhead Point this weekend March 8th and 9th. All club racing has being cancelled on Sydney Harbour for the weekend so why not come down and check out these great new models. Displayed by North South Yachting will be the Bavaria 31, 34 and 38, all amazing yachts for their size.... [more]

Sydney Superboat Grand Prix – how to watch racing
Sandman Media,
With massive crowds expected to flock to the Harbour this weekend for the inaugural Sydney Superboat Grand Prix, organisers have put together a list of useful information to ensure spectators enjoy the free, adrenalin-charged excitement!... [more]

Rolex Sydney Hobart Trivia Night - Monday 17 March
Amanda Lulham,
Know who won the last Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race? Who won the first? How long the race is or how many yachts started the anniversary event? The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is hosting a Rolex Sydney Hobart trivia night on Monday March 17 from 7pm. Book Now!... [more]

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