Quikscat improves forecasting...any sailor's nightmane video... Inspiring Hilary solo sails the Channel...Somali pirates and Ponant aftermath...and much more

24 Apr 2008                                      To respond to this email CLICK HERE

Diary Dates


What's ahead in the Gulf of Aden's Pirate Zone?

Somali pirates in attack mode  .
The Gulf of Aden has long been a pirate zone for yachts, but the first known case of pirate using guns occurred in 2001 when yacht Daisy Duck was shot at by unknown pirates.

Then in 2005, two US flagged boats, Gandolf and Mahdi, were shot by attacking pirates, Gandolf suffering 14 bullet holes in the cockpit. The two boats fought off the attackers, an event which received worldwide media attention.

After this incident, hopes were high that the Coalition warships who patrol the area would finally give protection, and the US was even given permission by Somali's ineffectual government to patrol their waters.

The only development since then seems to be that the pirates have become more sophisticated, and now go for bigger game – over 25 commercial ships were attacked in the last year. Is this good news for the dozens of mostly short-handed small yachts who transit the area each year? It's anybody's guess.

For sheer good reading(now that we know all are safe) last week's hijack of the French yacht Ponant, and the story of the hostage taking and eventual release of the crew can't be bettered. However, the serious questions remain.

Lots of good reading this week – Sunsail have a new base in the Bahamas; there's a review of Jimmy Cornell's new edition of World Cruising Routes – they just get better and better; there's a gripping video that could stop the faint of heart from ever wanting to to sea again; and you must read the amazing story of the castaway cocker spaniel who has has more experiences in her eight months of life than most of us have in a lifetime.

Do YOU understand your watermaker? You're better able to manage it well if you do, and Mike Hobson makes it as clear as the water produced.

Lots more, so read on, enjoy, and...

Sail safe!

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

Pirates of the Indian Ocean - by Tom Clancy?
Nancy Knudsen,
Whatever happens in the Gulf of Aden is vitally important to cruising sailors wishing to sail to the Mediterranean via the Red Sea – and what happened there this week was stuff worthy of a Tom Clancy novel. Even Sir Francis Drake would have been proud of the behaviour of the Somali pirates who held 30 crew of the French sailing yacht Ponant captive for a week.... [more]

Inspiring Hilary Sails the Channel Solo
BW Media,
Sailing the English Channel solo is a pretty good feat for any amateur sailor, but Hilary Lister has an amazing story. Lister, 36, is quadriplegic. The only thing she can move is her head so, at the moment, she can do things such as answering the telephone, dialling numbers, changing television channels and sailing. - Sailing?... [more]

Any Sailor's Nightmare - See the Video
Des Ryan,
It's never one thing that goes wrong on a boat that gets you into trouble. Find something to grip while you watch this video.... [more]

QuikScat Satellite Improves Forecasting
NASA/Sail-World Cruising,
Several new atlases of ocean wind patterns around the globe, based on data from NASA's QuikScat satellite, are benefiting a wide range of users, from those who sail the seas to those responsible for managing their precious resources.... [more]

Jimmy Cornell's NEW World Cruising Routes-a Review
Nancy Knudsen,
Affectionately referred to as 'The Bible', Jimmy Cornell's comprehensive book 'World Cruising Routes' has traditonally graced the bookshelves on yachts of most cruising sailors who want to cross an ocean anywhere in the world. Now after six years and yet another circumnavigation, Cornell has published a new, updated, and brilliantly executed and presented edition with some significant changes.... [more]

Simrad NX powerful nav solutions for vessels 7m+
Sandman Media,
The new Simrad NX40 and NX45 NavStations have been specifically designed for power and sail boats greater than 7m in length. Engineered to lead boating's growing trend towards powerful ‘information machines', the systems are capable of providing advanced chart plotting, radar, echosounder, camera images, instrument data, engine data, fuel data and more, in one user-friendly display.... [more]

Understanding your Watermaker
Mike Hobson, Myboatsgear.com/Sail-World Cruising,
It's probably easier than understanding your spouse. At least there are just a few simple elements to this magic metamorphism, and once you 'get' these, you'll be able to maintain, troubleshoot or plan a new watermaker more successfully. (Sorry, we can't offer a similar process for human relationships)... [more]

Somalis Attack yet another Boat
BBC/Sail-World Cruising,
In spite of the world-wide publicity given to the attack and freeing of French sailing yacht Ponant last week, and the final arrest of six of the pirates, yet another small vessel has been attacked off the coast of Somalia and its crew held.... [more]

Yacht Rescued Three Times in a Week
Des Ryan,
What to do about sailors who go sailing without checking the weather or in areas beyond their area of competence and continually have to be rescued, remains an issue for life boats. Last week emergency crews from a Hampshire (UK) lifeboat station were called to rescue the same yacht three times in a week after it repeatedly came into trouble in the waters of the Solent.... [more]

Snickers Crusoe - Castaway Dog that was Rescued
BW Media,
Some people have amazing lives of adventure and survival, but here's a cocker spaniel who sailed the Pacific, was wrecked on a reef, swam to shore, survived by fending for himself - just like the original Crusoe - and has finally been rescued by a Los Angeles man pining for his own lost dog.... [more]

It's a Dream.. it's a Reality.. it's - ABACOS!
Des Ryan,
If you're always looking for a new destination to dream about or even charter a yacht for your next holiday, there's a great new opportunity now in the Bahamas, as Sunsail have just opened a new base there. It's the Abacos.... [more]

‘I love you' Mother's Day with Sunsail
Infront Communications,
Mother's Day is a great opportunity to show that special person just how much you care – and what better way to say ‘I love you' than with a cruise in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.... [more]

Bikini corals recover from atomic blast
ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,
Half a century after the last earth-shattering atomic blast shook the Pacific atoll of Bikini, the corals are flourishing again. These are the findings of a remarkable investigation by an international team of scientists from Australia, Germany, Italy, Hawaii and the Marshall Islands. The expedition examined the diversity and abundance of marine life in the atoll.... [more]

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