Cruising sailors taken hostage in Somalia...Sarawak dreaming...Sunshine powered marine engine...Slow boat to Oz...and much more

26 Jun 2008                                      To respond to this email CLICK HERE

Diary Dates


Of Frozen Waves and Pirate Kidnappers

Waters getting more and more dangerous for cruising sailors trying to reach the Red Sea  .
Amid the conflicting reports emanating from Somalia about the latest kidnap of European sailors, one thing is clear. The danger is accelerating. For the first time in recent history, Somali pirates have become so brazen that they are not only robbing with violence, but as I write at least two, maybe four, cruising sailors are pirate hostages in the highlands of Somalia.

A couple of months ago, for the first time, the professional crew of a large luxury yacht was taken hostage. Thanks to some bungled, but effective French action, all ended well. Since then a talkfest has resulted, just three weeks ago, in the United Nations authorizing foreign ships to enter Somali waters to fight piracy and armed robbery.

In addition, the US Navy has taken a leading role in escorting merchant ships, 10 African nations together with France, the UK and the USA have just met for a week-long workshop in Djibouti and French mercenary firm Secopex signed a multimillion dollar contract with the Somali Government to protect vessels in Somali waters.....

...but where were they all two days ago?

Pirates are an external threat to cruising sailors, but there's an internal threat that has taken lives time and time again – the design of yachts that allows keels to 'just fall off'. In the continuing blaze of publicity surrounding the loss of another life in the capsize of the Cynthia Woods, this week a one time inspector at A&M University asks whether the boat should have been allowed to go to sea at all.

In happier news, that hero of the Southern Ocean Pete Goss is well down the track of a totally different adventure; long time cruising couple Neil and Ley Langford share their experiences in Sarawak, Eastern Malaysia, as they live in close connection with long boat communities; and Sir Robin Knox Johnston does some sharing of his own – his favourite sailing books.

If you've never seen a striped iceberg or a frozen breaking wave, you'll enjoy the photos offered to us by Antarctic sailor Tony Mowbray

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

Sail safe!

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

Somalis demand ransom for German sailing couple
Somali pirates have now demanded a ransom for the release of German couple they kidnapped from a yacht sailing in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden, making this the first instance of a small cruising yacht's non-professional crew being kidnapped. Up to 100 small yachts make the Red Sea transit each year, most with short-handed crew, usually families, with or without children.... [more]

Sarawak Dreaming:Peace & Quiet, or Gongs & Knives?
Ley and Neil Langford, SV Crystal Blues,
Neil and Ley Langford have been cruising aboard their boat SV Crystal Blues for over ten years. They're sailing the world, sharing their lives with people from many cultures. At the moment, having travelled 80km upstream on the Rajang River they are anchored on the Tulai River, near Bintangor in Sarawak, a community of five long houses.... [more]

Sunshine Powered marine engine: Boat of the Future
Rebecca Aldous/Sail-World,
Jim Harrington, engineer, scientist, inventor says that the worst thing for the future of the world would be the lowering of fuel prices. Jim's mechanical creations have orbited the Sun and he has built equipment for NASA, but his heart lies closer to home, attached to the stern of a simple sailing boat.... [more]

SSCA Annapolis Gam
Barbara Theisen,
Calico Jack to Entertain at the SSCA Annapolis Gam on September 20, 2008... [more]

Cynthia Woods - should not have been at sea?
Rosa Flores,,
As investigators from A&M Univesity look into what caused the Cynthia Woods' keel to come off with the loss of one life and the endangering of five others last week, one local boat inspector has questioned if the boat should have been at sea at all... [more]

Five Best Sailing Books-Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
Nancy Knudsen,
What are your favourite sailing books? Or are you still compiling the list? If you are, here's some classics to put on the reading list. One of the world's most famed sailors, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, himself the subject of one of my favourite books, 'A Voyage for Madmen', has given his list to the Wall Street Journal. Here they are:... [more]

Ocean Hero - now for a Slow Boat to Australia
BW Media,
He's sailed a quarter of a million miles in the world's oceans, he was awarded an MBE by the Queen, and a Legion d'Honneur by the French President. He earned forever the admiration of the world for turning his downwind racer into the storm in the Southern Ocean, retracking his path and saving fellow sailor Raphael Dinelli in the 1996 Vendée Globe solo around the world yacht race. He is Pete Goss... [more]

Marine Marketing – deciding your online Budget?
Online marketing is now an essential part of marine advertising. The heaviest Internet adult users are now the 18-35 and 50-65 age groups – two very important age groups. Now the online marine audience is much larger than traditional print media and it's much cheaper to reach audiences online. The Marine industry around the world is finding more and more consumers have done their on-line hom... [more]

Team Mowbray's Amazing Iceberg Photos
BW Media,
Just in case you never get to sail in the Antarctic - or even if you do - here are some amazing photos of icebergs that Tony Mowbray, whose yacht Commitment sails there every year, is sharing... [more]

Sailors Rescue Nine Portuguese Fishermen from Sea
Stephen Ivall, Packet Newspapers,
Two sailors on a yacht delivery mission to the Mediterranean found themselves involved in the rescue of nine Portuguese fishermen after their vessel sank within seconds... [more]

Aussies to Train Koreans in Sailing
BW Media,
Brisbane based yachting school, Southern Cross Yachting, has entered in to a joint venture to open a major training centre in South Korea. The deal, signed in the southern province of Gyeongnam last Thursday, will see the Southern Cross Yachting brand expand into Asia and will bring hundreds of Korean students to South-east Queensland to be trained.... [more]

Missing Yacht Located - just a little slow
The sailing yacht Paradis, an Mini Transat 6.50, earlier reported missing between Bergen in Norway and Shetland in Scotland, with Helge Stokkstad and Beate Birkeland on board, has just been spotted by an aeroplane participating in the search for the boat... [more]

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