Cruising Sailors Hostages in Somalia...Sarawak Dreaming...Meet solo sailor Ken Gourlay...sunshine powered marine engine...and much more...

26 Jun 2008

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 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, with 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?

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.

This week we also say hello to the unassuming Ken Gourlay, the fastest and oldest solo non-stop unassisted Australian circumnavigator, who'll be appearing at this year's Sydney Boat Show, and 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.

By the way, have YOU switched to 406 yet? – remember it's compulsory after July 01 if your boat's more than 8 metres.

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]

Meet Ken Gourlay - Modest Champion Solo Sailor
Nancy Knudsen,
Ken Gourlay dreamt for a long time of being the first Tasmanian and the fastest Australian to sail alone, non-stop and unassisted, around the world. A couple of years ago, he did just that. But what gives a sailor the skill, guts and ambition to carry out such a feat? Well, being borne into a sailing family helps.... [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]

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]

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]

Chart your way at the Melbourne Boat Show
AAP MediaNet,
Boat Books Australia has a wide range of new products on offer at the 48th Annual BIA Melbourne Boat Show. Memory Map Navigation Software heads the list of products available for purchase at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre from 3 to 7 July.... [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]

Time to make the switch to 406
NSW Goverment Media Unit,
Elite new distress beacons will be made mandatory to help search and rescue operations save lives on the seas, Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said today. The new laws come into effect on July 1 that require all vessels eight metres or longer to be fitted with a new 406MHz digital distress beacon, also known as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)... [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]

Book on history of the CYCA launched
Jennifer Crooks,
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) is renowned as one of the pre-eminent ocean racing organisations in the country and worldwide. So its history is an interesting story to tell. From Ratbags to Respectability tells the story of the foundation of the club and its 63 years of great ocean races.... [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]

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]

Last Rani crewman Ray Richmond dies at 88
Peter Campbell,
Lt Ray Richmond RN (ret), the last surviving member of the winning crew of Rani, the line and handicap winner of the inaugural Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 1945, has died at the age of 88.... [more]

Melbourne Boat Show ticket sales go online
AAP MediaNet,
Tickets to the 48th Annual BIA Melbourne Boat Show are now available online for the first time in the Show's 48-year history.... [more]

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