Get out and celebrate on Australia Day ...Inspiring story of seamanship...debris danger in English Channel...Piracy Doubled...dismasting of Side by Side...and much more...

22 Jan 2009

Diary Dates


Australia Day Long Weekend - Celebrations with a Bang!

Is it a sculpture? A dead fish? No it's an aerial shot of house-building timber floating in the English Channel  .
Across the country feverish preparations are going on for Australia Day, and with the miserable financial news around, it's good to be able to celebrate something. You'll find all the details for Sydney Harbour here below.

The Melbourne Boat Show is on the following weekend (Jan30 – Feb 2), so make sure you leave time for it if you're anywhere near Melbourne.

Read how one of Sydney's favourite Sailing Clubs, the Balmain Sailing Club, is on the hot trail of teaching youngsters how to sail – now's your chance while January and the school holidays last!

If you want to be enthralled, inspired and encouraged to take your next voyage into blue waters with determination and confidence, just look at the stories of the recipients of the Cruising Club of America's Awards this edition. The sheer number of miles covered is impressive enough, but for tales of remote adventuring and outstanding seamanship no novel could be as gripping.

Seriously you wouldn't want to be sailing along the east coast of England right now, but, less seriously, watch out for traffic jams as home-builders and handymen scurry to the coast. 1500 tonnes of timber is floating in the water and about to wash up on British shores.

Much other news and cruising tales - from Belize to the South Atlantic to a lucky rescue in Bass Strait....

On a practical note – my wonder product of the week is Rescue Tape, and I'm delighted to suggest that you 'should never leave home without it'. It's saved our bacon a couple of times.

Finally, even though they are in short supply in Australia, it's the last call to change to a 406 EPIRB.

Read on, enjoy, and

Sail Happy

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

Boaters warned of EPIRB shortage
Brad Schmidtt,
Boaters have again been warned not to delay switching over to the new 406 MHz digital distress beacons amid reports of a global shortage of the new equipment Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said the worldwide switch from 121.5MHz analogue beacons to the more accurate digital model is well underway ahead of the February 1 deadline.... [more]

Plan ahead for Australia Day on Sydney Harbour
NSW Maritime,
Plan ahead to be part of the action on Sydney Harbour this Australia Day, with the full listing of event times, vantage points and safety tips.... [more]

Marina Profile: Rottnest Island
Fiona Harper,
Crisp fresh salty blowing in from the Indian Ocean conjures up a typical summer at Rottnest Island. Where the only suitable clothing is of the summer boating holiday kind. Boardshorts, bikinis and lots of bare skin are pretty typical dress standards when you're holidaying at Rotto... [more]

Brothers in Lucky Rescue after Weak Signal Heard
Eleni Hale, Herald-Sun/Sail-World,
The value of HF Radios Satellite phones and EPIRBS was underlined this week after the lucky rescue of two sailors whose boat was dismasted in remote ferocious waters to the west of Bass Strait. A rescue plane was coincidentally flying near enough to hear their weak VHF radio call, and set off the alarm.... [more]

Balmain Sailing Club looks to attract newcomers to sailing
BSC PR Media,
Sydney-based Balmain Sailing Club is working hard to attract newcomers to the sport of sailing with the re-establishment of its sailing school -- aimed at teaching both kids and adults the basics of sailing and sailing safety.... [more]

Bavaria Yachts - Melbourne Boat Show
Jamie Millar,
Bavaria Yachts Australia and Aussie Boat Sales will be displaying two exciting Bavaria models at the Melbourne Boat Show this year: a brand new Bavaria 43 Cruiser and the stunning Bavaria 50 Vision.... [more]

The Skipjack - Remnant of a Great Sailing Tradition
Timothy B Wheeler, Baltimore Sun/Sail-World,
In the Third World sailing boats are still a familiar sight, used for transport and fishing. Their delicate sails enliven the horizons of many a coastal waterway. In the Western World they have long been relegated to the field of pleasure and sport - except for a few hardy survivors, and the whimsically named Skipjack is one of them.... [more]

South Pacific/New Zealand Rally - One Yacht's Story
David McKay,
The cruising leg between the Islands of the South Pacific and New Zealand is notorious for one of the passages in the world where you can strike nasty conditions. This is a bonus for the Island Cruising Association which runs an annual rally cruise which includes that leg. Andrea and David Mackay , travelling on their 48ft Van de Stadt yacht Diomedea, sailed in the rally this year.... [more]

Star of the Indian Ocean - Kochi Gears up
Nancy Knudsen,
Kochi is gearing up. This charismatic coastal city on the south west coast of India is determined to be the chief boating hub of the Indian Ocean. Previously, long ranging sailors had to journey from Asia to Egypt - a distance of several thousand of nautical miles - between Marinas, (without a long detour to Dubai) but that is no more...... [more]

Product of the Week: Rescue Tape
BW Media,
The damn pup has just chewed up the water hose again, the fuel line has sprung a leak, or you want to insulate an electrical connection; but you're not worried as you reach for the Rescue Tape, because you know how well it works. The transparent version of Rescue Tape even allows you to see the condition of the repair after it's completed. It sounds magic, but how DOES Rescue Tape work?... [more]

Tales from the Wheeler Family - the Dismasting of Side by Side
Mark Wheeler,
'Calling all stations, calling all stations, this is the sailing vessel Side by Side over.'..... 'Calling all stations, calling all stations, this is the sailing vessel Side by Side we have been dismasted, repeat we have been dismasted over.' 'It was the worst of times, it was the best of times, it was the age of wisdom...' Originally penned by Charles Dickens in The Tale of Two Cities... [more]

Hamilton Island Audi Race Week Accommodation - Early birds catch worms
Kristie Kaighin,
Private luxury apartments, villas and houses available for Hamilton Island 2009 Audi Race Week. See wide range of options: All the best apartments go first! So view the options and call or email us and we will advise the best option to suit your group. Only a 20% deposit required to book - balance payable in July 2009.... [more]

2008 World Piracy Report - Almost Double
Nancy Knudsen,
The 2008 report on International Piracy is out, and while its findings relate almost wholly to the commercial maritime world, the report is a good indicator of where the cruising sailor should – or should not – venture. The 2008 figures 'surpass all figures recorded by the Piracy Reporting Centre since it began reporting,' according to IMB's Director Captain Pottengal Mukundan.... [more]

Fancy a bareboat yacht charter 'Summer Getaway' in the Whitsundays?
Media Services,
There is something liberating about bareboat chartering in the Whitsundays with Whitsunday Rent A Yacht... Share the fun and adventure with friends or family as you cruise amongst tropical islands. Kids of all ages just love the adventure and freedom, the huge variety of things to see and do in this tropical Great Barrier Reef playground.... [more]

Pete Goss and Spirit of Mystery for Island of St Paul
Stuart Elford,
You could make its location a $64,000 question and get very few answers, as few sailors have even heard of the remote Island of St Paul, let alone sail to it. However, that's where the intrepid crew, skippered by Pete Goss, are heading when they leave Cape Town... [more]

Heading for St Helena in a 'sort of a' Race
Alex Petersen/Sail-World Cruising,
A very international fleet set off this week on what is usually a South Atlantic Race from Table Bay in Cape Town South Africa for the long haul to Salvador in Bahia, Brazil. However this time, it was more a rally than a race, as the cruising fleet, which commences their journey after the hotshot racers, has been augmented by a group of wandering yachties....AND they will stop at St Helena... [more]

Seawind stars on show
Sandman PR,
Seawind Catamarans will exhibit two models at this month's Melbourne International Boat & Lifestyle Show (30 January to 1 February) , both of which have been recognised and awarded for their innovative design and features. Proudly made in Australia, Seawind also recently took out the award for NSW Exporter of the Year for the small to medium manufacturer category.... [more]

Bass Strait Sailors Await Rescue,
A Water Police crew is negotiating rolling seas in the Bass Strait to rescue two stranded sailors in a yacht which has lost propulsion. The condition of the yacht is unknown, but the two crew onboard, believed to be experienced sailors, were lucky to have their distress call answered by an aero rescue plane responding to another job in the area.... [more]

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