Anatomy of a's largest yacht - will it ever be finished?...Sailor's shooting death in Antigua...8 tips for sailing in coral waters...letter from the Indies...and much more

29 Jan 2009                                      To respond to this email CLICK HERE

Diary Dates


2009 - NOT the same as 2008

Forget it all and come sailing!  .
Two deep changes heralded in 2008 are shaping the way we live in 2009, and each of them has ramifications for the leisure sailor. The change in the US Administration has brought with it decisions that could affect the future of the seas and coastlines we sail.

Already Hillary Clinton has announced that Cuba could be opened to sailors from the USA, and the appointment of Dr Jan Lubchenko, a member of the advisory committee to Sailors for the Sea, as the next head of NOAA is somewhat of a coup, both for Sailors for the Sea and for the health of the oceans.

The global meltdown is also affecting our sailing environment dramatically, with plummeting boat sales and many marine closures. This can be good news for the new cruising sailor who may find the acquisition of a sailing boat not as expensive as it was this time last year. Even impoverished billionaire Roman Abromovich, that compulsive yacht purchaser, seems to have a problem or two.

The only people not greatly affected by political economic changes are those lucky people already out there sailing and little touched by the cares of the landed world. The Treleavens send back news of their sailing adventures around the British Virgin Islands, and the round-world Blue Water Rally is finding that things are looking up in Galle in Sri Lanka.

Thinking of sailing in rocky or coral filled waters? Read our tips this week to make the journey safer – and if you already have good experience in such waters, do you have any more tips to share?

Some tragic news too – an Australian sailor shot dead in the yachting hub of Antigua, and two of the three American crew in a catamaran lost in the Indian Ocean.

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

Forget all else and come sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

Sailors for the Sea advisor to head NOAA

Sailors for the Sea - that not-for-profit organisation that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore oceans and coastal waters - has scored its own political coup in the appointment of a member of its advisory committee to head NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration)... [more]

World's largest yacht - will it ever be finished?
Lisa Mylchreest,
If you are feeling bad about your losses in the world's financial collapse, spare a tear for the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, that yacht owner extraodinaire who is currently building the world's largest yacht. Abramovich is reputed to have lost $12 billion of his $15 billion fortune, raising the question of whether his newest yacht, cheekily called 'Eclipse', will ever be finished.... [more]

No 406 beacon? - Rent one for your next Passage
Boat US,
In the USA, for sailors who only make an occasional offshore passage, it is possible to rent a 406MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) instead of the expense of purchase - the important thing is to have one on board after February 01... [more]

Anatomy of a rescue
Capt. Corinna M. Jones/Sail-World,
A recent search in the remote waters off Madagascar has been called off after a three day operation. The operation was successful in saving the life of one sailor, found tied to the hull of their upturned catamaran off the coast of Madagascar, but frustrated and grieved by the loss of two others. What background organisation goes into such a search? How does it work and who is involved?... [more]

Indian Ocean gears up for cruisers - now there's Galle,
The Indian Ocean is becoming cruiser friendly! With India's Kochi building yacht facilities at a furious rate, and Sri Lanka's Galle port sprucing itself up with a new yacht marina, the long neglected Indian Ocean is set to take on a new look. 42 yachts in the round-world Blue Water Rally arrived in Galle this week and applauded the upgrade.... [more]

Eight tips for negotiating coral or rocky waters
Nancy Knudsen,
Poking around in new coves, exploring off-the-beaten-track bays and roaming through coral atolls are some of the joys of cruising. But colliding with coral is not particularly good for the paintwork, and sinking the boat or wrecking it on a reef is apt to spoil any good holiday cruise:... [more]

Two Missing from Capsized Cat off Madagascar
BW Media Roundup,
An experienced round-world cruising sailor with many thousands of sea miles under his belt and one of his crew, a doctor of environmental studies, are missing feared drowned in the Indian Ocean. Quen Cultra and Joe Ttrykowski are missing after their catamaran capsized off Madagascar.... [more]

Australian's Death Triggers Antigua Outrage
Antigua Sun/Sail-World Cruising,
In the midst of preparation for the 42nd Antigua Sailing Week, the largest and most spectacular regatta of the Caribbean, the island is in uproar and yachts are leaving in droves, as the yachting community grieves in anger about the shooting death of 38-year-old Australian yacht skipper Drew Gollan.... [more]

Rescue Photgraph wins Award for Volunteer
Sail-World Cruising,
This picture of a daring rescue by the UK's Royal National Lifeboat Institution(RNLI) in a force nine gale in the Irish Sea has won the RNLI's photographer of the year award. Hanna Nuuttila's winning image was captured during an attempt to save the crew of a 35ft yacht, which was in trouble in high seas.... [more]

Skipper Shot Dead in Caribbean Yachting Playground
BW Media Roundup,
The sailing community of one of the Caribbean's most famous anchorages and resorts has been shocked by the shooting death of a professional yacht skipper. Drew Gollan, Captain of the 163 ft Perini Navi yacht Perseus has been shot dead by would-be robbers.... [more]

Sail Cuba - Coming at last for American sailors?
Nancy Knudsen,
News that the Obama Administration may lift travel restrictions relating to Cuba could mean that American cruising sailors in the Caribbean would have a whole new sailing ground opened up. It might also mean that wrecked sailors would no longer end up in jail in Cuba, as happened recently to two hapless American sailors from Florida... [more]

Letter from the Indies: British Virgin Islands
Andrea and Ian Treleaven,
Andrea and Ian Treleaven continue their tales of sailing in the Caribbean: An area of 60 islands, the British Virgin Islands is a sailor's fantasy; with a constant wind of 15-25 knots, we can go where it takes us. Pirates once ruled these islands, hiding in the secluded bays and burying their treasure ashore... [more]

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