The piracy game has changed with the first death...the hand-held VHF that swims...Captain Cook for the North West Passage...Fitting out a new cruising boat Part 4...and much more

16 Apr 2009                                      To respond to this email CLICK HERE

Diary Dates



The Piracy Game has changed

Pirates - who claim they are the 'Central Regional Coastguard' of Somalia  .
The game has changed. The first cruising sailor has been killed in Somali waters. With the tragic killing of a French sailor this week, a sailor who defied all military advice and sailed with his wife and three-year-old son into the waters between Kenya and the Seychelles, the dangers are now upgraded for potential transits by yachts of the Indian Ocean. The French yacht Tanit was more than 400 nautical miles from Somalia when the attack occurred, and not in the Gulf of Aden, where, however, attacks are continuing on commercial shipping.

The irony is that Florent Lemacon was almost certainly killed by French snipers, not by the pirates, who have a history of taking good care of the safety of their hostages. According to some recent pirate statements, that will now change for both French and American sailors.

Cruising sailors who are still intending to sail through the Gulf of Aden to reach the Red Sea tell me that they will sail close inshore and depend on the Yemeni coastguard to protect them as they sail short hops from port to port. David Shinn, a US Adjunct professor at Washington University and a former Ambassador in various African posts writes a very interesting analysis of the piracy problem this week.

Captain Cook sets sail in this small trimaran for the North West Passage, solo  .. .
Other News
Round the world there are people breaking records, adventuring into unknown regions, sailing in bizarre craft for the good of the planet, and there are also people just hanging out.... they all have a place in the sail cruising world, and we bring you all their stories below.

This week we feature a hand-held VHF which isn't opposed to a swim or two, some really good advice on how to sail into a berth without damaging the wharf or your boat, and Peter Salisbury finishes his four part series on simple practical information about setting up a new cruising boat.

Pick up the info, read what others are doing, and....

Smooth Sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

Surviving sailors arrive Paris - 'We were escaping consumerism.'
Nancy Knudsen,
Three French sailors and the three-year-old that survived the rescue operation by French commandos, including the widow Chloe Lemacon of the killed sailor Florent Lemacon have arrived in Paris. They flew from Djibouti on the Red Sea to a military airbase outside Paris, and were welcomed home by the Defence Minister Herve Morin.... [more]

Cruising - life in the slow lane
Mark Wheeler,
I recently saw a t-shirt with a quote from famed race car driver Michael Andretti that said, “If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.” I chuckled at the notion and then began reflecting on the last 15 months that we have spent sailing along at a blistering 7 knots.... [more]

This week's product – the hand-held VHF that swims
BW Media,
You may say “I would NEVER drop the VHF in the drink.” but haven't sailors have said that often about keys, sunglasses and barbecue tongs? When using the VHF for communications in less secure situations – like on the beach or in the dinghy - a VHF that floats and keeps operating when it gets its toes wet is sure to bring a little extra peace of mind. Of course, this VHF has other virtues too.... [more]

How to sail into a slip without holing the hull
Edward Killeen,,
For centuries, sailors relied on sails alone. Captains would have to sail into a harbor, find where to drop anchor and sail out when the time came. Sure they had oars and beefy guys in rowboats to guide them into the docks. But they didn't have a trusty Yanmar diesel inboard to fall back on... [more]

Rise of Piracy and Other Maritime Insecurity in Somalia
David H. Shinn, Adjunct Professor, Washington Uni.,
When you read the stories of horror and heroism in Somali waters, are you asking 'Why can't the world of nations, with their great combined power, DO SOMETHING about piracy in Somalia?' If your answer is 'yes', you may like to read this article with excellent background information from the East Africa Forum... [more]

Rothschild delays Plastika sail across the Pacific
BW Media round-up,
Billionaire banking heir David de Rothschild has had to delay his extraordinary journey in a plastic bottle boat called Plastiki from San Francisco to Sydney because of 'teething problems'... [more]

Fitting out a new cruising boat - Part 4
Peter Salisbury,
Peter Salisbury continues with his series on fitting out a new cruising boat. This is Part 4, the final part of the four part series. This week Peter considers the issues of communications and lightning protection... [more]

Solar cat to circle the world - the future for solar energy
Nancy Knudsen,
Skipper Raphael Domjan and navigator Gerard d'Aboville together with a seafaring band of scientists and engineers are building what they call the largest solar boat in the world, a $13 million catamaran they hope will take them around the world next year.... [more]

World's fastest land sailor - now for the ice!
Sail-World Cruising,
The British engineer who became the fastest human on earth powered by the wind alone in a land sailing boat will now try to better his speed on ice.... [more]

Following the adventurers: Captain Cook sails the Arctic
Forrest Johnson, News Chronicle/Sail-World,
Frederic Cook claimed to be the first explorer to reach the North Pole, and Captain James Cook was maybe the greatest marine explorer of his time. And now, there's another Captain Cook who is off to explore, but his attempt to solo sail the fabled North-West Passage is part of a new age that wouldn't be possible without global warming.... [more]

PIMEX 2010 on track
PIMEX 2010 is now in the advanced planning stages, following the successful relocation to the stunning Royal Phuket Marina and the opening of the waterside Exhibition Hall last year. Now part of the Informa Yacht Group, promoters of the world-leading Monaco and Abu Dhabi Yacht Shows, PIMEX returns in 2010 with a new look and a new format.... [more]

Hostage sailor killed by French Special forces in rescue operation
BW Media roundup,
In a rescue operation that went horribly wrong for the cruising sailors held hostage by Somali pirates, the skipper of a yacht has been killed during the attempted rescue. Two pirates were also killed when a French special forces unit attacked the hijacked vessel as it drifted toward the Somali coast. The pirates opened fire and the special forces team fired back at them.... [more]


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