Some GPS satellites forecast to fail...mystery disappearance of one-armed sailor...little boat sails 14 months are being abandoned...five things to tell your boat guests...and much more

21 May 2009                                      To respond to this email CLICK HERE

Diary Dates



What happens to the GPS when the satellites turn off?

'Breakdowns' are forecast by US government agency  .
The news that disturbed me most this week was the possibility that the world GPS system is likely to suffer breakdowns in the coming years.

The gradual removal of lighthouses and the growing tendency of sailors to set off without a second line of safety in the form of paper charts and sextants puts too much faith in the ongoing integrity of the global GPS system. Apart from the possibility of all your GPS's not surviving a lightning strike, there are other nightmares.

You wouldn't want to be, my nightmare runs, sailing in a country suddenly at war with the USA, who decides to turn off the satellites affecting that country; or somewhere in an ocean where the all the satellites suffered a sudden failure, caused by... who knows what? Nightmares don't have to be likely or logical.

Now the future possible failure of the system is a reality, forecast by the USA's Government Accountability Office. So fellow sailors, read the article and see whether you decide to continue to carry paper charts 'just in case'.

The rest of this issue includes an amazing rescue by some brave Scotsmen, a missing one-armed sailor, a 'crazy German sailor' who is back in Somaliland claiming his boat from the pirates, the comical story of the boat that couldn't make way in 25 knots and all the sails filled, and the touching story of a tough little boat that sailed for 14 months across an ocean after being abandoned by its mutinying crew.

Some good practical advice - what to tell your new crew and guests before leaving port, how to look after your outboard so it will look after you, and a story about trying to find the 'greenest' marine company around to do business with.

Finally, while the two teen solo sailing adventurers are still on the way - British Mike Perham in New Zealand, and Californian Zac Sunderland on the home run up the west coast of America - young Australian sailor Jessica Watson has just launched her own small yacht and will take off solo in September.

Read it all, enjoy, and...

Smooth sailing

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

Don't throw away your paper charts! - GPS failings to come
Blackwattle Studios,
A report just out by the Government Accountability Office of the USA has revealed significant issues with the future of the GPS world wide system, currently provided free by the USA. The report is entitled 'Significant Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading Widely Used Capabilities' and was released last week.... [more]
Onsend this story

Caring for your outboard - just like any other baby
BW Media,
As with any other baby, a little attention to your outboard goes a long way, and care and feeding will make it thrive. Do YOU treat your outboard like a baby?... [more]
Onsend this story

'Mad German sailor' loves his yacht more than he fears pirates
The Local/Sail-World Cruising,
How much do you love the yacht you sail on? Enough to spend 52 days as a badly treated hostage and then, after release, retun to the scene of the crime to reclaim it? No? The residents of Berbera, a Somali port in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden, call 62-year-old Jurgen Kantner 'the mad German sailor.'... [more]
Onsend this story

Scots to the rescue: first the sailors - then their boat!
Ralph Barnett/Sail-World,
The Swedish couple who had to abandon their boat in horrific conditions in the North Sea (because they had only one life vest on board) were devastated at the loss of their yacht and only home - but they didn't count on the bravery and ingenuity of the Scots!... [more]
Onsend this story

The Five Things to tell your boat guests
Tom Lochhaas,,
Having guests on your boat? Especially non-yachtie guests? How do you prevent them from harming themselves and keep all safe? In the USA it's National Safety Week coming up (May 16-22) and Tom Lochhaas here gives his handy check-list of five safety guidelines you should explain to your guests or new crew briefly, BEFORE you leave the dock or mooring... [more]
Onsend this story

WHOI Team aids Center Coastal Studies in Whale disentanglement
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) was working in the Great South Channel 40 miles east-southeast of Chatham, Mass., when they sighted a humpback whale severely entangled in fishing gear. They alerted a rescue team from the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies.... [more]
Onsend this story

The meaning of Green and greenER
Des Ryan,
The green revolution is happening. Damning evidence on global pollution is produced by scientists, relayed by media and acted upon by appalled consumers. More and more we vote for green candidates, buy green products, using the power of the vote and the pocket book. This is particularly true of the sailing community, who tended to be green from the beginning. But what does 'green' mean?... [more]
Onsend this story

25 knots of wind, why aren't we moving?
the Coastguard, with a little help,
It's gotta be a bad hair day. We're only a mile from home, sailing nicely between the buoys, there's a good 25 knot wind blowing, the sails are full, so why are we staying in the same spot? Turn the engine on! Let's get some speed here! O damn, now the engine's failed. What the .... is going on?&nlid=<:nlid:>&tbl=<:tableName:>&pwd=<:password:>'>more]
Onsend this story

15-year-old Jessica launches her round-world yacht
Nancy Knudsen,
Australian fifteen-year-old Jessica Watson, the latest teen to chase the 'youngest solo around the world' trophy, has launched her yacht, aptly called 'Youngestaround'. This brings her dream, which involves leaving in September (now two months earlier than the original start date of November) a little closer.... [more]
Onsend this story

Air Apparent - the little yacht that just kept sailing
Insurance News/Sail-World Cruising,
Air Apparent, the small yacht abandoned off the north coast of New Zealand last year when the crew mutinied and set off a distress beacon, has been recovered by fishermen in north Queensland. It has taken more than a year to sail the distance alone.... [more]
Onsend this story

Letter from the Indies - Cuba, Cayman, Honduras
Andrea and Ian Treleaven,
See the stunning photos of swimming with rays as Andrea and Ian Treleaven, Antipodeans cruising the Caribbean on their yacht Cape Finisterre, continue their tales. They are gladdened by the sight of the Southern Cross constellation, which appears on the flags of both New Zealand and Australia, and signals their still distant homecoming... [more]
Onsend this story

Mystery disappearance of one-armed Japanese sailor in Somali waters
BW Media,
Has he been kidnapped? If so why can't his yacht be found? Mystery surrounds the disappearance of a renowned Japanese sailor in Somali waters. Suspicions have been expressed that one-armed Akio Yonago on his 36ft sailing boat Emu II may have been captured off the islands of the Seychelles... [more]
Onsend this story

High hopes and high winds for the Tahiti Pearl Regatta
Morgan Rogers,
The Tahiti Pearl Regatta now attracts upwards of 30 yachts, local and international to compete in this tropical paradise, and is attractive to visiting cruising sailors. Entries from France, Germany, England, US, Australia and New Zealand were represented in the mix this year as well as enthusiastic local sailors.... [more]
Onsend this story

Avoiding 'catastrophe' for world's coral heartland
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
A region harbouring more than half the world's coral reefs is at risk of 'a major environmental and human catastrophe' a report released by the WWF at the World Ocean Conference in Manado, Indonesia, has warned. Its release coincides with the decision of the six Coral Triangle nations to move ahead with the world's largest transboundary network of marine protected areas.... [more]
Onsend this story

RNLI rescues Swedish couple 'in 10 metre swells'
BW media roundup,
Gary Fairbairn, RNLI coxswain, quoted 10 metre swells as 'the worst sea we have ever been out in' when they rescued a Swedish couple with only one life jacket between them from their yacht in the North Sea this week.... [more]
Onsend this story


Click HERE to write us a letter about any of the above articles

If you liked this newsletter, do nothing, we will send you another ..
Naa, please don't send me another.
Click here and we won't 

Customised news feeds

Marine Industry companies, Clubs and Associations have asked can they received their own customised version of our Sail-World news feed. The answer is yes, customised in content, news category, for example dinghies, small keelboats or just monohull racing, or Region of the world and appearance.

CLICK HEREto view examples and get free news tickers for your site

Too much sailing news? Not enough?

Change the frequency of newsletters, from once a week to a monthly newsletter. Change from html (graphics & pictures) newsletters to text only newsletter, (best for slow connections, mobile phones and PDA's etc. Change from Sail-World Australia Newsletters to Sail-World Cruisng Newsletters etc. Temporarily inactivate your subscription for a period, when you will be on holidays etc. or change to text for the same period. Or even (gasp) unsubscribe.