Some GPS satellites forecast to fail...Jessica Watson, 15, launches boat for round world sail...little boat sails 14 months are being abandoned...five things to tell your boat guests...and much more

21 May 2009

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'.

In other news, Air Apparent, a seven metre yacht, has just completed a fourteen month sail from New Zealand to Bowen in Queensland - after being abandoned by its mutinying crew!

As you read this the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show is in full swing on the Gold Coast - let's hope the weather is improving this morning. Among all the glitz and glamour of the new boats trying desperately to make a living in a woeful economy, you'll also find Jessica Watson, the fifteen-year-old who plans to set off in September to make an attempt on Jesse Martin's record, the youngest to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted round the world.

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 and the comical story of the boat that couldn't make way in 25 knots and all the sails filled.

Finally, 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.

Skip through and find the stories that interest you, 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

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

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

Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show 2009 – 40,000 plus visitors
Bob Wonders,
Weather forecast does not favour Sanctuary Cove International BOat Show. Sanctuary Cove's Marine Village offers ample shelter and I'm sure the many restaurants and bars will be well geared up to handle those taking shelter from any downpour than may occur.... [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

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? 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

'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

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

Sailors don't make the best lovers – report overturned,
In recent days, boaters around the world over have been proudly boasting of news from the Onzin Institute in Amsterdam. Now its revealed that the report has been overturned..... [more]
Onsend this story

East Marine Region - Coral Sea Conservation Zone established,
Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett today announced the establishment of the Coral Sea Conservation Zone under national environmental law, protecting the unique characteristics of the Coral Sea while an assessment process is undertaken.... [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

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

Australian Marinas Guide - Comprehensive guide to local marinas
Media Services,
With over 300 marinas, as well as a few safe harbours where conventional marinas don't exist, the Australian Marinas Guide is the only marina directory to include every marina in Australia. It's the definitive guide for boat owners who require accurate, up to date information on every Australian marina.... [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

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

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

North South Yachting - 2009 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
Jamie Millar,
North South Yachting, national importer of Bavaria Yachts and X-Yachts will be at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show May 2009. North South Yachting will have two Bavaria Yachts on display, the Bavaria 34 Cruiser and the new Bavaria 43 Cruiser in her boat show debut.... [more]
Onsend this story

Volunteers get on board Marine Rescue NSW
Penny Robbins,
In the true spirit of the volunteer movement, more than 600 people have put up their hand to join the State's new volunteer marine rescue organisation.... [more]
Onsend this story

Sunsail's 35th Birthday celebration
Media Services,
Happy 35th Birthday Sunsail! Sunsail is giving holidaymakers a $35 bonus discount off all new charter bookings - at any of their worldwide bases - confirmed from June 1 onwards, until the end of the year.*... [more]
Onsend this story

Where do penguins go to dance?
CSIRO media services,
What is it like to sleep in an igloo? And have you ever wondered how ancient ice can be used as a time machine? Then take the journey into Polar Eyes, an interactive new children's book about Antarctica from CSIRO.... [more]
Onsend this story


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