Seven yachts in the North West Passage... Migaloo appears...VHF aerials just got better...Is your dinghy safe?... sailing with Balvenie...Dutch officials try to prevent 13-year-old's circumnavigation... and much more...

27 Aug 2009

Diary Dates


Oceans crowded with solo teenagers

13-year-old Laura Dekker: the Dutch child protection agency is trying to prevent her departure  .
After Australian Jesse Martin, never having sailed out of his home harbour, sailed around the world 'non-stop and unassisted' in 1999, nobody followed in his footsteps until Californian Zac Sunderland departed from Marina del Rey with little ado, in June 2008, aged just 16, and recently became the youngest circumnavigator (but not non-stop and unassisted).

This seems to have spawned a host of copy cats, with the younger Michael Perham, who set off some months after Zac, just about to eclipse his record in a few days when he gets back to Portsmouth in Britain.

However, there are now not one but three teenaged girls attracting world-wide publicity by promising – just promising - to do their own circumnavigation – our own Australian Jessica Watson, Zac's younger sister Abigail, and now a Dutch girl still aged thirteen, whom the Dutch authorities are trying to prevent.

Where will it all end? Jessica and Abigail have both announced that they will attempt the sailing 'non-stop and unassisted', which means that they must venture into the Southern Ocean where the swell is mighty, the icebergs frequent and any rescue would pose Bullimore sized difficulties.

I am glad to say there's much other news to preoccupy us, and this edition is full of it.

Tasmania is in the news this week, with a great opportunity for Tasmanian sailors to bone up on the latest in weather from weather-guru Ken Batt; there's plenty of time to plan your trip to Geelong for the Wooden Boat Festival; and there's also still time to nominate someone for the NSW Maritime Medal (full details about how are in this issue).

If you're quick and impetuous enough you could still make it to the Barrier Reef to see our own albino whale, Migaloo, who's just made a welcome appearance there.

In world news at least seven yachts are making their way through the melting waters of the North West Passage this season; a mystery yacht riddled with bullet holes has been discovered off the coast of Corsica; and a couple of cruising tales come from different parts of the ocean – from Montenegro in the Mediterranean and Tonga in the Pacific; and there are always some useful practical articles as well.

Read on, enjoy, and...

Smooth sailing

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

North West Passage Ahoy - seven yachts and counting...

After the ice thawing in 2007 and 2008 several sailing yachts and motor yachts are attempting the daunting 7,000 mile journey through North West passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans above Canada in 2009. However, the ice conditions have reversed this year making it a tougher passage.... [more]
Onsend this story

Migaloo White Whale sighted in the Whitsundays
BW Media roundup,
He's here again! Migaloo, the white albino whale that has been appearing off our east coast since 1991, has appeared again! The now famous albino whale was sighted between Hardy Reef and Shute Harbour in the Whitsunday Islands on Tuesday, on his way to tropical waters.... [more]
Onsend this story

2010 Whyte Just & Moore, Geelong Wooden Boat Festival
Bob Appleton,
The 2010 Whyte Just & Moore, Geelong Wooden Boat Festival! Labour Weekend, March 2010. Shiver your timbers and buckle your swashes!! That's if you want to be a 'swashbucklng' seafarer! But even if you only want to be a 'landlubber', the Geelong Wooden Boat Festival will nibble into men's brains until they can get to the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, here on Corio Bay... [more]
Onsend this story

Child protection officials against thirteen-year-old's solo world sail
Sail-World Cruising,
It was when the local council learned that thirteen-year-old Laura Dekker was intending to leave Holland and sail around the world that the storm broke.... [more]
Onsend this story

Queensland's Meridien Marinas to redevelop Sydney's Berrys Bay
Neil Patchett,
NSW Maritime Chief Executive Steve Dunn today announced Meridien Marinas Pty Ltd as the preferred proponent to redevelop the western area of Berrys Bay into a revitalised a maritime precinct.... [more]
Onsend this story

The Ultimate Course in Weather with Kenn Batt
Peter Campbell,
No matter whether you are an old sea dog or a newcomer to boating, the weather will treat you the same. But you can be prepared for the best or the worst in weather – like today, Wednesday, 26 August, when it snowed on Hobart's Mount Wellington and the chilly westerlies gusted to 40 knots, sending the city's temperature diving to 6 degrees at 4pm.... [more]
Onsend this story

The Hamilton Armada - or, how to go cruising accidentally
Rob Kothe,
The Sailing Instructions for the 26th annual Audi Race Week at Hamilton Island list a total of 21 different race courses. The unseasonably light wind conditions are meaning that race officials are having to think on their feet.... [more]
Onsend this story

Final nominations called for NSW Maritime Medal
Kate Sullivan,
This is a final call for nominations for the 2009 NSW Maritime Medal. Nominations close on Friday 21st August 2009. This is a chance to nominate an individual or group who deserves public recognition for their outstanding contributions to the boating and marine community.... [more]
Onsend this story

Emergency VHF aerials just got better
Des Ryan,
An emergency VHF antenna is one of those spare parts on a boat that are part of every leisure boat's wardrobe, but one that every sailor hopes never to have to use. One of the world's best known manufacturers of these essential items has just made them more user friendly.... [more]
Onsend this story

Incident No. 8 - How safe is your dinghy?
MAIB/Sail-World Cruising,
Judgment is for God, but the best mistakes to learn by are other people's. This is especially so with sailing. In this anecdote, the eighth in the series, we present a real sailing situation which was investigated by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), and FOUR lessons deduced. Can you identify the lessons? (Find answers at the end of the story)... [more]
Onsend this story

Invisible fish warn the reef is at risk
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
The smallest fishes on Australia's Great Barrier Reef are sending out a warning that profound change is taking place in the Reef's natural systems, probably as a result of human activity.... [more]
Onsend this story

Australia's first full Genome project gets the green light
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
One of the corals that form the backbone of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is to become the first complex animal to have its genes fully explored in Australia. Plans to sequence the entire genome of Acropora millepora, a branching coral whose 'staghorn' shape and beautiful colours are familiar to millions of visitors to the GBR, marks a major milestone in Australian biotechnology.... [more]
Onsend this story

Sailing with Balvenie: Montenegro to Croatia - still disaster prone...
Amanda Church and Mark Farrell,
Amanda Church and Mark Farrell continue with their tales of sailing in the Mediterranean on their 47ft yacht Balvenie, this week, still disaster prone: We had a couple of false starts trying to leave Montenegro. On our first attempt the engine stopped before we had let the last line go from the marina. The Skipper added Montenegro to his list of 'maintenance in exotic places'... [more]
Onsend this story

Whales in the Whitsundays - a spectacle for sailors
BW Media,
Sailors are not the only ones to flock to warm Whitsunday waters during winter. Whales head north to the calm, sheltered waters off the coast of north Queensland to give birth to their calves and, in the process, become quite a draw-card for sailors... [more]
Onsend this story

High-tech Sydney Rigging packages customised and online
Tracey Johnstone,
Wherever a yacht is in the world Sydney Rigging Specialists has the capability to design, deliver and support customised high-tech rigging packages, no matter what size or type boat.... [more]
Onsend this story

Mystery yacht found floating off Corsica
Blackwattle Studios,
Mystery still surrounds an Italian yacht which has been found abandoned off the coast Corsica with the skipper still missing. The yacht was found half-submerged and riddled with what appear to be bullet holes, officials on the French Mediterranean island said.... [more]
Onsend this story

Last Voyage of the Lucette - Book Review
Sally Williams/Sail-World,
In 1971, the Robertson family set sail round the world on their boat Lucette. In the middle of the Pacific ocean, a school of killer whales capsized them. They survived for 37 days in a 9ft dinghy, till a Japanese fishing boat rescued them... [more]
Onsend this story

Unborn Sailor to sail around the world
Nancy Knudsen,
On the heels of the announcement that 15 year-old Abby Sunderland is going to attempt to break her 'older' brother, 17 year-old Zac's recent record as the youngest nonstop sailor around the world, Sailing Anarchy have announced that The Unborn Sailor Association are preparing to make a new effort to break the record.... [more]
Onsend this story

Yacht skipper found innocent of death of crew member
BW Media Roundup,
The skipper of an almost stationary sailing boat when a powerboat crashed into it at night between 40 and 55 mph has been found innocent. One of the crew in the incident was killed as the powerboat rode up over the cabintop of the yacht. The driver of the power boat, a top Sheriff's official, had not been charged with anything, but is now the subject of an internal investigation for misconduct.... [more]
Onsend this story

Indian Navy Officer to sail solo round the world
BW Media roundup,
The Indian Navy is a very adventurous organisation. Members of the The Indian Navy have already climbed Everest and reached both the north and the south poles. Now a naval officer, 42 year old Commander Dilip Donde, has just departed on a planned 9 month circumnavigation of the world on a sailing boat, the Mahdei.... [more]
Onsend this story

Eddie's Panama and San Blas Cruisers' Guide
Nancy Knudsen,
Cruising sailors who stay cruising for long periods of time know they have found a better way of life, and in the Caribbean, many find their way to the San Blas - a maze of islands inhabited by the Kuna Indians lying in the waters between Colombia and Panama. The area is not well covered by cruising guides, so Eddie and Glenn Tuttle have produced a free guide, available to all.... [more]
Onsend this story

Cruising round the Horn - the Easy Way?
Nancy Knudsen,
We meet in the quiet of Neiafu Harbour in Tonga. In the deep protected anchorage a long way inland from the high seas outside, this seems like a normal friendly seafaring Belgian family. While the friendly part is true, they are definitely not a normal cruising family.... [more]
Onsend this story

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