Dutch court does back-flip on teen sailor...one skipper's story of the pirate zone...last minute Christmas book ideas...let's go sail on Saturn's moon - really!...new gen mud boat anchor...and much more...

24 Dec 2009                              If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE                To respond to this email CLICK HERE

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Many types of tidings for sailors at Christmas

Laura - really has something good to celebrate for Christmas  .
Christmas brings many types of tidings for sailors of the world this year.

There's one Dutch 14-year-old sailor with the best Christmas present she could want. Laura Dekker is 'jumping a hole in the sky' over being allowed (pending some conditions) to sail away on a circumnavigation quest next summer.

Over in the Caribbean more than 200 boats of many nationalities are celebrating Christmas along with their successful completion of this year's ARC and now have a whole season of blissful sailing ahead.

Down in Australia, whether you're interested in sailing or not, the beginning of the Sydney to Hobart Race is a spectacular sight every year on Sydney Harbour on the day after Christmas, and this year is no exception. Hundreds of cruising sailors will also take to the water to follow the boats as they turn south for Hobart.

It's a sadder Christmas for kidnapped British sailors Paul and Rachel Chandler, who are still in the hands of Somali pirates.

And out in the middle of the Pacific, just a small speck on that vast ocean, Australian 16-year-old Jessica Watson will be having a lonely Christmas Day as she heads for the Southern Ocean in her third month of sailing.

As well this week, don't miss reading the spectacular story of a voyage through the Gulf of Oman pirate zone by skipper Stuart Broom, and his valuable information for anyone thinking to head in that direction.

...and there's lots of other news, so browse down the stories to choose what interests you.

Sail-World Cruising takes this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and we hope that all your ambitions – sailing or otherwise – will be fulfilled in 2010.

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

14-year-old Dutch sailor given the green light to sail
Nancy Knudsen,
In an amazing reversal, a Dutch court has ignored child welfare workers' plea that would-be circumnavigating teen sailor Laura Dekker be put in the care of a foster family. Further, they have assured her that, pending certain conditions being met, she will definitely be allowed to go sailing next summer. This means that the young sailor will still be 14 when she sets out.... [more]
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No turkey Christmas for kidnapped sailors
Nancy Knudsen,
Kidnapped sailors Paul and Rachel Chandler, into their third month as captives of Somali pirates, will miss out on Turkey, but will be allowed 'chips, pasta, fish or beer' to celebrate Christmas, according to a pirate commander - but there is no sign of any meaningful negotiations for their release... [more]
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Suez to Oman, not for the romantic or faint-hearted
Tracey Johnstone,
In early October Stuart Broom and his crew of three on the 92-foot Lisheen Lady left Cyprus heading for Thailand on a 5,500 nautical mile trek through the pirate infested waters of the Gulf of Aden. While Broom is well experienced in delivering yachts around the Pacific and Australia, none of that experience prepared him for a once in a lifetime delivery voyage as in his role as captain, he was... [more]
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Sydney Hobart - In Raptures about Rapture
She's 100 foot long and one of super super maxis heading south to Hobart, but she is not one of those stripped down racing machines. She is a cruiser-racer cruiser... [more]
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The new-generation soft-mud boat anchor
Sail-World Cruising,
While third generation anchors (Spade, Manson, Roca etc) boast a quantitative leap in anchor design, there is always room in the market for a 'special purpose' anchor. Here is a specialised soft mud anchor which, when disassembled takes very little space, and can be assembled in a matter of minutes.... [more]
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2009 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers Wraps Up In St. Lucia
Jeremy Wyatt,
Over 200 yachts have arrived at Rodney Bay Marina, Saint Lucia over the past two and a half weeks, and the celebration on Saturday 19 December, marked the close of the 2009 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. Upwards of 600 participants and their families attended the prizegiving ceremony to applaud the winners and mark the achievements of all the crews.... [more]
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Let's go sail on the moon - no, not our moon, Saturn's
Des Ryan,
It must take the prize as the most outrageous idea of 2009, but a professor at the University College London is suggesting that the way to explore Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is to go sailing on one of her lakes, and the scientific team behind the idea is about to propose it to NASA.... [more]
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A sailing destination to pine for - Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Anne Kazel-Wilcox, Chicago Tribune/Sail-World,
Looking for a last minute New Year sailing holiday? You couldn't do better than Tortola in the British Virgin Islands - or BVI as it is called by those who have long loved its perfect sailing, secluded anchorages and excellent diving.... [more]
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Pictures reveal Antarctic marine life in area of rapid climate change
British Antarctic Survey,
New photographs of ice fish, octopus, sea pigs, giant sea spiders, rare rays and beautiful basket stars that live in Antarctica's continental shelf seas are revealed this week by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). BAS photographer Peter Bucktrout took stunning images of an astonishingly rich and unusual variety of life from on and above the deep continental shelf.... [more]
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Christmas Book Ideas for your favourite sailor
Lisa Mylchreest,
There's nothing like a good nautical book as a Christmas present for the sailor in your life - or even for the would-be sailor in your life. Sail-World has selected a few suggestions to take the pain out of at least some of your Christmas shopping:... [more]
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A big event development year behind us - An even bigger year ahead!
Bob Williams,
From Bob Williams, CEO, Ocean Events, the Western Australian company behind the Around Australia Ocean Race and Rally events. 'This year is almost done and what a wonderful year it has been. First half of the year saw sailors from Australia and around the world responding to our on-line questionnaire asking what they would like in the way of a Race and Rally around Australia.... [more]
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What sailors want for Christmas...
Lisa Mylchreest,
American sailors, like other Americans, are very good at counting things, and hence the country comes up with many more statistics than your average sailing nation: But BoatU.S. this week takes the prize, with their announcement that, according to a recent survey of members, 5.5% of them want new front teeth for Christmas.... [more]
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Jessica Watson - 60 days, 7000 miles and UP THE MAST
Nancy Knudsen,
This is the view of Jessica Watson's yacht Ella's Pink Lady, taken by Jessica when she climbed the mast this week to check the rigging. The photo was taken when she was passing the 60-days-at-sea mark (about 25% of the planned journey), having covered 7,000 miles since she left Sydney in her attempt to become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the world non-stop and unassisted.... [more]
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Boat builder wins Excalibur Manslaughter Appeal
Rob Kothe,
An Australian boatbuilder has won his appeal against a manslaughter conviction over the deaths of four people when their yacht lost its keel and capsized at sea. Melbourne boat builder Alex Cittadini 51, was sentenced in July 2009 by the NSW Supreme Court over the deaths of Christopher Heyes, 51, Peter McLeod, Anne-Maree Pope, 30 and Tracey Luke, 32.... [more]
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Basic seamanship recommendations after sailing incident
Nancy Knudsen,
All cruising sailors, indeed all sailors, are well advised to attempt to learn from the mistakes of other sailors to help avoid making their own. In early October two lives were lost off the Australian coastline during a 92 mile race. The preliminary recommendations that have come from the inquiry into the tragic incident are amazing for their implications... [more]
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