Sailing boat vanishes mysteriously off NZ...third teen solo girl to set sail but Jessica powers on...plastic bottle boat coming to Sydney...Ian Thomson to circumnavigate Australia...antifouling, more than one way to think... and much more...

25 Mar 2010                                         If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE           To respond to this email CLICK HERE

Diary Dates


Life as it happens on the oceans of the world

She's coming this way! Plastiki departs from San Francisco, March 2010 - (Photo Catherine Sparkes)  
The telling of news for sailors is always a rich experience for the writer - the humour, the tragedies, the practical, wild tales of the adventurers, the traditions, the quirks, the environmental concerns, the new innovations, the heroes - and the cruising tales of those who've escaped the rat race and run away to sea.

This week is no different. All Australian sailors will be in sympathy with the more than 60 yacht owners who have suffered damage to their boats in the Whitsundays because of Cyclone Ului.

Just departed San Francisco is a strange sailing boat coming this way! The Plastiki departed this week for Sydney – a boat made of 12,500 plastic bottles. Banking family heir David de Rothschild is trying to draw attention to the plight of the world's oceans – it's a bizarre way to do it, and let's hope that it's not David and his crew of experienced sailors that end up in a 'plight'.

How can a yacht vanish during a short coastal sail? No debris, no squeak from an EPIRB, a fruitless grid search by planes and helicopters, no sign from ocean sweeps by satellites. Read the mystifying account which has left the family and friends of South African Paul Janse Van Rensburg distraught after his disappearance off the New Zealand coast. It's reminiscent of the disappearance of the legendary Silicone Valley identity Jim Gray off the coast of San Francisco in 2007 – he had only gone for an afternoon sail and no trace was ever found. We'll all pray for a better end to this story.

There's the news of a new rally from Darwin to Indonesia, some new standards to take notice of for life jackets, some good ways to 'think green' when the time for anti-fouling rolls around, and an extraordinary report that the pirates have given the kidnapped cruising sailor Rachel Chandler a gun, 'to protect herself'.

Then there's the account of some unlikely heroes who saved the lives of a couple of yachties in horrendous conditions in Fiji; a couple of guys in tiny catamarans have just sailed a 350 mile voyage in North Queensland; an update on the teen solo sailors – Jessica is still storming home, Californian Abby Sunderland is heading through the fifties for Cape Horn, and now there's news that the Dutch teenager Laura Dekker is definitely planning to depart around July in a newly acquired boat.

Browse through the headlines to find the stories that interest you, and...

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Another competitor for Jessica Watson
Nancy Knudsen,
While Sunshine Coast teenager Jessica Watson is half way across the Indian Ocean and on the home run, and Californian Abby Sunderland is in the 'roaring' 40's in the Pacific Ocean and heading for Cape Horn, another still younger teenager is preparing for her own circumnavigation.... [more]
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60ft Plastiki sets sail from San Francisco
Erik Simonson,
The voyage of the Plastiki began in earnest yesterday as the 60' man made plastic catamaran was towed unceremoniously out to sea of the San Francisco coast and released in calm condition and a gentle swell. The mission, the brain child of David de Rothschild , heir of the de Rothschild European banking dynasty began in 2006 and has seen its share of delays and setbacks, and a lack of cooperating w... [more]
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Whitsunday yacht damage - the aftermath of Cyclone Ului
Courier Mail/Sail-World Cruising,
Now the Cyclone Ului has passed, the yachting community of the Whitsundays is left to count the cost - and watch the ugly side of Australians come to the fore. More than 60 yachts broke moorings and were driven ashore on to rocks or foreshores during the cyclone. Yacht owners have been devastated, first by the damage to their boats, then to the horror of looters and 'salvagers'. .... [more]
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Mariner warning for drifting yacht Pacific Ocean NE of New Zealand
Sail-World Cruising,
Seven days ago the yacht Tafadzwa left New Zealand for a short sail south off eastern coast of the north island of New Zealand. In spite of an intensive search and the EPIRBs on board, no sign of the yacht has been seen since. Authorities now warn that one possibility is that the vanished yacht is sailing with no-one at the helm, north east away from New Zealand into the vast waters of the Pacific... [more]
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Ian Thomson prepares to circumnavigate Australia
Ian Thomson,
Ian Thomson, about to commence a solo sail to circumnavigate Australia, reports his progress on preparations for his marathon sail, and how Cyclone Ului affected the timing.... [more]
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Australian Sailors can help Haiti - Donate your old spinnakers NOW!!
Belinda Braidwood,
Sailors to help Haiti: Tom Braidwood is calling all yachties to help the survivors of the Haiti Earthquake One of the problems the Haitians are facing is enough shelter. The wet season is approaching and a solution is needed as soon as possible. As all yachties know, there are thousands of old sails lying around over Australia. Tom's plan is to turn these into tarps and tent shelters.... [more]
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Putting the CSI into CSIRO on World Water Day
CSIRO scientists have announced trials of a new technique that is helping determine the impacts of water quality and climate change on the health and biodiversity of Australia's coastal systems. The team compares samples from impacted sites (for example those affected by chemical contamination or drought) with samples from pre-impacted or unaffected sites to determine the number or type of species... [more]
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Antifouling: More than one way to think green
Canadian Yachting,
These days when it comes to antifouling paints we need to consider not just the cost to ourselves, but also the cost to the environment. With a little education, and as responsible yachties, we can make both a green and a cost-effective decision for our antifouling paint.... [more]
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New PFD Standard for Australian Boaters
Australia's marine safety authorities have agreed to accept Personal Flotation Devices made to the new Australian Standard 4758 by 1 July 2010.... [more]
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Aussie Weta sailors complete 350km voyage off North Queensland coast
David Meade,
A couple of Aussie Weta sailors have recently completed a 350 plus kilometre journey from Townsville to Cairns. 'The voyage to Cairns was a complete success, had a great time and boat performed without issue. Weather was a bit light and lots of direct tail winds (got quite inventive with paddles as spinnaker poles...and playing with the shape of the main) and lots of time at 3 to 5 knots boat speed.... [more]
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Innovative Product of the Week: Fender Tender
Sail-World Cruising,
Having to move fenders quickly is often necessary when manoeuvering a yacht in close quarters, and this product is particularly convenient if you have stainless steel rails for life lines. So now, to move, adjust and re-secure fenders, there's a convenient, cost-effective solution, and the boat will also look better and tidier than having knots with messy line endings.... [more]
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Pirate on Chandlers: 'No freedom, but we've given her a gun'
Sail-World Cruising/Daily Mail,
In new interview with the Somali pirate gang who are holding kidnapped cruising sailors Paul and Rachel Chandler for ransom, spokesman Ali Gedow has told Britain's Daily Mail 'We don't care about mercy, we just want the money.' This came after hopes had been raised that the Chandlers would be freed 'within a fortnight'. He also confirmed that they had given Mrs Chandler a gun to protect herself.... [more]
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Australian Sailors can help Haiti
Belinda Braidwood,
Sailors to help Haiti: Tom Braidwood is calling all yachties to help the survivors of the Haiti Earthquake One of the problems the Haitians are facing is enough shelter. The wet season is approaching and a solution is needed as soon as possible. As all yachties know, there are thousands of old sails lying around over Australia. Tom's plan is to turn these into tarps and tent shelters.... [more]
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Participation important for healthy marine parks
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
The involvement of locals is a key ingredient in the success of marine parks which protect coral reefs and fish stocks. The team looked at how successful coral reef marine reserves were at conserving fish stocks. They studied 56 marine reserves from 19 different countries throughout Asia, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean.... [more]
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Plastiki - she's off, San Francisco to Sydney
Carl Nolte, SFGate/Sail-World Cruising,
After years of planning and preparation, the boat built of 12,500 plastic bottles was set to sail this morning from the Sausalito Yacht Harbour in San Francisco on its Pacific crossing adventure, to end up in Sydney.... [more]
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Melbourne to Vanuatu - Vanuatu School Wish List!
John Curnow,
The second of the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria's Long Distance Offshore Sailing Seminars was held recently at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Melbourne. As usual, it was a truly informative session and attendees were certainly armed with plenty of questions. Naturally, this is great to see people using these free, yet completely invaluable seminars, to the best of their needs and requirements.... [more]
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Australian Antarctic Whale Expedition returns
Australian Antarctic Division,
The world's largest, non-lethal whale research expedition has returned from Antarctic waters with a range of new information that will help inform future marine mammal conservation. Expedition science leader, the Australian Antarctic Division's Dr Nick Gales, who heads the Australian Marine Mammal Centre, said a great deal of data was collected during the voyage.... [more]
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Australia's Antarctic gateway to host 2012 Treaty meeting
Australian Antarctic Division,
The Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts and the Minister for Foreign Affairs has announced that Hobart will host the 35th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in 2012.... [more]
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Sailing to the Andamans - oceans of flat water
Ley Langford,
I remember when we announced to our families that we were buying a yacht, my brother in law Peter said 'Ley, you're in love with flat water sailing - wait until you find out what it is really like out there!' Eventually I did ...... [more]
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Fiji cyclone Tomas claims yacht: Cruise ship heroes save yacht's crew
Des Ryan,
While Cyclone Tomas was ravagiing Fiji this week, crew members of a local cruise ship were battling 125 knot winds and raging seas to save the owner of a capsized yacht trapped below deck.... [more]
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Eight bells John Gerard Hurley - Funeral arrangements
Brendan J. Rourke,
With regret and much sadness, Members and the sailing community are advised of the passing away of our wonderful friend John Hurley this morning. John was a member with MHYC since 1970 and a staff member for over 10 years, before helping the CYCA recently.... [more]
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Southport Yacht Club has appointed a new CEO & from NOAA inf,
The Board of Southport Yacht Club has announced the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer.... [more]
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ISAF Chief warns yachts against the Gulf of Aden
Nancy Knudsen,
In a quick response to Sail-World Cruising's story of the 20 yachts which last week successfully transited the pirate riddled Gulf of Aden, an ISAF Chief has warned that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has forecast that piracy is expected to worsen, with an increasing involvement of the feared Islamist terrorist faction the Al Shabab.... [more]
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Sail into the dream from $409,000 AUD.
Beneteau Sydney Beneteau - Vicsail,
Sail into the dream from $409,000 AUD and this NEW Oceanis 50 could be yours.... [more]
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The Latest Sail-World competition - Prize value over AUD$300,000,
Since 2000 we've been running Sail-World online competitions. These have been very popular, with our audience. Sailors have won everything from charter holidays, to offshore wet weather gear, inshore jackets and this year we broke new ground with our Win a Laser competition. Now we have a very different prize from those in our previous competitions.... [more]
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'Call of nature' responsible for MOB death
Nicole Harnishfeger, Inquirer/Sail-World,
An overnight sail, a step in the dark onto the deck to answer the call of nature, no tether, a life lost, children orphaned and a wife widowed. Going on deck at night without a tether has caused countless previous tragedies, and has now claimed another life. Jo Hemingway, 36, father of two, disappeared from his 23ft Maritime boat as the family were on an overnight sail in Massachusetts in the USA... [more]
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Sailors' Sock-Burning turns to Sock-Giving
Rob Kasper,Baltimore Sun/Sail-World Cruising,
In the spring tradition of the USA's sailing-mad Annapolis, a sock-burning practice which was initiated in the late 1980s by Bob Turner this year has a different, more gentle slant. Some sailors decided, instead of burning their socks, they would donate them to the poor and homeless.... [more]
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Internet Images 101 for Events, Sponsors and Event Photographers
Brendan Maxwell - TetraMedia,
Sailing is one of those sports which is much more followed on the Internet, than in magazines, newspapers or on television. It is therefore vital that marine events and marine industry professionals pay careful attention to the needs of Internet consumers.... [more]
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Keeping butts out of the water: U.S. sailors do their part
Should the sea be an ashtray? Surprisingly, cigarette butts were the most common item on the World's beaches at the 2009 International Coastal Cleanup - there's a good chance they all didn't get there by careless sunbathers. Over in the USA the the USA's boat owners' association is doing something about keeping marinas butt-free... [more]
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