Irresponsible skipper sails into port 44 days late...teen sailors get ready for winter gales...waterspouts and surfing sailing boats...the right info on AIS...yachties bumble drug import...and much more

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 15 Apr 2010

How long before the sailing freedoms erode?

After the British flagged SS Columbo returned safely to Coquimbo a mere 44 days late, (with five, not seven sailors on board as sometimes reported) Sail-World Cruising also received an unusually high number of emails from angry readers.

In spite of the mainstream press claiming that there is an 'international sailing standard whereby boats are meant to maintain regular radio contact with a radio station close by', this is not the case at all. Position reporting is mandatory only when in a race or rally. Regardless of this, the irresponsible skipper had a clear duty of care to his students, whom he had charged $3500 each.

The idea that miscreant sailors who clearly cause unnecessary rescues should be forced to pay for them has long been a subject of discourse over sundowners in cockpits and in yacht club bars. In New Zealand last year some sailors who panicked and called for rescue were afterwards shamed into paying for their rescue by the outcry that followed, but that's a long way from the enacting of a regulation.

The families of the returned Canadian sailors say they are angry enough to sue skipper Bob Norwid if they can, and no doubt they will be searching every angle with their lawyers. Let's hope they succeed.

A great turnout of other news here below – some important, some informative, some merely quirky or entertaining. Then there are the mouth watering cruising tales....

It's a great read, so browse down the headlines to see what interests you.

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Five sailors, missing two months, sail into Coquimbo, Chile
Nancy Knudsen,
Five sailors, missing on the sailing yacht the SS Columbia for nearly two months in the eastern Pacific, have turned up in Coquimbo. This includes the skipper Boguslaw 'Bob' Norwid and his wife, and their three student sailors - Canadian women Josee Chabot and Lisa Hanlon and Australian Mitchell Westlake.... [more]
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Jessica Watson past her last Cape, Abby heads for Africa
Nancy Knudsen,
The 16-year-olds sail on. Jessica Watson has passed under the last great Cape of her circumnavigation and Abby Sunderland heads for her second one. While passing Cape Leeuwin on the south west tip of Australia puts Jessica on the home run, those with even a little sailing experience will know that the 'home run' may not be an easy run, for a few reasons.... [more]
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Biodiesel warning: tank gaskets of either Viton or Teflon, or NOT
Glen Tuttle, Cruisers' Network Online,
It's when one experiences first hand the bad effects of using biodiesel without changing the fittings on the fuel tanks that the message comes home in a dramatic way: This is one cruiser's story, Glen Tuttle, of the Cruisers Network Online, cruising in the Caribbean... [more]
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Product of the Week: Light, stainless and stubless
Sail-World Cruising,
There's nothing worse than stubbing your toes while sailing, but ain't it nice not to have to wear sailing shoes or sandals! If this sounds like you, then award winning innovation company Colligo Marine just might have an answer, in Sail-World's Product of the Week, the Soft Padeye.... [more]
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Beaufort Scale - wind and sea conditions
Nancy Knudsen,
' there we were in a Force 8..' 'A what?' '..a Force 8, and the winch jammed...' 'What's a Force 8 mate?' 'It's a bloody big wind - where do you come from?' 'Australia.' 'I see old chap - that explains it. Now can I get on with my story?'... [more]
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Sunderland Royal National Lifeboat Institution rescue George the dog
RNLI Sunderland,
RNLI crewmembers based at Sunderland Lifeboat Station were scrambled to Hendon promenade early today to assist a dog that had been swept into the cold North Sea whilst walking with its owner.... [more]
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Sails set for Pacific endeavour
Debra Douglas,
A sight not seen for hundreds of years greeted boaties on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on Sunday, when four traditional vaka sailed in an inner harbour regatta. The skippers of the double-hulled, 13-tonne, 22m-long vaka were fine-tuning their vessels in readiness for a voyage across the Pacific. The fleet will sail from Auckland on Wednesday April 14th (weather permitting) to French Polynesia,... [more]
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Cruising in Ketoro: Chagos Archipelago
Rolfe and Irene Fricke,
Rolf and Irene Fricke are cruising the Indian Ocean in their 40ft Admiral Catamaran, Ketoro. From the Seychelles, they have sailed to the almost legendary sailing world of Chagos - that isolated archipelago about half way between Sri Lanka and Madagascar, seven uninhabited atolls - uninhabited that is, except for the sailing boats:... [more]
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Report published on the provision of marine aids to navigation
In September 2009 the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Republic of Ireland Department of Transport (DoT) appointed the company Atkins Ltd to undertake an independent assessment of the provision of marine Aids to Navigation... [more]
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Can ships TURN OFF Class B AIS targets? The answer is NO!
Ben Ellison,
It is a frequently heard marine myth that ships, seeing a lot of clutter on their AIS screens, TURN OFF the signals from Class B AIS targets, ridding themselves of worry about potential collisions with vessels which may only scrape their paintwork. Ben Ellison, of, arguably the premier electronics blog for cruisers, here addresses the issue, in his own inimitable style:... [more]
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Bering Sea spring expedition brings news of changing ice conditions
Sail-World Cruising,
If oceans are the stuff of dreams for cruising sailors, knowing what keeps them alive is important to sailors too. This week the US Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea this week returned to Kodiak, Alaska after finishing their spring Bering Sea Ecosystem Study (BEST) cruise, which had them sailing amongst walrus, diving sea ducks and even bowhead whales.... [more]
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Sailling boat knockdown caught on Video - this could happen to you
Kym Pasqualini,
The founder of The Sail Through Cancer Foundation, Dick Drechsler, accompanied by his wife, Sharon, battled serious waves that nearly turned their Catalina 470 sailboat upside down while crossing an extremely shallow bar to get into the estuary of San Blas, on the western coast of Mexico.... [more]
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Yachties in bumbled drug import - appeal rejected
Sail-World Cruising,
From 22 to 25 years, they are the sentences for some bumbling yachties who tried to import $22.5m worth of cocaine from Mexico into Australia, sailing it across the Pacific via French Polynesia, The Cook Islands, Tonga and Noumea. An American, an Australian and a Peruvian managed to get the cocaine wet on the way, and didn't know they were trailed by Federal Police.... [more]
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Inaugural Asian Marine & Boating Awards at CIBS
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
The AMB Awards were described by the organisers as 'designed to be a thank you to all our loyal exhibitors, and an attempt to set a new standard for recognizing excellence in the ever-growing marine industry in China'. With a panel of judges drawn from local and international marine, boating and lifestyle media, and marine industry professionals, awards were made in 14 categories.... [more]
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Waterspouts - don't get caught in one of these!
Sail-World Cruising,
Waterspouts and their land versions are common in the Caribbean and tropical waters of the area, but here are some photos taken by cruising sailor John Hodgson while he was cruising in Turkey recently.... [more]
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Jessica Watson - victory closer as the pink lines converge
Nancy Knudsen,
While round-the-world teen solo sailor Jessica Watson has been having a few down days and rough weather, the thought of passing under south west tip of Australia will doubtless be enough to sustain her for the 'home run' back to Sydney.... [more]
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'Mutiny on the Bounty' party leaves Sydney today for Tonga
Nancy Knudsen,
He's sailed around the world single-handed and he's wintered with his wife in the Antarctic, but the adventure that has him leaving Sydney today is bound to eclipse both. Two crew have backed out, Pete Steir and teen circumnavigator Mike Perham with complications after appendix surgery, but April 28 Don McIntyre will recreate Captain Bligh's incredible journey after the famed Mutiny of the Bounty... [more]
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Big change to the nation's gasoline supply awaits EPA approval
This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will decide on whether to allow a 50% increase in the amount of ethanol in the nation's gasoline supply, from the current E10 (or containing 10% ethanol) up to E15 (containing 15% ethanol).... [more]
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Spike Doriean Family Appeal
Barby McGowan,
The international sailing world was stunned on Tuesday April 6 2010 by the news of the sudden death of Peter ‘Spike' Doriean, 38, one of Australia's best known professional sailors and one of the nicest guys any of us have had the privilege of knowing. Spike is survived by his wife Nicki and two young children, Jemima aged 5 and Fox aged 3. It is for his young family that we are appealing for you... [more]
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Now in Broadband: Acoustic Imaging of the Ocean
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),
Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have developed two advanced broadband acoustic systems that they believe could represent the acoustic equivalent of the leap from black-and-white television to high-definition color TV.... [more]
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