No pirate attacks but violent robberies still go on across Caribbean...Dutch authorities disagree about teen sailor...whale strike pictures...another European Yacht of the Year...miracle rescue off Land's End...sailing Maldives to Thailand...and much more

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 22 Jul 2010

No pirate attacks, but busy oceans...

Look what the whale did to my yacht! - Cape Town, South Africa (see the story below)
The International Maritime Bureau's report that there have been no pirate attacks against yachts this year was welcome news, but that didn't stop it being a week full of interest and activity on the world's oceans.

As usual, the news is wildly varied. What a miraculous rescue it was of a sailor after a freak accident found her in the water, in the dark, in three metre seas, without her life jacket and fifty miles from land (and she HAD done everything right).

A couple of adventure missions are almost over. The crew of the 12,000 plastic-bottled catamaran Plastiki are all smiles after crossing the Pacific, denying that they had to be rescued in their final days (Read the conflicting stories).

The replica of a 600BC sailing ship, the Phoenica, has reached the Azores after circumnavigating Africa (almost). They've just been 82 days at sea, so it's just a short skip of a leg home now.

Holland is having a hard time knowing what to do with its own teenager sailor, Laura Dekker. The decision has been put off AGAIN as to whether authorities (and there are so many of them) will unite to agree to allow her to leave Holland solo on her Jeanneau Gin Fitz called Guppy.

Lots of Green (or should we say 'Blue'?) news, some dreamy cruising stories, and one hilarious (if it weren't so potentially serious) video.

Browse through and read what you fancy

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

IMB reports: Zero pirate attacks against yachts this year
Nancy Knudsen,
It's official. According to the International Maritime Bureau(IMB), a non-profit organisation which acts as a focal point for the global war against piracy, and report regularly on pirate attacks and attempted attacks against ships, no piracy against yachts has been recorded in the first half of 2010. Paul and Rachel Chandler, however, kidnapped in 2009, are still held hostage.... [more]
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Whale dismasts yacht - investigation pending
Sail-World Cruising,
The advice to stay several hundred metres away from a whale took on new resonance after the latest incident in South African waters. The owners of a well known Cape Town Sailing Academy were dismasted this week by a whale who apparently didn't notice the yacht and breached virtually on top of them.... [more]
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Closed court hearing on 14-year-old Dutch sailor but no result
Nancy Knudsen,
On Tuesday a closed court hearing was held by the Children's court in Middleburg to determine whether Laura Dekker, 14-year-old sailor who wants permission to sail away from Holland solo with the intention of completing a circumnavigation, was to be allowed to depart.... [more]
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Key Largo needs sailors who can dive for reef restoration
Andy Newman, Carol Shaughnessy/Sail-World,
If you are sailing, or intend to be sailing, any where near Key Largo at the southern tip of Florida in the next few months, and you know how to dive, here's your chance to help scientists help the ocean environment. Divers can work side-by-side with marine scientists to aid in reef restoration during a series of coral restoration dives set for August 11-13, Oct. 19-22 and Nov. 1-3 with Amor... [more]
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Bavaria Cruiser 45 nominated for European Yacht of the Year 2010-2011
Jamie Millar,
Bavaria Cruiser 45 has been nominated for European Yacht of the Year 2010/11. The Cruiser 45 will be tested by the international judging panel following the HISWA boat show in Amsterdam in September and the prestigious award will be presented for the eighth time in January 2011 at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, Germany.... [more]
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All 'by the book', but sailor has narrow escape
Nancy Knudsen,
She thought that she had done everything right - and she had. She was wearing a life jacket and harness, and was well tethered. But a freak incident still had a British sailor in danger of drowning this week, as she trod water for two hours 50 miles off Land's End after going overboard.... [more]
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German study to document effects of ocean acidification
Sail-World Cruising,
As a sailor, if you like cruising and diving in the sea you know now, you will be interested in ocean acidification** - the 'other' CO2 problem. The video is an inside view of the research that's being done on ocean acidification at the scientific research station at Ny Alesund in Svalbard, Norway.... [more]
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Greenpeace - We're gonna need a bigger boat!
The Rainbow Warrior III is the next extraordinary addition to our famous fleet of ships. It will be purpose built from the keel up to fight the greatest threat to the oceans and our world: climate change.... [more]
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Did he freeze? Was he not looking?
Sail-World Cruising,
Did he freeze? Was he not looking? Was it rattled nerves that made him give the 'V' sign? It was a close call between a private yacht and a pleasure cruise ship when this near collision was caught on video at Watchet Harbour, in Somerset, UK last weekend. The encounter, which involved the Balmoral ship, was filmed by local resident Gerry Lowe on Saturday. See the video below.... [more]
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See what's brewing in 'Hurricane Alleys' live online, via GOES Project
Rob Gutro,
NASA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Project scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. have developed continually updating 'movies' of satellite imagery that allows on-line, iPhone and iPad viewing of any cyclone's movement in the Hurricane Alleys of the Atlantic Ocean or Eastern Pacific Ocean.... [more]
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82 days at sea, and Phoenicia reaches the Azores
Nancy Knudsen,
It has been the longest and most challenging leg of their journey, but the Phoenicia, the replica of a 600BC Phoenician vessel which it is believed circumnavigated Africa, has reached the Azores. The journey covered over 3500miles, with eight crew members, and proved that the sturdy vessel could withstand the challenging conditions of the Atlantic Ocean.... [more]
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Plastiki says no Distress Call: 'It was an arranged charter escort'
Natalie Laharnar/Nancy Knudsen,
The crew of the Plastiki were all smiles on arrival into Mooloolaba. Contrary to earlier reports, media representatives for the The Plastiki have denied vehemently that the catamaran was rescued as it approached Mooloolaba in Queensland. This conflicted with news earlier received and published in local media that the yacht had made a distress call picked up by Brisbane Water Police... [more]
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Sailing with Ketoro - Maldives to Thailand
Irene and Rolf Fricke,
Irene and Rolfe Fricke, cruising in their yacht Ketoro, bring us another tale of an ocean crossing, this time between the Maldives and Thailand. Thinking back on that 'peaceful and graciously xenophobic Muslim country' the Maldives (quoting Fran, a sailing friend), we remember...... [more]
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Plastiki sends out PAN PAN, rescue underway
Nancy Knudsen,
Australian water police based in Brisbane have picked up a distress call from Plastiki, the eco-friendly 60 ft catamaran made of 12,000 plastic bottles, which was on the last leg of her journey from San Francisco to Australia, heading for Coffs Harbour. Plastiki was 200 nautical miles off the coast, her engine was disabled and she was being driven helplessly north by strong tradewinds.... [more]
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Global warming slows coral growth in Red Sea
In a pioneering use of computed tomography (CT) scans, scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have discovered that carbon dioxide (CO2)-induced global warming is in the process of killing off a major coral species in the Red Sea.... [more]
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Mike Harker tells of mugging in St Martin
Mike Harker,
Many readers will know the inspirational story of Mike Harker, the champion hang glider who had a near death experience, lay recovering for six years as a paraplegic, then became a long range cruising sailor, making popular documentaries while he sailed the world. Recently, as we reported earlier, the charismatic sailor was mugged on his sailing boat in St Martin, and here is his latest account:... [more]
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Urgent Message for Northwest Passage sailors
Lisa Mylchreest,
If you are not thinking of transiting the Northwest Passage above Canada this year, this message won't concern you. If you are, it's urgent! There is to be no propane in Cambridge Bay... [more]
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Sailing Tip of the Week: Green Shopping Bags to the rescue
Grant Headifen,
Do you have one of those top loading deep freezes that reach down into the bowels of the boat so far you can hardly reach the bottom? Or risk falling in headfirst when you try? Or maybe the yacht you are just about to charter is like that? (warning: many are.) Well here is yet another use for the ubiquitous Green Shopping Bag.... [more]
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Leading sparmakers Southern Spars and Nordic Mast to merge
Southern Spars and Sail-World,
The Directors and Shareholders of Nordic Mast and Southern Spars have announced the merger of Nordic Mast and Southern Spars. The merger will create a combined entity with over 350 staff that will be better equipped to compete on the world stage, supplying a comprehensive range of high quality carbon fibre masts, booms and carbon rigging to meet the demands of all market sectors. Taki... [more]
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Customs Form C1331 notification process resolved
Louise Nicholls / RYA,
In response to pressure from the RYA, the UK Border Agency has revised the notification process for the submission of Customs Form C1331 to a more practical level.... [more]
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