Major North Sea debris warning...Laura Dekker in the Canaries...Red Sea convoy set up...satphones at sea, the facts...three sailors saved by EPIRB, one killed by fall...electronic charts and their dangers... and much more...

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 02 Sep 2010

Warnings on the water - 60 tonnes of floating timber and a hurricane!

Avoiding floating planks in the North Sea - danger will increase at night  .
I wouldn't be sailing at night in the North Sea around the UK's Norfolk and Suffolk regions any time soon, unless I had a permanent crew member on the bow with a spotlight.

The sixty tonnes of timber planking that fell off a ship might be around much longer than Hurricane Earl, which is threatening the Atlantic coastline of North America right now.

14-year-old Laura Dekker, escaped from mainstream media attention (read the story), is getting ready to cross the Atlantic, and working to repair a damaged bearing in her rudder. She is also effusing about the clear water and exploring the scenery of the volcanic island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, and artist Cesar Manrique's unique control of the architecture there. Regardless of her critics, she is already having amazing experiences.

Other fascinating voyages this week include the return home of the first ever circumnavigating Lithuanian family, and the brave circumnavigation of Britain by Dr Josie Phillips – brave? Read why.

Then there are the practical and useful stories – one reminding us about the danger of believing that your yacht is where the electronic chart says it is, another about maximising your satellite coverage at sea within your budget, and then there's anchoring 101 – which you'll need if you're a racing-turned-cruising sailor. World Cruising Destinations, Jimmy Cornell's new companion to his navigation bible, World Cruising Routes is also reviewed.

More too - a great range of non-racing sailing articles for a great range of cruising sailors, so browse the stories to see what grabs your eye.

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

North Sea Warning for sailors: 60 tonnes of timber
Sail-World Cruising,
Yacht crews in the North Sea are warned about 60 tonnes of wooden planks which have fallen overboard from a Norwegian ship, 55 miles east of Lowestoft in the UK in heavy seas.... [more]
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Rally/convoy heading to the Red Sea
Rene Tiemessen/Sail-World Cruising,
The Tiemessen family, sailing in their Phillip Rhodes designed sloop Alondra, a 60ft classic yacht, are heading from Thailand to Turkey via the Red Sea, and organising an informal rally or convoy for the journey, beginning the transit in early 2011.... [more]
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Hurricane Earl for the Atlantic Coast of North America this weekend
US Coast Guard/Boat US,
With Hurricane Earl expected to pass along the Atlantic Coast of North America this weekend, the US Coast Guard is stressing the importance of safety for sailors during the hurricane season. As Earl approaches, the Coast Guard urges people to be mindful of the following safety tips:... [more]
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A circumnavigation with a mission
Des Ryan,
Circumnavigation has a fascination for sailors, be it round the world, the Americas, Australia or Britain. So what do you do when you are told that you only have months to live? Why, you go sail a circumnavigation...or maybe only heroes do. Dr Josie Phillips, 27, was used to being in contact with terminally ill people, but that didn't prepare her for her own diagnosis with a brain tumour... [more]
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Electronic Charts - great but dangerous to rely on
Sail-World Cruising,
The introduction of electronic charting has been a boon to all leisure sailors, but caution needs to be exercised. The Australian Hydrographic Service (AHS) says that mariners may be putting their lives at risk by relying on electronic navigation charts that are not up-to-date..... [more]
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Anchoring 101 - Smart boating tips
Smart Boating,
Most of us who cruise around well-serviced areas tend to pick up a known mooring buoy for lunch or overnight, if it is at all possible. It's easy and convenient as long as there are plenty of moorings to go round. But what if there are no moorings free? Are you confident you can anchor for the night instead? And what if your engine fails and you find yourself drifting towards a lee shore?... [more]
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World Cruising Destinations - new book by Jimmy Cornell
Nancy Knudsen,
Every sensible long range cruising sailor has onboard Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes, and now there's a fitting and charismatic companion - World Cruising Destinations. Just as World Cruising Routes tells you the best sailing routes round the world, so World Cruising Destinations is there to tell you what you'll find when you get there.... [more]
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Satphone at sea: The How When Where and Why
Georgie Roberts,
Deciding you need satellite communications on a boat is a no-brainer - great to stay in touch with loved ones, and another vital safety link when you go to sea. But deciding the best solution in terms of cost and value is a little trickier. NOT getting it right can be very expensive. Here Georgie Roberts, of British satellite communications provider, MailASail, offers some smart advice:... [more]
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First circumnavigating Lithuanian family sails home
Linas Jegelevicius, Baltic Times/Sail-World i,
They are the first Lithuanian family to do a cruising circumnavigation of the world, and they have just returned to Lithuania to a hero's welcome. Andrius Varnas, from the Lithuanian village of Minija, his daughter Rasa and her Basque boyfriend, Egoi, have just finished their round-the-world sailing voyage on their yacht, Ragaine II.... [more]
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Researchers find widespread floating plastic debris in North Atlantic
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,
A previously undefined expanse of western North Atlantic has been found to contain high concentrations of plastic debris. More than 64,000 individual plastic pieces were collected at 6100 locations that were sampled yearly over the course of the study. A surface plankton net was used to collect plastic debris as well as biological organisms at each station.... [more]
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Laura Dekker departs secretly, gives Press the slip
Nancy Knudsen,
She gave them the slip. 14-year-old Laura Dekker has attracted so much publicity - almost all of it negative - that she and her father slipped away from the Portuguese port of Portimao - her stated point of departure for her circumnavigation - without a word to anyone, leaving the Portuguese and international press still waiting and bitterly disappointed when they found she was gone.... [more]
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Yachtsman dies after yacht scaffolding fall
Sail-World Cruising,
You don't have to fall from the top of the mast to lose your life when working on your boat. A sailor from Lyttelton, just south of Christchurch in New Zealand has died from head injuries received when he fell from scaffolding while working on his yacht.... [more]
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Three more sailors' lives saved by EPIRB
Sail-World Cruising,
It's happened yet again. The lives of three French sailing crew have been saved by their EPIRB - and a friendly passing container ship. The yacht, 500 nautical miles off its expected course sent the emergency alert this week while were sailing in the Atlantic Ocean.... [more]
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What you really need to know about boat insurance in three minutes
Boat insurance can be a dull, sleepy subject for many boaters and anglers. So why should you care about it? BoatUS just released a short, three-minute video on the topic that is certainly worth a few minutes of your time.... [more]
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British Antarctic Survey - Evidence for a trans-Antarctic seaway
BAS/Heather Martin,
British Antarctic Survey - A tiny marine filter-feeder, that anchors itself to the sea bed, offers new clues to scientists studying the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet — a region that is thought to be vulnerable to collapse.... [more]
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Moorings or not for Sailors? Biscayne National Park, Florida
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging boaters, anglers and sailors in the Sunshine State of Florida to weigh-in on proposed changes by the National Park Service (NPS) concerning the anchoring and mooring of vessels in Biscayne National Park, Florida. The deadline for comments is September 3.... [more]
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ARC Centre of Excellence - Coral's dangerous childhood
ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,
ARC Centre of Excellence - Coral's dangerous childhood - A team from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) at James Cook University and CRIOBE, the French Research Centre and Observatory for Island Environments, used terracotta tiles to study and count survival in minute and juvenile corals on the Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia.... [more]
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Weekend Sailing the Great Lakes and Straits of Mackinac - a tale
Tom Watts, Daily Tribune/Sail-World,
Bob Ortlieb's invitation to sail the Great Lakes on his fabulous teak-trimmed Morgan was also extended to Jared Berousek, 30, and Matt Howell, 47., both of Royal Oak, a little north of Detroit in Michigan. They were to sail through Lake Huron before reaching the mighty Mackinac Bridge to pass into Lake Michigan... [more]
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