Danish captives 'exhausted'...French sailor fails in round-world solo bid, again...dismasted, holed but four rescued...Life jacket innovation awards...Sailing in my Sarong...and much more

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 31 Mar 2011

Pirates, adventure, innovation. Discovery, rescue and salty tales

Rescued from the Atlantic from sinking yacht  .
Those who venture in sailing boats away from the dock and our familiar waters are joined by a bond deeper than national differences, and we all share the delight and pain of good days and bad, of lessons learned and adventures realised.

Here's another week on the world's oceans for the cruising sailor, new inventions to make life easier and safer, new adventures and misadventures, new lessons to take to sea with us.

Read of the situation of the Danish family of five and their two crew, held by Somali pirates since they were seajacked on 24th February. It's five weeks now, and counting.

Weep for Thomas Coville, French sailor who has just failed – again – to be the fastest solo round world sailor. It was just not meant to be, and read why.

Four South African sailors have been rescued just as their yacht was sinking in the Southern Atlantic. Again it was the EPIRB which told the story and sent rescuers looking for them after their radios were damaged.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has come up with some fascinating and useful information about how whales react to sonar. I can't help wondering whether one day it could lead to an invisible wall of sonar protection around sailing boats... still on ocean matters, read how the Swinburne University of Technology has discovered, using information from satellite imagery, that wind and waves round the world have significantly increased between 1985 and 2008.

Up in Canada they are cheering for the removal of red tape for small sailing boats and other small craft, there are a couple of book reviews you may want to check out, and we publish the 'other side' of the story about why so few sailing boats have their DSC-enabled radios connected to their GPS. There is ONE recommendation here that is obvious– buy all the same brand gear and cables so there are no incompatibilities.

It's great news that Solar Planet, that amazing solar yacht, has reached French Polynesia, and still lots of other news as well - cruising tales, awards and innovative products.

Wishing you sweet reading, and even sweeter sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Kidnapped Danish cruising sailors 'exhausted, demoralised'
Radio Netherlands/Sail-World Cruising,
The Danish cruising family and their two crew, kidnapped on February 24 by Somali pirates, have been described as being exhausted, tired, angry and demoralised by a Danish reporter who was allowed to see them on the Greek vessel where they are anchored near Gumbah.... [more]
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Solar Planet in the Marquesas - the longest solar sea voyage
Raphaël Domjan & Patrick Marchesseau,
Raphaël Domjan & Patrick Marchesseau on their amazing Solar Planet, the sea craft completely powered by solar panels, have arrived in Polynesia in the South Pacific, after completing the leg from Galapagos in 25 days, 6 hours and 39 minutes. Here is their report of the crossing:... [more]
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Dismasted, holed, but all crew on Spirit of Izivunguvungu rescued
Caryn Dolley Independent online/Sail-World,
Four Cape Town sailors have been rescued from a sinking yacht in the remote southern seas after four tense days without communications or sightings of the vessel. Missing since Monday, The Spirit of Izivunguvungu was spotted by a Liberian-registered ship sent to try to locate it near Tristan da Cunha.... [more]
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It's over - Thomas Coville about to finish, but not with a record
Sail-World Cruising,
Thomas Coville set off on 29 January offshore of the Créac'h lighthouse on Ushant, a French Island in the English Channel to try, for the second time, to best the solo round world record of Francis Joyon, set in 2005 at 59+ days. In 2008, he had his first failed attempt. Since then he had worked on his boat Sodebo, making her faster, stronger. Finally in January, he thought he had a chance.... [more]
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Lessons to be learned from inquiry into fatal sailing incident
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
Only the thorough investigation which is currently taking place will answer all the questions about why two men died when their sailing boat capsized last weekend. Plainly there will be some lessons to learn, whether it be about the design of the sailing boat or the actions of the people on board. In the meantime there are many theories being aired.... [more]
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Life Jacket Designs innovation awards - see them work, live!
BoatUS/Sail-World Cruising,
If you think that life jackets have to be bulky, uncomfortable or hot to wear, the winners of the 'Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition' will prove you wrong. The BoatUS Foundation and Underwriter's Laboratory recently announced the winners of their 2011 competition, and you may be surprised at how much the inventive designs break new ground.... [more]
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Voyaging with Velella: Baja Hospitality
Meghan Cleary, American Sailing Association,
Continuing the 'Voyaging with Velella' series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan, her fiance Prescott, and their kitten Nessie are on a planned 9-month cruise in the tropics. This week she tells tales of welcoming friends to the Sea of Cortez. The Sea of Cortez is adorned with striking contrasts: dry pink cliffs, lime green cacti, the throbbing sounds of Carnival..... [more]
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Wide step version of dinghy ladder released
Kenneth Quant/Sail-World Cruising,
It is sometimes almost easier to get back into the sailing boat than it is to get into the boat's dinghy, especially a slippery rubber one. So it's good news that Scandia has produced an improved ladder that stows neatly in the dinghy until wanted, but is there when you most need it.... [more]
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2011-2012 Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands - out now
Sail-World Cruising,
2011-2012 Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands by Nancy and Simon Scott, the fifteenth edition of this popular cruising guide, is out now. It has been completely re-designed and updated in its style, with more Virgin Island photography and full color detailed anchorage charts.... [more]
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Sailing in my Sarong
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
Linda and Bill Anderson are a sailing couple who are living proof that it's never too late to fulfill your dream. After 30 years of fantasising about sailing around the world, they finally set sail on an action packed voyage that would take two years to complete and cover Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, Grenada, Colombia, Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu. They crossed the equator four times... [more]
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Canadian sailors of small boats cheer for removal of red tape
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
Owners of small sailing boats are overjoyed in Canada, but will other sailing countries take heed? Owners of thousands of small sailing boats will be spared paperwork and government fees by the changing of the law that required registration.... [more]
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WHOI-Led Report Links Sonar to Whale Strandings
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,
Scientists have long been aware of a link between naval sonar exercises and unusual mass strandings of beaked whales. The knowledge most critical to protecting these whales from risk of sonar involves measuring the threshold between safe and risky exposure levels, but until now it has not been known how beaked whales respond to sonar, much less the levels that pose a problem.... [more]
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Low DSC connect rate:Sailor irresponsibility or technological failure?
Des Ryan,
Recently we published a story about how few yachts had their Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipped VHF radio connected to their GPS so that their position would be recorded in an emergency. The tone of the article suggested that the low take-up was an indication of the irresponsibility of sailors, but responses to Sail-World after the article suggest that the situation is more complex than this... [more]
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Wind and waves growing across the globe
Swinburne University of Technology,
Oceanic wind speeds and wave heights have increased significantly over the last quarter of a century according to a major new study undertaken by Australian researchers.... [more]
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EPIRB made the difference: Rescued thanks his rescuers
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
It wasn't a sailing boat and it didn't happen in your waters or mine. But it served SO effectively to point out to all of us the high importance of every sea-going vessel carrying at least one EPIRB. There is no question in Eric Hopkins' mind that he owes his life to two things: a personal EPIRB and the United States Coast Guard.... [more]
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2011 ClubSwan Caribbean Rendezvous Cruising Round Up
Cailah Leask,
Nautor's Swan saw a record entry this year for the eighth edition of their ‘ClubSwan Caribbean Rendezvous' held in the beautiful British Virgin Islands from March 14 – 19. For the 2011 cruising event 26 Swan yachts attended with over 100 participants enjoying the delights of the Caribbean.... [more]
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Hayman Great Barrier Reef - own your own piece of paradise
Jeni Bone,
Long the enclave of discerning couples, families and its fair share of celebrities – among them Nicole Kidman, Chris Isaak, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch – Hayman can be yours, for investment or forever. Hayman has introduced beautiful new Beach Villas in the resort and is also offering a selection of exclusive properties for purchase for the first time on the island.... [more]
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Four pirates holding Danish sailors 'detained'
All Headline News,
Four of the pirates holding hostage a group of seven Danes have been detained by security forces of Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region. Early this month, at least six Puntland soldiers were killed in an unsuccessful attempt to free the hostages.... [more]
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