PlanetSolar in the Philippines...USA's GPS interference worry...Sailor rescued with nine years out-of-date EPIRB...ISAF Indian Ocean warning: Don't go! to be a great skipper...and much more...

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 04 Aug 2011

The rescued sailor with nine years out-of-date EPIRB

"I didn't know whether the EPIRB would work because the expiry date was 2002"  .. .
No matter how many times I hear such a story I never cease to be amazed. Never mind that he went sailing in the south Indian Ocean in winter, the sailor involved in the latest rescue, now on his way to the Canary Islands on a bulk carrier, had to be dropped a liferaft and a VHF radio from a helicopter and his EPIRB was nine years out of date.

It took six hours of tricky manoeuvring by the bulk carrier to pick him up in the nine metre seas, costing them precious time and fuel.

That was after the Australian authorities had provided a Dornier helicopter and an Orion aircraft to find him and then stay positioned over the yacht for many hours until the arrival of the ship.
While more cautious sailors might say he must have been on a suicide mission, he now says he 'can't wait to go sailing again.'

With the birth of our era of GPS and AIS and other gizmos that encourage sailors to think it's easy out there, one can't help wondering if there isn't some merit in considering (again) whether nations should be putting some check on the suitability of yachts that leave their home country for the first time.

It would not be the proverbial silver bullet, but maybe it would help.

Lots of other news from our world's oceans and coastlines. Some heavy-hitting warnings about the new USA Broadband's tendency to interfere with GPS signals, idyllic rallying in Indonesia, some good practical articles and the tale of the day the superyacht made an unexpected visit among surprised sunbakers on a Croatian beach.

Browse down the headlines to see what suits your interest, and...

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

PlanetSolar arrives the Philippines
Nancy Knudsen,
There's no stopping her. Turanor PlanetSolar, an 85tonne catamaran making its way around the world powered completely by solar power, has arrived in Manila, just one of its many stops since it left Monaco last September, crossed the Atlantic two months later and has since crossed the Pacific, publicising the possibilities of solar power into the future.... [more]
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Voyaging with Velella: The Pacific Northwest of the USA
Meghan Cleary, American Sailing Association,
Continuing the Voyaging with Velella series by ASA writer-at-large Meghan Cleary. Meghan and her husband Prescott have been cruising aboard their boat Velella for the past 8 months, now in the Pacific Northwest, and they have just entered the Columbia River. As we left huge forests of kelp and throngs of sea lions behind outside the Columbia River bar, I imagined Velella relaxing... [more]
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Five Marine Flare Steps Every Sailing Skipper Needs to Know!
John Jamieson,
John Jamieson, with 25+ years of experience shows sailing skippers the skills they need for safer cruising. Here he points out the necessity to have you and your crew proficient with flares BEFORE you need to use them: Are you sure you know how to use a flare gun, flare launcher, flare smoke, or flare parachute?... [more]
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USA's GPS-enabled devices in danger of compromise
Dorie Cox, The Triton,
GPS-enabled devices could be compromised if a plan to expand the United States' broadband system goes forward, writes Dorie Cox of The Triton. But maritime industry sources say they are confident the U.S. government will ensure the plan protects the government-operated GPS system.... [more]
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Canadian sailor rescued from south Indian Ocean by out-of-date EPIRB
Nancy Knudsen,
A Canadian sailor has been rescued after setting off an out-of-date EPIRB when his yacht ran into trouble in the southern Indian Ocean because his engine had broken free of its mountings and threatened to hole the 9.5 metre vessel.... [more]
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Rally ventures through remote island life in Indonesia, sees dragons!
Sail-World Cruising,
Of the 109 yachts that left Darwin for Kupang in the Sail Indonesia Rally on July 25, 83 have continued as a rally. They are now sailing through remote natural villages of tropical islands, experiencing life as islanders have lived it for many hundreds of years, and getting ready to enter the haunts of the Komodo dragon, one of the fiercest predators on earth.... [more]
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New ISAF warning on Somali pirates - Simply Don't Go!
International Sailing Federation/Sail-World,
This Warning Notice is intended for Yacht Skippers considering a passage through the Gulf of Aden, its approaches and the Indian Ocean north of 12 degrees south and west of 78 degrees east. Simply, Don't Go! It is the third such notice to be published on this subject and reflects the latest situation as at June 2011.... [more]
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Whoops - superyacht pays unexpected visit to surfing beach

Whoops! As sailors, we're just glad it wasn't a sailing boat that paid this unexpected visit to a beach at Hvar in Croatia, one of the small country's hottest destinations.... [more]
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How to be a great skipper on a sailing holiday
Grant Headifen,
Grant Headifen from Nauticed here gives another great sailing tip - how to suddenly become the skipper to friends and family (who may not be used to crewing or not used to taking instruction) on a sailing holiday so that you are still friends after the vacation is over:... [more]
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Product of the Week: Nightsight Palm IR 225
Des Ryan,
Thermal or night imaging has always been something to dream about for the cruising sailor. Man overboard situations, entering unknown harbours or anchorages at night,even a lost fender - and if you're into cold water sailing what a boon for iceberg identification! These days, with a new product from Raytheon, they are starting to come into the price range of the individual cruising sailor.... [more]
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Chicago Yacht Club asks US SAILING to review Mackinac 2011
Chicago Yacht Club,
After two sailors' lives were lost during the recent Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, Commodore Joseph Haas of the Chicago Yacht Club, the race's organizer, asked US SAILING to conduct an independent study of what happened. On July 28 Gary Jobson, the President of US SAILING, appointed the Independent Review Panel for the 2011 Mackinac Race, and directed it to consider what lessons might... [more]
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Auckland International Boat Show – on show in Sydney
Making its presence felt this year at the Sydney International Boat Show, NZ Marine representatives are spruiking their own event – highlighting the various facets of this year's show and all the many reasons to head to Auckland in September, including the Rugby World Cup 2011.... [more]
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Another rescue authority plea: Report your missing equipment
Joanne Groenenberg,
Rescuers are again pleading to help them help you. If you lose any piece of marine equipment - a life jacket, a kayak, a dinghy, a lifeboard or your Dan Buoy, please let the authorities know to avoid unnecessary searching. When abandoned equipment, whether floating or washed up on the shore, is found rescuers must assume the worst and begin a search.... [more]
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