Halberg Rassy signals trouble...Sydney Clubs announce events...iPhone for rope info...seven hour swim after MOB...cargo ships with sails, coming soon...sailors missing enroute to WA...copycat piracy in West Africa... and much more...

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 08 Sep 2011

Happy survival, tragic loss - the recurring stories of the ocean

... when an icebox had to serve for a life-jacket and save a life  .. .
As a cruising sailor writing of the world's sea incidents I rejoice with every amazing survival and mourn for every tragic end, even though I rarely know the sailors involved and many are in far-away countries.

Two stories this week at opposite ends of the scale. As hope gives way to grief for the two very experienced British sailors disappeared on a trip from South Africa to Australia, one can't help rejoicing at the unlikely survival of a skipper in Florida, who spent seven hours swimming home from his yacht after falling overboard.

However in his case the rush of joy is slashed with regret that he caused not only his own incident by neglect but could have caused harm to his inexperienced crew - read why.

Sydney Clubs are in the news this week, the Alfreds (Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club) announcing their big Sail Expo weekend for 2012 and the CYC (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia) with another of their really brilliant 'Medical Management for Mariners' courses. If you're going to embark on serious cruising and can get to Sydney, this course is great, but you must have a First Aid Certificate first.

In another article, it's a great tribute to British sailors Paul and Rachel Chandler's sturdy character that they are preparing to go sailing again after having spent more than a year in captivity of Somali pirates. This time, they have told the British press, they won't return to pirate waters.

On the business front the depth of the Western World's recession is indicated by one of the most respected boatbuilders of cruising boats having signalled that they may have to put off staff – for the second time within the year. We also talk about two new cruising sailboats to be introduced to the market – a monohull and a cat.

Romance was ever the domain of the cruising sailor and this week New Zealand cruisers Amanda Church and Mark Farrell cruising Europe in Balvenie tell us of exotic experiences along the coastline of Spain; some breathtaking windjammers get together to celebrate in Maine in the USA; and it's good to read how even bulk carriers sailing to China may look elegant in the future with the solar sails that Australian renewable energy company Solar Sailor is planning.

At a practical level, a well-known rope manufacturer has brought out a free App for your iPhone; and many tips about how to keep your sailing boat's diesel engine in tip top condition.

Much more too, so browse down the headlines to see what catches your interest.

Sweet sailing

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

British sailors missing at sea between South Africa and Australia
Sail-World Cruising,
Grave fears are held for the safety of a British yachting couple who left Richards Bay in South Africa in March heading for Fremantle in Western Australia and have not been heard from since. Alison Cooper sold her own yacht while in South Africa to join Barry Garnett on his yacht Tiana on the voyage.... [more]
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Swedish boat builder Hallberg-Rassy warns of possible job cuts.
Des Ryan,
One of the world's most respected boatbuilders for cruising sailors and Sweden's largest sailing boat builder, Hallberg Rassy, has warned that further job cuts are likely in the future. Having made a similar warning to 25 workers only in May this year, the new cuts are sign that the economic malaise in Europe is cutting deep, even to the best of firms.... [more]
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Sailor survives seven hours in amazing MOB tale
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
It would be too repetitious to report on all overboard (MOB) sailing incidents that occur on the planet. Every week a coast guard from one or another of the sailing nations around the world reports at least one incident. Most, sadly, drown or disappear without trace. The following story is different only as an amazing survival story. Can you pick at least three mistakes that were made?... [more]
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Medals recognise Marine Rescue volunteers' commitment
Ken McManus,
Four volunteers from the Marine Rescue NSW Cape Byron Unit will today (Wednesday 7 September) be recognised for their lengthy and diligent service to the North Coast boating community. New Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos will present the members with MRNSW Long Service Medals during a three-day visit to meet local volunteers on the North Coast.... [more]
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RPAYC Announce Inaugural Club Marine Pittwater Sail Expo for 2012
Damian Devine,
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club together with Club Marine has announced the inaugural Club Marine Pittwater Sail Expo. The Expo will feature an extensive array of exhibitors, displays and entertainment covering all areas of sailing and will be a family, friendly event. The event is open to the public and there will be no charge to enter.... [more]
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Vital clues to coral reef renewal identified
ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,
Vital clues to coral reef recovery have been identified in a remarkable research project in which three scientists laboured to hand-build thirty coral reefs from hundreds of tonnes of rock and gravel. Working in a shallow, sandy area of Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, the team constructed their artificial reefs over several weeks, with just a boat and their bare hands... [more]
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All about ropes - on your iPhone
Sail-World Cruising,
If you're the kind of sailor that likes everything to come on the iPhone, then you might be interested in the latest App that Marlow Ropes has just introduced to the market, Version 1!... [more]
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Catalina 385, a promising new model
Sail-World Cruising,
The latest Catalina - the 385 - is to be released for North Americans at the Annapolis Sailboat Show in October. At around $200,000 it sounds like an excellent deal, particularly if the boat lives up to the description here, given out by Catalina themselves:.... [more]
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Yes, that seabird off your bow probably has plastic poisoning.

They might look happy and free, but those seabirds off your bow are probably suffering from plastic poisoning. The vast collections of plastic in our oceans have long been reported by roving sailors and the number of investigations as to their effects on fish and birds are growing. Now there is a new one in waters near Australia, conducted by a Tasmanian researcher, with alarming results... [more]
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Oil spill training exercise for Lord Howe Island
NSW Maritime,
NSW Maritime has Combat agency responsibility for marine oil spills from Fingal Head at Port Stephens to the Queensland border and this area also includes Lord Howe Island.... [more]
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Sailing with Balvenie - finding a real Spanish Bullfight
Amanda Church and Mark Farrell,
New Zealander cruising couple Amanda Church and Mark Farrell continue to cruise in their 47ft fractional rigged sloop Balvenie, in which they have already covered over 25,00nautical miles. They have been cruising in the Mediterranean for four summers, but have now - momentously - left the Med and headed north to cruise the Atlantic coast of Spain, reaching Barbate for their first night.... [more]
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Back to the future? Solar and wind sails for cargo ships
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
Back to the future for a new world of sailing ships? Solar Sailor, an Australian company specialising in renewable energy technologies, is negotiating to install its solar and wind power systems on a massive dry cargo ship that could be used to haul iron ore from Australia to China.... [more]
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Copycat piracy is cause for concern in West Africa
Des Ryan,
One of the joys of sailing is the freedom to go where you want when you want. While all sensible cruising sailors are now avoiding the western Indian Ocean as too dangerous to sail, latest reports also suggest that West African pirates are copy-catting their Somali counterparts and cruising sailors are best to avoid these areas as well.... [more]
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CYCA Medical Management for Mariners 11 October, 2011
John Keelty/ Sail-World Cruising,
Accidents or medical problems can happen at sea and a sailor needs to be able to cope for longer than the typical emergency on land requires. Any well prepared sailor needs to have a set of skills to cope with any contingency. To overcome this problem the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, based in Rushcutters Bay in Sydney has developed the Medical Management for Mariners course.... [more]
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The Breathtaking windjammers celebrate in Camden, Maine
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
There's nothing more breathtaking than the sight of a traditional windjammer under sail, and these days, at a special time of year, there's no place like Maine in the USA to see them.... [more]
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Simple Inspections to keep your sailing boat's engine in top shape
Captain John Jamieson,
Do you know the five best ways to keep your sailing boat's diesel engine running like a lion--and save you huge dollars in the future? John Jamieson (Captain John) here shows you the most vital engine and rigging checks you need to make aboard your cruising sailboat for trouble-free cruising.... [more]
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Report of tangled whale ends with good news
Simon Denneen,
A whale reportedly caught in nets off Manly beach provided a timely exercise for Marine Rescue NSW. This morning at 7:10 am a passing vessel contacted Marine Rescue Sydney to report a whale caught in nets approximately two nautical miles east of Manly Beach.... [more]
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Crabby the endangered green sea turtle released to the wild
NSW Department of Primary Industry,
Crabby, the endangered green sea turtle rescued from a crab trap in June, has been released back into the wild. Crabby, is a sub adult female, and was found swimming in shallow water at Soldiers Point in Port Stephens in June.... [more]
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Pirate victim sailors preparing to sail again
Lee Mylchreest,
You could be forgiven for thinking they would never sail again. After the horrific experiences that Paul and Rachel Chandler suffered at the hands of Somali pirates, it would have come as no surprise to the sailing world if they had shunned the idea of ever getting on board a boat again, especially the one which must have so many grisley reminders of their year in captivity in Somalia..... [more]
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Cowan Creek shallows a challenge for Cottage Point Medevac
Ken McManus,
While most of the tasks undertaken by Marine Rescue vessels are in open waterways the Marine Rescue Cottage Point team on Sunday 4th September accomplished a challenging medical evacuation at the very limit of navigable waters in the upper reaches of Cowan Creek in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.... [more]
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Marine Rescue Commissioner meets Point Danger volunteers
Ken McManus,
New Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos will visit the Point Danger Marine Rescue Unit this morning (Wednesday 7 September) as part of a three-day visit to meet local volunteers on the North Coast. Commissioner Tannos, who was appointed on July 1, is visiting MRNSW units along the coastline to meet as many members as possible and familiarise himself with their equipment and facilities... [more]
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