The horror goes on, Danes released but French sailor killed by Somalis, thrown overboard...North Sea Passage ice record...the magic of the riding sail...the silent shackle in 'Infinite Loupe'...and much more

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 15 Sep 2011

Why are cruising sailors still sailing in the Gulf of Aden?

Danish cruising sailors the Johansen family -safe at last after payment of a hefty ransom to Somali pirates  .. .
I find it incredible, after all the publicity about kidnappings and murders of cruising sailors by Somali pirates, that some foolhardy adventurers are still risking death by entering their waters.

Just as the sailing world was rejoicing for the seven Danish sailors, including three young teenagers, who were released by pirates after the payment of a hefty ransom, another cruising sailor, a Frenchman, has been killed and thrown overboard and his wife abducted. The only good news was that she was rescued from the pirates before they reached shore.

Killing of the males and abduction of the females could be an emerging pattern, with the same outcome for a non-sailing British couple who stayed at a resort on the Kenyan coastline near the Somali border. He was shot dead and she was abducted. When writing this she is still in the hands of the Somalis.

In more positive news, no matter where in the world you sail, cruising sailors should be grateful for the existence of the AMVER organisation, which coordinates between rescue authorities and cooperating ships at sea. Again this week four sailors mid-Atlantic, far out-of-reach of helicopters and coastguard vessels, were speedily rescued by merchant ships. It can mean a long trip home via some unusual ports, as the ships resume their normal courses after the rescue, but it beats being stranded in mid-ocean, or worse.

Britain's Royal Yachting Association has created a manifesto, published this week, which articulates their role and position on representation of the boating world to government. It's very comprehensive and makes interesting reading.

Back to practical matters, and this week John Jamieson(Captain John) talks about the magic of the riding sail – just another technique to make your nights at anchor safer. News too on how the miracle material Dyneema is making a real difference to the world of sailing. Reputed to be 15 times stronger than steel and up to 40 times stronger than Kevlar, it is the material used in our product of the week, the Infinite Loupe, replacing noisy shackles.

Good news for cruising sailors but bad news for the planet is that the North Sea Passage has just reached an all-time record low ice level. If you ever think of making that crossing, it had better be soon, before it gets as crowded as the Caribbean!

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Seven Danish cruising sailors released by Somali Pirates
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
Cruising sailors around the world will rejoice that members of a Danish family held hostage by Somali pirates for more than six months have been released. They are returning home after enduring 'the most horrible ordeal one can imagine', Danish government officials have said.... [more]
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Video captures dangerous rescue in Irish seas
Sail-World Cruising,
Most of the really dramatic incidents on our world's oceans - rescues, dismastings, shipwrecks - happen out of the sight of a camera, but Aaron Quirey happened to be on the scene when a brave member of the Irish Coastguard braved high winds, dangerous rocks and a flailing yacht mast to rescue a sailor this week.... [more]
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Message from two killings in a week: Stay away from Somali waters!
Lee Mylchreest,
If cruising sailors are not yet convinced that they should not sail in the West Indian Ocean, there have been two killings over the past week. We reported earlier this week that a French cruising sailor had been killed and thrown overboard by Somali pirates and his wife kidnapped. Now Somalis have shot dead a tourist on coastal border region between Somalia and Kenya, and kidnapped his wife.... [more]
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16-year-old pollution campaigner sails the Atlantic Garbage Patch
Linda Trimble/Sail-World Cruising,
While many sixteen-year-olds are hanging out with their friends at the coolest place in town, Eloi Le Roux, a sixteen-year-old from Florida USA, is passionate about his personal campaign to combat ocean pollution. He convinced his family to sail in search of the Atlantic Garbage Patch while on their way to Europe.... [more]
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North Sea Passage more and more accessible - sea ice record reached
Peter Sinclair/Sail-World Cruising,
Global warming could mean that the North West Passage, so recently a hostile challenge to the cruising sailor, soon becomes a viable alternative to transit the Americas. Sea Ice has reached a record all time low as reported here by Dr Georg Heygster, translating from the German from a press release from University of Bremen... [more]
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Hero ships rescue four French sailors in the Atlantic
US Coast Guard/Sail-World Cruising,
The winds were 45 knots and the seas 25-30 feet when the aluminium ketch suffered a knockdown and lost its mast this week 1400 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The French flagged yacht Roule ta Bille was returning across the Atlantic to Europe when the incident happened, and, as so often happens today, it was merchant ships as well as traditional rescue authorities that came to the rescue.... [more]
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Sailing with Balvenie: Spain's Atlantic coastline
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 are now exploring the Atlantic coastline of Spain: The weather was calm enough for us to enjoy four nights at anchor at Puerto Sherry.... [more]
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Use the Magic of a Riding Sail at Anchor
Captain John Jamieson,
Does your sailing boat always lie steady as a rock at anchor - or tend to wander back and forth like a restless mare in a corral? There are several ways of overcoming this, the best known being to use an Anchor Buddy or Sentinel. However, there's another excellent solution, and Captain John of shows this little-known technique that will help cure the problem fast and easily!... [more]
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Pirate attack update - one French sailor killed, wife rescued
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
Spanish troops have stormed a pirate skiff in the Gulf of Aden and rescued a French hostage sailor, Evelyne Colombo, missing from her yacht Tribal Kat. It has now been confirmed that her husband, Christian Colombo, a former French navy crewman, was killed during the attack and his body dumped overboard. The families have been informed.... [more]
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Collections of classics on display at Auckland Int Boat Show
Rebecca Hayter,
During the 2011 Auckland International Boat Show, there will be more than 20 immaculately restored, classic yachts and launches within the Viaduct Harbour area. Thanks to the inherent longevity of New Zealand's native kauri timber and several family dynasties of skilled boatbuilders, New Zealand has a large collection of classic yachts dating back to around the turn of last century.... [more]
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Study enlightens on the amount of oil and gas from Deepwater oil spill
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,
In a detailed assessment of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, researchers led by a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have determined that the blown-out Macondo well spewed oil at a rate of about 57,000 barrels a day, totaling nearly five million barrels of oil released from the well between April 20 and July 15, 2010... [more]
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Veteran Big Boat Rally in Porto Cervo preview
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda,
Veteran Big Boat Rally fleet of seven classic sailing yachts gathered in Porto Cervo has attracted several curious onlookers, drawn not so much by the size of the fleet, but by the size of each individual yacht. With four of the participating veteran yachts boasting an overall length of more than 40 metres, the sight of these sailing giants of bygone days is one not to be missed.... [more]
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Product of the Week: The new Infinite Loupe
Lee Mylchreest,
Are you tired of the rattling and clanging that makes sailing sometimes such a noisy pastime? Colligo Marine has a brand new solution for some of those noises that prevent you getting a good off-watch sleep - the Infinite Loupe.... [more]
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Pirate scare in Gulf of Aden - French yacht found empty
Des Ryan,
Confusion surrounds the fate of two yachts, reportedly French, which left the port of Aden in Yemen on or about 4th September, headed for Omani waters. On board one yacht was a couple, and there were four crew on the other.... [more]
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The WSSR Council announces the ratification of a new World Record
World Sailing Speed Record Council,
This is the initial Singlehanded Around Australia world record. There have been two previous unsuccessful attempts both involving stops and assistance, which removed them from the singlehanded category.... [more]
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UK's Royal Yachting Association publishes manifesto
The Royal Yachting Association (RYA), the UK's national body for representing the interests of all boating activities, has, for the first time, found it necessary to publish a manifesto, with the following statement:... [more]
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