Watch for warnings about sailing October Long Weekend...Sailor of the Century - 8 solo circumnavigations and he's only 77 - Dekker heads into Indian Ocean...Vital standing rigging checks...why does red protect night vision?... and much more...
There are lots of marine warnings out for the October long weekend coming up - some are for safety, but others are reminders about special events. Do check whether any of the warnings concern you.
Minoru Saito, 8 solo circumnavigations and he's only 77
Two solo adventurers - one 77 and one 16 - are in the news this week. Japanese sailor Minoru Saito has become the first sailor, racing or cruising, who is known to have completed eight solo circumnavigations and he is the oldest known solo sailor to have completed a circumnavigation at all. What an achievement!
At the other end of the age spectrum, Dutch/New Zealander Laura Dekker, who has so far crossed two oceans with a minimum of fuss, has just left Darwin in Australia heading west into the Indian Ocean, her route a well-guarded secret.
Nice to see that Yachting New Zealand, unlike Yachting Australia, has special categories in their awards for cruising sailors. How long will it take Australian racing sailors to realise that the cruising (meaning non-competitive) part of the sport is a vital force in the sport, often more popular in sailing clubs than racing? There are some impressive Australian cruising sailors out there, but they are rarely recognised for their terrific feats of seamanship.
The interview that had me guffawing in a most unseemly manner this week was that with an experienced old salt, Kiwi Frank Cooper, who was reported missing when he and his Norwegian boat-owner were 'overdue' on a trans-Atlantic crossing. Don't miss this story – his opinions, which wouldn't please many a marketing company, show a fine, if comically rendered, appreciation of what it is to be a good seaman.
The season for transiting the Red Sea to get to the Mediterranean is fast approaching, but to get there you have to sail the north Indian Ocean. Tom Sampson, who organised convoys through the Gulf of Aden in 2010, is warning this week about the dodgy convoy leaders advertising convoys for 2012.
Just to remind us how dangerous Somali waters are, Bruno Pelizzari, kidnapped almost a year ago off the coast of Africa with his partner Deborah Calitz, has made his first telephone call to the outside world. The Somalis are still asking $4 million for their release.
Lots of practical information here too, as onboard equipment gets smarter and smaller – this week a clever clever autopilot, and an enhanced AIS half the size of its predecessor and quite a lot smarter.
Skip down the headlines and see many more stories to amuse, entertain or inform.
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