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...

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 29 Sep 2011

Eight solo circumnavigations and he's only 77

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.

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Sailor of the Century: Eight solo circumnavigations for Minoru Saito

He has done it. Minoru Saito, seventy-seven year old Japanese solo sailor, has completed his eighth solo circumnavigation. There were times when it seemed as though the famed hardy sailor would never make it, but that would be to underestimate the incredible toughness of this gentle hero. He is now the first - and oldest - sailor to make eight circumnavigations solo.... [more]
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Ten in the water in ten days keeps Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie busy
Ken McManus,
In the last ten days Marine Rescue Lake Macquarie has responded to four incidents on the lake where a total of ten people have ended up in the water. On two of those occasions people were taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia.... [more]
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New Product Feature: AIT 2000 from Digital Yacht
Tracy Comer/Sail-World Cruising,
It's absolutely a no-brainer that the AIS is, if not an essential piece of equipment, then one any prudent sailor would be mad to go without one if you can afford it. So it's always great news to hear that they are getting smaller, smarter or cheaper. Now Digital Yacht has introduced a new class B AIS Transponder called the AIT2000.... [more]
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You're better off with a Broker when buying a boat
Jeni Bone,
Coinciding with summer and peak boating season, the Marine Brokers Association of NSW (MBA), a Division of the Boating Industry Association of NSW (BIA), is joining forces to promote the benefits of dealing with a BIA Accredited Marine Broker when buying a new or pre-owned boat.... [more]
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Simple safety check means you won't miss the boat this long weekend
Ken McManus,
Every holiday weekend some skippers discover, to their dismay, that something on their boat or trailer doesn't function as expected. Marine Rescue Commissioner Stacey Tannos warned the rate of breakdowns was set to escalate over the coming long weekend as boat owners made the most of the warmer weather over the three day break by taking to the water again.... [more]
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Nominations for the NSW Maritime Medal awards close on 30 September
Maritime NSW,
Launched in 2006, the Maritime Medal is an award scheme to recognise role models, both individuals and groups, who have made an outstanding or sustained contribution to the maritime community. NSW Maritime Acting Deputy Chief Executive Steve Dunn said that the Maritime Medal recognises outstanding contributions in the area of boating safety, the environment or the community.... [more]
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Missing Kiwi sailor turns up in Ireland unaware of search
Michael Field,,
A New Zealand seadog believed lost aboard a small yacht in the hurricane-swept North Atlantic turned up alive and well today in Portmagee, Ireland. Frank Cooper, 62, did not know three nations were looking for him and the 10-metre Golden Eagle. 'Delivering boats and living on 'em and sailing 'em is all adventure as long as you survive mate,' he said between a meal of roast duck and promises... [more]
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Get ready for the Sunshine Coast Marine Festival - November 2011
Marine Queensland,
Marine Queensland is proud to announce a new event on Queensland's boating calendar - the Sunshine Coast Marine Festival incorporating the Sunshine Coast Sailing Expo, November 19th and 20th 2011.... [more]
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Yacht Feature: New NEEL 45 trimaran
Kate Elkington,Multihull Solutions,
Innovative trimaran builder NEEL has produced an exciting new model, the NEEL 45, which has been greeted with enthusiasm from international multihull enthusiasts.... [more]
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South Africa stays firm - no ransom payment for cruising sailors
TimesLive/Sail-World Cruising,
Somali pirates who kidnapped Durban couple Bruno Pelizzari and Deborah Calitz almost a year ago have promised to kill them if the $4-million ransom is not paid soon. However, the South African Government, along with the British Government and many others, considers that the payment of ransoms by governments will only increase the risk to future sailors, and have refused.... [more]
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Don't expire: This long weekend
Neil Patchett,
A statewide campaign to remind boaters to routinely check the expiry date of essential boating safety equipment will mark the start of the new boating season this October long weekend. Acting Chief Executive of NSW Maritime Steve Dunn said inflatable lifejackets, flares and emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB) all carried expiry dates... [more]
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Teen solo sailor heads into the Indian Ocean - route secret
Lyall Mercer/Sail-World,
Sixteen year old sailor Laura Dekker glided out of Darwin Australia early Sunday morning aware that she was heading into the most dangerous section of her journey as she attempts to become the youngest person to solo-circumnavigate the globe.... [more]
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Standing Rigging Checks - the vital checklist
John Jamieson,
Could you name the single most important standing rigging fitting to check each time before you set sail? John Jamieson (Captain John) here shows you the most vital rigging checks you need to make aboard your cruising sailboat for trouble-free cruising.... [more]
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New Product of the Week: Autopilot with 'Safe Helm' and power steering
Nancy Knudsen,
This Product of the Week is the Furuno's Navpilot 700 series autopilot, introducing two exciting upgrades to earlier models. Now, great for emergency manoeuvering, you can just touch the helm to take over the steering and it will later return to autohelm mode automatically or manually. The other is a real boon for difficult sea conditions - a 'power-assist' that resembles power steering in a car.... [more]
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Yachting NZ include cruising awards in their annual line-up
Jodie Bakewell-White,
Yachting New Zealand has announced the 2011 category finalists and some of the award winners for the esteemed Yachting Excellence Awards. Unlike Australia, New Zealand has specific cruising awards - two of them - and no less than ten service awards, matching the ten performance awards which are primarily intended for racing sailors.... [more]
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A year later and Turanor PlanetSolar has reached Singapore

In all the places that they have visited along the way, the Turanor PlanetSolar has received a warm, if sometimes a somewhat astonished reception. However, as the fame of the great craft grows, so does the astonishment subside, replaced by a awe at their achievement..... [more]
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Lagoon Open Weekend
Vicsail Sydney,
We cordially invite you to attend Vicsail Sydney's Open Weekend Clearance Sale! The Open Weekend is being held on 24th and 25th September 2011, at the beautiful D'Albora Marina of Rushcutters Bay.... [more]
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Maritime Alert – Wild Weather
Neil Patchett,
NSW Maritime has issued an alert to boat skippers following a forecast for dangerous conditions. The forecast is for dangerous surf conditions from about Newcastle to Byron Bay from Sunday.... [more]
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Boaters - Take care on the Hawkesbury River this weekend
Penny Robins,
People heading out on the Hawkesbury this weekend should steer clear of the area around Webbs Creek, near Wisemans Ferry, Acting Hawkesbury/ Broken Bay Regional Manager Darryl Lennox said. Mr Lennox said NSW Maritime had granted Ski Racing NSW exclusive use of part of the waterway for the safe staging of water-ski races on both Saturday and Sunday between 8am and 5pm.... [more]
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Boaters - Take care in Bate Bay this Saturday
Penny Robins,
Skippers heading out in the Bate Bay area on Saturday will need to keep clear of waters marked by buoys which NSW Maritime has granted exclusive use for the Cronulla Rip ‘n' Ride Freestyle Jet Ski Competition. Between 7am and 5pm on Saturday an exclusive use area would apply for safety reasons to a section of the navigable waters of Bate Bay, near Wanda Beach.... [more]
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Book of the Week: Two's a Crew by Jack and Jude Binder
Sail-World Cruising,
Now in its second edition, Two's a Crew is a cruising narrative by Jack and Jude Binder of their circumnavigation of Australia between February 2007 and June 2009. As they say in their first chapter, the story really starts many years before.... [more]
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Red lights for good night vision - but why?
Lee Mylchreest,
Red lights in the cockpit or cabin are there to protect your night vision - that critically important sense to achieve the very best outcome when scanning for objects on the horizon at night. But have you ever wondered just why the red lights achieve this? Read on...... [more]
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Dangers of Gulf of Aden Convoys: A previous convoy leader warns
Tom Sampson/Sail-World Cruising,
In 2010 Tom Sampson, a retired British Royal Air Force officer, organised a convoy through the Gulf of Aden for 27 yachts. To do so, he devised a military-style set of guidelines which, while the convoys had some scary moments, served them well and was to be used as a blueprint for future convoys. However, in Sampson's opinion the 'game changed' in 2011:... [more]
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Marine Rescue Ulladulla in whale rescue attempt
Ken McManus,
Volunteers from Marine Rescue Ulladulla joined several teams of helpers this week who went to the aid of a stranded whale near Ulladulla Harbour. In a copybook exercise in co-operation, all involved threw their skills into the fight to free the young humpback which was trapped among rocks on Rennie's Beach.... [more]
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Wagga Wagga's Lake Albert closed to boaters this long weekend
Richard Parlett,
NSW Maritime has issued an exclusive use licence to the Wagga Wagga Sailing Club for the use of Lake Albert in Wagga Wagga for the long weekend 2011 NSW Paper Tiger Catamaran Championships.... [more]
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Boaters take care on the Clarence River this weekend
NSW Maritime,
NSW Maritime has issued an exclusive use aquatic licence for areas of the Clarence River this upcoming weekend.... [more]
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Yachting Australia wants to know what YOU think
Craig Heydon, Yachting Australia/Sail-World,
Yachting Australia is asking the sailing community to take part in an online survey designed to assess how Australians perceive the sport of sailing. This means YOU, the cruising sailor. No doubt there will be many racing sailors making comments, but these days many clubs are finding that their cruising divisions are growing exponentially while racing languishes, so your opinion is important.... [more]
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