Laura Dekker in Cape Town...nav charts direct from Google Earth give zero discrepancy...Mackay Marina to host Oyster cat enters pirate zone...bare-boat secrets...Ten mainsail tips...yacht features and much more

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 01 Dec 2011

Laura Dekker in Capetown

Just arrived in Cape Town - photo by Candice Chaplin, Cape Times  .
Notoriously media-shy solo sailor Laura Dekker has not only survived a 50 knot storm to arrive in Cape Town at the end of her Indian Ocean passage, she has done it with a coolness which belies her sixteen years, and with little fuss outside the sailing world.

If she achieves her next leg as planned – from Cape Town back to Gibraltar in the next few months - she will then not be able to avoid a mainstream media storm as the youngest circumnavigator ever. As long as she completes this leg before September next year, she will take the unofficial record from our own Jessica Watson. The way she's handling her successive oceans, it doesn't seem a big ask.

What a good mixture of usefulness and fascination there is in this week's edition. Topping the list is the article about navigational charts directly from Google Earth. No more will you have to suffer the discrepancy between the real world and your electronic chart if you learn how to follow Paul Higgins' methodology.

There are two yachts featured, Sydney Yachts' GTS43 and the Beneteau Sense (55). Both of these are good for both cruising and racing and both worth more than a casual glance, even if you are not in the market to buy right now.

Also making the news is a rally to dream about through the Canary Islands; the Australia-wide marina survey that shows they are getting more environmentally friendly; PlanetSolar's arrival into pirate waters; an RYA published book about Offshore Sailing; some timely advice about smart bare-boat chartering; and Ten Tips on handling the main on a short-handed cruising boat.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, so browse down the headlines to find what interests you.

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Laura Dekker rounds Cape in fierce storms, arrives Cape Town
Carol Dolley, IOL/ Sail-World Cruising,
Laura Dekker, 16-year-old Dutch/New Zealand solo sailor, has rounded Cape Agulhas in 50 gusting 55 knot winds and arrived in Cape Town to be greeted by her father, Dick Dekker. 'Not even the most seasoned skipper will round Cape Point in winds like that. She's a very brave girl,' observed an experienced Cape Town sailor.... [more]
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Solar-powered cat reaches India, ready for the pirate zone
Sail-World Cruising,
Sailing teen Laura Dekker may have taken the Africa route, but Turanor PlanetSolar, the Swiss flagged, extraordinarily shaped solar-powered 35m yacht which has already crossed both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, has reached India and is now docked in Aguada Bay in Goa.... [more]
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Navigational charts direct from Google Earth - and it's free
Paul Higgins/Nancy Knudsen,
If you have ever had a problem with inaccurate charting, you'll want to know about something that seems so simple in concept that it should have been done years ago, and wasn't - a program that can create navigation charts directly from Google Earth, avoiding any inaccuracy. Retired Canadian HP programmer Paul Higgins tells the story of how he came to create it, AND explains how to do it, free!... [more]
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Flir's First MateMS Thermal Imaging Camera helps sailors see in dark
Jane Arakawa,
The new Flir First Mate MS uses the same thermal imaging technology as Flir's best-in-class Navigator II, Voyager II and M-Series thermal night vision systems but now it's even smaller, lighter... [more]
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Mackay Marina chosen as first Australian port in Oyster Rally
Jeni Bone,
Mackay Marina – a world-class 500-berth facility at the tail end of The Whitsundays – has just snared the prestigious and internationally significant Oyster World Rally 2013-14.... [more]
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Marina survey highlights marinas' commitment to the environment
Colin Bransgrove MIAA,
The preliminary findings from the annual Health of the Australian Marina Survey have been released. Despite tough trading conditions the survey highlights that more marinas are committed to increase spending on improvements to environmental related facilities and technologies.... [more]
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Product of the Week: Deckvest LITE, a winner
Nancy Knudsen,
It's great flexibility was no doubt one of the reasons that Spinlock's new Deckvest LITE became a winner in this year's DAME Design Awards recently announced in Amsterdam. This is not a life jacket for crossing oceans. But it is the only expert-quality lifejacket especially made for RIBs, inshore and inland sailing, as well as motor boating and other water activities.... [more]
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Leaders urged to curb climate vulnerability
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
Representatives of the world's governments meeting in Durban this week have been advised by scientists that urgent action is needed to reduce the vulnerability of communities worldwide likely to be worst affected by the impacts of climate change.... [more]
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Book Feature: 'RYA Offshore Sailing'
Rob Tickner/Sail-World Cruising,
A couple of weeks ago we ran a feature on RYA's excellent treatise on Passage Planning. This week there's another guide from the RYA for cruising sailors, this time on offshore sailing in general, written by experienced sailor in many of the world's waters, Dick McClary If you're just beginning to poke the bow of the boat into the ocean, 'RYA Offshore Sailing' could be a handy acquisition.... [more]
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New ship-routing data trial may come soon for cruising sailors
Sandman PR,
In time, all new technology becomes cheaper and so trickles down to the individual user. New data from Tidetech, who already have excellent tide programs for cruising sailors, which enables ships to improve their routing efficiency, and is being trialed with a major cruise line company, is sure to become available to the cruising sailor before too long.... [more]
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Camper welcomes the world to its 'paper' pavilion
Jeni Bone,
Extending beyond comfortable and fashion-forward footwear, Camper has commissioned Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban to design the Camper Pavilion for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.... [more]
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Rally through the Canary Islands - February 2013
Lee Mylchreest,
There's plenty of time to prepare for THIS sailing rally - and if you can't sail there, you can charter a yacht and have a holiday of a lifetime. It's the Canarias Sailing Rally, first to the 14th February, 2013... [more]
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Ten Mainsail Tips for Short-handed Cruising
Nancy Knudsen,
Most long range cruisers are trying to sail downwind when they can, but it doesn't always happen. Many cruisers are also sailing short handed. So handling the main on a cruising boat differs in many ways from that for a racing boat. Whatever your configuration you have to use the big sail to balance the helm and create or decrease power.... [more]
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Indian sailing cargo vessel's crew rescued by the French
Nancy Knudsen,
It takes a rescue on the high seas to be reminded that sailing vessels are not only used as recreational vessels in today's world. While the shipping industry is desperately trying new technology that will allow modern ships to use the wind to assist cargo transport around the world, there are traditional sailing ships that have never stopped carrying cargo.... [more]
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Book Feature: Two new books from the authors of 'Two's a Crew'
Nancy Knudsen,
First there is the adventure tale about sailing where few cruising sailors choose, in Australia's own Southern Ocean, then there is the companion practical book, the result of a lifetime of sailing. Here are two new books from the authors of 'Two's a Crew', Jack and Jude Binder.... [more]
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Marine Photographers urged to use IPTC metadata to protect Copyright
Brendan Maxwell, Tetra-Media,
Sailing and boating clubs and events need to address the need for copyright protection of images taken by event photographers. This is not a new problem, but as the media world consumes more and more images, the problem of unattributed or incorrectly attributed images being supplied by clubs and events to media is growing.... [more]
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A Closer Look At The Sydney Yachts GTS43
Crosbie Lorimer,
'How do you beat that?' might be a fair question when contemplating the next generation successors to the hugely popular range of Sydney Yachts, best epitomised in the Sydney 38 (some 50 yachts race in Australia), the Sydney 32, and more recently to the CR range of custom and production cruiser racers.... [more]
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East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains
British Antarctic Survey,
The birth of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains buried beneath the vast East Antarctic Ice Sheet — a puzzle mystifying scientists since their first discovery in 1958 — is finally solved. The remarkably long geological history explains the formation of the mountain range in the least explored frontier on Earth and where the Antarctic Ice Sheet first formed.... [more]
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The secrets of smart bare boat chartering
Lisa Batchelor Frailey, ASA/Sail-World Cruising,
When you decide to go bare boat chartering, it should be the vacation of a lifetime – even if you take one every year! Booking a charter isn't always straightforward, and if done incorrectly, the stakes (financial and relationships) can be high. Lisa Batchelor Frailey here offers a professional insight into the charter booking process.... [more]
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Ensign Yachts introduce Beneteau Sense (55'). Live the magic of sea!
Florian Coroller,
15 months ago, the coming of the new Sense range gave rise to a small revolution in the world of cruising monohulls. Its success widely exceeded all expectations.... [more]
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Yacht feature: Sarissa
Jochem Kaan Superyacht Times/Sail-World,
A very special yacht. Sarissa's remarkable sleekness is what catches your eye first. This yacht will instantly appeal to the minimalist. She comes from Dutch Vitters Shipyard and is designed by Bill Trip and Rhoades Young Design - adding another high-performance, sportive and elegant yacht to sail the seven seas.... [more]
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