Discover sailing... Suicidal French sailors...'Why regulate the seas?'
This week a speeding French sailor has been fined for going the wrong way down a ship separation zone (the equivalent to a freeway), in UK waters. His very French defense was that he was trying to break the Around Britain and Ireland speed record. Try that excuse the next time you are stopped for speeding.
Marc Guillemot on the bow of Safran - 'But Your Honour I was trying to break zee record. It was not possible to obey zee rules as well as break zee record.' Francois Van Malleghem
How much to regulate our waterways and oceans has long been a favourite heated discussion among leisure sailors. Every time there is an incident, the reports that follow recommend tighter and tighter regulations, until the word 'Freedom of the Sea' becomes virtually meaningless.
This week Sir Alan Massey, CEO of UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency(MCA) waded in with a novel thought – that sailors should be credited with some common sense and authorities such as the MCA should tread a fine line between regulation and self-regulation.
This was a stunning statement coming from such a quarter, and safety authorities of the world could do well to take note.
Not that it isn't getting easier and easier to venture off-shore from a technological point of view when the newest technology, like the Marine Commander featured this week, can give you a screen encapsulating all your nav systems in one. It's even getting easier and cheaper to clean your hull, with a vibrating barnacle buster that doesn't need you to remove the boat from the water – that's another article.
There's also more and more sailing advice out there, valuable specially if you are not connected to a sailing club or fraternity. Veteran cruising sailor Jude Binder, who may know more about the Australian coastline than any other cruising sailor ever, has a new eBook out called 'Practical Boat Bits and Tips' chocked full of useful advice you may not read anywhere else. John Jamieson has an article on the use of flares – and the importance of knowing how to use them before you find you are in an emergency.
Swan gatherings in 2013 .. .
If you are lucky enough to own a Swan, Club Swan have brought out their program for 'gatherings' of Swans for 2013 - that's worldwide. If you are a Catalina Owner, Lake Macquarie is the place to be by the beginning of January.
Our yacht feature is of Fountain Pajot's beautiful Victoria 67, and the first NEEL 45 trimaran is due to arrive into Brisbane in May next year - that's a magnificent yacht to drool over, or, just maybe, consider buying.
Finally, we hear a lot about boat people, but do read the moving passage tale about two Cubans who sacrificed everything to sail to America, and the little toy puffin, given by an Australian cruising sailor, who kept their morale high when the going got tough.
If you liked this newsletter, do nothing, we will send you another ..
Naa, please don't send me another.
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