Sat search and rescue,yachts challenge oil drillers, Chalong Bay stars

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 28 Nov 2013

Sat search and rescue,yachts challenge oil drillers, Chalong Bay stars

When Sir Robin Knox-Johnson made history as the winner – and only finisher – of the 1968 solo round the world yacht race, he was out of contact with the world for months at a time. No-one 'back home' knew what was happening to any of those competitors unless a sailor ran across a ship mid-ocean and sent back a message. How things have changed!

First it was the invention of the GPS, to make celestial navigation something rarer and rarer among cruising sailors, while encouraging a new crop of sailors to take the big step and go over the horizon. That has brought its own set of problems, as while GPS might be accurate, many of the world's charts certainly aren't.

Then followed a spate of inventions, the AIS, vessel tracking technology, the EPIRB and the PLB all taking some of the fear from being alone on an ocean, and encouraging yet more sailors to set off for distant ports.

Now some technical experts are suggesting that instant satellite imagery, so far normally in the possession of government agencies only and impossible to access quickly, might soon be used for search and rescue operations.

While you can't deny the advantages of this, there's something about it that makes me slightly uncomfortable. Will cruising our seven oceans soon become like accessing a superhighway? Where's the adventure? The freedom? Will my ex-spouse soon be able to track me even if I take off in a sailing boat?

Read excerpts from Bruce Dorminey's article on the subject, inspired by Robert Redford's latest 'shipwreck' movie and the real tragedy of the loss of the schooner Nina with seven crew in the Tasman Sea.

A great collection of other news again too: Read about how six yachts are challenging the might of the deep sea drilling industry in the Tasman Sea. The Atlantic Rally is off again, World Oceans Day is appealing for funds and Greece has slapped a new huge tax on cruising boats. The yacht of the week is the Hanse 415 and the book of the week comes from inveterate engineless sailors Lin and Larry Pardey.

181113. News. Photo: Supplied
The Oil Free Seas Flotilla at the site where the ship Bob Douglas is going to be starting exploratory drilling in the next few days.   .. .

It's always heart-warming to see sudden acts of kindness from other sailors, and the small incident we describe in Chalong Bay in Thailand this week is a reminder of generous spirit that usually pervades the world of the cruising sailor.

Chalong incident - but some muscle is needed  .. .

Much more to read too, so browse down the headlines to find your interest...

For the hardy winter-sailing souls and lucky ones in warm climes,

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Six sailing boats challenge deep sea oil drilling in the Tasman Sea
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
It's a flotilla of six sailing boats that are being used by activists to challenge deep sea drilling in the Tasman Sea off the coast of New Zealand. The beauty of the scene and the graceful lines of the sailing boats belied the drama that is developing over the issue.... [more]
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Greece's new tax on cruising sailors announced
Cruising Association/Sail-World,
If you are thinking of sailing in Greek waters any time soon, there is information here that you will want to know. Britain's Cruising Association, a British organisation for cruising sailors, has announced the latest and most complete information about a new 'circulation tax' to be levied on all leisure craft over 7m spending time in Greek waters. The new regulation applies from 1st Jan, 2014.... [more]
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World Oceans Day appeals for funds
Alyssa Isakower/Sail-World,
World Ocean Day has recently launched an online fundraiser to raise funds to make World Oceans Day 2014 an even better opportunity for ocean celebration and action. Last year there were over 600 events held in 70 different countries - help us take this event to the next level!... [more]
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Yacht of the Week: Hanse 415
Des Ryan,
So there's a new Hanse 415 out this year, combining precision building (well they're German aren't they) and excellent styling. Not only that, the new boat also shows a nice ease of handling which belies how well it sails. It's an ideal boat for a family cruiser, but can turn on a great show of speed.... [more]
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Book Review: Self-sufficient Sailor, by Lin and Larry Pardey
Lee Mylchreest,
This book is a reprint of earlier advice, and an update, but don't let that put you off. It is full of ideas and wisdom on how to sail in comfort and safety without large cash outlays, something the Pardeys have been famously promoting for many years. All sailors, whether or not they plan to sail over the horizon, will find valuable insights.... [more]
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28th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers sets sail from Las Palmas
World Cruising Club,
The 28th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) set sail this week from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, bound for Saint Lucia. A fine NNE breeze provided perfect conditions for a downwind start and a swift departure for the first part of the passage across the Atlantic. In total, 224 boats and 1,204 people, including 26 aged under 16, are sailing in this year's edition of the trans-ocean rally.... [more]
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Satellite imaging for search and rescue - coming of age
Bruce Dorminey, Forbes/Sail-World Cruising,
Two leaders in the field of search and rescue have stated that it won't be long before satellite imaging is all part of the matrix when a sailing boat sounds an alarm or goes missing in the ocean - and this could make all the difference.... [more]
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Welcome to Chalong Bay Thailand- and we'll rescue your boat if need be
Phukette Gazette/Sail-World Cruising,
There's nowhere more famous in Thailand than Chalong Bay for nomadic cruising sailors. Its vast anchorage spells a welcome to cruising yachts from all over the world. However, it's when the locals show just how real their welcome is by personally rescuing a foreign-owned boat that Chalong Bay's reputation really goes sky high.... [more]
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Update on alarming loss of U.S. Coastal Wetlands
Laurel Bryant, NOAA Fisheries,
NOAA has co-authored a report with the Fish and Wildlife (FWC) Service documenting the current status and trends of wetlands loss along the coastal watersheds of the United States. According to the report's findings, from 2004-2009, coastal watersheds lost wetlands at the alarming rate of 80,000 acres per year--a 25 percent increase over the last six year period reported.... [more]
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Calling British sailors for survey on BBC Shipping Forecast
RYA/Sail-World Cruising,
British sailors, have you yet completed the survey about how much you listen to the BBC Radio 4 Shipping Forecast? This Shipping Forecast has long been valued by those who sail our coastlines, especially those who do not have internet access on board. If you haven't yet completed it, don't let it get lost in the chaos of the festive season - the deadline is mid-January:... [more]
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Love boat gear? So did 20,000 others at METS this year
Lee Mylchreest,
If you not only love sailing but love boat gear as well, there's one trade show in the world you would like to be at, and it's the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam, every year in November. This year some 20,500 people attended.... [more]
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Most advanced VHF ever, just launched
Ian Lockyer/Sail-World Cruising,
One of the most advanced marine VHF radios ever seen was launched at the METS in Amsterdam this week. The IC-M506 is packed full of features including integrated AIS receiver, NMEA2000 connectivity, ‘Last Call' voice recording function, ‘Active Noise Cancelling' technology plus, plus...... [more]
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HRH the Princess Royal presents RYA Volunteer Awards in London
Susie NationGrainger,
Dedicated volunteers from around Britain had their endeavours recognised by HRH the Princess Royal at the annual RYA Volunteer Awards in London yesterday (21st November 2013).... [more]
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Elias gets a helping hand. Jeppesen offers free charts
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
Elias gets a helping hand. The Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue, whose mascot is Elias, the little Rescue Boat, and has 43 vessels continuously manned and on standby along the coast of Norway, is to have electronic navigational charts donated by Jeppesen.... [more]
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Columbus's Nina is almost ready to sail again in Texas
Sail-World Cruising Round-up,
La Niña, or colloquially simply 'Nina', is almost ready to sail again! La Niña was one of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage towards the Indies in 1492. The others were the Pinta and the Santa Maria.... [more]
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Greenpeace sailors protest drillers in the Tasman Sea
Greenpeace/Sail-World Cruising,
The Greenpeace sailing boat is dwarfed by the size of the ships around it, but it's not going anywhere any time soon. In the continuing standoff between the drillers and the sailors, the Noble Bob Douglas drillship has moved into position in the Tasman Sea over an exploratory well off the coast of the New Zealand and will continue with its planned drilling operations.... [more]
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RYA Dinghy Show - win some great tickets for the 2014 show
Emma Slater, Royal Yachting Association,
Are you good at captions? The RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show has launched a great new competition where you could win yourself a pair of the tickets to the 2014 show.... [more]
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