Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Onboard with Marine Studies

 Onboard with Marine Studies


Marine studies have been an important part of our high school for some years and with the announcement by the Marine Teachers Association of Queensland of their annual conference to be held at Griffith University on the Gold Coast it is a good time to reflect on what is a success in our education system.


Our Whitsunday region has a strong focus on water both salt and fresh and everything to do with on and under water.


A very high local boat ownership means a possible career path for young people in science, servicing and safe operating of craft that is fuelled by engagement of youth in the positive outcomes of marine studies at an appropriate age.


I don't believe there is a better mission statement than that of the MTAQ: "To foster curiosity, imagination, knowledge and enthusiasm for 'real world' science and vocational maritime studies for Primary, Middle and Secondary school students MTAQ has established the following community and government partnership projects. .

"Our list of achievements includes publications, professional development programs, agreements and memoranda of understanding, certificates and licences for members, a curriculum exchange of ideas, exam papers and teaching pedagogy, professional development programs, workshops and conferences."


As a commercial ship operator I have found over the years that the youth that have attended High School Marine Studies courses have been interested, engaged and seeking for further their knowledge of our marine environment.

The conference will in collaboration with the Griffith University School of Environment, Engineering and Technology Department and MTAQ invites all Marine teachers and support staff to attend.

With the 2014 implementation of the Queensland Studies Authority new Marine Science syllabus, Marine Scientists at Griffith University have come on board with the new syllabus and run workshops  to enable teachers to deliver with Marine Science 'best practice'. Teachers will have the opportunity to learn real marine science from real marine scientists.


The conference is intended to help teachers make the learning of science accessible and engaging, and ultimately to improve student performance in science and help build a community with a high level of scientific literacy.

For further information or to see the activities and resources available check out www.marineteachers.org.au/


City of Adelaide


The two headlines from the same day and posted only an hour apart. The first reads "World's oldest clipper ship transported to Australia." The second – "City of Adelaide clipper ship export ban sought."   Both articles are about the clipper ship, City of Adelaide, the world's oldest surviving composite clipper ship and the only surviving sailing ship built to give regular passenger and cargo service between Europe and Australia.  She is five years older than the composite clipper, Cutty Sark.  

After numerous delays, the Australian consortium intends to move the old ship by barge to Adelaide, Australia in just less than two months. Or not.

Meanwhile, the group which wants to keep the ship in Scotland has asked the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, to intervene to stop the move.

The old ship has been rotting at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Scotland for years. The museum, which lacked the funds to care for the ship, had threatened by scrap her.  In August 2010, Scottish Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop awarded the Australians the right to move the ship to Adelaide.  That might have ended the argument, but so far, it has not.

The ship's rudder was transported to Adelaide in January.   Barring court action to block the move, the City of Adelaide may finally return to its namesake port later this year.


Yongala wreck


Mariners are advised that during this week buoy replacement and servicing of moorings will be undertaken during daylight hours on the Yongala wreck site 12 nautical miles east of Cape Bowling Green. The works will be conducted from the vessels 'PMG Harmony', barge 'PMG150' and dive vessel 'Louisanne'. The vessels will remain anchored in close proximity to above position, day shapes and lights will be displayed. Navigate with caution in this area. AUS charts 256, 257 & 827


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Race Week, Reef Fest; bang for Yer buck!



Race Week, Reef Fest; bang for Yer buck!


The Schweppes Recycled Raft Race as part of the Whitsunday Reef Festival was so successful, it was fully subscribed, that a new plan might be needed in future.

First, a huge 'thank you' to the mighty Lagoon Lifeguards without whom the event could not happen. Above and beyond the call of duty – again – our lifeguards protect the public 365 days a year. Ratepayers and Council should know that the Airlie Lagoon has arguably the best safety record on the east coast. The lifeguard crew are proud, but never complacent, about putting the safety of the public above all.

The Schweppes Recycled Raft Race has grown to the point that it may have to be taken out to sea, as it was suggested that New Beach at Port of Airlie would be a good spot with a rounding mark to seawards.

A beach atmosphere could be easily achieved with off beach sailing, iron person race, beach volleyball and mini fun race added to the calendar.


Sky High


Everyone loves a good fireworks show and Friday night as part of the Reef Festival and concluding Abell Point Airlie Race Week the community got bang for their buck courtesy of sponsor Porter's Hardware.

Big noisy bangers beat those little arty-pharty sparklers so besides the blasting big bungers it was time to catch up with mates not seen for some time.

For those out early Saturday morning; 0418 hours to be precise, six or eight on the rockets went skywards giving an extra boutique show for those night owls (yeah, don't ask!)and early market stall holders around the Airlie waterfront.


The law?


Recreational fishing and boating groups are really upset that a federal law change may see their activities sunk.

"Thanks to a new commercial vessel law, if a recreational fisher goes out on a Kayak, films a fish capture on a GoPro camera and then uploads it to a tackle manufacturers Facebook page in exchange for some lures, they are breaking the law if they do not comply with commercial vessel requirements (i.e. vessel in survey)," say the Pleasure Cruising Club.

"The really unfair part of this is that the recreational fisher is now subject to commercial operator penalties which are court prosecuted offences.

"Recreational Fishing and Marine Industry journalists and article authors are now in the firing line with enforcement agencies now actively threatening TV journalists with heavy enforcement action,

"There are two pieces of new Law that you need to have regard to: the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 - An Act to provide for a national law about marine safety for certain commercial vessels, and for related purposes. And Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Regulation 2013

These regulations sit under the Act and provide for the specification of a thing that is or is NOT a domestic commercial vessel.

 Section 10 Definition of domestic commercial vessel—things that are not domestic commercial vessels

(1) For paragraph 7(5)(b) of the National Law, a vessel is not a domestic commercial vessel:

(a) if it would, but for this section, be a domestic commercial vessel only because:

(i) it is sponsored during a sporting event; or

(ii) it is being used for a promotional activity, including an activity to produce an advertisement, or as part of a film set; or

(iii) a person is paid to operate the vessel or to be a member of the crew of the vessel; or

(iv) a person (the trainee) pays another person to train the trainee in the trainee's vessel; or

The Club goes on to say that their members and "select Marine media personalities" have been threatened with big fines in Victoria. Stay tuned.


Underwater work


Abbot Point coal terminal - diving operations will continue at Abbot Point Coal Terminal No. 1 and trestle until January 30, 2004. Diving operations will be conducted from  'M.V Shadows' and 'L.B Clam' during daylight hours only, both vessels will fly 'Alpha' during diving operations and monitor VHF channel 16. AUS charts 255 & 826


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan