Monday, December 29, 2003

Birth Notice: Top yachts spawn little sailors

The Mackay Yacht Club is proud to announce the birth of three little Sabot sailing boats, which have been "fathered" by the top racing boats Nicorette and Ichi Ban and the cruising vessel Hi Fidelity.
The three "big boats" took out $1,000 cash prizes in the inaugural Southport to Mackay Yacht Race in August this year (2003). The money had been raised by local businesses to promote the race, but all three skippers decided to donate the money back to the Club to help develop Junior Sailing.
The three Sabots have recently emerged from their moulds in Mackay and are awaiting masts and sails. They will be 'baptised' as Little Nicorette, Little Ichi Ban and Little Hi Fidelity in the New Year.
Matt Allan, skipper of Ichi Ban chairs the Youth Yachting Committee at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. He said, "While we all appreciate the sentiments of the Mackay Yacht Club and the camaraderie and competition of ocean racing, it is also important to develop the potential of younger sailors. By encouraging junior sailors in Mackay, we are also encouraging future crew members, skippers, and who knows, maybe an Olympic champion."
Dale Robinson, Commodore of the Mackay Yacht Club says, "Planning is well underway for the 2004 Southport to Mackay Yacht Race. We will be looking forward to the skippers of Nicorette, Ichi Ban and Hi Fidelity returning to visit their 'offspring'. We also hope many more ocean racing boats will also enter the race. It can only help our local kids when top racing sailors visit Mackay."
The 530 nm Southport to Mackay Blue Water Classic is the longest northerly passage Race on the East Coast of Australia. Next race will begin on Friday August 6, 2004.


In relation to my previous New Years Resolutions, I tried to be good (honest!), but the dining table is near my computer and it often looks like an office. I had the table clean on at least two occasions that even Mrs Cap'n Dan would verify. I, of course, would never try to shift the blame, but other people put things on the table too.
I will eat less fat and more sugar. I will slip, slop and slap. Early to bed and . . . Well, you get the picture. I will try to clean off the dining room table for Mrs Cap'n Dan. (Weather permitting, in due course, considering schedules, with due regard to the Santa clause, if possible with regard to extent circumstances and special conditions at the time, Act of God, force majeure, et cetera . . . )

Toadfish tango

The underwater mating song of the toadfish is said to be so loud that sometimes humans on the shore can hear it.

The year that was

The year 2003 saw our visitor numbers grow from 554,000 in June 2002 to 635,000 in 2003. The majority of Tourism Whitsunday members have experienced one of the best years for some time. The region has performed strongly especially our domestic market. The latest figures show Domestic 67%, International 33%. TW Sea News.


"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
Albert Einstein

Best wishes for the New Year and
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Check weather for safe summer boating

Keeping your 'weather eye' open is a key element of good seamanship. You don't have to know everything about weather forecasting, but getting the right information is vital to safe boating.
Getting a good, reliable marine weather forecast is easy when you know the right sources. Here is a rundown for summer boating weather safety.
Newspapers, local radio and the Bureau of Meteorology website provide coverage, but your marine radio has a range of broadcasts for you.
Airlie Comstat provides a Whitsunday local service each day at 0803, 1203 and 1603 on VHF repeater channels 81, 82 and 22.
A good service for the early morning starters is the Telstra VHF Seaphone service that broadcasts weather forecasts at 0633 and 1633 each day. Whitsunday weather channels are VHF 28 and 86 from Whitsunday Island and Channel 66 Shute Harbour.
The Bureau of Meteorology broadcasts weather information for our waters from VMC Weather Australia located at Charleville in Queensland on the High Frequencies working frequencies: 2201, 4426, 6507, 8176, 12365 and 16537 KHz.
Some vessels, depending on the age of their HF transceivers, may need to install new frequencies in order to receive the Bureau of Meteorology weather information.
Get the forecast and enjoy safe boating in the Whitsundays.

Port Denison Pier

Mariners are advised that a fireworks display will be carried out in approximate position latitude 20°01.3'S and longitude 148°15.1'E on Port Denison Pier, Bowen, between 2400 hours on Wednesday, 31 December, 2003 and 0015 hours on Thursday, 1 January, 2004. Charts affected: AUS 268, 825, 826

Young Einstein

One story Einstein liked to tell about his childhood was of a "wonder" he saw when he was four or five years old: a magnetic compass. The needle's invariable northward swing, guided by an invisible force, profoundly impressed the child. The compass convinced him that there had to be "something behind things, something deeply hidden."

Ad scam warning

Here's a warning to businesses to be wary of an advertising scam by unscrupulous con-merchants, claiming to represent the emergency services.
Businesses are being rung and harassed by a man who speaks with an American accent, and claims to be selling advertising space in a bogus publication called 'SES Volunteer Air and Sea Rescue Magazine'.
The ONLY official publication of the SES is a monthly newsletter for the State's volunteers, which carries no advertising whatsoever.
If your approached, immediately lodge a complaint with the Office of Fair Trading on 1300 658 030.

Christmas all year

"A good conscience is a continual Christmas."

Benjamin Franklin; Statesman, Printer, Inventor, Philosopher

Best wishes of the Season and
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Irukandji Research Foundation launched in Whitsunday

Irukandji jellyfish research took a positive turn with the launch in Airlie Beach this week of a tax-free research foundation to attract and encourage donations.
The first donations were received on Tuesday night. Proserpine Rotary President Harry Black presented $5000 to Foundation Trustee Ray Braithwaite who also accepted fifty dollars from a member of the public.
Mr Black issued a challenge to other service clubs in the region to back the research foundation.
Former Federal member Mr Braithwaite told the well attended meeting at the sailing club that Federal member De-Anne Kelly had suggested the formation of a tax deductible foundation and it had taken almost two years to set up the foundation.
"The Trustees will be applying for any available Government grants and are also seeking contributions and assistance from Mackay Whitsunday businesses, service clubs and the community to ensure that the research will continue and make the region a safer place for tourists." Mr Braithwaite said.
Organiser and Foundation trustee Wayne Bailey, a marine tourism operator, said the research was needed to ensure the safety of both tourist customers and staff.
"We need to press ahead with the research and find solutions. Tourism is adversely impacted with each Irukandji sting, so we need the entire industry and every tourist operation to get right behind the foundation" Mr Bailey said.
Leading world authority on marine stingers Dr Peter Fenner told the meeting each time an Irukandji sting occurred, the tourism industry suffered. An area such as Whitsunday could be very badly affected by adverse publicity.
"We need to ensure that research results in ways to prevent incidents. Education is an important aspect of this, but we still need to know more. It is important to realise that the jellyfish do not 'attack' people, humans are not its food source."
Dr Fenner is National Medical Officer for Surf Life Saving Club and an Associate Professor at James Cook University. He is also an advisor to the World Health Organisation and the Australian Medical Association on marine envenomation.
"It has been found in the past that most research funds available for Irukandji research from Governments were going further north, while the main effect of these marine stingers has been felt around the Whitsundays. Volunteer researcher Dr Eric Mitran in Airlie Beach was conducting the most fruitful research. That is why our research funding will target the Whitsunday area," Dr Fenner added.
Marine biologist, Dr Eric Mitran has been conducting research in the Whitsundays. He had formerly worked on the islands of Madagascar and Zanzibar on the east coast of Africa where he originally encountered Irukandji like stingers, and discovered a possible repellent.
Eric told The Guardian that his young daughter helped in the discovery.
"Papa, Why do the women put sun cream on the bottom of their feet?"
So, Eric asked them and found that the fisherwomen were putting on an essential oil as a repellent against the jellyfish.
"The reproduction of the jellyfish may be tied to climate stress triggered by conditions that cause the mass spawning leading to an outbreak or raising of the number of encounters," Dr Mitran said.
"More research is needed to find the real reasons, but with the increase in funding we can expect further results to this problem"
Medical practitioner Dr Paul Joice of Proserpine is a trustee of the foundation and Rotary member who invited Dr Fenner to Proserpine a while back to give a presentation to the club.
"Rotary takes up issues, in this case a life saving issue, as part of our service to the community," Dr Joice said.
The sensational approach by some sections of the media was noted as having almost as adverse an affect as the jellyfish themselves.
Every time a newspaper headline trumpets a jellyfish sting, the tourism industry suffers. It's like the 'shark infested waters' line that has been done to death by the media.
Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association organised the meeting at the sailing club. Any reader who wishes to make a donation may contact the Foundation C/ The Guardian.

Watery grave for infamous yacht

The infamous yacht Lonebird, linked to New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope and a major drug-smuggling operation, was scuttled near Gisborne this week.
After mysteriously sinking in its Gisborne harbour mooring three years ago, the 20m yacht was sent to its final resting place at Young Nicks Head, as an artificial reef for divers.
Its history is steeped in drugs, murder and mystery. In 1997, Lonebird was rumoured to have been the ketch originally sought after the deaths of Ben Smart, 21, and Olivia Hope, 17. It matched the mystery ketch police were looking for.
In early 2000, Lonebird reportedly transferred drugs from off the coast of New Zealand to Australia.
Sir Thomas Graham Fry, who owned Lonebird then, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in bringing 500kg of cocaine into Australia, the country's largest cocaine seizure at the time. Then in September 2000, it sank in Gisborne harbour during a storm in unknown circumstances.
Australian authorities who seized the boat have accepted ownership and will pay the $100,000 salvage bill.
Rob Campbell, of Bay Underwater Services, thinks Lonebird could be seaworthy again. He says its hull is "very sound."

Windsurfer record

Maries de la Mer, France: Big Wednesday turned out to be a record setting day as the run of 46.24 knots by Finian Maynard sets a new windsurfing speed record that comes agonizingly close to the outright world record of 46.54 knots. David Garrel of France set a new French record with a time of 45.51 knots. Martin van Meurs set a new Dutch record with a time of 40.8 knots.

New boat marking rules

Queensland's commercial fishing fleet will be more easily identified in the water with new rules for the marking commercial fishing boats to come into force this week.
The regulations are part of a range of new legislation recently introduced affecting commercial operators, recreational anglers and the charter boat industry.
Under the new law, boat markings must be larger and clearly visible both from above and the side of the vessel.
The new rules include:
* For boats under 10 metres, markings must be at least 20cm high and between 2cm and 2.5cm wide
* For boats between 10m and 25m, markings must be at least 30cm high and between 3.5cm and 4cm wide; and
* For boats greater than 25m, markings must be at least 45cm high and between 6cm and 6.5cm wide.

Under cover

"A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines."

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Friday, December 12, 2003

Ex Whitsunday yacht for Mawson's Hut New Year

Solo, around-the-world sailor Tony Mowbray is embarking on a new challenge - a voyage to Antarctica with a crew consisting of a stand-up comedian, ambulance officer, cleaning contractor and electrical engineer.
"This is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things," said Mowbray, who is looking forward to joining in "the most southern New Year's Party" at Mawson's Hut.
The group will sail out of Sydney on December 7 in Solo Globe Challenger, the 43ft yacht, which Mowbray sailed single-handed around the world in 2000, and which was nearly lost in the disastrous 1998 Sydney-Hobart Race.
The yacht, a Cole 43 charter yacht sailed for years in the Whitsundays as Rangatira.
Mowbray said he was looking forward to seeing Mawson's Hut, at Commonwealth Bay, the great adventurer's home from 1911 to 1913.
"It is the last remaining symbol down there to our great Antarctic pioneers," he said.
"The thought of being in the beautiful, unspoilt Antarctic on News Years Eve is just incredible.
"In contrast, we'll spend Christmas day in the "Screaming 60s" of The Great Southern Ocean where there is no law... you are on your own.
"We have prepared well for icebergs, pack ice and the expected 200 km/h winds. We are ready for the challenge. Bring it on"

Aussie boat washed up

A catamaran that sank off the New South Wales coast in May has washed up seven months later on a New Zealand beach 3000 kilometres away, police said.
Police were trying to track down the owner after the eight metre craft, with its two huge outboard engines still attached, drifted ashore on Ninety Mile Beach, at the northern tip of New Zealand.
'It was amazing it stayed afloat with those two heavy engines on it,' Constable Chris Yarnton said. 'They weigh a quarter of a tonne each.'
The catamaran had overturned off Bermagui, 375 kilometres south of Sydney, on May 24 and its crew of four or five were rescued.
A search by water police at the time found no trace of the boat, which was presumed sunk.
New Zealand police traced the boat's motors to a marine engine dealer in Melbourne and Melbourne police filled in its history.

Boom not bombs

Did you know that even Kabul is experiencing a property boom? Under the Taliban, real estate agents were considered satanic.

Reef Report

Fishing has been on the improve lately with some good reef fish taken. Sailfish and Marlin have been about in small numbers at the north of Hayman Island but are not as thick as previous years. A recent three day trip to the continental shelf produced Mackerel, Dogtooth Tuna, some reds and a 500 lb Blue Marlin.
Dates have been set for a trip to Marion Reef in 2004 when twelve lucky anglers, a mother ship and two game boats make the trip 200 miles into the coral sea to Marion Reef. The 'Tour of Duty' will be a case of first in best dressed. Seven days at this majestic reef will be a real fishing experience.
Not so good news on the Green Zones closures of the reef with the Plan now in Parliament and most of the reefs off the Whitsundays to be closed. More to come on this one. Tight Lines. Capt Ken Bryant

Bikini bust up

The US Coast Guard rescued a bikini-clad Connecticut woman after she spent a chilly night stranded in a dinghy.
Michelle Zaklukiewicz, 35, allegedly had an argument with her boyfriend and rowed off to sea in her 8-foot inflatable boat, Coast Guard Petty Officer Jason Boop said.
Zaklukiewicz's boyfriend, Bill Lopes, called police at 1 a.m. Wednesday and told them the wind caught her boat, he was unable to reach her, and he then lost sight of her.
The Coast Guard rescued Zaklukiewicz about 6:30 a.m. almost two miles away, Boop said.
Not surprisingly, she was treated for hypothermia.

Windsurfer record

Maries de la Mer, France: Big Wednesday turned out to be a record setting day as the run of 46.24 knots by Finian Maynard sets a new windsurfing speed record that comes agonizingly close to the outright world record of 46.54 knots. David Garrel of France set a new French record with a time of 45.51 knots. Martin van Meurs set a new Dutch record with a time of 40.8 knots.

New boat marking rules

Queensland's commercial fishing fleet will be more easily identified in the water with new rules for the marking commercial fishing boats to come into force this week.
The regulations are part of a range of new legislation recently introduced affecting commercial operators, recreational anglers and the charter boat industry.
Under the new law, boat markings must be larger and clearly visible both from above and the side of the vessel.
The new rules include:
* For boats under 10 metres, markings must be at least 20cm high and between 2cm and 2.5cm wide
* For boats between 10m and 25m, markings must be at least 30cm high and between 3.5cm and 4cm wide; and
* For boats greater than 25m, markings must be at least 45cm high and between 6cm and 6.5cm wide.

Mackay Harbour lights

Mariners are advised that due to the construction of the No 3 Berth at Mackay Harbour, the lead lights (bearing 261°40') have been repositioned as follows: -
Front Lead - fixed white light by day, fixed blue light by night Approximate position Latitude 21°06.3858'S Longitude 149°13.5491'E
Rear Lead - fixed white light by day, fixed blue light by night Approximate position Latitude 21°06.4016'S Longitude 149°13.4348'E
The leads are 200 metres apart and line up on a calculated bearing of 261°38' T
Charts Affected: AUS 249, 250


... L'eternité. C'est la mer mêlée Au soleil.
(Eternity. It is the sea mingled with the sun.)

Author Arthur Rimbaud

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Leisure extra dimension for annual boat show

The big news for next year's Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show is the new title and logo, plus the move into Leisure and Camping. After much discussion and research into what Exhibitors want, organisers are pleased to incorporate this extra dimension to the already successful Boat Show. Here in the Whitsundays, our outdoor lifestyle invites us to take full advantage of boating and camping activities for twelve months of the year.
Organised by the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach and sponsored by Oceanic Insurance Brokers, the 2004 Show will again be held on the popular Queen's birthday long weekend, June 12th & 13th.
Plans for 2004 are underway with the show to be 'Bigger and Better'. Two high quality temporary Hoecker buildings at Abel Point Marina will house up to 120 static displays. Close by are the on-the-water displays and activities.
Organisers are expecting over 8000 visitors. With the extensive print, radio and TV campaigns planned, complete with website and Boat Show program, attracting the many boating, sailing and fishing enthusiasts from the coastal and hinterland regions of North and Central Queensland, to this boating paradise.
Visitors can expect a wide and exciting range of sail and power craft to view and inspect. In addition, a major on-water display of mono and multihull yachts and power cruises from the many Whitsunday Bareboat Charter operators. Together with a full line-up of nautical products and services, non-stop demonstrations, parades, entertainment and fabulous door prizes. You might even have the chance to walk the deck of a tallship!
Airlie Beach - What a great place for a BOAT SHOW

Secret overheard

Heard on the loudspeaker at a local supermart.
"Customers, Snappy Tom cans are now on special. Just the thing to bait up those crab pots." The cat's out of the bag now!

Marina appointment

Steve Sammes has been appointed General Manager of Mackay Marina
Shipyard. He is 'looking forward to taking on a new challenge and establishing the shipyard as a major facility on the Eastern Seaboard'. Steve is a Director of the Marina Association of Australia.

New rig on Maxi

Maxi yacht Matador, complete with a new rig, new sails, state of the art electronics and a refurbishment of the interior, returns to chartering in the Whitsundays following a $500,000 refit. Launched in 1990 for Bill Koch USA, the 85ft maxi yacht was victorious in major regattas, including the World Maxi Champion in 1990 and 1991. Matador joined the Prosail fleet in 1997 and will resume 3-day, 2-night liveaboard charters on December 14.

Biggest mast

The world's biggest single masted yacht was launched by VT Shipbuilding,
Southampton UK on Wednesday. The 75m (247ft) Mirabella V, owned by US
businessman Joe Vittoria, is also the biggest composite ship ever built and
will be fitted with a 90m mast capable of supporting 3,000sqm of sail.
Designed by Ron Holland, she will carry up to 12 passengers with facilities
on board including a 600-bottle wine cellar and an outdoor cinema. Small
yachts, remote controlled replicas of the Mirabella V, jet skis and a 29ft
motor launch are all parked in a garage at the stern of the vessel. Mirabella V
will be used as a charter vessel in the Mediterranean and Caribbean costing
$250,000 a week.

Then there was an Advert

The first advertisement printed in English in 1477 offered a prayer book. William Caxton published the ad on his press in Westminster Abbey. No price was mentioned, only that the book was "good chepe."

Net spreads wider for marine fuel spills

A ship's chief engineer was fined in the first use of expanded State Government powers to prosecute individual crewmembers over marine oil spills.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Steve Bredhauer said the $1000 fine imposed on the chief engineer of the Cementco-owned Warden Point should be a warning to all crew members about their personal liability when an oil spill occurs from their vessel.
"The Transport Operations (Marine Pollution) Act has been amended so prosecution is no longer a case of charging only the owner and master of a ship," Mr Bredhauer said.
"No longer can any crew member who bears some individual responsibility for a marine oil spill incident hide behind the skipper and the owner of their ship.
"The law has been expanded to enable Maritime Safety Queensland to cast a wider net and catch individuals whose actions or inactions contribute to an incident.
"Maritime Safety Queensland will continue to prosecute offenders as part of its charter to protect the marine environment from vessel-sourced pollution," he said.
"Vessel operators have to be careful not to spill fuel or oil in Queensland waters. The laws are there to prevent marine pollution and this case shows there are hefty penalties for breaking those laws."
Under Queensland's Transport Operations (Marine Pollution) Act, individual offenders are liable to incur maximum fines of $75,000, and corporations more than $260,000 when prosecuted in a Magistrates Court.

The pain in Spain

Love it or hate it, the America's Cup will be sailed in Valencia Spain in 2007.
Geneva, Switzerland: America's Cup Management, along with the current Trustee of the America's Cup, the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), has announced the Host City and the principal partner for the 32nd America's Cup.
Louis Vuitton will be the principal partner, continuing its 20-year association with sailing's biggest prize.

Miles of smiles

"Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been."

Mark Twain, author

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Thursday, November 27, 2003

One of the world's biggest moving objects to visit

One of the world's biggest moving objects, Star Princess arrived today in Sydney Harbour on the first of four cruises between Australia and New Zealand. The 18-storey, 109,000 tonne vessel cruises with 2,700 passengers and is the largest cruise liner to visit Australia. Star Princess is berthed near the Opera House for a firework display this evening.
Star Princess is the second largest vessel of any type ever to sail into Sydney Harbour after an 118,000-ton ore carrier visited in 1994.
More than a quarter of a kilometre long, twice the weight of Sydney Harbour Bridge's steel and bigger than the world's largest aircraft carrier.
Heavier than 280 jumbo jets, the giant $1 billion megaliner will operate a sell-out three-month season of cruises between Australia and New Zealand.
Star Princess will make visit seven Australian ports including Cid Harbour, Whitsunday Island on February 17 from 6am until 6pm.
"Just as the Concorde captured Australia's imagination in 1972 when it first visited here, we believe the massive Star Princess will make big waves as she sails around Australia this summer,' said P&O Cruises Managing Director Gavin Smith.
"Australia has seen nothing like Star Princess here before - a spectacular floating city that is an incredible 43 per cent larger than the previous biggest liner to visit Australia - P&O's 76,000-ton Aurora in 2001. Star Princess has set sales records, confirming the international cruise boom has well and truly arrived in Australia."
Sporting a Star Trek-like bridge, a glass-walled nightclub suspended above the ship and a promenade deck stretching all the way to the tip of the bow. 'Titanic-style', the luxurious Star Princess will introduce to Australians the trappings of big ship cruising, including nine restaurants and cafes, 12 bars, five pools, nine Jacuzzis, a wedding chapel, two-storey theatre, mini golf course, art gallery, casino and spa complex.
Launched in 2002, Star Princess is part of the fleet of the US-based Princess Cruises, a sister line to P&O Cruises.

Host named today

Today America's Cup Management will identify the name of the Host City for the 32nd America's Cup. The announcement will take place at the Hotel President Wilson in Geneva in front of an impressive assembly of America's Cup personalities, past and future teams. The event can be followed live on the official America's Cup website.

Code cut

Australia's amateur radio operators will no longer have to be skilled in Morse code from next year.
The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) announced that it would discontinue the requirement for amateur radio operators to be proficient in Morse code from 1 January 2004.
The decision follows an extensive review of the amateur radio service, which the ACA launched in August with the release of a discussion paper A Review of Amateur Service Regulation.
ACA Acting Chairman Dr Bob Horton said the ACA had received more than 1400 written submissions commenting on the issues set out in the paper and from public meetings arranged for amateur operators throughout Australia.
"There was widespread support for the removal of the Morse code proficiency requirement at the meetings and throughout the submissions.

Collision 'report'

There is speculation about the report of a November 2001 collision in the Whitsunday Passage.
A board of inquiry report into the Sun Paradise-Pride of Airlie boat collision is said to have found a disturbing "culture of complacency" within the marine industry and a need for ongoing safety education.
Media reports say Queensland Transport Deputy director general Dan Hunt indicates the industry (and his department?) has a key role to play in creating a "safety culture" on the water.
"There has certainly been an attention call for industry in terms of how we work with government and how we all get a common interest in safety..." he is reported to have said.
If Queensland Transport was fair dinkum about wanting to do something about a "culture of complacency" they could start by developing a "culture of communication" and supply the report to interested writers on the subject.

Cloud gazers

Have you ever counted clouds? If you have you might be interested to know that there are 10 types: cirrus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus, altocumulus, altostratus, nimbostratus, stratocumulus, stratus, cumulus, and cumulonimbus. Each of these clouds has a different shape and internal structure.

Hamilton marina light

Mariners are advised that a light Fl.G.3s has been established on the Starboard Lateral Mark No 3 beacon in approximate position latitude 20° 20.817 'S and longitude 148° 56.919' E (WGS84 datum) which is inside the entrance to the Hamilton Island Marina. Charts affected: AUS 252, 253, 254

Good advice

When Queen Elizabeth II considered having a second glass of wine with lunch shortly after her coronation, the Queen Mother admonished her, "Don't forget, my dear, you have to reign all afternoon."

All the best

"I always prefer to believe the best of everybody - it saves so much trouble."

Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Books,

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

First race for new island destination

The inaugural Keswick Island Yacht Race was sailed following a cruise from Mackay to the island. Participants enjoyed a barbeque and race briefing at the Keswick Island Land Sales Site Office that ended up being a great island style party.
"The race course was 'port to' around the island, with the start and finish in line with the site office in coral passage. Race participants navigated their way around the island on the lookout for wind to power their hulls through the water. Skippers were presented with a variety of conditions, some spots with good wind and at times the doldrums," reports Bernard O'Brien of Mackay Yacht Club.
Keswick Island supplied prize money and trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place getters. Race results: 1 Sensation; 2 Smokin Joe; 3 Sidewinder; 4 Rose Andy; 5 X ta sea; 6 Tigger; 7 Foot Loose.
"It was great to see such a good turn out of boaties for the inaugural Keswick Island Yacht Race and we look forward to seeing it bigger and better next year," Mr O'Brien told Waterfront.

Got that wrong . . .

In 1908, a writer within the automobile industry proved that the wealth of the United States was insufficient to support more than 200,000 new cars every year. 'Experts' don't always get it right.

Cruise ship causalities

Thirteen people died and 31 injured on Saturday when a dockside gangway to the world's biggest and most expensive cruise ship, the Queen Mary II, collapsed at Saint-Nazaire in western France. Fire services said that several children were among the dead.
The Queen Mary II has been undergoing sea-trials and is due to be handed over to the Cunard line next month, with an official launch attended by Queen Elizabeth in Southampton in the United Kingdom on January 8.
The ship is due to operate as a trans-Atlantic cruise liner, and will carry 2,600 passengers and 1,250 crew.
The 150,000-tonne vessel measures 345 metres in length and 62 metres high from above the waterline - the equivalent of a 23-storey building. It has a 1,000-seat theatre, a planetarium, five swimming pools and a ballroom.
The cruise liner is scheduled to make its first trip from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the United States on January 12, 2004.


A dentist, Alfred P. Southwick, who practiced in Buffalo, N.Y, invented the electric chair. Hardly a surprise, really.

Sports mad

During the 14th Raja Muda International Regatta 2003 currently being sailed in Malaysia, some of the Premier Cruising class yachts have the luxury of satellite television onboard. The boredom of sitting on the rail was replaced with the pleasure of watching the Aussie/NZ semi-final clash down in the plush interior of the owner's stateroom reports Capt Marty of Asian Yachting.
"To every bodies surprise the Aussie's did it again with Jon Wardill's Australian Maid snatching a big win over Peter Cremers Shahtoosh and demoralized the ex Kiwi rugby contingent on Ian Nicolson's well travelled Warwick 60 Intrigue of Stornoway who slowed down dramatically during the match"

New filleting and marking rules for coral reef fish

New recreational filleting and marking rules for coral reef fish will apply from December 13 this year.
The new rules from the Department of Primary Industries Queensland Fisheries Service (QFS) are introduced to the Coral Reef Fin Fish Fishery.
* Coral reef fish may be kept whole or gilled and gutted
* Whole fish must have a pectoral fin removed before being placed in cold storage
* Coral reef fish must not be brought live to shore
* Coral reef fish may only be filleted at sea if the fillet is 40cm or greater
* The skin or scales from a fish fillet must not be removed until is brought ashore
* Once the skin is removed from a fillet it must not be returned to the boat
* Fish must only be divided into portions in a way that allows the number of whole fish in possession to be easily counted; and
* Chinese footballer (blue-spot) trout must be retained whole.
QFS reef line manager Mark Elmer said the new filleting and marking rules for coral reef fish had a number of purposes including assisting to enforce size and take and possession limits and making fish identification easier.
"For example, a 40cm fish fillet ensures that the fish was the correct size when taken, but enables anglers to process at sea any large fish taken which would otherwise fill or overfill their icebox," Mr Elmer said.
"Retaining the skin and scales on the fillet allows inspectors to more easily identify the species and ensure that size and take and possession limits are being followed."
Mr Elmer said removing a pectoral fin from whole fish was aimed at preventing black market trading of reef fish.
"Removing a pectoral fin before bringing the fish ashore indicates that the fish has been taken recreationally and therefore shouldn't appear for sale in the marketplace," he said.
For more information about the new rules and regulations visit the Fishweb site at or phone the DPI Call Centre on 13 25 23.

Keep going!
"If you are going through hell, keep going."

Winston Churchill

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Monday, November 17, 2003

South Pole Christmas prize could be yours

Few people in the world have the opportunity to visit the seventh continent and experience its pristine wilderness. The Antarctic peninsular is one of the last places on earth where the teeming wildlife shows no fear to the lucky few humans who get there.
The dramatic back drops of sculptured icebergs and towering mountains where glaciers calve icebergs will be your playgrounds for over three weeks. This trip is unique in that you experience the wild and spectacular beauty of Antarctica in a small group of ten individuals for a maximum amount of Antarctic time and landings.
You may bid for this -- for the person who has everything -- at the Charity Auction for SAILABILITY-Freedom on the Water regardless of Ability.
The yacht, Spirit of Sydney is a 60ft aluminium Ben Lexcen design, launched for Ian Kiernan of 'Clean up Australia' fame to sail solo around the world in the 1986 B.O.C. race. She has been specifically refitted as an Antarctic expedition yacht and has worked in Antarctic waters for over ten years.
Many sailors dream of sailing around Cape Horn and making a southern ocean passage. The adventure departs from Ushuaia, Argentina at the head of the Beagle channel just a few hours from Cape Horn. Dependent on weather conditions we attempt to land on the island of Cape Horn and visit the memorial.
Our crossing of the Drake Passage normally takes 3 days and as we cross the Antarctic conversion zone we enter Antarctic waters and are greeted by penguins and curious seals.
We spend three weeks exploring the exciting cruising grounds of the Antarctic Peninsula, where sheltered waters teem with penguins, seals and whales, amid spectacular scenic backdrops.
This is an expedition and guests are required to take part and participate in the adventure, however sailing experience is not essential. For this reason guests must meet basic medical requirements and have a moderate level of fitness.
Due to the nature of the area we are visiting, our itinerary is weather dependent and at the discretion of the professional skipper.
Charity Auction for SAILABILITY-freedom on the Water regardless of Ability on 14th November at Sailability John Bertrand Lunch, South Port Yacht Club. Alternatively, open for tender until 21st November. Please phone Wyn Treasure 07 55920785, or email for details

Traditional ships invite

"Hi Dan, Did you see the bit in the Hamilton Island Race Week newsletter about having a classic division if they can get five or so boats to compete?
"Vessels coming up from down south could participate in both the Derwent Hunter Perpetual Trophy during the Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show conducted by The Rotary Club of Airlie Beach next June AND Hahn Premium Hamilton Island Race Week sailed 21st-28th August 2004.
"Charter vessels at Hamilton will get good exposure as all the media are there and they will love to film, photograph and write about these boats."
Cheers, Kathy McKenzie, Editor Boating Oz
Note: A new group formed to steer a course for the boat show invites trad sailors to join (Free!) Traditional Ships with information on 4948 0980 or

Aussie Cracks 150 MPH

Australia's biggest and fastest offshore race boat, Maritimo has charged through the course to post a two way average speed of 242.89 km/h - or in language that go-fast boaters understand 150.92 mph.
With owner/throttleman, Bill Barry-Cotter and Peter McGrath (driver) on board, the Class 1 boat posted the new Australian offshore speed record at trials staged at Paynesville. The speed trials were organised by the Australian Offshore Powerboat Club, with the event sanctioned by the Australian Power Boat Association.
Maritimo is a 14-metre catamaran powered by two V8 Detroit diesel engines that produce around 1400hp each.
The diesel powered Maritimo boat that logged a new Australian offshore speed record will go on to contest the 2004 "Club Marine" Australian Series, with the first round slated for Geelong on 22nd February 2004.

Transport issues

Queensland Tourism Industry Council is currently engaged in a preliminary dialogue with Queensland Transport on the issues of passenger transport from a tourism perspective.
"We are very supportive of the Department considering our industry's needs in setting the priorities for the future. Queensland Transport has extensive responsibilities in regulating transport operators, providing infrastructure, planning, providing subsidies and more," says Liz Stewart of Tourism Whitsunday.
"I am keen to hear from you about the transport issues you consider crucial for the future of tourism in Queensland."
"To prepare a brief summary of the industry's position on transport issues we have solicited the support of Mr Noel Scott from the University of Queensland.
Please forward any issues you may have to Liz Stewart who will forward this on to QTIC.

Bait Reef final

"Hi Gang, You may have heard me refer to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and their plan to close parts of the Great Barrier Reef, well it has come down to the final round. I haven't wanted to bore you with all the details over the past year but it is now the bottom of the ninth and we are behind on points.
"They are closing many of the reefs I fish but none so important as Bait Reef. This reef is my sole destination for day trips because of its location and distance from Airlie Beach."
I have talked to GBRMPA until I was blue in the face but they won't change their small minds. GBRMPA has tunnel vision and I am out numbered.
"It is rare for me to ask for your assistance but this is serious". Thanks, Capt Ken Bryant. 4946 5044

New fishing rules announced

New recreational and commercial fishing rules will come into force in Queensland from December 13 for coral reef fish as well as a range of other fish species.
Major changes to recreational fishing regulations, which come into effect from December 13, include:
· Seven fish including humphead Maori wrasse, barramundi cod, potato cod, Queensland groper, red bass, Chinaman fish, and paddletail are now no take species.
· A combined total take and possession limit of 20 coral reef fish is now in place. However, within this combined limit anglers must comply with individual take and possession limits for various fish species.
· Minimum and in some cases maximum size limits have been introduced for most coral reef species.
· Updated restrictions on fishing gear and on filleting fish at sea accompany the new size limits. All recreational and commercial fishers without a reef fish catch quota must mark their fish as not for sale by removing a section of the pectoral fin.
· The take and possession limit for Spanish mackerel has dropped from 10 to three.
For more information about the new fishing regulations, contact the local Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol office or visit the DPI Fishweb site at

Yachting Queensland berths

Congratulations to Jenna Madden for winning the Yachting Queensland sponsored berth on board the Sail Training Vessel "South Passage".
Jenna is an active sailing member of Keppel Bay and will undertake a voyage from Brisbane to Sydney in January 2004 and then participate in the on water activities on Sydney Harbour for Australia Day.
Congratulations also to Jack Price of Oxley Sailing Club awarded a special Youth Encouragement Awarded sponsored by Whitsunday Marine Academy in Airlie Beach to undertake a 6-day and 6-night voyage.
Both youth sailors are active dinghy sailors and have had limited experience on board large vessels, so this is an exciting opportunity for both of them.

Hamilton Island light

Mariners are advised that a light Fl.G.3s has been established on the Starboard Lateral Mark beacon in approximate position latitude 20° 20.822 'S and longitude 148° 56.845' E (WGS84 datum) which is inside the entrance to the Hamilton Island Marina. Charts affected: AUS 252, 253

Your place in the sun

"Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight" - Benjamin Franklin

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Thursday, November 13, 2003

South Pole Christmas prize could be yours

Few people in the world have the opportunity to visit the seventh continent and experience its pristine wilderness. The Antarctic peninsular is one of the last places on earth where the teeming wildlife shows no fear to the lucky few humans who get there.
The dramatic back drops of sculptured����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

French windsurfer pays tribute to Tahitian navigators

Sub title - How crazy can you get?

French windsurfer Raphaëla Le Gouvello ended her solo adventure from Peru to Tahiti on Sunday.
She had just spent 89 days covering 4,550 nautical miles (8,425 kilometres) unescorted aboard a specially built 7.8-meter (25-foot) long, 1.3-meter (4.3-foot) wide windsurf board.
Ms Le Gouvello received a warm welcome by an armada of small vessels as she arrived in Papeete Harbour, Tahiti on Sunday,
Having left Peru on August 5, she recalled how "I thought of you (the people of Tahiti) because my compass sometimes indicated nonsense. So I returned to the good old Polynesian methods-keep the sun behind your back in the morning, put the sun in front of your nose at night."
The 40-year-old windsurfer was obviously very moved by the welcome she received in Tahiti. She even compared her arrival with that of the first European navigators and explorers of the Pacific, whose events are contained in a book that she carried with her throughout her journey.
"The Polynesians' welcome is something dominating in those accounts," she said. "I'm in a daydream, well beyond my own expectations." And she recalled that when she was a little girl growing up in France, one of her souvenirs were the many memories of the accounts of the "Kon Tiki" balsa raft that Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl and four crewmembers sailed from South America to French Polynesia in 1947. She said that helped inspire her to follow the same, unescorted route across the Pacific.
After Veterinary School, she studied aquaculture. First she crossed the Mediterranean alone on a sailboard between Marseille and Tunisia and then crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a sailboard - the first time by a woman alone.
The president of the French Republic, Jacques Chiral, addressed his "most cordial congratulations and most admiring" to the board sailor for her "superb exploit".

Cup sailors wanted

On the 26th September 1983, Australia made history in winning the America's Cup.
After over a century of American superiority, Australia II won the seventh race of a nerve-racking final series against "Liberty." The myth of the America's Cup was broken and after 132 years, Australia II brought the America's Cup home to Australia.
In 2003, twenty years later, the OzBoyz America's Cup Challenge has been established. This campaign is based on the talented Youth of Australia as they will be the major driving force behind the OzBoyz America's Cup Challenge. The significance of the concept and timing of the challenge launches Australian sailing into a new era.
Both male and female participants will be eligible for one of the eighty-three positions within the OzBoyz Challenge team.
The key selection criteria will be based on the foundation rule of the project, which is that 60% of the team must have been born in or after 1983.
The on-line recruitment program signalling the second phase of the OzBoyz Challenge - Australian Syndicate for the 2007 America's Cup commences Wednesday November 5 at


'We started with a crew of champions and ended with a champion crew'.

Alan Bond

Stinger Seminar

Stinger expert Eric Mitran will be conducting marine stinger seminars every Wednesday in November at Shingley Beach Resort from 5:30-7:30pm.
You will receive a full hand book, answers to frequently asked questions, quick reference guide and a fact sheet For more information please contact Eric Mitran Phone: 07 4946 1747

Transport issues

Queensland Tourism Industry Council is currently engaged in a constructive, preliminary dialogue with Queensland Transport on the strategic issues of passenger transport from a tourism perspective.
"We are very supportive of the Department considering our industry's needs in setting the priorities for the future. Queensland Transport has extensive responsibilities in regulating transport operators, providing infrastructure, planning, providing subsidies and more" says Liz Stewart of Tourism Whitsunday.
"I am keen to hear from you about the transport issues you consider crucial for the future of tourism in Queensland."
"To prepare a brief summary of the industry's position on transport issues we have solicited the support of Mr Noel Scott from the University of Queensland.
Please forward any issues you may have to Liz Stewart who will forward this on to QTIC.

Bait Reef row

"Hi Gang, You may have heard me refer to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and their plan to close parts of the Great Barrier Reef, well it has come down to the final round. I haven't wanted to bore you with all the details over the past year but it is now the bottom of the ninth and we are behind on points.
"They are closing many of the reefs I fish but none so important as Bait Reef. This reef is my sole destination for day trips because of its location and distance from Airlie Beach. So, what do I need from you? I need you to take 10 minutes of your time and write a letter or e/mail the Minister who has the final say on the closure of Bait Reef. I have talked to GBRMPA until I was blue in the face but they won't change their small minds. GBRMPA has tunnel vision and I am out numbered.
"It is rare for me to ask for your assistance but this is serious". Thanks Capt Ken Bryant. 4946 5044

Yachting Queensland berths

Congratulations to Jenna Madden of Keppel Bay Sailing Club for winning the Yachting Queensland sponsored berth on board the Sail Training Vessel "South Passage".
Jenna is an active sailing member of Keppel Bay and will undertake a voyage from Brisbane to Sydney in January 2004 and then participate in the on water activities on Sydney Harbour for Australia Day.
Congratulations also to Jack Price of Oxley Sailing Club who was awarded with a special Youth Encouragement Awarded sponsored by Whitsunday Marine Academy in Airlie Beach to undertake a 6-day and 6 night voyage.
Both youth sailors are active dinghy sailors and have had limited experience on board large vessels, so this is an exciting opportunity for both of them.

Upstart Bay buoy

Mariners are advised that a west cardinal buoy - Q(9)15s - has been established in approximate position latitude 19° 43.0712' S and longitude 147° 45.2250 E (WGS84 datum) south of Cape Upstart. The buoy marks a submerged rock. Chart affected: AUS 826

Thought for November 5 . . .

Who said "Guy Fawkes was the only man to enter parliament with honest intentions"?

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Boating billion$ brings jobs & safety

Queensland will play a major role in national marine affairs, with the appointment of boating identity, Barry Jenkins, as Vice President of the Australian Marine Industries Federation, the nation's peak marine industry body.
Mr Jenkins said the Australian marine industry made a significant contribution to the national economy, with an annual turnover of $8 billion, including $3 billion in exports.
"The Queensland boating industry plays a major role in this national effort and it's vital that we have a place at the table when national marine issues are discussed," Mr Jenkins said.
Mr Jenkins said AMIF's priorities included encouragement of consistent policy and regulations among various national and state jurisdictions; improvement of boating facilities throughout Australia; career training and development pathways within the industry; and the introduction of consistent environmental management standards and best practice methodologies.
"It is our intention to build on the sound level of success achieved over the last decade in both domestic and international trade and place a greater emphasis on boating safety and environmental management throughout the nation," Mr Jenkins said.
"As far as industry development is concerned, AMIF will work with superyacht, shipbuilding and marina bodies to pursue much closer relations with local, state and federal agencies."

Text to the rescue

Three men rescued from the hull of a capsized boat were saved after one of the sailors sent an electronic text message to his father using a pager.
Caught in what the British Coastguard described as rough seas and gusts up to 45 knots, the men used mobile phone, VHF radio and an EPIRB to call for help.
However, it wasn't until the Coastguard received a call from one man's father - calling from his home, near Southampton - that their position was confirmed.
His son had sent him a text message that he passed onto the Coastguard. A helicopter was dispatched and the men were plucked to safety.
A Coastguard officer said text messaging could often make it through when coverage is patchy. The Coastguard has been alerted to marine incidents a number of times by text messages.

Shark fears man infested waters

Someone in Hollywood is already contemplating a movie treatment 'Jaws Surrenders' about Captain Sigurdur Petursson, "known to locals as "the Iceman", he ran into the shallow water and grabbed a 660-pound shark by its tail, dragged it to dry land and killed it with his knife."
With his bare hands! For those not aware, a shark's skin has very sharp scales that can slice up a hand if slid the wrong way.
The skipper of the trawler 'Erik the Red' was on a beach in east Greenland, watching his crew processing a catch when he saw the shark swimming toward the fish blood and guts -- and his crew.
Is this Icelandic fishing captain tough enough to replace Arnold as the Terminator? Does he have a future in politics? He probably has a really cool accent too...
Meanwhile, Animal protection group Shark Friends is expected to mount a campaign against Captain Petursson for murder, deprivation of liberty, fishing with a knife, infringing Workplace Health and Safety laws.

A Boat out of Hell

Since Halloween is coming up at the end of this week, a few titbits caught me eye.
Sounds like a fair trade: blood for beer. United Blood Services of Durango, Colo., held an unusual blood drive this week.
Donors got a free pint of beer for a pint of blood. Four breweries took part in the promotion.
People from the blood bank got into the spirit of the season, by dressing in Halloween costumes including vampires
In the United States, 86 percent of Americans decorate their homes and about 8 percent of pet owners dress their pets in costumes for Halloween.
The early Celtic calendar began on November 1st each year, celebrated with the festival of Samain, when ghosts and demons roamed the earth. This was later instituted in 835 AD as All Saints' Day, or as we know it now, Halloween.
A Boat out of Hell. A scarily sexy evening of funky Frankensteins, demonic divas and terrifying tunes will happen aboard the Thames cruiser Royal Princess. While the Vancouver Aquarium Halloween Boat Cruise should warm the frozen Yanks.

EPIRB facts

The pilot of a de Havilland Beaver floatplane, registered VH-AQV, was conducting a charter positioning flight from Hamilton Island Marina to Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island. At approximately 1615 Eastern Standard Time (EST), the pilot was landing the aircraft towards the south, about 600 m off the beach, to avoid mechanical turbulence associated with terrain at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach. He reported that the approach and flare were normal, however, as the aircraft touched down on the right float, the aircraft swung sharply right and then sharply left. The left wing contacted the water, and the aircraft overturned. The pilot exited the upturned aircraft through the left rear passenger door and activated a 121.5 MHz distress beacon.
The pilot cancelled SARWATCH prior to landing, as there was no Very High Frequency (VHF) radio coverage once the aircraft was on the water. After the aircraft had overturned, the pilot had no means of communication, other than the distress beacon. The passengers waiting on the beach had no means of communication with either the pilot or the company. When the company did not receive a departure radio report from the pilot, another company aircraft diverted to the area and located the overturned aircraft. The pilot was rescued from the aircraft by a company helicopter approximately 2 hours after the accident.
At 1637 EST, Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR) identified an extremely poor quality distress beacon signal located 94 km south of Mackay (194 km south of Whitehaven Beach). The detected signal was of poor quality, most likely because of the position of the satellite relative to the beacon. Another satellite in a better position acquired a signal at 1753 EST, which was determined to originate from a position 31 km northwest of Mackay (74 km south of Whitehaven Beach). AusSAR reported that they did not have a high level of confidence in the location identified, because contact with the beacon signal was only maintained for approximately 100 seconds. AusSAR dispatched a search helicopter from Mackay however the helicopter was not able to detect the signal. AusSAR was not able to conclusively establish that the two distress beacon signals identified in the Mackay area were associated with the activated beacon at Whitehaven Beach.
Extract from an Australian Transport Safety Board Report issued this week.

Piracy soars

Piracy against the world's shipping surged in the first half of this year, with a record 234 attacks reported and violence against seafarers escalating, International Maritime Bureau reports. Again, waters off Indonesia were the most dangerous as the number of incidents in which firearms were used rose.
The IMB Report, Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships, showed a rising toll of dead and injured seamen A total of 16 seafarers were killed in piratical attacks during the period, 20 were reported missing, and 52 were injured. Numbers taken hostage more than doubled to 193.
IMB Director Captain Pottengal Mukundan said: "Levels of violence have increased significantly." He instanced as typical incidents the fatal shooting in the head of a ship's officer on board a tanker off Santos, and the abduction of crew for ransom off Nigeria where their vessel was run aground.
Pirate fired a hail of bullets from automatic weapons at a chemical tanker off Indonesia in an attempt to force it to stop. A ship's engineer was hit and was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.
The highest number of attacks was recorded off Indonesia, which accounted for more than one quarter of the world total with 64 incidents. These included 43 ships boarded, four hijacked and attempted attacks on a further 17 ships. The IMB said there are no signs of a reduction in attacks, and no improvement could be expected until Indonesia took serious steps to tackle piracy in its waters.
Among other piracy-prone areas, attacks doubled off Bangladesh where the number of attacks doubled to 23. Nigeria and India, with 18 attacks each, occupy third place in the table.

Weather talk

"Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."Mark Twain

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Monday, October 27, 2003

Boating industry action on plastic bags

The Australian boating industry is doing its bit to remove plastic bags from the environment.
The peak national boating body, Australian Marine Industries Federation, this week moved to eliminate plastic bags at all its affiliated boat shows.
Meanwhile, the Boating Industry Association of Queensland has gone one step further to have members cease using plastic bags at retail outlets.
This would include boat and outboard showrooms, tackle outlets, chandleries, marinas and yacht brokerages.
BIAQ General Manager, Barry Hibberd, said plastic bags were particularly damaging in the marine environment and the boating industry had decided to lead by example.
"The industry has welcomed biodegradable bait bags and we want to discourage use of plastic bags within the industry, apart from those that do break down in the environment," Mr Hibberd said.
Mr Hibberd said plastic was not only destructive to marine life, but also damaged marine engines when sucked into water intakes.
"This can be life threatening if it occurs when boats are negotiating tricky water, such as dangerous surf bar crossings," Mr Hibberd said.
Now if we could just make sure all the replacement bags were made of sugar cane by-product.

Important if true

Back in the nineteenth century, when news spread primarily by word of mouth and was often difficult to verify in a timely manner, newspapers used to print gossip and rumours under the heading "Important if true" -- because some of the stories might very well have been true, and if they were true, they were important news.
The same phenomenon now takes place in a slightly different form: Internet users receive all manner of obvious hoaxes and jokes but forward them along as if they were real news, because they might be true, and if they are true, they're important.

Lizard no go boom in Bangkok

Bangkok police searched the men's room of Thailand's Parliament after an anonymous phoned bomb threat. Officers found a box they thought to contain a bomb, but contented an abandoned monitor lizard.
"Monitor lizard fails to explode in MPs' toilet," the Bangkok Post reported in its front-page headline.

First 'Sparks'
The first maritime radio operator or 'sparks' was inventor Marconi himself. He was returning to England on the American Line SS St Paul, after a trip to New York.
He had attended an international yacht race, as a way of promoting his invention by transmitting the race results to the press, by radio.
Marconi set up a station on board the SS St Paul and was able to contact a land station at the Needles, on 15 November 1899, whilst still 66 miles out.
An amazing result at that time!
This led to the first formal installation of a `ships station' on the SS Lake Champlain in 1901, followed by others such as the Lucania and the SS Philadelphia.
The first Radio Officers were telegraphists, who added `radio' to their skills, but soon Marconi set up training schools.

Bond Deed cheap
On Sunday, Charles Leski Auctions sold the deed between America's Cup Challenge 1983 Ltd, Advance Australia America's Cup Challenge 1983 Ltd and Ben Lexcen for $850 to a telephone bidder.

Pirates cop euro fine

In England, new powers of arrest were introduced on the 18th of September in an attempt to combat pirate radio stations.
Police, working with Radiocommunication Agency investigators, will now be able to arrest a pirate broadcaster or anybody suspected of supporting or facilitating illegal broadcasting.
UK Communications Minister Stephen Timms said: "These new powers will be an important weapon in the campaign against pirate broadcasters. By interfering with communications services which are vital for public safety, pirates can put lives at risk".
Pirates detained under these new powers could face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison. For other transmitting offences such as unlicensed use of business, marine, or amateur radio the maximum penalty is a 5000-euro fine and / or 6 months in prison plus forfeiture.

Light unlit

Mariners are advised that the lighted South Cardinal Mark buoy Q(6)+LFl 15s in approximate position Latitude 21°00.6804' S and Longitude 149°11.0796' E (datum WGS84) which is approximately 1.5 nautical miles north-east of Eimeo Creek has been reported unlit.
Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. Charts Affected: AUS 249, 823

Drum beat

"If thine enemy wrong thee, buy each of his children a drum."

Chinese Proverb

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

National Champs to sail in Bowen

Bowen's Port Denison Sailing Club is delighted to have been awarded the privilege of hosting the 40th National Sabot Championships commencing on the 28th December 2003 and running through until 7th January 2004.
The Sabot class sailing dinghy is the premier junior class in Australia. An Invitation is extended to all Sabot sailors and their families to attend this exciting event.
Bowen with its beautiful bays, unspoiled beaches and historical township will offer sailing as only the tropical north can.
The Port Denison Sailing Club was formed on 1st January, 1864, establishing it as the second oldest sailing club in Australia. Early fleets comprised all manner of vessels however by the early 1900's the 18 footers had become dominant soon to be followed by the Sixteens.
The need to encourage juniors into the sailing fleet brought about the introduction of the Sabot, with the first of the class hitting the water in June 1953 and the first recorded Sabot race taking place on the opening day of the 1953/54 sailing season.
The Port Denison Sailing Club has produced National Champions in both the senior and junior fleets. PDSC previously hosted the National Sabot Championships in 1985/86.

It's Official: Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show
The Rotary Club of Airlie Beach has renamed their successful June boat show. Oceanic have once again agreed to sponsor the 2004 show and it should be officially referred to as the 'Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show'.

The Fastest Monohull in The World
The Mari Cha IV team have sailed into the record books by capturing two of world sailing's most historic and prestigious records - the West to East transatlantic record and the 24-hour distance record.
At 10:32:20 UTC on Thursday 9th October, Mari Cha IV sailed past Lizard Point, Cornwall, to complete their 2,925 mile crossing in 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds, beating the existing transatlantic record by over two days and making them the first monohull ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean in under seven days. The previous record, held by Switzerland's Bernard Stamm aboard Armor-Lux, stood at 8 days, 20 hours, 55 minutes and 35 seconds and was set in February 2001.
The Mari Cha team had already made sailing history during the transatlantic crossing when they smashed the 24 hour distance record on Tuesday 7th October, sailing 525.5 nautical miles in a 24 hour period *. They beat the previous record of 484 nautical miles set by John Kostecki's Illbruck in April 2002, becoming the first monohull to ever sail over 500 miles in a day.

I made it!
Early on the morning of October 9, Maud Fontenoy set foot on Spanish soil. The last time she touched land was 117 days ago in Canada on June 13. Maud is the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean West to East.
She has been drinking seawater, fought off sharks, and tumbled in 30 feet waves. Only a week ago she was caught up going in endless circles in the North Atlantic. Cargo ships brushed pass her like giant, frightening ghosts in the night.
The French rower set out from St. Pierre et Miquelon, a French island off Newfoundland, Canada on June 13 in an attempt to become the first woman to row across the Atlantic West to East.

That's BIG!
An officer aboard the US navy tanker USS Ramapo recorded one of the largest waves ever encountered on 7 February 1933 while on a voyage from Manila to San Diego. This wave was estimated to be 33.5 meters in height.

Bond's deed
A deed signed on November 30, 1981 between America's Cup Challenge 1983 Ltd (Alan Bond), Advance Australia America's Cup Challenge 1983 Ltd and Ben Lexcen is to be auctioned as Lot 430 by Charles Leski Auctions, Melbourne on Sunday. The 9-page document is expected to sell for $1000 - $2000. Three copies of the document were found by Chris Roberts, a carpenter, when demolishing a Melbourne kitchen. The owner of the house told him to throw them out as they belonged to the previous owner. Chris threw two copies out but kept one.

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Monday, October 13, 2003

Traditional sailors to steer for Rotary Boat Show
There are plans afoot to have traditional sailors and their beautiful sailing ships join in with Rotary at the annual Airlie Beach Boat Show next June.
The Whitsundays has many sailing ships that fit the bill with owners and crew happy to promote our sailing area. Visitors could enjoy a sail on a traditional ship as part of their boat show experience.
In July, a superb fleet of traditional boats sailed a course from Airlie around Langford Reef and return. We sailed in the finest trade wind conditions the Whitsundays can provide, the sun making up for the salt spray across the decks in the boisterous seas.
The Derwent Hunter Perpetual Trophy was awarded to the newest addition to the fleet of traditional sailing ships; the beautiful timber 1961 built Alden ketch 'Enid' and proud owner Leo Rodriguez.
Not a race, but a regatta, the gaffer fleet featured Providence V, Windjammer, Derwent Hunter, Atlanta, pearling lugger Ise Pearl and the Atkins design gaff cutter Pequot.
Southern Cross attended from Bowen and visitor Centurion peeled off at Stonehaven for a leisurely lunch.
Everyone agreed it was a fantastic day on the water. Over a couple of rums afterward, it was thought that this kind of traditional theme, timber, tallship and gaffer fleet should meet again, perhaps as part of the Rotary Boat Show. It would show visitors and sailors alike that there was life before plastic boats and that it still takes sailors of steel to sail timber ships with traditional rigs.
Other fine local ships include the century-old Solway Lass, Coral Trekker, and usual visitors such as Gypsy Pearl. A new group is being formed to steer a course for the boat show and all are invited to join Traditional Ships with information on 4948 0980 or

Boating boosted
A profile of the Queensland boating industry provided by the Boating Industry Association has some interesting aspects.
Small employers who employ five staff or fewer make up 52.5 per cent of the industry with bigger shows who employ over 50 at 6.1 per cent.
Turnover figures show 34.5 per cent have a turnover of $1million or less, 53.3 per cent have a turnover between $1million and $20 million and 4.5 per cent have a turnover of more than $20 million
Value of overseas exports is around $200 million in the past financial year (approximately 12 per cent of total turnover). This represents almost double the 2001 figure of $110 million. Interstate sales are around $370 million, up from $230 million two years ago.
Perceptions of how the 2002/3 financial year compared with 2001/2 say 70 per cent indicated increase in turnover; 60 per cent indicated increased profitability; 40 per cent increased staffing levels; 25 per cent indicated increased exports; 50 per cent indicated increased levels of investment; 66 per cent indicated increased numbers of customers and transactions.
Boat registrations in 1993 recorded 112,014 registered boats, compared with 175,659 in mid 2003, up 63,663 vessels or 56.8 per cent.
While over the same period the overall population of Queensland increased by more than 700,000 people to 3.8 million, up 23 per cent on the 1993 figure.

No dopes in boats
Cannabinoids such as hashish and marijuana are to become prohibited for all sailing events. In previous years, cannabinoids have only been banned for the Olympic Regatta.
Following the release of the World Anti-Doping Code - 2004 Prohibited List of Substances and Methods, due to become effective from January 1st 2004, the International Sailing Federation announced its relevance to the sport of sailing.
The addition of Cannabinoids to the Prohibited List has been on the initiative of several organisations, the IOC and some countries, including the USA and France.
All sailors must be aware that this substance will now be tested for and that they may face the possibility of being tested un-announced.
Cannabinoids are however, classed as a "specified substance", which means that it is considered to be less likely to be successfully abused as a doping agent intended to enhance sport performance.
Please keep up to date with the contents of the medical pages

Believe anything?

"I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible."

Playwright Oscar Wilde

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Tropical race one mile longer than Sydney-Hobart

The 2004 AMOC Barrier Reef Series promises 631 miles of Tropical Sailing Fun sailing up the coast of Queensland.
The Multihull Yacht Club of Queensland invites entries to one of Australia's most exciting and innovative yachting events: The Barrier Reef Series is set to become the leading event in Australian yachting with an expanded course that will take the race from Brisbane to Airlie Beach.
In conjunction with the Australian Multihull Offshore Championship, a five race Trailable Multihull Regatta will be held with one race at each venue of the Series. The combined fleet will share the starting line and the first leg of each race before separating with the trailables completing a shortened course and transporting their boats to the next venue.
There will be festivities at each port of call culminating with a line honours trophy presentation at Airlie Beach.
The 2004 AMOC Barrier Reef Series will consist of five races starting in Brisbane and ending in Airlie Beach.
*Good Friday 9th April - Race 1 - Brisbane to Gladstone approx 315 nm
*Monday 12th - Race 2 - Gladstone to Keppel Bay approx 69 nm
*Tuesday 13th - Race 3 - Keppel Bay to Mackay approx 173 nm
*Thursday 15th - Lay Day
*Friday 16th - Race 4 Mackay to Hamilton Is approx 53 nm
*Saturday 17th - Race 5 Hamilton Is to Airlie Beach 21 nm
One race will be dropped in the final point score allowing entrants to join the race at Gladstone if they wish. Yachts may enter any number of races and are encouraged to join the fleet at any stage of the event.
All eligible Multihull yachts must comply with Queensland Safety Regulations and the provisions of the current MYCQ Sailors Handbook. Skippers and crews must abide by the International Collision Regulations.
Visit the MYCQ website at for an entry form or for more information.

Boats booming: survey
A new survey of the Queensland boating industry has benchmarked dramatic expansion over the past two years.
The Department of State Development/Boating Industry Association of Queensland survey quantified expansion in areas of employment, turnover, interstate sales, exports and registration.
*Key measures in the survey say the industry employs 6,000/7,000 people (up 4.7 percent) - 70 percent of them full time (up 3.9 per cent)
*Total industry turnover is between $1.2 and $1.3 billion (up 10.5 percent)
*Interstate sales are $370 million (up 60.8 per cent)
*Overseas exports are $200 million (up 80.7 per cent)
*Mid 1993 to mid 2003 has shown an increase of 63,663 vessels registered in Queensland (up 56.8 per cent) to 175,659. Boat registrations are growing at more than twice the rate of state population growth.
BIAQ General Manager, Barry Hibberd, said export was an outstanding indicator with overseas exports up 80.7 per cent and interstate "exports" up 60.8 per cent.
"Apart from being good for the local economy, it is an enormous pat on the back for Queensland manufacturers, and is recognition that the local product is well accepted on the national and international market and can compete with worldwide competition," Mr Hibberd said.
He said the report also indicated a positive industry attitude towards profitability, staffing, investment and transactions - all good signs for the future.
"The relationship between Queensland's population growth and boat registrations is interesting and very encouraging - with boat ownership (56.8 per cent) growing at more than twice the rate of population growth (23 per cent) over the past decade.
"If the interest in boating is maintained at its current rate, there will be a huge demand for marine products and services by the time the Queensland population hits the predicted five million mark in about 20 years' time," he said.

Fathom cubits?
Early systems of measurement used body parts to calculate length. A cubit ran from elbow to middle fingertip. The distance from fingertip to fingertip of outstretched arms was a fathom.

Benefit of education

"A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad."

Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt, former U.S. president.

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Aussies invited to come OnBoard for lifestyle, sport

Sailing is not just a sport, it's a lifestyle - there are few activities where age is no barrier and families and friends can participate socially or competitively in adventurous activity.
Yachting Australia has officially launched OnBoard, a program designed to increase the number of people participating in sailing throughout Australia, while enhancing the pathway and experiences for new participants.
The launch, highlighted the new initiative, which aims to achieve a growth of about 25,000 new sailors per year, in its first five years of operation.
As part of the Australian Sports Commission's Targeted Sports Participation Growth Program, The Minister for the Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp announced a $700,000 commitment to the OnBoard program over three years.
Yachting Australia will distribute 62% of the first years budget to participating State Yachting Associations and specifically for the appointment of State Development Officers, who will provide ongoing training and support to yacht clubs.
Yachting Australia has specified the following as some of the OnBoard goals:
*Increase the number of club members from over five years through OnBoard.
*Implement a range of sailing activities to bridge the current service gap between entry level/ training graduates and regular club participation and competition.
*Provide clubs with the tools and development training necessary to enhance best practice in member recruitment and retention.
*Improve recording and tracking of new sailors from participation to club level.
The President of Yachting Australia Graeme Ainley said, 'Yachting Australia believes the OnBoard program will enhance the pathway to participation and club membership and provide a benchmark for the delivery of sport participation programs.'

Austrian Coach Sunk in Athens
During the Pre-Olympic Saronikos Gulf regatta in Athens recently, the Austrian Tornado coach was tossed out of his boat in high waves while heading to the course area. He did not have the kill switch cord attached to him, so the boat kept running, directly at the 80 boat Mistral fleet.
With no one driving, and the boat a threat to the Mistral fleet, the Greek Coast Guard simply shot at the coach boat, putting what appears to be a 20mm cannon round through the motor...
The rescued Austrian coach is fine, but they have a used motor they would like to sell.
Word on the Greek waterfront is that the their Coast Guard want to include a new shooting sport in next year's Olympics. Hear it combines 20mm cannons and moving targets.

Memorial for mate
The Geoff Godby Memorial Cruise is held each year in memory of Geoff, who was a local Airlie Beach/Shute Harbour identity for many years.
The 2003 cruise is scheduled for this weekend leaving the Whitsunday Sailing Club around 11am on Saturday 27th heading for an overnight at Macona Inlet.
This is a social cruise, not a race and it is open to all boats. Obviously, suitability depends on the weather on the weekend and the experience of the crew. For visiting sailors wishing to join us, Macona Inlet is on the southern end of Hook Island and it is roughly 15 nautical miles from the Whitsunday Sailing Club to the inside of Macona.
A beach barbeque is planned with Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast available.

'Boy' gone sailing
'Boy' Messenger, one of the great characters of the Sydney waterfront and a Life Member of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, has died in Sydney.
Messenger, who sailed aboard Horizon in the first Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 1945, would have turned 79 next month. His 20th and final race to Hobart was the 50th in 1994 when he and his sons, Paul, Christopher and Anthony sailed with him aboard his yacht La Tortuga. Boy was never aboard a winning boat, the best result being a third overall aboard Southerly in 1959.
CYCA Commodore John Messenger (a cousin) described 'Boy' Messenger as an "icon of the Club and the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race". "Having competed in the inaugural Sydney Hobart as a 21-year-old, he was role model for young sailors," Commodore Messenger said. "Over the past 58 years he taught many people to sail, taken them on their first ocean race, giving happiness to so many."
Boy was a regular visitor to the Whitsunday Sailing Club where he enjoyed having a yarn with his many friends. Your Waterfront writer completed his Yachtmaster examination on board La Tortuga.
His working life revolved around Sydney Harbour, as a shipwright, coxswain, ferry driver, professional yachtsman, charter boat operator, even writing a weekly column "On the Waterfront" for the now defunct "Daily Mirror" newspaper.
"I think he has just gone sailing..." said his wife 'Brick'.

Cone shells kill
There are about 500 different kinds of cone shell snails around the world. All have a sharp, modified tooth that stabs prey with venom like a harpoon. Most cone snails hunt worms and other snails, but some eat fish. These are the ones most dangerous to people. The nerve toxin that stops a fish is powerful enough to also kill a human.

Sea bird
The albatross drinks seawater. It has a special desalinisation apparatus that strains out and excretes all excess salt.

"There's no substitute for preparation and training"

Yachtsman Ernesto Bertarelli after losing the Moet Cup

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Brits love Aussie whale tale
The British press have seized upon the story of the Johnson family from Coventry who "are lucky to have survived" an encounter with a humpback whale when it crashed onto their holiday boat during a family holiday in the Whitsundays.
Headlined "Whale wrecks family's sailing trip" the story tells how the humpback whale - one of the world's largest mammals - crashed onto the boat's deck taking its mast and rigging with it and destroying a safety rail.
The Johnson family from Coventry on their "holiday of a lifetime" believe they are lucky to have survived when a 30-foot whale jumped out of the ocean and landed on their boat.
"The whale came onto the boat right above me and if I had put my head up at that moment it would have hit me." Mrs Johnson said:
"We were all absolutely panic-stricken because we didn't know whether the boat might sink."
Mrs Johnson described how the mast was ripped from the vessel as the beast returned to the water and the boat's radio was knocked out.
"It was shedding barnacles from its tummy and caught itself on the rigging. I was very, very shocked - it was very scary."
"I heard this almighty groan and bang and came up and the first thing I thought was how sunny it was because the mast had been blocking out the sunlight," said Mr Johnson, 61.
"This was literally a life-threatening situation. We were 10 miles out to sea and had no equipment to radio for help."
"It was just so lucky my son had his mobile telephone with him because we would have drifted onto an island and would have had to abandon ship" Mr Johnson told the BBC.
"We had a dinghy and could have got to a bay on the island but what we would have done then I don't know."
"We are so, so lucky."
Perhaps we should market exciting 'Reality' holidays in whale infested Whitsunday waters.

More British press
From The Times: A young girl, who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth, was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster.
A British coast-guard spokesman commented: 'This sort of thing is all too common these days.'

Kids in Boats
"We're trying something different these school holidays," says Whitsunday PCYC manager Sgt John Dickinson
"With the summer boating season bearing down on us we thought we might be able to get kids up to speed with marine safety. The concept of the course is this; if kids are out on a boat with their parents and the unfortunate happens would they really know what to do?"
The PCYC is introducing a Marine Safety Course called 'Kids in Boats' for children between the ages of 8yrs to 16 yrs. Cap'n Dan Van Blarcom will conduct these courses every Monday & Thursday morning from 9am - 11am during the school holidays for a low cost of $5.00 per session.
"Are your kids prepared for any boating emergency?" Sgt Dickinson asked.
Further information for school holiday activities, 'phone 4948 1144

Traditional day
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Pittwater Sydney, held its 136th Yachting Season Opening Day on September 13. A traditional ceremony was conducted, striking the club ensign and firing a replica cannon from the Barque Endeavour donated by member Marcus Blackmore.

Boom not bombs
Even Kabul is experiencing a property boom. Under the Taliban, real estate agents were considered satanic.

Sailors disciplined
Four British naval officers have been given reprimands or dismissed from their ship at a court marshal over their handling of HMS Nottingham off Lord Howe Island last year.
All four, including the captain, remain in the Royal Navy despite the costly and embarrassing error that caused the vessel to run aground.
The Nottingham was saved from sinking when she hit rocks just off Lord Howe Island, leaving a 30-metre rip in the hull.
Commander Richard Farrington, the captain of the destroyer, pleaded guilty to delegating conduct of the ship without insuring a sufficient navigational plan and has been reprimanded
The officer of the watch, Lieutenant James Denney, pleaded guilty to negligently causing Nottingham to be stranded off Lord Howe Island in Queensland on July 7, 2002. He has been dismissed.
Lieutenant Andrew Ingham, the navigating officer, and Lieutenant Commander John Lea, the executive officer, both pleaded guilty to negligently allowing the Nottingham to be stranded. Lieutenant Ingham has been reprimanded, while Lieutenant Lea has been dismissed.
A junior officer had accidentally left a navigational pointer on the chart that obscured dangerous rocks.
The incident has cost the British navy more than $90 million in repairs. The vessel was taken back to the United Kingdom aboard a transport ship for repairs.

Shark infested
The mechanical shark in the 1975 hit movie Jaws was named Bruce.

Cone shells kill
There are about 500 different kinds of cone shell snails around the world. All have a sharp, modified tooth that stabs prey with venom like a harpoon. Most cone snails hunt worms and other snails, but some eat fish. These are the ones most dangerous to people. The nerve toxin that stops a fish is powerful enough to also kill a human.

Bowen Fishing Classic is on this weekend with something for the whole family. See you there!

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan