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

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Bowen Fishing Classic coming up

There will be some great prizes to be won at the twelfth annual Bowen Family Fishing Classic and Wet Weekend on September 19, 20 and 21.
While just being able to wet a line around beautiful Bowen should be enough for any fisher, you could also win a boat. Just taking a fish to the weigh-in could bag you a prize.
Held in the perfect spot at Bowen's Front beach, the whole family will enjoy what has become a local tradition within our region.
For those who don't fish (I hear there are some) there will be beach game activities starting Saturday on Front Beach before the cake-eating contest. Yum, yum!
The kids will be kept busy chasing the soldier crabs as they could win fifty dollars for the biggest specimen brought in to be measured.
There will be great music during the seafood and wine spectacular on Saturday night.
On Sunday, there will be a Teddy Bears & Cuddly Friends Picnic and sandcastle competition with the classic lolly drop. If that wasn't enough, don't miss the Pirate show and the magician, silliest fishing hat, dash for cash, crab races and Bikini Parade.
Some people will also be fishing!

Model Trans Atlantic

When a Transatlantic flight by a Model Plane kicked up the sand at Mannin Beach Ireland, the plane, "The Spirit of Butts Farm" was found to have used just less than one (1) gallon of fuel in its 38-hour 1900-mile epic.
The plane had a built in GPS transmitter which bounced messages off a constellation of satellites in order to keep the flight team up to date hourly.
The plane was contacted using on-site antennas and information such as speed, height, and distance were passed on to the "pilot" Dave Brown. Using this information Mr. Brown landed the model plane within 35 feet of the designated landing spot.
Two records have been submitted, One record for distance by a model plane and the other for duration of flight.
The model aircraft was launched at Cape Spear the most easterly point of North America just outside of St Johns Newfoundland.
The models weigh less than 5 kg (11 lbs), including fuel, to meet FAI requirements for an aeromodel. The wingspan is 1.83 meters (72 inches). The fuselage is 1.8 meters (71 inches) long.
"We are trying to honour the historic courage and accomplishments of Capt. John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Whitten Brown who made the first manned airplane flight from St. John's, Newfoundland to Roundstone Bog, Ireland on June 14-15, 1919" said an organiser of the flight.

Whale of a time

"I lived in the Whitsundays for 10 years in the 80s, sailing most weekends and did not see a whale. Recently, I saw whales from the ferry from Shute Harbour to Hamilton Island, from the media boat during Hahn Premium Race Week, one swam beside the yacht I was sailing on in the last race and another flicked its tail when I was on the ferry back to Shute. Either the whales, like the yachties, have discovered the Whitsundays as the
best place to spend winter or the Save the Whale campaign is working," says former Whitsunday resident Kathy McKenzie.

Bushed walkers located

Some discussion amongst bushwalkers about the use of Personal Locator Beacons PLBs - often referred to as EPIRBS, the term used for marine beacons - and the likely action, or inaction that the Rescue Coordinating Centre (RCC) takes.
To set the record straight, say RCC, all distress alerts received from the satellite system are treated as one of the 3% real distress situations until proven otherwise.
It is true that approximately 97% of alerts from distress beacons are non-distress alerts but this does not mean that alerts are not followed up.
"The actions taken depend on the frequency that the alert is received. If a 406 MHz alert is detected, we know that it is definitely a distress beacon because we receive the unique identifying code that can be decoded to provide ownership information.
"Once received, contact can be made with the owner or a nominated 24-hour contact to ascertain the situation. Hence, a false alert can usually be sorted out with a phone call and little or no fuss. Importantly, scarce SAR assets need not be deployed for a non-distress situation.
"On the other hand, an initial alert received on the 121.5 MHz frequency presents a more complex problem. A 121.5 MHz alert is anonymous and may even be caused by interferers and other extraneous system generated signals. Even if from an analogue beacon operating on 121.5 MHz, we have no way of knowing whose beacon it is or the exact position of the beacon.
Under no circumstances should people believe that no action is taken on an initial distress alert.
The answer is "Switch to 406". The newer technology being introduced means the price is coming down without detriment to accuracy or the other superior characteristics that the 406 MHz beacons have over the 121.5 MHz units.

Underwater obstruction

Mariners are advised that an underwater obstruction has been reported in approximate position Latitude 20°09.29'S, Longitude 148°40.39'E off Grimston Point in Pioneer Bay.
Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. Charts affected AUS 252

No city boy

Actor Steve McQueen once said, "I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Smooth sailing for kids with DisABILITIES
It was all hands and wheels on deck when the world-record-breaking Australian crew set sail in Airlie Beach last week to give school children with disabilities a taste of life at sea.
The same crew, captained by David Pescud, recently broke the around-Australia record, sailing 6,500 nautical miles in just 37 days.
The Sailors With DisABILITIES crew will sail with more than 400 students from Queensland and northern NSW special schools over the next five weeks following the programme launch in Airlie Beach.
After enjoying Hamilton Island Race Week, the crew is heading south in the 54' NRMA sponsored yacht to encourage children with disabilities to pursue their goals.
"We've been able to overcome our disabilities to accomplish some tremendous physical and mental feats," Mr Pescud said.
"We've been spurred by our achievements to take on new challenges, and we think this a unique chance to show and share what we've learned with children living with disabilities.
"We want to encourage them to consider what they can do, not what they can't."
Queensland State Manager Daniel Musson said NRMA Insurance had a long heritage of helping people in the wake of a crisis, and valued the work of Sailors With DisABILITIES in helping children with disabilities get the most out of life.
"We encounter and help people every day who have to move on with life after dealing with difficult circumstances," he said.
"It's inspiring to be involved with a team which hasn't let adversity get in the way of their goals, and who are willing to share their experiences with young people who face unique challenges.
"It's a sad fact that about 40 per cent of spinal cord injuries in Australia are a result of road accidents. By supporting Sailors with DisABILITIES we can play a further role in helping accident victims live full and active lives."
Sailor with DisABILITIES will dock at six ports, from Airlie Beach to Coffs Harbour, dedicating three or more days in each port to sailing expeditions with children from special schools and their carers.

Ban jammers

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) is to investigate the need for a ban on radionavigation satellite service (RNSS) jammers, including global positioning system (GPS) jammers.
ACA Chairman Tony Shaw has called for comment; closing date for written public submissions is 17 September 2003.
The investigation is being conducted because of the potential for these jammers to interfere with a wide range of services including aviation, transport and communications.
Copies of a consultation package, including the background paper and draft declaration can be obtained from `What's New' - August Releases from the ACA.

Trophy prized
Bernard Heimann on Maxi sloop Ragamuffin took the 'Cock of Pioneer Bay' prize by charging to the lead of a 94-yacht fleet representing Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia to win the Great Habitat Whitsunday yacht race at Airlie Beach on Saturday.
The most valueless prize, an empty Bundaberg Rum bottle mounted on a slab of rainforest cedar was awarded to skipper Heimann at the 27th annual race.
Whitsunday Sailing Club 2003 Great Habitat Whitsunday Yacht Race results.
Div 1B: Ragamuffin (B Heimann, Whitsunday) 1, British Defender (T Hudson, Whitsunday) 2, Boomerang (T Johnson, Whitsunday) 3.
Div 2: Pilgrim (A Goodwin, Sydney) 1, Sidewinder (C Gilbert, New Zealand) 2, B.Y.O. (D Turner, Whitsunday) 3.
Div 2B: Jungle Juice (G Jiggins, Whitsunday) 1, Elyara (J Brown, Whitsunday) 2, Concubine (B Fleming, Whitsunday) 3.
Div 3A: Out Of Africa (D Dellow, Whitsunday) 1, Bus Stop (V Brown, Whitsunday) 2, Erica (L Wilson, Whitsunday) 3.
Div 3B: Gumblossom (J Latchford, Whitsunday) 1, Wobbly Boot (C Piccinelli, Whitsunday) 2, Goofly (P Mitchell, Whitsunday) 3.
Div 4A: Adios (S Halter, Whitsunday) 1, Ocean Emu (J Cadwallader, Whitsunday) 2, Trident (C Henry, Lake Macquarie) 3.
Div 5: Struen Marie (K Pryor, Whitsunday) 1, Ileola (M Bocchini, Abel Pt) 2, Kalimna (A Hurley, Mackay) 3.
Overall Teams trophy: Ragamuffin (B Heimann, Whitsunday, Storm 2 (D Algie, Whitsunday) and Intrigue of Stornoway (Dr I Nicholson, Hong Kong).

Aussies grab Greek gold
Australia has taken gold in the Tornado and 49er classes at the Athens 2003 Regatta. Reigning world champion Tornado sailors Darren Bundock and John Forbes and three-time 49er World Champion Chris Nicholson and his crew Gary Boyd held onto the number one spot to finish on top of their classes.

Slade Island light
Mariners are advised that the VQ(3)5s light on the East Cardinal Mark buoy on the eastern side of Slade Island has been restored to normal. Charts affected: AUS 249, 250

The sea and mistakes
"The tragedy shows the need for discipline. The sea does not pardon mistakes or inexactitude," Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking after the wreck of the K-159 submarine that left nine seamen dead, was located on the seabed at a depth of 238 metres.

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan