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