Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Whitsunday Fun Race this weekend

Love it or hate it, Fun Race is on again this Saturday in Airlie Beach. While many people get on the water for, well, fun, the 'race' starts at 11 am for the serious division. There are two briefings that will stress safety and not throwing rubbish into the water of Pioneer Bay (Friday 7 pm & Saturday 9 am at the sailing club). And yes, there is an entry fee of $15.
The party starts as the sun goes down with the new Mr XXXX 6 pack competition a new feature along with the legendary Miss Figurehead supported by Rock Stars on Vacation and local muso's.

Crabs history

The Bowen Historical Museum Society is holding a garage sale this Saturday (August 30) at Gordon Street, Bowen, 8 am until 11 am.
One of the many items for sale is an old washing copper that would be very good for cooking mud crabs.
Your Waterfront writer suggested to Marie Bailey, President of the Bowen Historical Society that she should auction off that old copper as they could get a good price considering how good the muddies are around Bowen.

Hahn Hammo race week

Hamilton Island had something for everybody in the twentieth year with that favourite international competition Aussie Vs Kiwi: Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth raced on the New Zealand yacht Georgia and John Bertrand sailed on Another Duchess in the IRC division. After the Rugby on Saturday, racing between the two teams was followed by all the competitors as it became another Aussie vs. Kiwi contest reports correspondent Boating OZ editor Kathy McKenzie.
"General recalls became the norm in this class and Another Duchess won with the new Swan 45 Joe in second place".
"The competition for the Sydney 38s National Title was equally competitive with 6 of the 12 yachts winning a race. The Performance Handicap Class had only seven entries due to the popularity of the shorter courses and extra lay day for the cruising classes. The IRC Cruising Class was hotly contested with five Beneteau 47.7s competing and three taking the top places.
The biggest fleet was, once again, Cruising Class with 76 yachts. The keen racers were on the line for the start. The charter boats tended to hold back as they didn't want a damage bill and the cruisers started, in their own time, keeping well away from the rest of the fleet.
The weather was sunny with 12 - 14 knot winds on all days but one when the wind was light and fluky, causing some races to be shortened and others to be abandoned.
Winners: IRC - Another Duchess - Bob Oatley, Sydney. Sydney 38s - Rush - Cameron Miles, Sydney. Performance Handicap Class - Sandstone - Mike Davies, Busselton WA. IRC Cruising Class - Euphoria - Anthony Coleman, Sydney. Premier Cruising Class - Savoir-Faire - M Roe & S Dart, Sydney. Cruising Yachts 1. The Probe - Tim Lewis, Melbourne.

Fishers fined

A Mackay commercial fisherman forfeited an 84 metre net and was fined $4000 plus costs in the Proserpine Magistrates Court for using an additional net in a Zone B Dugong Protection Area.
Magistrate John Brennan recorded a conviction against the fisher who was intercepted on at Sinclair Bay north of Airlie Beach by Department of Primary Industries Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers.
Prosecuting officer B J Tompkins said that commercial fishermen were restricted to using three set nets within a Dugong Protection Area to reduce the chances of accidental drowning of these endangered animals. The conviction included two counts of failing to mark the extra net.
Another Mackay district fisherman from Slade Point was fined and convicted $3000 plus $62.10 court costs for commercially fishing for live coral trout while not the holder of an assistant fishers licence.
QB&FP officers aboard the offshore Patrol vessel Edgecumbe located the fisherman at Line Reef 80km northeast of Airlie Beach on April 11 this year.
Mr Tompkins told the court that this was the third time the fisher had been breached for the same offence. Boarding officers found that his assistant fishers licence had been expired for some months.

Scallops sustained

A recently released report into saucer scallops indicates that scallop replenishment areas are helping to sustain Queensland stocks.
The Department of Primary Industries Queensland Fisheries Service (QFS) Long-Term Monitoring Program surveys have been carried out each year since 1997 in the major scallop grounds between Hervey Bay and Yeppoon.
QFS fisheries biologist Eddie Jebreen said the surveys gathered information on scallop stocks.
"The saucer scallop fishery is a significant part of Queensland's east coast trawl fishery," Mr Jebreen said.
"Therefore, it is important to determine whether the fisheries management practices in place are working to sustain scallop stocks."
"Scallop replenishment areas are large zones opened and closed to commercial trawling on a rotational basis," Mr Jebreen said.
"When closed, commercial trawl operators are excluded from the areas to help protect brood stock from fishing and allowing stocks to replenish.
"The survey results between 1997 and 2000 highlight that these areas had a high abundance of juvenile scallops which was a positive outcome for the industry."

East of Slade Island

Mariners are advised that the Lighted East Cardinal Mark buoy VQ(3)5s in approximate position Latitude 21°06.1'S, Longitude 149°15.45'E of the eastern side of Slade Island has been reported to be dim. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. Charts affected: AUS 249, 250

Old salts

It's hard to drown in the Dead Sea. It is 25 percent salt, which makes the water very heavy so you would float.

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Tropical shirt regatta

Everyone had a great time during the Hog's Breath Tropical shirt regatta
including the last day that featured no wind. Pioneer Bay looked like a
mirror with nary a wisp of breeze to ruffle its surface. Enough racing had
been sailed to ensure results in all classes so Principal Race Officer Tony
Denham declared the regatta over, except for the last party.
Sailors from all around the globe enjoyed the event and business around the
area seemed to enjoy a surge with many proprietors reporting good takings.
Final placing prepared by Top Yacht Software.
IRC Division. 'Joe' skippered by Steven David took first place with 'Ticket
of Leave' Kevin Wood Sandringham YC second place and 'Ichi Ban', Matt Allen
CYCA third.
PHS1: 'Intrigue Of Stornoway' Dr Ian Nicolson Royal Hong Kong YC took the
first spot with 'StarFire' Don & Helen Cameron, Sandringham YC with
'Kerinda' Len Payne RMYC Port Hacking third.
PHS2: First place 'Sundowner' skippered by Bill Webb from Gold Coast Yacht
Club, second 'Deception' Murray Sanders Whitsunday Sailing Club, third
'Wobbly Boot' Craig Piccinelli also WSC.
Cruising PHS Spinnaker: First 'Aito' Simon Vincent NQCYC Bowen, second
'STRUTH' Vincent Bezzina LMYC, third 'Koomooloo' Donald Freebairn, RQYS.
Cruising PHS: First 'Risque' Paul Johnson of WSC, second 'Effarvescent'
Terry Balson, Southport Yacht Club. Third 'Earl Grey' Norm House, WSC.
Sports boats: First 'Vivace' Pierre Gal, CHYC. Second 'Excel' Steve & Yvonne
Battl, MOFSC. Third 'Guilty Pleasures' Leon Thomas, TCYC.
Sydney 38s: First 'Another Challenge' Lou Abrahams, Sandringham YC. Second
'Asylum' Wayne Kirkpatrick, HIYC / CYCA. Third 'Livewire' Terry Hall,
Sandringham YC.

20 years at Hamilton
The 20th Hahn Premium Race Week, Hamilton Island, including the Sydney 38
National Titles is being sailed this week and enjoying bright but not windy
The Cruising Class finished its 20 mile race which started around 11am at
about 4pm. No one wanted to start any earlier. Robbo Robertson's Eureka II
finished first in the Premier Cruising Class. One crew reported seeing
turtles, whales, dolphins and sea snakes. 'While going that slowly it an
opportunity to appreciate nature,' he said.

Remember Bondy?
Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Australia II winning the America's Cup on
Friday, September 19 at the America's Cup Gala Ball in Perth. Expect to see
names like Bond, Bertrand, Conner, Hawke and other high profile members of
the community on the guest list. $250 per person. Royal Perth Yacht Club.

Full speed ahead
"Well the billfish season is full speed ahead," says Capt Ken Bryant. "After
a slow start the Marlin and Sailfish are now feeding in the grounds north of
Hayman Island and to the east of Hamilton Island. Bait schools are thick
from Net Reef to the Islands. We have just completed a charter to the shelf
and encountered Marlin to 300 lbs but were over run by Spanish mackerel"
"The Mackerel are taking almost any trolled bait or lure. Most of the fish
are only up to 12 kilo's but are thick. One recent trip to Evit shoal east
of Edward Island produced over 20 mackerel in four hours fishing. News from
Cairns is similar with large bait schools appearing and this would indicate
another big Black Marlin Season and perhaps an early bite."

Wooden Boats
The Port of Townsville Wooden Boat Festival is to be on the 13th and 14th
September at the Quarterdeck on the Marina.

Seen at Hamo
T- SHIRT from Melbourne. FRONT: Just because I slept with you last night
doesn't mean I'll sail with you today.

Aussies love sport!
"We love sport so much our news readers can read the death toll from a
sailing race and still tell us who's winning. And we're the best in the
world at all the sports that count, like cricket, netball, rugby, AFL,
roo-shooting, two-up and horse racing" says a mate.

Sold at 75
At the ripe old age of 75, Ron of Argyll, a popular charter boat in the
Whitsundays, has reportedly been sold to a private owner in Brisbane.

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Proserpine River ramp risk
Users of the Proserpine River boat ramp are incensed over the risk to vehicles and people and lack of access at the facility.
"It is always covered in mud because of the location of it. When the tide comes in it can dump mud over the ramp. Obviously, this poses a risk for vehicles and individuals using the facility" several ramp users have told Waterfront.
The ramp is owned by Queensland Transport while Whitsunday Shire Council have responsibility for maintaining it, but users have said that's not going to solve the problem. The council has attended the ramp numerous times but constant maintenance when the results can be wiped out overnight seems a waste say users.
Your Waterfront writer remembers attending several meetings about boat ramps around the shire some years ago. Queensland Transport and Council were represented as well as Sunfish. Ramps across the shire were looked at but your writer is unable to find any outcomes. Can any reader help?
One suggestion has been that the long-term solution is to build a new boat ramp along the Proserpine River. Do you have an opinion about this ramp? Contact Waterfront c/ The Guardian or

Fishing "better than ever"
Another week of windy weather with some days over 25 knots haven't put off local fishers reports Capt Ken on Marlin Blue.
"The sailfish have begun to turn up on the bait schools north of Hayman Island and to the east of Edward Island," says Capt Ken.
"Bait Reef even produced a sailfish for us the other day along with some more yellow fin tuna and small Spanish mackerel."
"The reef is fishing better than ever with some big trout and sweetlip bitting on almost anything. Deeper water is best with some trout over 10 pounds and full lippers"

The Yachtie Bible
The Yachtie Bible: How to Get Paid While Travelling in Style by Kimberly P Davis. "This book is full of information and contacts for anyone aspiring to crew on charter or private luxury boats around the world", says Boating Oz Editor Kathy McKenzie.
"Chapters include how to get started, crew responsibilities and qualifications, job hunting, health issues, sharing small spaces and potential problems. Directories include crew training facilities, culinary schools and boat builders and yards."

First out, last in
Can you imagine, racing without a course? Or, without a start and finish line? Where would our sport of sailing be without the club stalwarts who voluntarily man committee boats and safety vessels to conduct yacht racing around Australia?
Yes, it's the Volunteers who make it possible on the first boat out and the last boat in!
There are some great events coming up locally. If you want to be on first boat out, get in touch with the Whitsunday Sailing Club or Abel Point Yacht Club and get aboard. See you on the water.

How many leagues?
Those who enjoy adventure on the high seas stories and swashbuckling bodice rippers will have puzzled when a position was given as so many leagues away. Well, there are three miles in a league.

Beacon destroyed
Mariners are advised that the lighted Isolated Danger Mark beacon Fl(2)6s in approximate position Latitude 20°21.3'S, Longitude 149°01.6'E on Surprise Rock in the Whitsunday Group has been reported to be destroyed. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. Charts affected: AUS 252, 253, 370, 371, 824

Those stories
It seems that everyone who's spent any time on boats has at least one Funny Boat Story, which is define as a story that (1) involves a boat, (2) is funny, and most importantly, (3) was not funny at the time it happened.
When people hear one sails or goes boating a lot, they often tell you a story, often about their 'first time' (on a boat, on the water).
New acquaintance recently told me her Funny Boat Story about being stuck on a sandbar for six hours. Apparently the lighter side of her predicament came to her after the first bottle of champers.
A shop worker said, hi, how are you, and got a reply about boat trouble. She said just about everybody around here has a story like that, and paused. I asked her what hers was. She paused again, and said quietly, "Oh, ... I got lost." I nodded sympathetically and talked about something else. Obviously a touchy subject.

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan