Thursday, February 26, 2004

Winter sailing season: choices for skippers and crew

This winter Australia's offshore yachties will have to choose between the many races up the east coast to the Whitsunday regattas or to cruise to Darwin for the race to Dili in Timor and cruising in Indonesia.
First in the calendar is the Multihull Club's biennial Australian Multihull Offshore Championships (AMOC), Barrier Reef Series. The race will begin in Brisbane on Good Friday, April 9, stopping at Gladstone, Keppel Bay, Mackay, Hamilton Island and finishing at Airlie Beach on Saturday 17 April.
Mackay Marina will be playing host to entrants from Wednesday 14 April to Friday 16 April with Thursday 15th a designated lay day. This will give contestants time to relax and enjoy the facilities at Mackay, which include waterfront restaurants and bars and thriving yacht and surf clubs.
Next up is the Capricornia Cruising Yacht Club's annual Yeppoon to Mackay Yacht Race on Saturday 3 May. Mackay Marina will provide participants in the race with the first night's berthing free with the second and third nights charged at half price. The race is the club's only overnight race and is the perfect opportunity for crews to visit Mackay Marina and see for themselves what the facility has to offer.
The first annual Australian East Coast Challenge will take place during June/ July with contestants sailing from Wollongong to the Whitsundays stopping at seven ports, including Mackay, along the way. Participating crews will be tested with challenging offshore legs mixed with tight inshore races on an extremely tight schedule which leaves little time for rest and forces crews to rely on mental and physical toughness to produce results. The organisers hope the race will bring sailing and the community together in each port of call.
The fourth race is the second annual Southport to Mackay 530 nm Bluewater Classic on Friday 6 August. Last year's race was an overwhelming success perfectly timed to coincide with the Sydney Gold Coast Race on Saturday July 31 and Hogs Breath Race Week from August 13. It attracted entrants from all over the country with world-championship racing yacht Nicorette taking line honours.
The 480 nautical mile Darwin to Dili yacht race will sail on Saturday July 31 say the organisers The Democratic Government of Timor Leste (East Timor) and the Dili Yacht Club.
On the Darwin end, the race is sponsored by Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Association located on a beach originally used by pearling luggers.
The Club features the Dilly Baggins Bar named after the only dog known to have been admitted as a member of a waterfront club in Darwin.
The dog, owned by a member, was smuggled onto Darwin Sailing Club premises in a dilly bag and was proposed as a member under the name Dilly Baggins.
The dog caused no suspicion and the Club unwittingly accepted its first four-legged member.

Crew needed

"Lots of crew will be needed as most crew won't be able to take off all the time needed to deliver a boat and compete in all events," says former Whitsunday resident and Boating OZ editor Kathy McKenzie.
"Personality, training, experience and being in the right place at the right time will help you to become crew. But if you too have limited time and you want to ensure you have a sailing holiday in winter, boats are available for charter for groups and individuals."

Bowen Harbour

Mariners are advised that there will be a smoke float demonstration at the Bowen Tug Harbour at 1000 hours on Friday, 27th February 2004. Chart Affected: AUS 268

Fixers defined

"This is defining of the most professional distance sailors. They can fix things at sea where normally we would have to retire to the nearest port"

Sailor and adventurer Steve Fossett

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

(Forgot to grab a photo. Will get one this evening! Look for me waving from New Horizon - only a 97-foot schooner- at about 6-6:30 this evening.)

Biggest, most expensive cruise ship visits Whitsunday

The 109,000-ton Star Princess - the second sister ship to Princess' groundbreaking Grand Princess, is more than the biggest, most expensive cruise ship ever.
Built at a cost of over $430 million, Star Princess has more ways to relax, dine, shop, play, swim, sun, dance and indulge than you can imagine. Nine different places to dine and three shows from which to choose nightly, you can do what you want, when you want, say the owners.
Star Princess features Princess' trademark Personal Choice Cruising, an unstructured, individualized approach to cruising that offers passengers a wide variety of dining, entertainment and activity options, including Personal Choice Dining, the only program in the cruise industry where passengers have a choice between traditional assigned-seating dining or restaurant-style seating.

Cap'n Dan reports Live from the Bridge of Star Princess

Well almost! A web camera image live from the bridge of Star Princess is automatically updated every 60 seconds via satellite. Star Princess, the largest and most amenity-filled ship ever will became the largest cruise ship to visit Whitsunday and to sail in Australian/New Zealand waters.

Aussie Awards Club Development

The Australian Sports Commission Club Development Network supports the development and management capacity of sporting clubs so they can deliver the best possible service to their members.
One award will be presented to a member of the Club Development Network who has demonstrated improvements in one of four areas of leadership, planning, people and members.
Examples of the type of improvements that a club may have initiated include:
* Leadership - improvements in the leadership of a club to ensure the needs of its members are met by effective and efficient resource management. Good leadership provides inspiration and guides the direction of the club.
* Planning - improvements in the planning process that engage the broader membership in identifying and addressing the needs of the club. Plans help to identify the club's goals and ways to monitor and evaluate its success in meeting them.
* People - improvements in developing motivated, committed and satisfied volunteers or staff. These people are more likely to make a positive contribution towards meeting the needs and expectations of the members they interact with and serve.
* Members - improvements in either services or activities that meet the needs of members. Satisfied members are more likely to return to a club and to tell others about their positive experiences.
Nominees are encouraged to refer to their Club Development Network checklist to help with their nomination. They should outline the type of initiatives, programs or activities undertaken by the club and the results.
All nominations will be assessed on how well the initiative improved the club's ability to deliver the best possible service to its members.
For more information, including how to nominate and nomination forms please contact Australian Sports Commission Active Australia provider Maritime Skills Whitsunday c/ The Guardian.

Sailors calendar

The Whitsunday Sailing Club has issued their sailing calendar for this year. It's good to see events like the Mooloolaba to Airlie back on the calendar along with the Lady Skippers, Two-handed series and the popular Multihull Rendezvous.
Twilight sailing every Wednesday on Pioneer Bay with details available from the sailing club.

So close . . .

Without using precision instruments, Eratosthenes measured the radius of Earth in the third century B.C., and came within 1 percent of the value determined by today's technology.

Two cycles out

No oil burning, smoky exhaust two-cycle engines are allowed in Singapore. The license fee for a new car is small, about $5, but as the vehicle grows older, the fee increases. When the auto reaches eight years old, it is no longer allowed on the streets. This is the opposite of the license-fee structure in most countries. While strict, Singapore's auto law has virtually wiped out vehicle sourced air pollution in the country.

Captain's cat

An Irish woman worked on ferries crossing the Irish Sea to pay for her trip to Australia. She told a good story of a new crewperson who was told to go to the bridge to feed the captain's cat.
Dutifully, our new crew got a bowl of milk and went up to the bridge. While walking around in the semi-darkness, going "here puss, puss" the captain asked her what she was doing.
"I'm after yer cat to feed 'em," said the new crew lass.
"I don't have a cat" was the gruff reply. "I think your crew mates have sent you on an adventure"
Every industry has their games and traps for newcomers that give the old hands a laugh.

Be yourself!

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Author Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Sewage management legislation in force

Vessel-sourced sewage legislative requirements commenced on 1 January 2004 to minimise the likelihood of impacts from sewage generated onboard vessels reports Maritime Safety Queensland.
The sewage management requirements, detailed in the Transport Operations (Marine Pollution) Act 1995 and Transport Operations (Marine Pollution) Regulation 1995 (Regulation) will affect many boat owners.
These requirements apply to all vessels which have a toilet fitted and can discharge sewage.
The first phase will apply to identified nil-discharge waters. These areas are marinas, boat harbours, canals and some river systems and designated areas of state marine parks. From 1 January 2004, vessel owners will need to ensure that no sewage is discharged in these waters. Sewage management measures can include, always using onshore toilets when docked, encouraging passengers to use onshore facilities before heading out, containing sewage in a sewage holding device, and being aware of the designated areas in marine parks where discharge is prohibited.
The legislative direction was developed following public consultation and discussions with key stakeholders.
The legislation will assist in the protection of Queensland waterways and waterway users from vessel-sourced sewage.
More extensive onboard sewage management requirements will commence on 1 July 2004.
Maritime Safety Queensland say educational messages and materials will be widely distributed over the coming months. Vessel owners must be aware of the legislative requirements and, where appropriate, adopt onboard sewage management measures say MSQ.

Boat-car road wreck

Friends out for a late-night cruise on a new, 20-foot Baja boat, which has top speeds of about 55 knots, hit the Interstate 77 causeway north of Exit 30, went airborne and landed upside down in the path of an oncoming car.
Lucas Croft, a 19-year-old college student, suddenly saw a flying boat land right in front of his car hitting the spinning vessel.
"It fell out of the sky in front of him," said North Carolina Officer Bobby Blackwell. "He never saw anything but the boat coming down."
Blackwell and N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Myron Byrd are investigating what caused the unprecedented boat-car collision.
They found empty beer cans in the Baja and are awaiting toxicology reports. They are also trying to determine who was driving the boat and how fast it was going.
All three boaters work in the motorsports industry. Jones is lead mechanic for MB2 Motorsports' No. 01 Winston Cup team, Bills works for Penske-Jasper Engines and Wade for the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
"That is very amazing. I've worked fatal accidents where the top speed was 10 mph. This was a mess." Officer Bobby Blackwell said.
The boat struck the bank, which Blackwell described as a "21-foot ramp."
"The boat slid up the bank before it went airborne," he said.
At the top of the ramp, the boat jumped the guardrail, flipped in the air and landed upside down in the southbound lanes. A half-second later, Blackwell said, the medium-size Ford struck the spinning boat.

Aussie sports awards

The Australian Sports Commission will conduct the Ausport Awards for the second year in 2004.
The 2004 Ausport Awards will Recognise, reward and showcase good practice in sport.
The awards will acknowledge and reward individuals, clubs, community organisations, schools, local agencies and national and state sporting organisations for demonstrating their commitment to good practice in sport, grass-roots participation, innovative and inclusive programs, quality sports business management, and excellence in sport performance.
Nominations are now open and close on March 31 2004.
Further information is available locally from active Australia provider Maritime Skills Whitsunday.

Log near reef

Michaelmas Reef: Mariners are advised that a semi-submerged log 25 metres long has been reported in position Latitude 16°36.560'S, Longitude 145°55.050'E which is approximately 3 nautical miles West of Michaelmas Reef on Tuesday 10th February 2004 at 1015 hours. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in this vicinity. Chart affected: AUS 830

Dangerous door!

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door."

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Friday, February 06, 2004

Top Whitsunday event gets bigger

The 15th annual Hog's Breath Race Week Notice of Race is now available for the event to be enjoyed August 13 until 19.
The schedule at this year's race week is extended to include an extra day of racing for all divisions.
Hog's Breath Race Week 2004 will be providing a social program in keeping with what has made this event such a great success over the past 15 years. Details will finalised soon, but the Party goes something like this!
Friday August 8 Final Registration and Briefing at the Whitsunday Sailing Club including the 'meet the fleet' drinks.
Saturday Aug. 9: Will see and hear the Wolverines playing at the Tooheys New Marquee at the marina. The same venue will see the Coconut Lotto and daily presentations at after racing
Sunday Aug. 10 Wolverines, Coconut Lotto, Crew BBQ and drinks, live entertainment and fireworks display
Monday Aug. 11: Lay Day, Hog Heaven, Owners & Sponsors brunch, Beach Party at Whitsunday Sailing Club, Sky Diving, Coconut Lotto, Team Tug-o-War, live band
Toomey New Marquee, Entertainment & BBQ
Each day will have Wolverines playing Coconut Lotto and daily presentations at marina after racing.
Thursday Aug. 14: Final races then mid afternoon presentation of trophies followed by a couple of drinks and a Foam Party.
Extra day includes racing for all classes: IRC Yachts, PHS Racing Yachts, Cruising Yachts (with spinnakers) PHS handicaps, Cruising Yachts (without spinnakers) PHS handicaps, Premier Cruising Yachts (handicapped using IRC Rule, Big Boats (60'+ handicapped using IRC Rule, Sports Boats, One Design Classes Minimum of 6 entries per class, Sydney 38, Farr 40.
A premier event 15 years in the Whitsundays. See your there!

Notices to Mariners.
Mariners are advised to use caution whilst navigating the following areas.

Reef Point Light, Whitsunday Isld.

Mariners are advised that a lighted Port Lateral Mark beacon (Fl R 2.5s) has been established at Reef Point on the south west side of Whitsunday Island in approximate position Latitude 20°17.4768'S, Longitude 148°54.7064'E to mark the entrance to Fitzalan Passage. Charts affected: AUS 252, 253, 254, 824

East Langford Reef light

Mariners are advised that a lighted buoy (Fl G 2.5s) has been temporarily established on Langford Reef, in approximate position Latitude 20°05.2730'S, Longitude 148°52.5936'E.
Charts affected AUS 252, 254, 825

Seaforth Creek

Mariners are advised that a lighted buoy (Fl G 2.5s) has been established at the entrance to Seaforth Creek in approximate position Latitude 20°53.7592'S, Longitude 148°58.6455'E to temporarily replace the lighted Starboard Lateral Mark beacon. The lighted Port Lateral Mark beacon (Fl R 2.5s) has been restored to normal. Charts affected: AUS 251, 824

Criticism is prejudice made plausible. -- H. L. Mencken

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan