Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Whitsunday Boat Show gets art show

Artistic painters and photographers from the 175,000 residents of Central Queensland will be able to compete for $6,000 in prize money at the Oceanic Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show in June.
The Rotary Club of Airlie Beach as organisers of the annual event have added an art exhibition based on marine themes.
"Being primarily a boat show to exhibit some very beautiful boats and other 'boys toys', we thought that a first-class exhibition of marine art would also interest some of the thousands that attended last year, particularly those that go along with Dad but may not be that keen on boats, ropes and hopes of fair weather" the curator of the exhibition, Mr Tony Fossey, said
"To keep in line with the main theme of the weekend, we chose plain, simple, 'marine' as the subject to portray. The majority of visual artists and photographers in Central Queensland should find plenty of beautiful marine subjects here to portray. We have defined marine as being ' Of, From, Beside, For use on - the sea" Mr Fossey added.
"The Shipowners Club of London as the exhibition major sponsor have reported from their headquarters in the United Kingdom, that they are ecstatic that the entries will come from an area encompassing 600 kilometres of the most beautiful coastline and boating area in Australia."
Artists from along the coast will have a choice of entering into three divisions of the exhibition. An 'Open' section for any age and any medium. 'Open Miniature' section for any age and any medium, and Photographic.
The exhibition will be on display at the Oceanic Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show at Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach.

Topless shock

In 1935, the police in Atlantic City, New Jersey, arrested 42 men on the beach. They were cracking down on topless bathing suits worn by men.

Weather, climate and water

World Meteorological Day 2004 held this week celebrates the entry into force on 23 March 1950 of the Convention creating the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as the successor to the International Meteorological Organization (IMO) established in 1873.
"The theme "Weather, climate and water in the information age" is selected in recognition of the vital role of technology in advancing meteorological, hydrological and related geophysical sciences that enable National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to contribute to socio-economic development and to the protection of the environment. WMO therefore relies on, and actively promotes, the application of such technologies to the monitoring, understanding and prediction of the behaviour of the atmospheric and oceanographic systems and the water cycle." Says Mr M. Jarraud Secretary-General of WMO
Today, the world is changing faster than ever. There is greater awareness of the sensitivity of the economy to weather, climate and water that influence virtually all-human activities. For example, there is growing concern about the impact of natural hazards. Statistics over the last decade show that over 80 per cent of all natural disasters are of meteorological or hydrological origin.
Indeed, at no time in history has so much been expected from the sciences of meteorology, hydrology and related geophysical sciences in addressing the challenges associated with sustainable development in areas such as disaster mitigation, food security, water resources management, transportation, tourism and pollution control.
Achievements have been possible primarily due to major scientific breakthroughs and technological developments in observing, telecommunications and computer capability.
Apart from monitoring the ocean through ships and buoys, WMO sponsors the deployment of more technologically advanced measurements, which contribute to improving the understanding of air-sea interactions and the provision of services for marine users. For example, profiling floats (Argo floats) give temperature profiles down to 2 000 metres in the ocean, measure subsurface currents, and transmit accumulated data by satellite relay.
These modern systems of observations, supported by powerful computers and telecommunications facilities, have enabled the development of Numerical Weather Prediction techniques that have permitted significant improvements in real-time forecasts of various types of weather phenomena.
As for severe tropical storms, for example, forecasts and warnings involve satellite images for detection and tracking, computer models of the atmosphere-ocean system to predict their intensification decay as well as their trajectory and up-to-date telecommunication facilities for dissemination to all categories of users.
Steady improvements in predictions of tropical cyclones up to three days in advance, effective dissemination of warnings and preparedness measures have led to a dramatic decrease in related deaths.
There is also growing recognition of the economic and social value of weather and climate as a resource. Indeed, weather, climate and water information are vital for most socio-economic activities. For example, weather and hydrological forecasts are used to enhance agricultural production, manage water resources, combat desertification, ensure safe and efficient transportation, control pollution, and schedule the production and distribution of electricity, support leisure activities and the insurance industry.
The opportunities offered by the 'Information Age' to meteorological, hydrological and related geophysical sciences should enable WMO and its Members to address a growing number of challenges that relate to improved protection of life and property through better preparedness and vulnerability assessment as well through contributions to sustainable development and poverty reduction.
"In order to address these challenges successfully, it is my hope that this year will mark wider recognition of the need to modernize National Meteorological and Hydrological Services."
"For this reason, I would call on national authorities, the scientific communities, partner organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the public to ensure that, along with the modernization, they are also equipped with the necessary facilities to access and use the information provided under the umbrella of WMO in meeting effectively the environmental and developmental challenges of the 21st century" Mr M. Jarraud said.

Cutting-Edge Research

Prof. Trevor Cox (University of Salford in England) and fellow acoustics researchers concluded that, contrary to prevailing wisdom, a duck's quack does have an echo. And biologist Nette Levermann (Copenhagen's Zoological Museum), whose team monitored 100 walruses near Greenland, concluded that the animals use their right flippers more than their left. And an aerodynamics expert at Britain's Open University, aided by an Oxford engineering student, designed and machine-tested a beer coaster to produce the ideal model and conditions for winning at the British pub game of coaster-flipping. [The Guardian, 9-8-03] [Associated Press, 10-24-03] [BBC News, 11-3-03]

Good idea?

"If an idea is worth having once, it's worth having twice" -- Tom Stoppard

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Port of Airlie core study advances project

Work is progressing on the Port of Airlie Marina development in Boathaven Bay, Airlie Beach with a drilling rig barge currently on the site.
The drilling rig is taking core samples around the site as part of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) being conducted.
The study is the final stage before work can start on the multi-million dollar marina according to a Whitsunday Sailing Club spokesman.
"I expect to hear in a couple of weeks if the Federal Government's Environment Australia are happy with the EIS to date" Sailing Club President David McMahon told On the Waterfront this week.
"The project has been signed off by the State Government and the club is awaiting final approvals," Mr McMahon added.

Join us for... Reef Discovery Month

Here in the Whitsundays, May is officially Reef Discovery Month. Each week of May, you will have the opportunity to attend an entertaining and informative presentation on the Great Barrier Reef. Topics will include Whales, Turtles, Dugongs, Sharks, Corals, Reef Fish and more.
For all those people who live and work in the Whitsundays, this will be a great chance to increase your knowledge and awareness of our most important resource, the Great Barrier Reef.
And for those who are really keen, you will also learn how to become involved in helping protect the reef through a number of projects run by volunteer groups right here in the Whitsundays.
The OUCH Volunteers are planning a Reef Discovery Month for May this year. This is something that the whole community can get behind and benefit from. This project needs community support.
If you have any constructive comments or would like to get involved in the program, just give Tony Fontes a shout. The OUCH Volunteers welcome all the help they can get. Reef Discovery Month is brought to you by the OUCH Volunteers -- "Working to Protect the Great Barrier Reef"
Contact, OUCH Volunteers 4946-7435

Fish talk

A fish communication researcher has discovered that fish can communicate using sounds, a report in the prestigious New Scientist publication says.
A team of researchers that included Ben Wilson of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver reported that herring communicate with each other via a high-pitched, "raspberry"-like sound emitted from their anuses. Since the sounds were frequent, whether the herring had eaten or not, the researchers concluded that the noise was not produced by digestive gases.
"The density of water means the fish need a certain pitch to be heard at a distance," the researcher said.
"Further research may show that the herrings use the sounds to organise their shoaling behaviour and this may relate to advanced studies of group behaviour in homo sapiens"

Kiss not just a kiss

An 8-year-old boy was suspended from his elementary school in Branson, Mississippi, because he kissed a girl on the cheek during a chase game and was therefore guilty of sexual harassment.

Far out

Astronomers announced they have found another most distant object in the universe, this one 13.2 billion light years away, for those keeping track.

Lights reported unlit

Mariners are advised that the lighted South Cardinal Mark beacon Q (6) + LFl. 15s in approximate position Latitude 20°05.7865'S Longitude 148°52.5938'E on Langford Reef has been reported to be unlit.
Mariners are advised that the following lighted beacons located at Hayman Island have been reported unlit:-
No 3 Hayman Reef in approximate position Latitude 20°04.3248'S Longitude 148°53.7631' the Starboard Lateral Mark beacon Fl.G.2.5s
No 4 Cockatoo Point in approximate position Latitude 20°04.7109'S Longitude 148°54.0523'E Port Lateral Mark beacon Fl.R.2.5s
Mariners should use caution whilst navigating in this area. Charts affected: AUS 252, 254, 825

Read his lips

"I understand small business growth. I was one."

President Bush on the economic recovery

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

SeaWeek: 'Discover me in the sea'

This week is SeaWeek and the theme 'Discover me in the sea' enables us all to encourage the investigation and exploration of the amazing plants and animals that live and inhabit the sea.
During SeaWeek and through the year, make time to reflect on our seas, oceans and marine environments and the amazing environments that they are.
A new campaign from the Australian Government will support the safe use of plastic and the importance of keeping it out of the sea with the call 'Keep the sea plastic free'.
The issue of reducing the use of plastic bags will be supported by the campaign and help highlight the problem of plastic bags harming the marine environment.

Communications 150 years

Wednesday last, March 3rd a re-enactment of the sending of the first Morse coded message in the Southern Hemisphere between Melbourne and Williamstown took place.
In the early 1850's, getting a message from Melbourne to the port of Williamstown took several hours by horse. All that changed on March 3 1854 when the telegraph arrived and messages became almost instantaneous.
Students at Williamstown Primary School also joined in the celebrations watching the re-enactment by video and simultaneously sending SMS's between the two venues.

The Tropical Shirt Regatta

"We are delighted to be able to announce the hosting of the 2004 National Trailerable Yacht and Sportsboat Championships at Hog's Breath Race Week" Regatta Director Andrew Palfrey said this week.
"The Sportsboats added to the event in 2003. We look forward to having the involvement of plenty more trailerables this year this event will be held in conjunction with the existing race week program of one-design keelboats, IRC, PHS and Cruising divisions, scheduled for 13-19 August."
Known as the Tropical Shirt Regatta, Hog's Breath Race Week is gearing up for more fun in the sun, as well as a high standard of regatta management. Mt Gay Rum and Tooheys New are back to support HBRW and enjoy the post race dockside parties with this year's competitors. The newly completed land based facilities at Abel Point Marina will compliment the modern marina extensions.
Competitors will be able to relax after racing in the competitor's marquee whilst enjoying the renowned yachtie band, The Wolverines. Other shore-based activities will include radio controlled mini regattas using Blowfly One Metre yachts. After a stunning debut at Hog's 2003, Mucka's Coconut Lotto will be back again after a stunning debut at Hog's 2003 (Note: for those not present during Hog's 2003, try to picture lotto using "Mucka's" concrete mixing truck and coconuts. It's very Queensland).
Each day, the crew from Blowfly Yachts will offer demonstrations, tuition, racing and the chance for everyone at Hog's the chance to get a hands-on experience using one of the 10 identical boats. These activities will take place after racing in the "pond" in front of the Competitors Marquee. This is sailing without getting wet (unless you spill your drink).

Boss Hog Cruising

It will be a "gentlemen's cruise to Mooloolaba" when Boss Hog Don Algie's new Warwick 66 Storm 2 makes its ocean racing debut in this year's FKP Limited Sydney Mooloolaba Yacht Race on March 31.
With its home theatre, air conditioning, plasma TV screen and icemaker on board, the crew will no doubt be fighting for the navigator's position - but they'll have to get past Don's navigator of 15 years, Keith 'Vasco' Collicoat, also from Queensland.
Sydney sailors, many from Sydney Yachts which custom built this fast cruising sloop, will also join Don, a resident of Airlie Beach for 20 years and the founder of the Hog's Breath Café chain of restaurants.
Mostly retired from his business, although he does work from his onboard office while at sea, Don is the first to admit he is a "warm-blooded sailor" who rarely ventures south of the QLD/NSW border.
But last month he had to bring the boat to Sydney to have some work completed and given the FKP Limited Sydney Mooloolaba Race is "on the way home"; he's put in an entry for the 469 nautical mile race.
Designed by New Zealand's Alan Warwick and built of carbon composite with a full carbon rig, this high-tech luxury cruiser was launched eight months ago to replace Algie's previous boat Storm, which he bought in South Africa and owned for 18 years. Storm 2 will sail under the same Royal Cape Yacht Club sail number as Storm - SA10.

Pirates assist youth

Pirates' Day at RANSA at Rushcutters Bay, Sydney will raise funds for the Sir David Martin Foundation to assist youth in crisis. Boats get underway for nautical mayhem before lunch March 21 - returning to RANSA for a BYO at 2:00pm. Afternoon events include Rescue the Wench, Treasure Hunt and Tug O' War (not hauling a cannon!) with a prize giving at 3:30pm. Pirate costume and language is encouraged. Aargh!

Langford Reef light

Mariners are advised that the lighted South Cardinal Mark beacon has been re-established in position. Charts affected: AUS 254, 825.

Editor alarmed

The bells were ringing when the relieving editor of the beach newspaper arrived to allegedly to do some work. It appears nobody on the staff had advised him of the burglar alarm system. It is unknown at press time if he has spoken to police regarding the matter.


"People with winning attitudes . . . win."

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Collisions disturb boating industry

The Queensland boating industry wants boaties to brush up on navigation rules, following the release of insurance statistics revealing the high level of boat collisions with underwater objects.
According to NRMA Insurance, collisions account for nearly half (46 per cent) of all boat claims in Queensland and New South Wales, and underwater objects are involved with many of these incidents.
The Boating Industry Association of Queensland believes wrong navigation could be responsible for the large number of underwater collisions.
BIAQ General Manager, Barry Hibberd, said the statistics were disturbing, given that all major Queensland waterways were navigable and clearly marked.
"The high level of underwater collisions indicates many boats are travelling outside these safe areas," Mr Hibberd said.
"While submerged hazards, such as floating trees and logs, could be partly to blame, it seems sandbars and rocks could be the main culprits."
Mr Hibberd said a quick review of the international navigation system of buoys; beacons and markers by owners would keep most boats out of trouble.

Show invites Trad boats

Tall timber ships sailed by iron men and women will feature at the third annual Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show to be staged on the June Queen's Birthday weekend at Able Point Marina
"We are featuring Traditional Boats and all things associated with the history of the marine industry at our boat show this year," says Rotary Club of Airlie Beach President Michael Elliott.
"We have invited the wooden boat group and the Townsville Maritime Museum to exhibit at our boat show,"
"We expect a large contingent of Traditional Boats to sail a Regatta with a chance for the public to sail on some of these magnificent ships" Mr Elliott added.
Organisers expect to have about 8000 visitors coming from south of Mackay to north of Townsville and local areas over the two days of the boat show.
Look forward to the Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show presented by The Rotary Club of Airlie Beach on The Queen's Birthday weekend 12th & 13th June 2004 at Able Point Marina.

Historic ships register

Vessels, large and small, are the most complex, fascinating and appealing artefacts of maritime history, yet by nature and because of the marine environment, they are less permanent than other historic relics.
The Australian National Maritime Museum is establishing an Australian Register of Historic Vessels (ARHV), to reveal the first national picture of the size, distribution and condition of historic vessels in Australia.
The Australian Register of Historic Vessels will be a valuable source of reference information available to boat owners, museums, clubs, researchers and enthusiasts, nationally and internationally. It will record details of construction, ownership, use and condition of historic vessels across Australia, and help marshal more efficient use of scarce resources in identifying priorities in the expensive task of vessel preservation.
The Register will appear as a multimedia database, capable of combining text; historic and contemporary still photographs, drawings, moving video, and even the voices of boat owners and builders.
Information will be sought on a standard format Vessel Nomination Form sent to boat owners, museums, associations and clubs to record their historic vessels. This will be easy to read and fill out. It will guide people through a series of questions to evaluate their own vessel's significance, assessed by independent experts drawn from a National Consultative Committee.
Future stages of the project's development will include a hard-copy illustrated manual to explain the Register and provide practical information for owners on documentation and conservation principles and techniques. The Register will be capable of distribution on interactive multimedia computer software, as hard copy, CD-ROM and on the Internet. Personal details will remain confidential.
The project is targeted to owners of historic sail and powered boats and enthusiasts - museums, yacht clubs and boat clubs.
By providing information about their vessels boat owners will benefit for the ARHV project:
* Receive certificates rewarding their active participation in heritage conservation
* Recognition for their boat in the form of a statement of significance, putting it into historical context
* Contacts with other boat owners and clubs
For information and to receive a Vessel Nomination Form contact On the Waterfront via The Guardian.

Good news wanted

Do you have a good news story that would like to share with others?
"Have you been out of the region promoting The Whitsundays," asks Liz Stewart Manager, Membership Services at Tourism Whitsunday.
"We'd love to know about it for inclusion in the Sea News Out of the Blue Newsletter"
You may contact Liz at Tourism Whitsunday and tell everyone the good news.

Able Pt lights & work

Mariners are advised that the navigation aids are now permanently established to mark the new marina channel entrance.
The construction of the new rock wall is still progressing with the entrance to Shingley Beach at the southern end of the rock wall remaining closed to navigation until further notice.
Charts affected: AUS 252, 253, 268

Smell the flowers

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

- H. L. Mencken

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan