Wednesday, October 27, 2004

H M Bark Endeavour homeward bound

The replica of the original H M Bark Endeavour will sail back to her home in Australia.
Launched in 1993 and commissioned in 1994, the nearly exact duplicate has sailed around the globe to great acclamation and a brush with Hollywood during the filming of Master and Commander.
As part of his research for Master and Commander, Director Peter Weir made two trips on the Endeavour, soaking up the atmosphere. According to Captain Chris Blake, the director was keen to muck in, climbing the rigging, steering the ship and doing the occasional night watch.
'He was travelling as a supernumerary so he didn't have to do anything but he wanted to have the full experience so he could make the film as authentic as possible,' Captain Blake said.
Though she has been wildly popular during her stay in the UK, Endeavour will leave Whitehaven on November 8th, and thus become the first ship ever to sail from the port directly to Australia.
The Australian Government wants the ship back and she will leave directly from Whitehaven after almost a decade sailing around the world.
Her departure from Whitehaven is a major coup for the town that is gearing up for one of the biggest events in its maritime history.
Visit organiser Gerard Richardson, said: "Whitehaven being chosen as the departing point for the vessel is the biggest honour the port could have asked for.
The epic voyage will take the replica of Captain Cook's ship about five-and-a-half-months. She is to become a floating museum alongside the Maritime Museum in Sydney, despite attempts by skipper Captain Chris Blake to keep her sailing in Europe.

Barra closure

The annual barramundi closed season for Queensland's east coast starts at midday next Monday (November 1) and runs until midday on February 1.
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries education officer Karl Roebuck said the closed season is aimed at protecting barramundi stocks during their vulnerable spawning period.
"During these periods numbers of mature fish aggregate making them more susceptible to fishing pressures," Mr Roebuck said.
However, he said during the closed season one barramundi was allowed to be taken from 18 stocked dams in Queensland.
Mr Roebuck said this would balance the right for anglers to fish for barramundi in stocked dams while protecting wild barramundi stocks.
"There is no practical way to identify a stocked dam barramundi from a wild fish so the one take and possession limit is a compromise," he said.

Flathead fish survival project

Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries biologist Dr Ian Brown said the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation has provided $104, 299 for the 18 month study of survival of released line-caught flathead.
Dr Brown said the study into flathead survival follows the National survey of recreational fishing which estimated that about 13.5 million flathead of various species were caught by recreational fishers throughout Australia during 2000/01 and of this total 6 million (almost 45 percent) were released.
Nationally, flathead accounted for the greatest numbers of fish of any group caught by recreational fishers.

Privy summit

The World Toilet Organization wants you to know that "The Societal Impact of Toilets" will be discussed at the World Toilet Summit next month in Beijing.

JFK's boat busted

Federal drug agents have seized "Flash II", once owned by a young John F. Kennedy, alleging its current owner purchased the vessel with proceeds from selling marijuana.
According to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, the Star Class sloop built in 1930 and currently owned by Gregory Olaf Anderson constitutes property derived from the sale of narcotics distribution and is subject to government forfeiture.
Federal agents learned Anderson was involved in drug trafficking in 1996 and used proceeds from marijuana sales to purchase the boat Kennedy had once used in sailing races off Hyannis.
The President and his brother, Joseph Kennedy, purchased the Olympic-class sailboat in 1934. President Kennedy sold the boat in 1942, just before shipping out to the Pacific theatre during World War II, where he commanded the PT-109.
Anderson previously rejected a bid of $800,000, sensing he could get a higher price, according to the agents.

Match making plan

Bermuda is spearheading a campaign to have women's keelboat sailing changed from fleet to match racing in the Olympics.
The primary reason for such a move, explained president of Bermuda Sailing Association (BSA) Tim Patton, is that it would significantly reduce participant expenses thereby opening up competitive sailing to women in many more countries.
"Match racing requires much less by way of equipment for the competitors."
"They would need a pair of sailing gloves and a bottle of sun block and they could go from event to event and sail in whatever class of boat there is at that location."


"Everyone who has ever taken a shower has had an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off, and does something about it that makes a difference."

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Babyboomers Sea Change fuels labour shortage

The Queensland boating industry is seeking apprentices to satisfy the labour demand created by a protracted recreational boating boom.
The Boating Industry Association of Queensland said a shortage of skilled technicians and tradesmen had been created by a 10-year boom in recreational boating.
BIAQ General Manager, Barry Hibberd, said the short term problem was increasing workload in service centres with the onset of summer.
"As the number of boats and engines requiring regular servicing has increased throughout Queensland, the number of trained technicians has not kept pace," Mr Hibberd said.
"With the traditional Christmas holiday season fast approaching, workshops are starting to feel the pressure of the extra workload," he said.
Mr Hibberd said the shortage also would cause long term difficulty in Queensland.
"With a net migration of 60,000 people into Queensland each year - predominantly baby boomers doing a sea change and looking at a lifestyle on the water - this issue is not going to improve, unless it is addressed now," he said.
"At the end of August 2004, there were 185,620 registered vessels in
Queensland, an increase of 64% since 1994. That's an incredible rate of growth, in fact, twice the rate of population increase."
BIAQ has asked its members to employ more apprentices to be trained for the future, when assessing workplace requirements for 2005.

Award "first for Tourism"

An Award for workers employed in the Whitsunday Marine Tourism industry is a first for the industry says Deb Lewis, Executive Secretary of the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association.
"The new Award is the beginning of a long term viable tourism industry, the first of its type in Australia," The Guardian was told this week
"The Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association has worked closely with unions and government to insure the new award will provide a baseline figure for all seagoing employees working from Whitsunday ports" Ms Lewis said.
The Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Award - State is now the subject of several information meetings to inform workers of the impact the award will have.
This "proposed" award applies to all employers operating vessels other than fishing boats where charters/tours originate commence between the 20th and 21st parallel of south latitude.
Included in the agreement are 'key features' such as; Daily rates of pay, pay by charter, length of charter as defined by WCBIA Code of Practice, Permanent and Casual staff catered for and the Introduction of casual rate loading. Whilst at sea, every employee shall be provided with proper meals, and a bed as defined under the survey requirements of Maritime Safety Queensland. Except like this sailor you usually prefer to sleep on deck.
Training and development provisions are included to ensure staff has a career path available as they play an integral part in the long term implementation of the award.
"Employees are encouraged to attend the information meetings and to make submissions that are necessary to grow the award process," Ms Lewis added.

Industry issues

The Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association (WCBIA) successfully negotiated through Maritime Safety Queensland to develop a set of boarding procedures regarding government agency boardings of ships. This was a direct result of "blitzes" that took place in the region that caused distress to some passengers and crew.
Boarding Procedures have been accepted by both government agencies and operators, and are included in the operational procedures on board vessels, particularly the overnight charter vessels.
The WCBIA, and with the endorsement of WLMAC has commenced working on a draft Management Plan for Hill Inlet, which will most likely flow over to Whitehaven Beach and Chance Bay. The WCBIA is currently drafting a needs survey to go to members and their crew as part of industry consultation.

Free Seminar

Participate in this Free Seminar as part of QMA's commitment to best practice standards in the Marine Industry.
Owners, Operator, Managers, Skippers and Crew are invited to a Free Professional Development Seminar on Occupational Health and Safety, Tuesday evening 7.00 pm 26th October at the Marine Club, Altmann Ave, Cannonvale.
This seminar, presented by Katherine Sellers and Des Ward, will highlight changes to legislation and duty of care responsibilities with service of alcohol and risk assessment for the marine industry.

Teamwork OK!

I seem to recall that a U.S. advertising executive once wrote something like, "A big team is not always the best team. One can accomplish a lot with a small group if they're the right group. Look what Jesus Christ did with a team of just 12!"
While Waterfront does not have the whole universe to think about as that famous team and its leader did, the point is the same; if it's the right small team, it will be far more effective than a less-committed quarter-million.

Hamilton Island SAR

SAR is Search And Rescue, so Mariners are advised that a search and rescue exercise be conducted on Wednesday 27th October. The exercise will involve liferaft dropping and hoisting operations from a helicopter and will be carried out near the seaward end of the Hamilton Island airstrip and Dent Island between 1000 hours and 1400 hours.
A safety vessel will assist with the recovery of dropped equipment. Orange and white pyrotechnic smoke markers will be dropped. Charts affected: AUS 252, 253

Unforgettable proverbial

"A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner."
--English proverb

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Play it safe with crocs, stingers and sharks this summer

AS the weather heats up in North Queensland and water-based activities become more popular, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries officers have issued a reminder for people to take the necessary precautions to make your activities as enjoyable and safe as possible.
DPI&F district officer Peter Kirkby said he had received a report that the annual migration of tiger sharks had commenced.
"Every year, tiger sharks follow the run of mackerel schools heading to warmer waters," he said.
"Some of these sharks can be quite large and can head to in-shore waters as they follow the mackerel to their spawning locations.
"Boaties and those swimming in unpatrolled areas should be aware of the movement of these sharks."
Mr Kirkby said bathers should swim in patrolled areas because summer was also marine stinger season.
"And of course, there is also the danger of crocodiles for swimmers who venture into estuarine areas," he said.
Mr Kirkby said sightings of large sharks should be reported to the DPI&F. He said a tiger shark had been spotted by a boatie this week.
"These sharks will move on once the mackerel are gone. They are a part of life in the tropics and, as always, boaties and bathers should make safety a priority to ensure their recreation is enjoyable as possible," he said.
Enjoy your time on and in the water this summer. Remember, onshore there are snakes, spiders, suits, car filled roads and landlubbers!

Record official!

The World Sailing Speed Record Council have announced the ratification of a new World Record for; Outright Marseilles to Carthage. The "Transmed Record" was set by Orange II; a 120-foot Catamaran sailed by Bruno Peyron and a crew of 10 on 24th and 25th September 2004. Time was 17 hours 56 minutes 33 seconds to sail 458 nautical miles at an average speed of 25.53 knots.

Hooked on fishy feelings

US based campaign industry organisation 'People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) employ over one hundred people including a fish empathy project manager.
Militant vegetarians, PETA is best known as the group wanting the circus to come to town without any animals.
Meanwhile a PETA movie review reads; "Shark Tale sends a heart-warming message about compassion for all animals. Lenny, played by Jack Black, is a vegetarian shark who saves the lives of worms, shrimp, and any other animal who swims his way.
"In less than two hours, Lenny convinces his family and everyone who watches Shark Tale that fish are friends, not food.
"PETA hopes that Lenny will inspire a generation of children to follow his vegetarian example by keeping fish off their plates-and in the ocean where they belong.
The donation driven group prove they are no dead duck and claim an historic victory for animals when California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that bans the force-feeding of ducks and geese in the production of foie gras pate.

Rotary Boat Show

How does the Oceanic Airlie Beach Rotary Boat Show, show its affection?
It will hug the shore in June 2005.

School ship sold

The Australian Maritime Collage's long serving training vessel, WYUNA, has been sold. Built over 50 years ago in Glasgow, TV WYUNA has been the AMC's flagship and principal training vessel since AMC first opened its doors in 1980.
AMC acquired WYUNA from the Port Phillip Sea Pilots, and her profile represents a smaller version of the Royal Yacht Britannia.
The sale became necessary due to the relatively high operational and maintenance costs compared to the reduced need for seagoing training in this day and age of simulation/computer training techniques said AMC.
On 19 October 2000, the Australian Maritime College vessel Wyuna was being used to train students in night pilotage exercises in the Tamar River.
The official report says "after clearing North West Bank beacon, the master became disorientated and confused North West Bank Beacon for Shear Rock Beacon. He instructed the student on the con to set a course to take Wyuna clear of the river, but the vessel was set on course for Shear Rock. At 2305, Wyuna struck Shear Rock."
"The master stopped the engines and checked the electronic chart display, which showed the vessel on Shear Rock. The tide was setting the ship across the rock but, about 2 minutes later, the ship was afloat once more, being carried northward across the channel.
"The master let go the port anchor with a shackle1 and a half of chain (A shackle is about 27 metres) but this did not arrest the ship's drift and, at 2315, the ship grounded once more, on Middle Bank. The chief engineer reported that there was no apparent damage to machinery, so the master used the engines to prevent the ship from going further aground and, at 2317, Wyuna steamed back into the channel.
"No oil or water was lost from the ship but numbers 10 and 11 double bottom tanks were making water through sprung seams and rivets.
WYUNA has been purchased by a Western Australian mining operator, for the purpose of providing accommodation for workers, alongside at the mine's port.

Ahoy Cap'n

I was dismayed while reading an Australian journalist's article "About Sailing" on the Athens Olympic website to find the Mistral class described as "boardsailing".
This is extremely frustrating as the organisations and committees of both international and Australian windsurfing all agreed that our sport was WINDSURFING and not "boardsailing" several years ago.
This was discussed and agreed to before the Sydney Olympics, but the message still doesn't seem to have been understood by the Australian sports media.
The International Sailing Federation call the sport windsurfing in all their press releases, on their website and in the Olympic sailing instructions.
Why do journalists on prestigious newspapers continue to refer to our sport as bored-sailing?
Michael McGrath, Editor, Freesail - Australia's Xtreme Windsports Magazine

Lagoon Rock, Whitehaven Bay

Mariners are advised that the lighted West Cardinal Mark beacon Q(9)15s on Lagoon Rock in Whitehaven Bay in the Whitsunday Group has been reported unlit. Charts affected: AUS 252, 253, 824, 825

Believe it

"The creed you really believe is spoken, not by your lips, but by your life."

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Calling on fishers to monitor mackerel stocks

Commercial and recreational fishers are being encouraged to assist the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) with its monitoring of Spanish and spotted mackerel stocks.
The DPI&F Long-Term Monitoring Program has been expanded to ensure the sustainability of these popular commercial and recreational fish species.
As its name suggests, the program collects information about fish stocks over a number of years to assess the effectiveness of fisheries management strategies in protecting and conserving fisheries resources.
DPI&F fisheries biologist Jonathan Staunton-Smith said the expanded sampling program for mackerel would build on information from previous monitoring projects as well as two important Fisheries Research and Development Corporation-funded projects.
"The Spanish and spotted mackerel program is being expanded to collect information on the size, sex and age structure of east coast mackerel stocks by examining commercial and recreational catches," Dr Staunton-Smith said.
As part of this program, recreational fishers will be asked to provide researchers with intact fish frames (not gilled and gutted) to help them collect the necessary information from each fish.
The same information will be obtained for commercial catches at seafood processors and wholesalers and from cooperating commercial fishers.
Dr Staunton-Smith said like many other species, length of mackerel on its own was not a good indicator of age.
However, Dr Staunton-Smith said the age of the fish could be determined from the otoliths or ear bones.
"In mackerel, length is not a good indicator of age because there is a large degree of variability in their individual growth rates and females also grow faster than males," he said.
"Determining the age distribution of Spanish and spotted mackerel stocks along the east coast will help assess current management practices, which include recent changes to recreational size and possession limits and a cap on annual commercial catches."
Dr Staunton-Smith said DPI&F scientists would be contacting recreational and commercial fishers, processors and bait and tackle shops asking for their assistance.
"We will be relying on the assistance of these groups to collect samples all along the east coast between Cooktown and Tweed Heads," he said.
"The more information we gather, the greater certainty we have in ensuring Spanish and spotted mackerel stocks are maintained at sustainable levels for future generations of Queenslanders."

Record official!

The World Sailing Speed Record Council have announced the ratification of a new World Record for; Outright Marseilles to Carthage. The "Transmed Record" was set by Orange II, a 120-foot Catamaran sailed by Bruno Peyron and a crew of 10 on 24th and 25th September 2004. Time was 17 hours 56 minutes 33 seconds to sail 458 nautical miles at an average speed of 25.53 knots.

Fishy feelings

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals employs a fish empathy project manager.

Fishing fines and forfeit

Two more men have been fined $12000 for commercial fishing offences in the State's far north bringing the total to more than $90,000 in fines handed down in north Queensland courts during the past two months.
The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries says the fines send a strong message to commercial fishing operators.
On Monday (October 4), Tho Le, 39, from Wynnum in Brisbane, was convicted and fined a total of $9500 in the Cairns Magistrates Court for six offences.
These included failing to keep log book records, failing to immediately produce licence documents, possessing 174 under-sized blue swimmer crabs, possessing 24 under-sized Moreton Bay bugs, possessing one under-sized spotted mackerel and a quantity of non-permitted fish.
Mr Le was also ordered to pay $63.20 court costs and the illegal catches were seized and forfeited.
On a separate date he also allowed assistant fisher Cuc Van Le, 29, from Runcorn Heights, Brisbane, to take 174 under-sized blue swimmer crabs and to possess 24 under-sized Moreton Bay Bugs.
Cuc Van Le was convicted and fined $2500 in the Cooktown Magistrates Court on August 31 for these offences.
Cairns-based Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries officers were conducting routine inspections at cold store premises when they detected the illegal catches.
These recent convictions follow $45000 in fines handed down in the Cairns Magistrates Court in September for separate trawling offences.
DPI&F district manager Bob Koch said the recent spate of heavy fines highlighted how seriously the courts took fishing offences.
"Fisheries regulations are in place for a reason and that is to protect and conserve Queensland's fish stocks," he said.
"These heavy fines should act as a deterrent not only to the fishers involved but to industry as a whole.
"While most operators do the right thing, there are still some out there who break the law. These fines show this sort of action will not be tolerated."
Mr Koch said the forfeiture of the unlawful catch was a further deterrent to people who tried to gain financially from breaking fishing regulations.

Maximum exposure

News Item: "Several hundred animal rights activists -- some in their underwear, others topless -- marched through the streets of . . ."

Sailing Club AGM

The AGM will be on Sunday 31 October 2004 commencing at 10 A.M.

Fruit for thought

European Union bureaucrats classified carrots as a fruit in a directive, apparently because the Portuguese use carrots to make jam, and anything used to make jam, in their eyes, must be a fruit.

Notice to Mariners

List of Lights - Edward Island - Light move light to 20 15.02 S 149 10.44 E. Chart affected AUS 825

"All explorers are seeking something they have lost. It is seldom that they find it, and more seldom still that the attainment brings them greater happiness than the quest."
-- Arthur C. Clarke

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan