Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Aussie Sonar sailors fifth at Paralympics

Sydney 2000 Gold medallist, Australian Jamie Dunross and his crew of Jeff Milligan and Colin Harrison had to be contented with fifth place, finishing their regatta with an eighth place in the final race, sailed in light to moderate south-westerly breezes.
Israeli Dor Cohen and his crew were dominant throughout the Paralympics in the three-person Sonar class and took the Gold by a persuasive nine points.
The Netherlands crew won Silver, with the USA's team taking Bronze, a further nine points in arrears.
Winning four of the nine races sailed the Israeli crew deserved Gold and only finished outside a top four place on one occasion. Following his win, Cohen commented, 'we are very happy for ourselves and for Israel. The flag of our country is up now.'
For Jamie Dunross and his crew from Western Australia, it was shattered dreams. Dunross, in particular, wanted that Gold for the skipper whom he won Gold with in Sydney, Noel Robbins, who was tragically killed in a car accident early last year.
The three showed moments of brilliance and at one stage were second placed, but it was not to be, however they had some good results including two second places, but did not sail consistently well as the top three did.

No free ride

AQIS - the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service - has published a new brochure for cruising yachtsmen to help reduce the risk of introducing exotic marine pests.
Stowaways such as black-striped mussels, exotic seastars, marine worms - even foreign seaweeds - could devastate Australia's marine environment, fisheries and aquaculture industries. An incursion of black-striped mussels in Darwin's Cullen Bay marina in 1999 cost $2.2 million to eradicate.
Marine Pests - don't give them a free ride identifies marine pests of particular concern to Australia, outlines maintenance and cleaning techniques, and provides a checklist of procedures to follow before and on arrival in Australia. Images and line drawings illustrate the pests' favourite onboard hiding places.
'Marine pests can stow away on hulls, on outboard motors or in internal seawater systems,' AQIS Seaports Program national manager Robert Langlands says.
'Incursions of exotic mussels and northern Pacific seastars in recent years have had huge impacts on recreational boating and commercial fishing, and have cost Australia millions of dollars to control or eradicate.
'AQIS has produced the brochure because we need cruising yachtsmen to help us manage these risks. By following the guidelines they can help themselves, their vessels and Australia's marine environment,' Robert says.

Noxious freshwater fish fine

The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) has scored a win in the fight against noxious and non-Indigenous fish with a western Queensland man being heavily fined for using carp and goldfish as bait.
A Charleville man pleaded guilty in the Cunnamulla Magistrates Court and was convicted and fined a total of $6250 plus $62.10 court costs for a variety of freshwater fishing offences including $4500 for possessing nine carp and three goldfish and using them as bait.
He was fined a further $1750 for being in possession of four undersized golden perch, one silver perch (black bream) which is a no take species in the Warrego River, and for a number of other set line and netting offences.
A Jandowae man pleaded guilty and was convicted and fined $750 plus $62.10 court costs for possessing and assisting with the set lines.
DPI&F officer Coby Walker said the heavy fines were a big win for Queensland's freshwater fisheries.
Mr Walker said fines of up to $150,000 could apply for being in possession of noxious fish and it was also illegal to use noxious fish such as carp and non-Indigenous fish such as gold fish as bait.
"Noxious and non-native fish cannot be used for bait either live or dead to prevent them from spreading throughout Queensland waterways," he said.
"They can compete with native fish species for food and also destroy habitat so it is critical our freshwater waterways are protected."
"These are considered serious offences under the Fisheries Act and anyone found breaking these regulations will be dealt with accordingly," he said.
"Fisheries regulations are in place to protect and conserve Queensland's fisheries resources."

SEANET convention

The South East Asia Amateur Radio Network (SEANET) was established in 1964 on 20m at 14.320 MHz. The objective of this Net is to promote international understanding and fellowship among amateur radio hams and to relay emergency, medical, urgent or priority traffic. This on-the-air meeting, which has taken place without fail daily at 1200 UTC, has strengthened unity and co-operation among Hams around the world, especially those within the region.
The radio net also provides Hams a facility for testing their equipment and propagation conditions on the 20m band.
This year's convention will be held in the Arnoma Hotel, in the city-centre of Bangkok from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st November 2004.

Dung in court

Two men have been fined a total of $45,000 in the Cairns Magistrates Court for separate trawling offences sending a strong message in the fight against fisheries crime.
Dung Van Le of Mackenzie, Brisbane, pleaded guilty in writing and was convicted and fined $30,000 plus $63.20 court costs for six offences including possessing non-permitted fish, possessing regulated fish, failing to accurately record catch details and taking painted crayfish.
In the second unrelated matter, Dahn Le of Calamvale, Brisbane, was convicted and fined $15,000 plus $63.20 court costs for three offences including possessing regulated fish during trawling operations.
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries officers were conducting a routine inspection at a cold store premises in Cairns when they detected the illegal catches.
Acting district operations officer Robert Hall said the heavy fines sent a strong message to the fishing industry.
"This should act as a deterrent not only to fishers but to the industry as a whole," Mr Hall said.
"While most people do the right thing, there are still a few who disobey the law. The message is that those people who break the law will not be tolerated and will be treated accordingly."
Mr Hall said the forfeiture of the unlawful catch was a further deterrent to people who tried to gain financially from illegal fishing activities.
"Fisheries regulations are in place for a reason and that is to protect and conserve fisheries resources," he said.
"It is also important to remember that fisheries resources belong to the public, not just those with fishing interests."

Fitzalan mark moved

Mariners are advised that the lighted Special Mark buoy FL.Y.2.5s in approximate position, Latitude 20°17.9313' S, Longitude 148°55.0470' E in Fitzalan Passage has been altered in position to Latitude 20°17.8545' S, Longitude 148°55.0008' E.
Charts affected: AUS 252, 253, 254, 824

"Getting people to like you is simply the other side of liking other people."

Norman Vincent Peale

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Aussies in medal quest at Para Games

The 12th Paralympic Games sailing events have experienced the same variable wind conditions that plagued Olympic sailors at the Athens Saronic Gulf venue.
The Israeli team have been it top form with the German crews the ones to watch. The Netherlands, USA and Australia have been extremely consistent throughout the Regatta.
Australia's Jamie Dunross, Jeff Milligan & Colin Harrison moved into the silver medal spot after day two of racing in the Sonar class. After a successful protest on day one, and consistent results in day two, the trio were well placed with two days of racing to go.
However, the Aussies slipped to 5th place after day three's mixed results. The trio had a 7th, their worst result of the regatta in race five, and equalled their best result so far in race six - a 2nd.
As one of only four crews to have finished in the top ten of every race, the Aussies are looking good for a medal.
A quiet day on the Saronic Gulf with only the Sonar fleet taking to the water on day three of the sailing regatta at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. For the 2.4mR sailors it was a day to tune and polish.
Luckily, for some of the athletes, who found themselves on a local bus that did not know the way to the sailing venue, racing was postponed as the Race Committee waited for the breeze to settle down.
All eyes have been on Heiko Kroeger of Germany, the undisputed pre-event favourite of the 2.4mR class, whose DSQ on Tuesday has him now trailing in the race for the medals.
After a small postponement, the second race of the day began. Germany dominated this race from the start, eventually winning by a comfortable margin.
Following behind them were the Dutch, Israeli and the Australian crews. Some interesting manoeuvres and a lot of shouting between the Netherlands and Israelis enabled Australia to sneak through to take second place.
The Israeli team who are now able to throw out their DSQ from race two. In second spot is the German team back in form after a poor first day. The Netherlands, USA and Australia have been extremely consistent throughout the Regatta, so they should be intent on a day-four triumph that could turn them into strong gold medal contenders.

GPS jammers banned

Devices that can be used to jam global positioning systems (GPS) have been prohibited under section 190 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992.
A person who supplies, or possesses a jamming device for the purpose of supply, can be prosecuted under the Act. Penalties range from fines of up to $165, 000, to imprisonment. It is already an offence to operate or possess such devices.
The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) announces the ban on Radionavigation-Satellite Service (RNSS) jammers.
Beyond possible Defence use, for which an exemption exists, there appears to be no legitimate radiocommunications use for an RNSS jammer.
The only real use for such a device is to adversely affect, interfere with, disrupt or disturb the reception of RNSS radiocommunications.

Hams keep on air during storm

As the third major hurricane in two months crossed the Caribbean Sea, radio amateurs in the region have once again been in action, providing emergency communications.
The Hurricane Watch Net has been in almost continuous operation on 14,325kHz for over three weeks. It co-ordinates its activities with WX4NHC at the American National Hurricane Centre, which gathers real-time weather data and damage reports from radio amateurs in the path of the hurricane.
As Hurricane Ivan threatened the US Gulf Coast, the Amateur Radio Emergency Service there was placed on standby alert. Local Emergency Coordinators established VHF and UHF repeater nets and monitoring the emergency frequencies of 3,965 and 7,243kHz.

Everlasting love

The deep-sea anglerfish absorbs her mate. Finding a mate in the dark depths of the ocean is a pretty tough job! So, what does a male anglerfish do when he finds a mate? He never lets her go! The male lives as a parasite on the body of the much larger female, taking his food from her bloodstream. In time, their bodies fuse together, forming a sort of two-body hermaphrodite. It also frees both sexes from constantly seeking out new breeding partners whenever it is time to mate. How do they find each other in the darkness? Although at one time it was thought that each lure was designed to attract special prey, it now appears that the unique shape has evolved to attract a male of the same species who recognizes his future mate by her lure.

Fitzalan light restored

Mariners are advised that the Special Mark light buoy Fl.Y.2.5s in approximate position Latitude 20°18.7922' S, Longitude 148°56.0571' E in Fitzalan Passage which is off Whitsunday Passage has been restored to normal. Charts affected: AUS 252, 253, 254, 824

"The reason why so little is done, is generally because so little is attempted."

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Bowen Fishing Classic this weekend

Billed as Australia's biggest family fishing classic, Bowen's Front Beach comes alive with a weekend of family fun in the sun.
And after the sun sets, the party kicks off featuring James Blundell, Luella Widt and the Blue Heeler Band on Saturday night.
One of the best prizes you can give to a fisher is a boat, so the Bowen Fishing Classic organisers have a senior boat worth $26,000 and a junior boat worth $3350.
Another prize is a go-anywhere fridge sure to be popular in anyone's boat and you could win it by just weighing in any type of fish.
There is also a tagged fish swimming somewhere in Edgecumbe Bay that could get you $7500 in cash besides a nice fish.
The prizes in both senior and junior categories for highest weight and secret weight can bring in more cash and prizes. The heaviest fish weighed in by a female angler will score $1,000.
Always a good weekend and now in its thirteenth year, get along to the Bowen Fishing Classic and Wet Weekend.

Rig up with club

The Whitsunday Game Fishing Club has invited all interested fishers to a free BBQ and Bait Rigging evening at the Marine Club this Friday.
Members enjoy these get together nights and enjoy showing new people the many ways to rig baits.
Friday 17th 6.30pm at the Combined Marine Club opposite the Police Station at Cannonvale. All welcome.

Pirate day

This Saturday is International Talk like a Pirate Day and there are several pirate bands getting together to, well, talk like pirates.
As the pirates couldn't agree on a venue, they will be scattered around the coast and waterfront. Maybe next year we'll get together for a real 'bash.'

Record set

The World Speed Sailing Record Council announced the ratification of a new World Record: Outright longest distance run in 24 hours to yacht Orange 2 sailed by Bruno Peyron on August 23rd 2004 with a distance travelled of 706.2 nm and an average speed of 29.42 knots.

Wet disco dancing

Mate went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a muscle.

Spending time talking leisure

International experts will be jetting into Brisbane this week to discuss something most people are fond of - leisure time.
Sponsored by the Queensland Government, the 8th World Leisure Congress will bring together around 800 researchers, social planners, policy-makers, and leisure activity managers to talk about everything from turf playing surfaces to gambling.
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Marketing Manager Louise Morland has urged anyone involved in sport, the arts and entertainment, tourism, or community and outdoor recreation to take part in the congress that aims to improve global networks and expertise.
"Leisure plays a significant role in people's quality of life," Ms Morland said.
"According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, all people have a basic human right to leisure activities and all governments are obliged to recognise and protect this right.
The eighth World Leisure Congress will be held at the Brisbane Convention Centre from September 12 to 17, 2004.

The sun also rises

Only until relatively recent times was north at the top of most maps. For several centuries of cartography, East was on top, as where the sun rose was the most important direction.

"Expect the best, plan for the worst and prepare to be surprised."

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Gold yachtsman leads Aussie Paralympic Games team

Australia's Sonar yacht crew lead by Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Gold medal winner Jamie Dunross on helm with crew Colin Harrison and Jeff Milligan and coach Geoff Chambers left Australia this week.
The Paralympic Sailing competition will be held at the Agios Kosmas Olympic Sailing Centre September 18 - 23. Sixteen countries have qualified for the competition that is second only to the Olympic games in prestige.
Also ready to go to Athens in a few days is 2.4mR 'mini 12-metre' representative Peter Thompson and coach Lachlan Gilbert.
The Olympic sailing area was criticized during the games because of shifting, unpredictable and on occasion, no wind.
Three-Person 'Sonar' was designed specifically to meet the requirements of a club racing one-design keelboat fleet. It had to be exciting to race yet easy to handle by sailors of all ages, strengths and skill levels, comfortable and spacious enough to be used as a day sailor, trailerable and easy to launch as well as being a suitable training boat to help teach club members new to the sport.
The Sonar is popular with able-bodied and disabled sailors alike and there is a competitive racing circuit in Europe and the USA.
The 2.4mR is a single-handed keelboat that is one-fifth scale versions of the 12-metre Americas Cup boats. The Scandinavian Sailing Federation introduced the class as the Mini 12 Class in 1982 before achieving International Status in 1993.
The 2.4mR has classic lines with a very high ballast ration giving excellent stability and a hull form that copes well in a variety of wind speeds. The Class Rules require positive buoyancy in the case of flooding and it is therefore a very safe class.
It is a self-righting and unsinkable keelboat with a fully adjustable rig providing close racing for all ages and abilities where skill rather than physical fitness is the deciding factor. The 2.4mR can be steered by either a foot pedal or tiller.
Peter Thompson, 53, is a married Financial Consultant who previously sailed Flying 15s after starting on VJs at age 12.
Jeffery Milligan, 47, a married Supervisor started sailing in a Sabot at age 12 and has competed at 2002 Disable Sailing Worlds Championships and won the Nationals in Athens 2003.
Colin Harrison, 43 Medical Imaging Technologist previously sailed Laser, Fireball and 505. Boat first sailed was a GP14 at age 15.
Gold medallist Jamie Dunross is a full-time athlete who started sailing at age 14 in an Yvonne 20. "I live and breathe sailing" Jamie says.
When not sailing, Jamie speaks to children at schools, teaching children about disability and not being frightened.
His career highlight was winning gold at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games/1999 World Championship in Spain.
Sporting goal: Gold in Athens
Best of luck at Athens from all the Aussie sailing supporters at home.

Young Murdoch

A few years ago keen sailor Rupert Murdoch told mates at the Hamilton Island Yacht Club bar that he hoped young Lachlan would like sailing and take it up. At the time, Lachlan had a reasonable boat (a Swan) to sail with professional crew to help. Rupert had his yacht 'Morning Glory' anchored in Dent Passage, as she was too big to enter Hamilton Island marina.
Young Lachlan was back for Hamilton Island Hahn Race Week recently with curvaceous model wife Sarah O'Hare showing curves that announce another young Murdoch is expected.
Another sailor one hopes.

The sun also rises

Only until relatively recent times was north at the top of most maps. For several centuries of cartography, East was on top, as where the sun rose was the most important direction.

Spawning moon

The annual spawning season closures for coral reef fin fish start in October this year.
Three, nine-day spawning season closures are in place from 8 October to 16 October, 6 November to 14 November and 6 December to 14 December. Coral reef fin fish species cannot be taken during these periods.
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) reef line manager Mark Elmer said the closures had been implemented as part of the Fisheries (Coral Reef Fin Fish) Management Plan 2003.
Mr Elmer said coral trout and many other reef fish species aggregated while spawning making them particularly susceptible to fishing.
"During these periods numbers of mature fish aggregate in certain locations on the reefs to spawn, generally corresponding with the new moon phase," he said.

Wet disco dancing

Mate went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a muscle.

Sailing down the coast?

Mariners are advised that live firing activities will be conducted in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area. All civil watercraft are prohibited from entering the danger area from Monday, 13th September to Thursday, 23rd September 2004.
A Marine Danger Area has been declared bordered by Oyster Creek, Raspberry Creek, Shoalwater Creek, Georges Creek, Head (Boundary) Creek and East Creek. They are all closed and not available.
Any person or vessel found within these danger areas will be removed by Australian Defence Force personnel or by Queensland Police. Any costs associated with such removal will be borne by the owner, charterer, hirer or agent of the watercraft. Offenders will be subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction a maximum penalty of 3 months imprisonment and $500 fine.
Charts: AUS 367, 370, 822

Tin Can Inlet - submerged vessel

Mariners are advised that a 12 metre submerged white timber vessel is located in the Tin Can Inlet off Smooger Point Great Sandy Strait (South). The vessel is unlit and visible at high water. Mariners are advised to navigate the area with caution when near the submerged vessel. Charts: AUS 365


"You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips."

Preached Oliver Goldsmith

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

VMR Whitsunday serving the marine community

Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday regularly deals with Medivac (medical evacuation) distress flare sighting, Search, Rescue, and emergency services transportation.
The volunteer group -- call sign VMR 442 -- are responsible for three VHF radio communications repeaters in the area.
Radio communications are monitored by volunteers whenever possible. In the interests of safety, VMR President Steve Moss has requested that if you and your staff or crew hear an emergency life threatening radio call unanswered alert the appropriate authority.
"Just telephone 'OOO' in a marine emergency" Mr Moss says.
"Should you require any assistance from VMR Whitsunday, please call 49467207"

Fun Race looms this weekend

Whitsunday Fun Race schedule of events kicks off on Friday with a Best Tropical Shirt night a Whitsunday Sailing Club. Some member draws and Fun Race registration with a briefing at 7:30PM.
Saturday morning has registrations at the club from 8:30 until 10:30. Fun Race starts 11:00. Official Fun Race party on the foreshore from sunset with Miss Figurehead and Mr 6-Pack at 9.30PM.
Get over it with the Sunday Chill Out on the foreshore.

Hamo record

Record fleet of 187 yachts sailed at Hamilton Island Hahn Race Week last week.

Record falls - money raised

Ross Hobson with his crew of Guy Gibbins and Simon Redding aboard the 50-foot trimaran Mollymawk have broken, subject to ratification, the trans-Atlantic, Bermuda to Plymouth world record.
The team crossed the finishing line at Plymouth at 1920hrs Monday knocking almost 14 hours off the previous Bermuda to Plymouth record.
French yachtsman Eric Tabarly set the current record for the 2,870-mile crossing in 14 days 20 hours in August 1974.
Hobson and crew were raising money for Sail 4 Cancer.
"I'm absolutely delighted that we've finally achieved what we set out to do. It's a great stepping stone to my next challenge which I hope to get off the ground within the next 12 months" Hobson commented.

Record missed

Orange II, the maxi-catamaran skippered by Bruno Peyron, missed out on breaking the Atlantic crossing record, between New York and The Lizard by just over half an hour. Peyron and crew are claiming a new 24-hour record of 706.2 miles, the first over 700 miles, which has to be ratified.

Crab crimes

A successful Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) undercover operation investigating illegal crabbing activities has resulted in heavy fines for four Brisbane men.
The men appeared in Court and were found guilty of interfering with commercial fishing apparatus. Two men were convicted and fined $3000 plus $62 court costs. The other two were convicted and fined $1500 plus $62 court costs.
During the operation, QBFP field officers fitted four male mud crabs with microscopic metal tags and placed them in crab pots.
Throughout the night, the officers monitored the activities of the four men who took the crabs from the pots.
The tags allowed the officers to scan the crabs using a metal detector. The crabs were identified as those belonging to the QBFP.
"The heavy fines are a message to anyone considering stealing or interfering with another person's crab pots," QBFP field officer Brendan Johnson said.

Problem with maritime training

"It was brought to our attention last week that one unit within Maritime Safety Queensland's (MSQ) engineering licence profiles was different to the unit number within the maritime training package. The unit in question is "TDM MF27 01A - Prevent, control and fight fires on board a small vessel".
"The contents page of the maritime training package (TDM01) - Engineering has this unit listed TDM MF27 01A, however the section within the training package which specifies the elements, performance criteria etc for this unit, has it listed as TDM MF27 00A.
"TDT Australia advised that TDM MF27 01A is the correct unit number (as per
MSQ licence profiles) and that 00A was a misprint within the training package.
However, the Department of Employment and Training (DET) have confirmed they are using unit number TDM MF27 00A for their registration and auditing purposes. DET also advised this number could not be changed until TDT had done so in the training package and arranged for the National Training Information Service (NTIS) website to be updated.
"Therefore, until such time, MSQ will accept Statements of Attainment from commercial licence candidates for the issue of engineering licences with evidence of successful completion of either unit TDM MF27 01A or TDM MF27 00A."
Information from Maritime Safety Queensland

All tanked up

A man arrested for drink driving in Knoxville, Tennessee has sued a gas (petrol) station because he could not have been arrested for drink driving if the service station hadn't sold him the fuel that made it possible for him to drive while drunk.

Fish quiz snags anglers

A new 30-second quiz on the DPI&F Fishweb site is a fun way for anglers to find out how much they know about Queensland's recreational fishing rules.
Web users are quizzed about fish size and possession limits, no take species and much more and are given a score out of 10 at the end, indicating whether they need to improve their fishing knowledge.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol education officer Karl Roebuck said the quiz was a quick and entertaining way for anglers to learn more about Queensland's recreational fishing rules.
"There is a lot to remember when you are out fishing and this quiz is a fun and interactive way to find out how much you know about fishing regulations," he said.
Test your fishing knowledge on the Fishweb site at www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fishweb

Service without a smile

A British job centre rejected a help-wanted notice for a 'friendly person' to work at a catering business because it might "discriminate against certain applicants."

Going South? Submerged object reported

Mariners are advised that at 0805 hours on Friday 27th August 2004, Coast Guard Mooloolaba reported that they had received a report of a large amount of fishing net with three large buoys attached, floating but partially submerged in approximate position, latitude 26° 48.182' S, longitude 153° 22.083' E.
Mariners should exercise caution when navigating in this area. Charts: AUS 235, 365, 813


"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned."

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan