Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sun shines for 6,000 at boat show

Two perfect sunny Whitsunday days saw more than 6000 people attend the 4th annual Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show at Abel Point Marina on the weekend.
Organised by the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach, the show turned the picturesque seaside resort into a busy scene of tourist activity.
Very popular with visitors was a Super Fish Tank filled with barramundi complete with casting demonstrations.
Over sixty fishing and family recreational trailer rigs were on display, Whitsunday's best bareboats were alongside as floating displays and seventy undercover stands showed off marine electronics, engines and boating accessories.
Your Waterfront writer demonstrated safety equipment and had fun inflating liferafts, including a big 25-person unit supplied by Whitsunday Ocean Services.
The work done by the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach through the boat show and the phone book project was demonstrated by the presentation of $75,000 to Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday, to help with the purchase of a new Kevlacat 9.8m marine rescue vessel to patrol the popular Whitsunday waters.

Hook moorings

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is giving the Whitsunday community the chance to have its say on a proposal for new moorings off Hook Island.
Laguna Island Adventures Pty Ltd has submitted an application to the GBRMPA for permission to install and operate eight moorings in waters adjacent to the Underwater Observatory and the Wilderness Resort at Hook Island. The moorings will be operated in conjunction with the Resort.
Peter McGinnity, GBRMPA's Director of Program Delivery said that public consultation and input was a significant part of the assessment process.
"It is important that we have a good understanding of the existing uses of the area to enable us to appropriately assess the proposal.
"So, we are inviting interested members of the public to provide comment back to us on the proposal, " Mr McGinnity said.
The period for public comment will close on 3 July 2005.

Triumphant return for Dunkirk Little Ships

Fifty-one Little Ships completed their quinquennial return to the beaches off Dunkirk. The boats, which saw service in the original Allied evacuation of 1940, set out from Ramsgate early on May 26.
A ceremony was held on the beach at Dunkirk, attended by the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, the town's mayor, and sailors from the British and French navies. War veterans laid wreaths for the deceased.
The tug Challenge, skippered by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, was one of the highlights of the fleet this year.
The boats came back to a hero's welcome May 30, with Ramsgate's harbour walls lined with cheering, waving supporters. Conditions for the outward voyage were quite choppy, but on the return were much closer to the flat calm that assisted the operation in 1940.
All involved are looking forward to the next return in 2010 reports Steffan Meyric Hughes of Classic Boat.

Report on vessel grounding

Over reliance on the accuracy of Global Positioning System (GPS) derived positions by a watchkeeper contributed to the grounding of the 35 m adventure cruise vessel True North at about 2300 on 7 August 2004, according to an Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigation report released today.
The ATSB report into the grounding of True North in the approach passage to St. George Basin, in Western Australia's Kimberley region, states that the vessel grounded on or near Strong Tide Point after a voyage from Prince Frederick Harbour. On board at the time of the grounding were 26 passengers and 12 crew. No pollution resulted from the grounding.
The report concludes that the vessel grounded while being navigated by an auto helm unit and an Electronic Chart System (ECS) receiving position information from GPS satellites. The GPS derived positions plotted on the ECS differed from the vessel's true position by about 300 m. This error was possibly caused by a combination of factors, including GPS system inaccuracy, geodetic datum ambiguity, and a possible recent change in the ECS operating system's computer or GPS receiver parameters.
The report finds that the vessel's master, who was alone in True North's wheelhouse at the time of the grounding, was probably suffering from some effects of fatigue because of his work routine. The master did not adequately cross check the GPS positions on the ECS by other navigational means, nor did he maintain an adequate visual or radar check to ensure the vessel remained in safe water.

Blue Pearl Bay

Mariners are advised that pile driving and diving operations will commence on Monday 13 June in approximate position Latitude 20° 02.5911' S, Longitude 148° 52.9005' E. Work is being conducted daily from 0700 hours to 1800 hours.
Work is being carried out by a non-motorised barge secured in position by anchor points and cables, marked by floats. The dredge will exhibit appropriate signals and shapes. An aluminium dinghy will also attend during the works. Mariners should use caution when navigating near the works. Chart 252.

In the news

"If you don't like the news, go out and make some."

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Monday, June 13, 2005

Big weekend for Whitsunday Boat Show and WhitFunday

Queensland Senator Santo Santoro will officially open the 2005 Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show on Friday June 10 at 7.15pm, at the Abel Point Marina administrative office.
Winners of the $6,000 art prizes, provided by the sponsor Private Reserve Whitsunday 'Wine by Design' will follow.
On Saturday at the Show, the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach will present $75,000 to Volunteer Marine Rescue Whitsunday to help facilitate the much-needed purchase of a new state-of-the-art 9.8m marine rescue vessel, for use in local waters.
Attendees to the Show will see millions of dollars worth of floating and static displays of boats for sale. Something for everybody, from luxurious sports cruisers, fly bridge fishing cruisers, high performance offshore powerboats, to sleek mono hull yachts, Australian made sail catamarans, and dinghies and kayaks.
A range of over 60 fishing, family recreational and performance trailer boats rigs will be on display, offering the best boat and trailer deals of the year.
There will be an undercover display of 73 stands in the main entry building, featuring marine electronics, engines and batteries, fishing tackle, dive tank demonstrations, GBRMPA and all kinds of boating and sailing accessories. In addition, a huge eight stand display from local chandler Whitsunday Hardware & Marine.
Great all day entertainment with fashion parades, live music, school bands, marine demonstrations, cooking displays and a jumping castle for the kids.
The Super Fish Tank holding 14,000 litres of water will enable fishing experts to demonstrate the art of lure casting and the latest fishing techniques with live barramundi.
Every paying visitor goes into the competition to win one of two fabulous lucky door prizes. Eight $100 instant cash prizes, courtesy of Burnups Furniture Court, will be drawn and announced at the Show, over the two days.
Plenty of fine food choices from three top local operators - Boltz Cafe, Glorias on the Water and Martini's Restaurant - whether you want pizzas, pies and hot chips or baguettes, salads and delicious coffee - it's all there and all undercover seating. A large bar area with icy cold beers, fine wines from Private Reserve Whitsunday 'Wine By Design' and mixers for all tastes.
Paintings and photographs from the second 'Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show Art Competition', proudly sponsored by Private Reserve Whitsunday 'Wine by Design', will be on display at the new Marina offices.
Parking is not available at the Show - walk or park down at the Primary School special car park and catch a shuttle bus for only $2.
Every dollar of profit made from the Show, the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach puts back into needy and worthy local community groups, clubs, schools and appeals.

History rewrite

Need an example of editing history to avoid giving offence? A British Royal Navy anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Trafalgar will not be offered as a battle between Britain and France, but instead "Red" against "Blue," in order to avoid offending their (then) French and Spanish adversaries.
This is being done to avoid the embarrassment of assembled French dignitaries at the event feeling humiliated by watching their nation routed again, British newspaper The Sunday Times said.
Admiral Horatio Nelson may have guided the British naval fleet to a famous victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, but he faces a far tougher foe during celebrations to mark its 200th anniversary -- the massed forces of political correctness.

Dingo Beach light

Mariners operating near Cape Gloucester are advised that the west cardinal light marking exposed rocks located in the vicinity of Dingo Beach, Latitude 20° 04.8' S, Longitude 148° 30.3' E, has been restored to normal. Chart: AUS 825


"The one who torpedoes the ship should not expect to collect salvage."

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Marine Rescue volunteers discuss change

The Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Qld State Council (VMRAQ) met in Whitsunday at the weekend hosted by our local VMR group.
"The theme of the meeting was change", says Whitsunday representative Michaela Moss.
"The State Council has commenced a couple of new projects, to develop a marketing strategy for VMRAQ and to progress training.
"VMRAQ will commence a project to review and increase funding for the future. This funding will be related to the State Council program that supports rescue vessel replacement."
"Over the years the cost of replacement vessels has increased dramatically and will continue to do so in the future", Mrs Moss told Waterfront this week.
"The VMR state training program is progressing. VMR crew will be able to achieve a Coxswain license restricted to VMR vessels. This training program and records including crew sea time and operational statistics is web based. Trainer Horrie Hunt will be travelling across the state to educate each squad on this program and electronic data management.
The next State Council meeting will be held at Stradbroke Island in August.
VMR Whitsunday Publicity Officer Malcolm Priday advises that this Friday there will be a search and rescue exercise at Cid Harbour.
"The exercise will involve a Rescue Helicopter from Hamilton Island and VMR1. It should be quite spectacular with orange and white pyrotechnic smoke markers and liferafts being dropped and hoisting operations from the helicopter. VMR1 will assist with the recovery of dropped equipment and secure surface operations and communications."

Blind Aussies win match

In Italy, Paul Borg and Don Scott (AUS) have won the International Match Racing Championships for the Blind and the Borsolino Trophy with a perfect score card of eight wins from eight matches.
Italian teams placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Despite the reticent breeze and the additional logistics of managing an event for blind competitors, the organisation of the event was first class. Host Circolo Velico Imperiese were strongly supported by the local Lions Club International who assisted with generous Italian style hospitality for competitors and officials.
Entries from Australia, Canada, Israel and Switzerland, along with five Italian teams, competed over 4 days in matched 6 metre Meteor keelboats sailed by a two person crew with a sighted umpire aboard.
Sailors competing in this event were IBSA classified B1 or B2 - effectively totally blind. The championships were sailed using the Homerus System where three "beeping buoys", each with a unique signal, define the course and each boat has a sound signal that changes when on port or starboard tack.
The teams of international umpires also found the event a challenge as they tried to provide autonomy and close racing for the blind sailors while maintaining safety and ensuring collisions were avoided.
The championships were conducted under the new ISAF RRS Appendix CX for Blind Match Racing. Regular meetings between the umpires, coaches and competitors helped to provide feedback on the new appendix and refine the on-water procedures.
Accepting the Borsolino Trophy for first place, Australian helmsman Paul Borg commented, "At these championship we are all winners. This event has given us the chance to demonstrate our abilities to our sighted friends in sailing and is an example to blind people everywhere of what can be achieved".

Sensitive sailors

Just before their first long deployment, two Navy friends were talking about the stress of leaving their families.
A senior officer, a veteran of many deployments, overheard the conversation and offered the following advice:
"You must be sensitive to your wives' emotional needs," he said.
"Never, ever, ever, whistle while you pack!"

Black the New Pink!

Reef fishing has been excellent the past week with small tides and medium to light winds. The occasional Sailfish has been appearing with the schools of Spanish mackerel. Most of the reef fish caught have been in the deeper water of 30 meters or more, says Captain Ken Bryant.
"They say that fish are colour blind however the mackerel each year seam to have a favourite colour. Last year it was pink and the year before green and now in 2005 it is black. I say this because on Marlin Blue, we troll mackerel baits with different coloured skirts and the one colour gets hit more than any else.
"Whitsunday Marlin and Sailfish on the other hand appear to favour pink at all times with fluro green in close second place. Why? You tell me!" Ken asked.

Search and Rescue exercise

Mariners are advised that a search and rescue exercise involving liferaft dropping and hoisting operations from a helicopter will be carried out in the vicinity of Cid Harbour in approximate position latitude 20° 14.30' S, longitude 148° 56.00' E, between 1000 hours and 1400 hours on Friday 3rd June 2005.
A safety vessel will assist with the recovery of dropped equipment. Orange and white pyrotechnic smoke markers will also be dropped. Charts: AUS 252, 253

Don't give up

"Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent."
--Marilyn vos Savant

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan