Monday, July 18, 2005

Giant Geronimo conquers Australian continent

It was a momentous occasion as the giant ocean-racing trimaran 'Geronimo' returned to Sydney Harbour having sailed around the Australian continent in 17 days, 13 hours, 32 minutes, 39 seconds since she crossed the start line off Sydney Opera House before.
A jubilant French skipper Olivier de Kersauson and his crew were greeted by a welcoming flotilla and the celebrations continued dockside at the Foxtel wharf on the evening of July 9.
The last 24 hours of the journey were testing with the boat crossing Bass Strait, known to be a difficult area of water to cross, in an eight knot south sou' east breeze. After reaching Gabo Island the breeze increased in strength which allowed the Capgemini and Schneider Electric trimaran to increase speed as she travelled up the south coast of New South Wales overnight.
Hours before reaching Sydney, the boat sailed into the path of weather cell that had 70 knot breezes along with a mini tornado which picked up the boat and drove them backwards at 20 knots. During this encounter, the boat sustained damage to the steering causing the boat to drift towards land at 10 knots. The crew quickly repaired the damage to the steering system after taking the sails down and Geronimo then continued on her way to Sydney.
'This has been a wonderful trip but very challenging. So beautiful but so brutal at the same time. We are used to sailing in this area in the summer, this is the first time in the winter. I have been amazed at how well the Australian crew members adapted to the boat and the French team who have known each other for years,' commented de Kersauson dockside, after sharing a magnum of Taittinger champagne with Geronimo crew.

Stargazers to meet

For those interested in the heavens above and matters astronomical a new club, Tropical Stargazers have formed and meet at the Police Citizens Youth Club this Saturday July 16 at 4:30 pm with actual stargazing to follow (weather permitting!) as the sun sets.
Seventeen attended the inaugural meeting and some wonderful equipment will be available to view the sky.

Record confirmed

The World Sailing Speed Record Council announced the ratification of the new World record for the transatlantic single-handed outright record by Francis Joyon on the yacht 'Idec' set on 30th June to 6th July 2005 with an elapsed time: 6 days 4 hours 1 minute 37 seconds for an average speed: 17.41 knots
Just a few hours after breaking the outright single-handed transatlantic record Francis Joyon was involved in a collision which destroyed his 90ft trimaran IDEC.
Having crossed the finish line off the Lizard, Joyon - still unaccompanied - did a quick turn to head back to his home port in La Trinite, France but fell asleep and hit the rocks at Pte de Marc'h at 0100 that morning.

Information sought

When the Japanese threatened Australia through New Guinea in 1942, a call was put out to all ship owners for assistance in the defence of the north. The response was a huge number of trawlers, schooners, tug boats, ferry boats and even an old paddle wheeler.
Many of these ships were attached to the US Army Small Ships Section taking part in operations in New Guinea. Many of the men who served on them were ineligible for military service because they were too young or too old, discharged veterans or disabled. However, they played a very important role in the assistance to the Allied shipping of men and supplies.
Waterfront wishes to research the history of the role played by those ships and men, and would like to talk to or access records, memories and memorabilia, letters, documents, diaries, ships' logs, scrapbooks and photographs, with a view to them being published.
Please contact Waterfront via The Guardian.

Laguna Whitsunday

Mariners are advised that dredging operations that were being carried out in the entrance to Laguna Quays have been suspended until further notice. Charts: AUS 252, 824
The Laguna Quays Marina office should be contacted on channel 16 VHF or phone on 49477844. Marina staff will advise on depths in the entrance to suit your requirements.

Become great

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great" -- Mark Twain

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Nelson, UK Drumhead Ceremony, Remember the fallen...

Maritime veterans from the UK and abroad took part in a special international ceremony last week to commemorate those who have fallen in conflict.
Trafalgar 200 focused on the life and death of Admiral Lord Nelson, unquestionably Britain's greatest naval hero.
However, say organisers, we cannot forget the thousands of other men and women from around the world who have laid down their lives in maritime conflict.
The Drumhead ceremony gave maritime veterans of all conflicts, including those who were never involved in battle, the opportunity to come together and remember the fallen.
The event took place on Southsea Common in Portsmouth, England. A further commemoration will take place in London on Sunday officially marking the 60th anniversary of both VE and VJ Day.

What is a 'Drumhead Ceremony'?

In past centuries, religious worship on the battlefield often took place as a 'Drumhead Ceremony'. Soldiers would parade on three sides of a hollow square. On the fourth side, drummers would pile their drums in the shape of a pyramid to make an Altar and drape it with regimental colours.
This form of ceremony is often used now to commemorate those who have fallen in conflict.
HMAS Anzac represented the Australian people at Trafalgar 200. She is the third Royal Australian Navy ship to carry the name of a legend. The legend was born in the trenches and gullies of the Gallipoli Peninsula in April 1915.
With appalling loss of life and an impossible struggle, the ANZACs (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) were renowned for their fighting spirit, humour and selfless 'mate-ship'. These qualities underpin HMAS Anzac's motto 'United We Stand'.
Lest we forget.

Geronimo Challenge

Thirteen days after crossing the start line of The Challenge, off the Sydney Opera House, trimaran Geronimo has covered more the three quarters of her 6500 journey around Australia.
She is now into the challenging waters of the southern ocean with large seas, very strong winds and freezing air temperatures on a weather front that will make their trip from Cape Leeuwin to the southern tip of Tasmania a fast one.
The current position is near 700 nautical miles ESE of Cape Leeuwin half way across the Great Australian Bight having made good a distance of over 5,000 nautical miles Geronimo has 1,461 nm to run.
Estimated time of Arrival (ETA) in Sydney Harbour is still this Saturday. Weather permitting, of course.

Cruise cancelled

P&O Australia's eight night South Pacific cruise scheduled to depart from Sydney on June 25 was cancelled because repairs of the ship are still not completed.
The ship has been at a Brisbane dry-dock for the past 3 months to repair the ship's starboard gearbox.
P&O Cruises Managing Director Gavin Smith said: "We deeply regret the inconvenience caused to our passengers and apologise to them.
"Unfortunately the repairs to the gearbox have not been completed in time to be able to fulfil the itinerary as proposed. We have therefore decided to cancel the cruise.
"When we commenced the repairs in March we emphasised that we would only return to sea when the problems with the gearbox were put behind us once and for all, and this remains our objective. We share our passengers' disappointment that this cruise has had to be cancelled and hope they will understand the need to complete a thorough repair of the gearbox before returning the ship to service."
Passengers will receive a full refund and a 25% Future Cruise Credit which can be used on any cruise booked before June 30, 2006 on any of P&O Cruises Australia's three ships: Pacific Sun, Pacific Sky or Pacific Star.

Good tides, strong winds

"Good tides have improved the fishing this past week but the strong winds have kept everyone to the Islands or Shute Harbour" says Capt Ken Bryant.
"During recent trips near Hayman Island we have seen large schools of Bait fish including massive schools of flying fish.
"This is a good indication that the sailfish and small black marlin will again turn it on this year as they did in 2004. No one has been chasing the billfish but there season starts in August with September and October the prime time or ' hot billfish bite.'

Mariner notices

Hayman Passage. Mariners are advised that the damaged lighted starboard lateral mark beacon in Hayman Passage has been permanently replaced by a lighted starboard lateral mark buoy Fl.G.6s in approximate position latitude 20° 03.8606' S, longitude 148° 54.2269' E. Charts: AUS 252, 254, 825
Schooner Rock. Mariners are advised that the North Cardinal Mark beacon Q. Fl located on Schooner Rock on the northern end of St Bees Island has been restored to normal. Chart: AUS 251, 824
Proserpine River. Mariners are advised that the lighted Starboard Lateral Mark beacon Fl.G.3s at the entrance to the Proserpine River has been restored to normal. Charts: AUS 252, 824

Q & A

"Don't spend your precious time asking 'Why isn't the world a better place?' It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is 'How can I make it better?' To that there is an answer." -Leo Buscagli

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Sailing season looms on our horizon

The list of yachts entered in the 16th annual Hog's Breath Race Week is looking impressive, very much like a "Who's Who" of yachting.
Sailing from 11-18 August, the social aspect of Hog's Breath Race Week has always been an attraction. The introduction of a Competitors Marquee at Abel Point Marina, allowing yachties an hour or two of after race "lie-telling" over cool refreshment, before hitting Airlie for dinner has proved a great success.
While Hog's has developed into a world class event on the water, is remains a wonderful social event on shore reflecting the founder and patron of the event, Don Algie when he states the philosophy, "have fun, good partying and oh yeah, great sailing."

Then to Hammo . . .

From a shaky start back in April 1984 - a wet and windy affair unkindly dubbed by the sailing media as "Hamilton Island Rain Week", despite the weather that first year it was an immediate success and the event has been a "must do" for keelboat sailors ever since.
Sailed from August 20-27 the Hahn Premium Race Week 2005 entry list proves the claim by organisers that 'Hammo' is the prestige sailing event in Australia.
The famous and infamous line up at the start line and at the yacht club bar each year to create history and enjoy our sailing Mecca.

Geronimo around Australia

Maxi trimaran "Geronimo" is a howling sailboat. If you need proof, she left Sydney last Wednesday morning and a week later, she is north of Broome, West Australia!
When your Waterfront writer checked on her (rapid!) progress, Geronimo was sailing at 22.7 knots in 15 knots of wind.
No wonder she went "over the top" of Australia after 2600 nautical miles and six days after leaving Sydney Harbour, well on her way around the country in her circumnavigation record attempt of Australia
In the first days, she sailed up the New South Wales and Queensland coast and through the challenging Torres Straits.
'It was difficult and tortuous. The night was black and we were shooting through at over 20 knots between invisible reefs. It was nerve-racking' said French skipper Olivier de Kersauson about his passage through the Torres Strait.
'We admire the courage of our Australian crew on board; they have an amazing capacity of adaptation.
"An unknown boat, unknown speeds and stress, unknown crew, unknown language, and they did not have any time to discover or learn. They just jumped directly in the most difficult and demanding sailing experience" de Kersauson added.
'The problem with big multihulls is that every manoeuvre has to be anticipated in a very specific way. And you need to forget most of your habits from big monohulls or small multihulls...And to explain this in English with the Australian accent is a long job for me, I admire their patience'.
Reaching top speeds of approximately 30 knots, Geronimo is on her way to setting a record for The Challenge that will entice other yachts to try to break in the future.
At Guardian press time, Geronimo is closing on the Buccaneer Archipelago North of Broome with 2880 nautical miles made good and 3600 nm to go - Sydney Harbour on July 9 is the pick.


"Last weeks fishing was very average," reports Capt Ken Bryant.
"The full moon on Wednesday upset fishing with big 4 meter tides and the fish went off the bite. Some say that the full moon causes it to be brighter at night so the fish can feed all the time and hence less on the chew during the day.
"Last Thursday saw our slowest days fishing in a long time with only a handful of reef fish and one small mackerel.
"But with the bad news comes good news and the small tides next week should see the Spanish Mackerel come back to the party 'BIG TIME'.
"Due to popular demand I have had to extend my Cairns Giant Black Marlin season to early September and later than I normally stay until mid November with a few days available including the Lizard island Classic Tournament.

Proserpine River light

Mariners are advised that the lighted Starboard Lateral Mark beacon Fl.G.3s in approximate position latitude 20° 29.8990' S, longitude 148° 43.5175' E, at the entrance to the Proserpine River has been reported unlit. Charts: AUS 252, 824

Schooner Rock light

Mariners are advised that the North Cardinal Mark beacon Q.Fl located on Schooner Rock on the northern end of St Bees Island, in approximate position Latitude 20° 54.0887' S, Longitude 149° 25.9716' E, has been reported unlit.
Mariners should use caution when navigating in this area. Charts: AUS 251, 824

Today's gift

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow's a mystery. Today is a gift; that's why they call it 'the present." -Unknown

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan