Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Race to aid rescue volunteers

Marine Rescue volunteers from Airlie Beach to Cardwell are to benefit from the 2006 Dent to Dunk Race say organisers, Abel Point Yacht Club.
Eighty per cent of 'crew fees' is pledged directly to the VMR and Coast Guard that will aid in the running of the 2006 Dent to Dunk Island Race in May.
Club officials say the crew fee revenue could be as high as $4,000.00 and feel VMR and Coast Guard could well benefit from the donations.
"The VMR and Coastguard do a sometimes thankless job all year round and then donate time to our event to aid with radio schedules and weather updates. They are directly responsible for making the annual Dent to Dunk Race one of the Safest and most pleasurable yacht races on the East Coast," A club officials says.

Sports passion?

Share your passion for sport and volunteer your services as art of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Sport Development Volunteers Program.
The Australian Sports Commission, on behalf of the Victorian Government, is inviting suitably skilled and motivated people to volunteer their expertise for the Sport Development Volunteers Program.
This is a unique opportunity to be involved in an off-shore program associated with the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and to contribute to the development of the Commonwealth Community of Nations.
Volunteers will be required to provide leadership in areas such as federation management and governance, sport administrator development, talent identification and development programs, coach education, junior, women's and disability sport.
Placements are between one and six months. Volunteers will receive a living allowance and will have expenses associated with the placement paid. Applicants should possess a current passport.
To apply for a specific volunteer placement or simply register your interest, visit www.australianvolunteers.com

2006 Queen's Baton Relay

With 175 days to go, the baton has left the European, African, Caribbean and Americas nations participating in the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Now in Asia, and having visited Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, the Queen's Baton is in Sri Lanka.
The baton will travel more than 180,000 kilometres and visit all 71 nations of the Commonwealth in one year and one day. This is a world first, as no Games relay has ever visited all member nations. This makes the Melbourne 2006 Queen's Baton Relay the world's longest, most inclusive relay.
The Queen's Baton Relay Community Runner Program has announced that it has received phenomenal 15,600 nominations for the 1,925 relay runner positions available for the Australian sector of the 366-day odyssey of the baton.
Ambassador for the Queen's Baton Relay, swimming legend Duncan Armstrong, said nominations have been flooding in since the launch of the program on 29 April 2005.
"The response to the Queen's Baton Relay Community Runner Program from the Australian public has been nothing short of amazing," Mr Armstrong said.
Local judging panels have been established in communities across the country to select the relay runners, with the list of successful nominees to be released on 10 November 2005.
The relay will begin the final 50-day Australian on 25 January 2006.

This Week in 1955: Britain claims Rockall

Fifty years ago Britain annexed a rocky islet 300 miles (483km) west of Scotland to stop the Soviets spying on missile tests.
The Admiralty has announced that the UK formally claimed uninhabited Rockall, which is just 70ft (21m) high, on 18 September at 1016 GMT.
Two Royal Marines and a civilian naturalist, led by Royal Navy officer First Lieutenant Commander Desmond Scott, raised a Union flag on the island and cemented a plaque into the rock.
The islet is within reach of the planned guided missile range in the Hebrides and the British government feared foreign spies could use it as an observation post.
Queen Elizabeth authorised the annexation on 14 September.
Her orders stated: "On arrival at Rockall you will effect a landing and hoist the Union flag on whatever spot appears most suitable or practicable and you will then take possession of the island on our behalf."
The first person to set foot on Rockall since the British Navy landed in 1862 was Royal Marine Sergeant Brian Peel, an experienced rock climber.
The earliest recorded landing on Rockall was in 1810, by an officer called Basil Hall from the HMS Endymion.
Royal Navy surveyor Captain ATE Vidal first chartered its exact position in 1831.
In 1972 the Isle of Rockall Act was passed, which made the rock officially part of Inverness-shire, Scotland.
However, the rights to any resources discovered on the ocean floor surrounding the island are disputed between Britain, Ireland, Denmark and Iceland.
Rockall is probably most famous for being an area in the BBC Radio 4's shipping forecast.


Which breakdown service do pirates use?

Mariner notices

Unlit marker buoys have been established in positions on Black Island Reef, Langford Island Reef, Hook Island between Stanley Point and Cockatoo Point and at Stonehaven Anchorage to mark fringing reef. Mariners are advised to update their charts and navigate with caution in this area. Charts: AUS 252, 254, 370, 825

The secret to the universe:

"Our thoughts create our reality-where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go." -Peter McWilliams

Fair Winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bowen Fishing Classic this weekend

Billed as Australia's Biggest Family Fishing Classic Bowen's beautiful Front Beach comes alive again this weekend for the 14th year.
The Fishing Classic and Wet Weekend has something for the whole family.
Wet a line and have a chance to win a prize. Don't wet a line and still have a chance to win a prize. You can't beat that. Two fishing boats are up for grabs and a block of land worth $120,000.
Fish, music, tagged fish, beer, weighed fish, cake eating contest, spunky jelly babies, fireworks, eating fish, dash for $500 cash, silliest fishing hat contest, sandcastle comp, lolly drop, beach wear, prawn eating comp, and did I mention fish?

O'Connell River investigated

The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries are investigating several alleged illegal clearing activities involving marine plants along the O'Connell River and adjoining tributaries.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol Whitsunday area district officer Rob McDonald said the department was concerned at the amount of unlawful damage to mangroves and salt couch that was occurring in the area.
Mr McDonald said marine plants played a vital role in maintaining a sustainable fisheries resource by providing marine life with food and shelter and acting as breeding and nursery ground habitat.
"Disturbing and destroying marine plants and the reclamation of tidal lands could have serious long term effects on recreational, commercial and traditional fisheries," Mr McDonald said.
"Marine plants are protected in Queensland under the Fisheries Act 1994 and prior approval is required before any works or activities are undertaken where marine plant disturbance is proposed. This protection applies on all lands including freehold and leasehold properties."
Mr McDonald said marine plants were defined as any plant - dead or living - on or adjacent to tidal land. These plant areas include mangroves, seagrass, algae, salt marsh, saltpan and even tea tree or melaleuca forests.
"More than 75 per cent of commercially caught fish along the Queensland coast utilise mangrove, seagrass and salt marsh areas for some period of their life cycle," he said.
Mr McDonald said fish stocks and marine plants were a shared community resource and needed to be protected by the community to ensure there was a future fishery.
"We encourage the community to remain vigilant and report unauthorised works in and around local wetlands and waterways to the Fishwatch Hotline on 1800 017 116."

Fun Race results

Whitsunday Sailing Club 2005 HOT FM Great Whitsunday Fun Race September 3, 2005.
Overall Fastest: Spud Gun P Millar, Whitsunday.
Div 1: Millennium J Clayton, Hamilton Island 1,Holy Cow J Clinton, Sydney 2, Maravu L Jarred, Whitsunday 3.
Div2 A: Zulu Yacht D Simpson, Mooloolaba 1,True Love R Down, Whitsunday 2,
Still Dangerous C Nichol, Pittwater 3.
Div 2B: Pianola 111 D McMahon, Whitsunday 1, Bullrush A Robinson, New Zealand 2, Surefoot R Sawyer, Whitsunday 3.
Div 3A: Wobbly Boot B Roser, Whitsunday 1, Linga Longa D Hardman, Victoria 2, Second Wind J Latchford, Whitsunday 3.
Div 3B: Lorna Rose Too P Mitchelson, Whitsunday 1, Quantum Leap G Hammond, Whitsunday 2, First Star R Wilson, Victoria 3.
Div 4A: Predator B Anstee, Mooloolaba 1, Wahoo N Hooey, Sydney 2,Knot the Dart T Edwards, Whitsunday 3.
Div 4B pickle forks: Spud Gun P Millar, Whitsunday 1, Wild Thing K Roberts, Whitsunday 2, Overdrive R King, New Zealand 3.
Div 5 Traditional rig ships: Schooner Friendship D King, Whitsunday 1, Ileola M Bocchini, Whitsunday 2, Flying Cloud, Cap'n Dan Van Blarcom, Whitsunday.

Innovation is catching on

Four commercial fishers are taking a fresh approach to catching prawns and bugs after being granted new developmental fishing permits by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F).
DPI&F Fisheries Resources manager Mark Elmer said the permits allowed innovations in prawn and bug trapping that have big potential for industry and the environment.
"It is encouraging to see commercial fishers who have industry experience and a sense of innovation volunteering to take part in this trial," Mr Elmer said.
"Under the developmental fishing permits operators can use up to 300 traps in rows - or trot lines - at any one time. They may also use a bait attractant to lure prawns into the trap.
"Previous attempts at prawn trapping have not been successful but our fishing industry is constantly looking at ways to improve their catch. Trailing the traps in a commercial environment ensures they have the best possible chance of success.
"Like trawler operators, the prawn and bug trapping fishery operators must adhere to seasonal closures.
"The main benefits of the new traps are that they fish passively and are designed to break up if lost, with no other impacts on the environment," Mr Elmer said.
"It also means the prawns and bugs are harvested alive, which can translate into higher prices on local, national and potentially overseas markets.
"The challenge for operators will be generating the quantities needed to compete and be financially viable but if successful this trial could reap enormous rewards.
"The four permit holders will have three years to trial their trapping equipment and techniques. During this time the DPI&F will also assess the sustainability of the fishery.
"Conditions of the permits have been set by DPI&F in consultation with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)."

The Road Not Taken

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference".
Robert Frost

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Monday, September 05, 2005

Fun race closes winter sailing season

With Fun Race this Saturday the Whitsunday winter sailing season draws to a close.
What a year it has been, with record fleets campaigning at both Airlie and Hamilton Island.
The Annual Hog's Breath Race Week has really matured in the sixteen years it has been raced.
Race founder and Boss Hog Don Algie says the event will just get bigger and better.
"I am just pleased that a thousand sailors and a hundred plus boats have been able to share this great sailing venue with us." said Boss Hog.
Hamilton Island has built on its success year after year but with the island's new owners, the Oatley family keen to promote the sport they love; only great things lie ahead for the affectionately known 'Hammo'.
The Whitsunday Multihull Rendezvous conducted by Abel Point Yacht Club was also considered a huge success, with a record fleet of 27 boats featuring boats from as far as New Zealand and Victoria.
The events at both venues need improved facilities to bring and support these and larger fleet in the future.
The good news is that improvements and new facilities are in the pipeline.
Early years at Hamilton Island stretched the available facilities to the limit. Get up early for a shower, grab a meat pie or two and go sailing kept your Waterfront writer happy. Late risers stood in line for both.
When Hog's was conceived in the late 1980s, Airlie Beach did not have facilitates to support the event. Sixteen years have seen quite a few changes as Airlie and the event have grown together.

What is the real shape of raindrops?

Although teardrops are often used to depict falling rain, raindrops are never shaped like that. The shape of a falling raindrop assumes is determined by surface tension and air pressure. Surface tension squeezes the drop into its smallest surface area: a sphere. Air pressure pushing up against the bottom of a falling drop causes it initially to flatten and then to bulge upward in the middle. If the drop is large enough and its fall speed is great enough, it eventually shatters.

Ship's Log - VMR

The new VMR Whitsunday KevlaCat is under construction and should be delivered here late September or early October, reports Publicity Officer Malcolm Priday.
"If the performance of the smaller temporary replacement vessel is any indication, we are onto a winner when we take delivery of the new boat. The temporary vessel has had a rough induction to the Whitsundays over the last couple of weeks in what were at times very trying conditions, and it acquitted itself very well despite being smaller than our former rescue vessel" he said
Recent incidents attended include a 42-foot sailing vessel that lost its rudder in the Whitsunday Passage off South Molle.
VMR went to the vessel's assistance in 20-25 knots of south easterly. The stricken vessel was towed to Abel Point for repairs. We must express our thanks to Sunsail and Whitsunday Rent A Yacht for their assistance, and to the racing yacht Alabaster who diverted from the race to ensure the vessel in distress was safe. At one stage, the vessel reported that it was drifting in about 55 metres of water and was in no immediate danger of running aground - but it had a great view of the Hogs Breath fleet racing by!
On August 27 VMR radio base personnel were able to respond to a Pan Pan call and coordinated the airborne medivac of an injured crewman from a racing yacht that was directed to Daydream Island to meet the CQ Rescue helicopter. The crewman had been hit by the boom in what could only be described as boisterous conditions, and was bleeding and lapsing into unconsciousness.
On the same day, VMR were called to tow a 32-foot trimaran reported with a broken rudder, with the position reported a near Defiance Reefs in Repulse Bay. Conditions were very rough en route; steep 2 metre plus seas reducing VMR1's speed to 10 knots and less at times. Updated reports placed the vessel drifting closer to the Proserpine River and now taking water, so the decision was made to continue to the location rather than turn back to Abel Point, but when VMR1 arrived and contacted the owner by phone - his radio was unserviceable without an aerial - he reported a position 1 mile west of Conway Point - 8 miles in the direction that we had just come! While pounding back into the short steep seas VMR1 was advised by radio from shore that the vessel was in fact in the mouth of the Proserpine River, so VMR1 retraced its tracks and located the trimaran in about 3 metres of rough water, under anchor. The vessel was towed to deeper water and then to Laguna Quays Marina, a difficult tow in the prevailing conditions, finally reaching the shelter of the Marina at 8:45 pm after a 3-hour plus tow at 4 knots. Help and support from the Laguna Marina staff was invaluable, as was the pump and staff from the local fire service. VMR1 spent the night at Laguna Quays Marina and returned to base at noon the next day - a 22-hour callout.
Boaties are once again reminded that they must not rely upon mobile phones for emergency coverage, and in this case if the boat's radio had been operational his call would have been answered by the shore station and assistance would have been much more readily available. Accurate position reporting would also have made the process quicker.

Disabled woman sets solo record

Hilary Lister yesterday sipped and puffed her way into the record books, becoming the first quadriplegic to sail solo across the English Channel.
Lister, who is able to move only her head, eyes and mouth, used two straws to navigate her eight-metre (26ft) boat Malin through one of the busiest and most dangerous shipping channels in the world.
By sucking and blowing on the straws in her specially adapted boat, she was able to adjust the sails and tiller of the boat.
Lister, 33, who lives with her husband Clifford in Canterbury, Kent, yesterday completed her journey from Dover to Calais in six hours and 13 minutes, setting a record for the world's longest solo sail by a quadriplegic.
She was greeted in France with a champagne reception. "I am just thrilled. I can't tell you what it feels like," she said.
Lister took up sailing two years ago as a way to boost her self-confidence.
She was diagnosed when she was a teenager with the degenerative disease reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which causes exaggerated and painful responses from normal sensations. She had lived an active life until the disease took hold and gradually deprived her of most of her normal functions.
Lister added that, by completing the voyage, she would challenge the public's perception of disabled people: "I want to get able-bodied people to rethink their views about the disabled.

Full moon reef fish spawning closures

It is time for charter boat operators, recreational anglers and commercial fishers to plan ahead for the three coral reef fish spawning season annual closures during nine day periods in September, October and November.
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries district officer Mike Broadsmith, said coral reef fin fish stocks were particularly vulnerable during the nine day new moon spawning periods and all fishers need to respect the closures.
"Our Boating and Fisheries Patrol field officers will be enforcing the spawning closures from September 27 to October 5; October 27 to November 4 and November 25 to December 3 this year," Mr Broadsmith said.
The closure applies to all coral reef fin fish species along Queensland's east coast in waters north of Latitude 24 degrees 50 minutes South which is located near the mouth of the Burnett River and north of Waddy Point on Fraser Island.
"Fishers can still catch other non-coral reef fin fish species such as mackerel during these three closed periods," Mr Broadsmith said.
Coral reef fin fish species include coral trout, cods and gropers, emperors, parrot fish, sweetlip, tropical snapper and sea perch. A complete list of the coral reef fin fish species and Queensland's fishing regulations can be found on the Fishweb site at www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fishweb or from the DPI&F Call Centre on 13 25 23.

Biggest recorded ocean wave?

One of the largest waves (not a tsunami) ever encountered was recorded by an officer aboard the US navy tanker USS Ramapo on 7 February 1933 while on a voyage from Manila to San Diego. This wave was estimated to be 33.5 meters in height.

Hazard near Slade Rock

Mariners are advised that a floating log has been reported approximately 0.63nm east of Slade Rock in approximate position latitude 21°05.10'S, longitude 149°14.94'E. The hazard is reported to be approximately six metres long, 500mm in diameter and floating about 500mm above the waterline. Charts: AUS 249, 250


"Always leave yourself an escape path!"

Adventurer Don McIntyre

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan