Thursday, June 26, 2008

Master Blaster Laser Regatta comes of age

Great Grand Masters, Masters and apprentice Masters are invited to the Meriden Master Blaster Laser Regatta as part of the 19th Meridien Airlie Beach Race Week with sailing to start on August 17.
Competitors who have passed their 35th birthday may enter the Apprentice Masters; their 45th birthday the Masters; their 55th birthday may enter the Grand Masters and their 65th birthday may enter the Great Grand Masters. Proof of age and a note from mum will be required at registration.
A Laser is an Olympic class off beach sailboat, 14 feet (4 metres) long.
Details from Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Baby born at sea

A ship's cook on a shrimp boat bound for Freeport, Texas, gave birth to a baby son while at sea.
Cindy Preisel's baby wasn't due, but she unexpectedly went into labour while her boat, the 'MV Raindear', was miles from shore and out of radio range, The Brazoria County, Texas 'Facts' reports.
The ship's captain, Ed Keisel, delivered the child,
. "I am so thrilled about how this turned out," the mother said "He looks like he is happy and doing fine."

Wreck found

Marine researchers have discovered the wreck of H.M.S. Ontario in 150 meters of water in Lake Ontario near Rochester, New York.
The 80-foot (24-meter) brig-sloop sank in a sudden gale during the U.S. Revolutionary War on October 31, 1780.
Discovered in early June the ship's ornate, hand carved bow stem is a testament to the "personal pride" shipbuilders took in their vessels, said Dan Scoville, who found the Ontario along with fellow shipwreck enthusiast Jim Kennard.
"That's back when they cared about how a ship looked," Scoville said.

Light up

Last year the International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend recorded 380 lights on the air from 48 countries with 40 lighthouses activated in Australia, second only to the USA with 45 lighthouses.
This is a fun event for amateur radio hobbyists and all you need to know about the event on August 16-17 is contained on the official web site at
The event is organised and managed by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group in Scotland
A reminder that it is not a contest but a chance to talk to other like operators around the world.

CO2 sucked in

The chemistry is basic. The ocean is a weakly alkaline solution. When carbon dioxide (CO2) is sucked in from the atmosphere and dissolves in seawater, it forms a weak acid, making the ocean more acidic. For sea life with fragile shells, corals and countless other sea creatures, a more acidic ocean could be disastrous and have unknown impacts right up the marine food chain.
Most of the reef is calcium carbonate, lime, and dissolves in weak acid.

Sports bra SOS

Berchtesgaden police officer Lorenz Rasp describes Jessica Bruinsma as "a very smart girl" who acted "very resourcefully."
German police say the 24-year-old hiker stranded in the Bavarian Alps for nearly three days was rescued after using her sports bra as an SOS signal.
Officials said the rescue team, including five helicopters and 80 emergency workers, responded when lumberjacks spotted the sports bra on a timber moving cable. Then an alpine rescue team was able to track the cable to a ledge where she had fallen.
He says, "She kept her shirt and jacket for warmth, but thought the sports bra could work as a signal."
Sometimes it just takes a knack for attracting attention in a distress situation.

Park news

Construction work at Tongue Point, Whitsunday Island will continue until August say parks staff.
The re-development includes a new viewing platform and installation of a boardwalk above Hill Inlet. Visitors can expect some minor disruption during this time.
Mooring inspections underway Queensland Parks and Wildlife rangers and volunteers will be undertaking mooring inspections throughout the Whitsundays.
Few disruptions to use of the moorings are expected and the assistance of vessel operators in keeping these areas safe for diving will be appreciated.

Live firing

Mariners are advised that live firing activities will be conducted in the marine component of Shoalwater Bay Training Area until August 17. Flares may be fired from ground level and should not exceed 400 feet in height. The flares have varying burn times and may be partially visible from the sea.
A Marine Danger Area extends to all waters south of the line defined by Oyster Creek Point and East Creek Point.
All waters, creeks, beaches and other areas within the declared marine danger area are not available for access. 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.
Any person or vessel found within the Marine Danger area of the Gazetted Defence Practice Area commits an offence subject to five penalty units or imprisonment for 3 months, or both.
A new Defence Practice Area - Shoalwater Bay has been implemented by the Minister of Defence. The Defence Practice Area has been expanded and may be inconsistent with the area currently represented on some available marine charts and land maps.
Points of contact for this notice are: (a) Range Control: (07) 49355000 during normal business hours Monday to Friday. (b) Defence Support Central Queensland Duty Officer: 0408 023 400 after hours. AUS Charts: 260, 367 & 822

Course change?

"If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going" - Professor Irwin Corey

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Boat skills build Rotary event

The first local schools Boat Building Competition was hotly contested at the Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show at the weekend.
Crews of young boaties from Hamilton Island, St Catherine's, Cannonvale and Proserpine State Schools, Prossie High and the Christian College built ply boats with the help of experienced shipwrights.
Over two hours on Saturday morning, the teams worked vigorously to manufacture their masterpieces.
A long lunch followed, allowing the glue to dry. Then at 2.30pm, the race began. The boats, of all shapes, sizes and rigs, were launched into the waters of Abel Point Marina, their crews each expecting to paddle first to the finishing line.
At the start, Team Whitsunday Christian College appeared very unstable in their long outrigger.
However, when the starting flag was lowered, the crew lifted their feet into the narrow hull and left everyone behind. Did we hear-tell of an outrigger ring-in paddler?
Team St Catherine's' Primary, although underwater for most of the time surprised everyone by running second for the first half of the race.
Results for the inaugural event were; Race Winner - Team Whitsunday Christian College $1000.00 prize donated by Whitsunday Transit. Best Built Boat - Team Proserpine State School $500.00 prize donated by Des Davies of R Whitsunday. Most Enthusiastic - Team Cannonvale Primary - $500.00 prize donated by the Reef Gateway, reports Tim Arland of Rotary Club of Airlie
"Special thanks to Home Hardware for all the materials" Tim added.
This boat building event is certain to be on the program next year as it shows in such a positive way in which Rotary works with the community to benefit us all.

Lost and found

Whitsunday Game Fishing Club Junior member, Ryan Wardroper lost his tinny during the Easter break.
Ryan, his father and friends set out to the reef with Ryan's boat towed behind dad's larger vessel. After a couple of days fishing at the reef the weather turned for the worst, so they headed for home.
Unfortunately, Ryan's tinny, for which he had saved the money, was swamped by huge seas, the line broke and the tinny was lost! Ryan was devastated as he lost a bit of gear as well...
But... On Sunday the June 1, the tiny was found still intact and still floating . . . . in Cooktown.

Kaz II

The mystery of the ghost yacht Kaz II and three missing crew will be reviewed with news that the case is going to the coroner in Townsville.

Reef Trip

David Wachenfeld, Director of the Science, Technology & Information Group at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) gave a presentation into the workings of the complex environment of the Great Barrier Reef of Friday night. On Saturday, forty local OUCH adventurers enjoyed diving and snorkelling at the Fantasea Reef World pontoon at Hardy Reef. A Humpback whale mother and calf were spotted on the trip to the reef.
The two activities were sponsored by the OUCH (Order of Underwater Heroes) Coral Volunteers with a grant from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water and supported by GBRMPA and Fantasea.

Seaquest RP36s

In March Harold Menelaus of Airlie Beach took possession of his 17th yacht, a Seaquest RP36 Treasure VIII, designed by internationally renowned designers Reichel-Pugh.
This is the third Seaquest RP36 imported into Australia from Dubai. It was commissioned at Hawks boatyard in Airlie Beach. The sails were built by the local Ullman sails loft.
Menelaus, 79, got tired of continually being beaten in his local club races so he went looking for a boat that could satisfy his needs. He wanted a boat that looked good, was manufactured to the highest standards, comfortable down below and most importantly, sails fast.
'Late April we received a very excited call from Mr Harold Menelaus to tell us he had just had easily the best race ever over his very long racing history. He had raced in the local club twilight race and in eight to 12 knots his boat finished eight minutes ahead of anyone across the line and one minute ahead on handicap. Harold said his Seaquest RP36 is easily the best yacht he ever sailed, and he has had many yachts in his time.'
Menelaus will be campaigning his new yacht in this year's Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week.

Friday 13th

AAArrrr Dan... Just a mention for this week Matey!!! We of the Whitsunday Game Fish Club have our Frightmare Ball happening on the Fri 13th...Free entry...Guests and Ghouls welcome...Frogs legs...eyeballs and FINGERS food available...Soul Raffle...Tunnel of Horror for the kids...8 till Late...Altman Ave. Opposite Police Station.. Prepare to be scared.... aaahhhhrrrrrrrr contact Jeff Baker for all the gory details

Nara Inlet entrance beacon

Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark beacon Fl.R.2.5s, which marks the entrance into Nara Inlet at Hook Island, has been re-established in approximate position latitude 20° 09.8' S, longitude 148° 54.03' E. The lighted port lateral mark buoy Fl.R.2.5s that was temporarily established to mark the position has been removed. AUS charts: 249, 252

Honest Abe

"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee" - Abraham Lincoln

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

First whales signal early Humpback season

The first sightings of whales this week signal the return of these majestic creatures to our ‘winter’ man and mammal playground – the Whitsunday Islands

Captain Pete of Aviation Adventures reported the first sighting from his iconic ‘bubble helicopter’

“We saw a mum and calf about eight or tem miles north-east of Border Island near Hook Reef’ Captain Pete told Waterfront this week.

“There were also a pod of dolphins escorting them. It’s a bit early so it should be a good season.” Captain Pete added.

Boat show this weekend

A boat building competition will be a feature of Oceanic Whitsunday Boat and leisure Show this weekend.
Crews of young boaties from Hamilton Island, Cannonvale and Proserpine State Schools, Prossie High and the Christian College will construct ply boats with the help of experienced shipwrights.
Building the boat is only the beginning; they must then complete a course on the waters of Abel Point Marina. It should raise some mirth before the finale of sinking below the surface. Nevertheless, perhaps they will float – it is in their skilful hands.
“Building starts 10 am on Saturday and the crews get two hours to build the boat. After lunch at 2.30, they will see if the glue has dried and the boat will float” reports Tim Arland of Rotary Club of Airlie

“Awards of $1000 from Whitsunday Transit for the winning school crew plus $500 best boat donated by Des Davies of R Whitsunday, and $500 for the most enthusiastic team donated by the Reef Gateway. Special thanks to Home Hardware” Tim added.
Subject to the amount and quality of the entries, there may be an opportunity two months later to compete at the Sydney International Boat Show.

Let us hope the weather is wonderful for this annual Rotary Club of Airlie event.

Coast to Coast 2008

Coast to Coast 2008, Australia's national coastal conference, scheduled for Darwin in August has employed a survey to input the conference agenda.
Those surveyed were asked to "Tell us what you think is important for future coastal programs on community engagement, capacity building and training." To influence the recently announced House of Representatives Standing Committee inquiry into "Climate change and environmental impacts on coastal communities."
The Australian Government has just launched its new program Caring for our Country which amalgamates a number of programs (eg Natural Heritage Trust (NHT), the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality (NAP), Environmental Stewardship Program and the National Landcare Program (NLP)).
The goal of Caring for our Country is: An environment that is healthy, better protected, well managed, resilient and provides essential ecosystem services in a changing climate.
Some of the initiatives announced under the Caring for our Coasts Policy have been integrated into this program.
The Marine and Coastal Community will release the findings next month.

Shute Island light

Mariners are advised that the Q.R light on the port lateral mark No.2 beacon off the northern end of Shute Island has been restored to normal. Chart AUS 253

Rattlesnake Island

Mariners are advised that military units will be conducting live firing on Thursday 19 June between 1000 and 1200 hours. The active arc is a circle of 4.8 nautical miles with the radius centred on approximate position latitude 19° 02.17' S, longitude 146° 36.63' E and not exceeding a height of 20, 000 feet above sea level. The firing point is located at approximate position latitude 19° 02.27' S, longitude 146° 36.72' E with a firing bearing of 305° (T).
Mariners are warned to keep well clear of this area throughout the above times.
AUS charts affected: 256, 371 & 827

The facts

“The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them” - Sir William Bragg

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap’n Dan
Media sharks dive into feeding frenzy

Events of the last few days have left Whitsunday locals wondering who the real sharks are.

The shark infested media has enjoyed a feeding frenzy after an experienced British dive instructor and his American girlfriend, a qualified dive master, survived a night floating in 24 degree water near Bait Reef wearing 'only' their full length wetsuits and buoyancy vests. Their taking water bottles for a one-hour dive raised eyebrows on board the dive boat.

It was reported that Richard Neely, 38, and Alison Dalton, 40, sold the story of their 19-hour ordeal to the British Sunday Mirror for an estimated half a million pounds.

The newspaper's website states that it is the "Home of the Sunday Mirror Newspaper. Celebrity, Football, Today's News Headlines"

The half a million pound story tells readers, "As the couple recovered on dry land, they told their inspirational story to the Sunday Mirror"

"When a helicopter finally arrived, the chopper's crew couldn't see them, even though they were hovering virtually overhead.

"Eventually, suffering from hypothermia, they were plucked to safety - just after a highly-venomous sea-snake reared up in Alison's face.

"I truly thought we were going to die. Sharks were on our mind the entire time, but neither of us mentioned the 'S' word," Mr Neely told the Sunday Mirror.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh suggested the couple should contribute to the costs of the operation, estimated as $400,000, which involved seven helicopters, three planes and six boats.

Queensland Water Police acting superintendent Shane Chelepy said: "We're going to take statements from everyone on board that vessel and then there will be the normal issues of taking possession of all of the equipment for further examination."

The divers have rejected claims they had flouted directions, and blamed their dive crew for not finding them sooner. They dismissed claims they should not have left the lagoon near the dive boat; that they had ignored a safety briefing because they were experienced divers and had been told by their tour leader to surface if they left the lagoon.

"I don't believe they were looking for us." said Mr Neely.

They have sold their story to the UK's Sunday Mirror and to other media outlets for an undisclosed fee, although reports have put it at up to $1.1 million AUD.

Celebrity agent Max Markson, who has taken on the couple as clients, said the cost of the rescue would be met by their insurance.

However, David Lippman of insurers Divers Alert Network said the network was willing to cover the evacuation costs from the time the couple were found and may donate some money towards fuel costs.

Max Markson, who helped to sell the story of their rescue exclusively to the English tabloid newspaper, says their story could become a movie.

"There's interest from the major TV networks throughout the world and agencies. There's an immediate story that needs to be told because it's just a miraculous survival," Mr Markson said.

"And then there's the long-term ... there might be a movie or even a book out of it you just never know on these occasions."

Tropical shirts

Well known as the Airlie Beach Tropical Shirt Regatta and formerly known as Hog's Breath Race Week. Founded by Boss Hog Don Algie and members of the Whitsunday Sailing Club in is known as a great sailing and social event that is affordable and fun. Eagerly awaited by the sailing community, the Airlie Beach Race Week attracts over 100 yachts from all over Australia as well as overseas. The week long race takes in the waters of Pioneer Bay and nearby Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach. There's plenty to see and do, even if you're not on the water, with BBQs, dinners, skydiving and musical performances. So, whether you're an amateur or a sailing pro, come and experience a week of fun.
Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week 2008 August 14-21.

Do they tell jokes in India?

A teacher in Mumbai was giving her pupils a logic lesson. "A man is standing up in a boat in the middle of a river, fishing. He loses his balance, falls in the river and begins yelling for help. His wife hears the commotion, knows he can't swim and runs down to the bank. Why do you think she ran to the bank?"
A girl raised her hand and said, "To draw out all his savings?"
Very good, Ha, Ha, Ha, joke from the Mumbai (Bombay) Mirror

Online boat videos

Video Is On-Line
UK-Halsey's website has posted the latest safety at sea video, Onboard Fire-Fighting. This eighth video covers fighting onboard fires and was shot during the hands-on Safety-at-Sea seminar at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The eight videos take only minutes to view but will greatly improve your safety afloat. There's no cost to view them or to try UK-Halsey's famous rules quizzes: just log on and learn.

Shute Island light

Mariners are advised that the Q.R light on the port lateral mark No.2 beacon off the northern end of Shute Island has been restored to normal. Chart AUS 253

Pancake Creek new buoy

Mariners are advised that a starboard hand lateral buoy with a green light Fl.G.3s has been established to assist the safe passage of small craft into Pancake Creek anchorage. AUS charts: 366, 818

Blessed fish

"May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it" ~Irish Blessing

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
Youth sailing camp this weekend

A great training event for young sailors will be held this weekend at the Whitsunday Sailing Club reports Offbeach Rear-commodore Jeremy Cooper.
"Sponsored by NQ Sabot Association and hosted by WSC, this training weekend is open to all Sabot sailors who wish to develop their sailing skills," Mr Cooper says.
"Coach Ben Callard is an ex-Sabot sailor himself and the training is specifically designed to prepare sailors for the State Championship Regatta to be held 7-9 June in Yeppoon".
"Coach Ben arrives at the sailing club on Friday May 23 and has offered to start coaching with a classroom session on Friday afternoon/evening. Ben knows the Yeppoon waters very well."
"I would encourage all Sabots to be there at the State Sabot Championships it is a great regatta and you will experience very good sailing in larger fleets than we normally experience," Rear-Commodore Cooper said,
"Very good practice for the Sabot Nationals to be held at Airlie Beach in December," he added.
A programme of the weekend is on the Off Beach website at
To Book your place call Jim Hayes on 0400854008

Science is fun

Scientist Lisa Gershwin says this creature was at an evolutionary dead-end: "It's lost the ability to sting, it's lost the ability to swim: it's not a very good jellyfish, as far as jellyfish go."
It looks like snot, it's the size of a grain of rice, and it's taking the marine science world by storm.
Dr. Lisa Gershwin says the tiny creature was found in a seahorse tank at the Townsville Aquarium.
The jellyfish, of the family Coeloplana, has its mouth on its underside and its anus wrapped around its brain.
"It's up to about a centimetre long, it doesn't swim, it glides along the bottom," she said.
"It's found on algae and seagrass and it's just a real thin film, real mucusy like a flatworm but it's got these two tentacles sticking out and it's actually genetically a jellyfish that looks like a flatworm."
Dr. Gershwin told The Whitsunday Guardian the species was an evolutionary "dead end", merely an "anus wrapped around its brain"
Dr. Gershwin said it was the 159th species she had found, and would be named after Dr. Russell Reichelt, chief executive of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
"This particular one, I think is really, really special," she said.
"The typical non-science person thinks of science as happening in sterile labs far away, in a university or a hospital by people in white lab coats and latex gloves.
"This really brings it home that science is all around us and happens in our own backyards."
The jellyfish will be studied further before it is described and submitted to a peer-reviewed journal

Mother of invention

Following a recent marine rescue, a new invention to sell fishers will be an Esky with EPIRB holder. Don't go out without it!

Dent to Dunk Island Yacht Race

Mariners are advised that the Abel Point Yacht Club will be conducting a yacht race along the Queensland Coast from Dent Island to Dunk Island to May 27, between the hours of approximately 1030 and 1700 each day.

Brampton Island

Mariners are advised that works associated with the refurbishment of the Brampton Island Wharf will continue until further notice.
A tug and barge will be on site until completion of works. Channel 16 VHF will be monitored by the tug during the course of the refurbishment works. Please contact the Project Manager Col Wood on (07) 4724 2200 if there are any enquiries. AUS chart: 251

Go on, have a laugh

"Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century"
- Dame Edna Everage

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
On the Horizon: Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show

The seventh annual Boat Show is coming to Abel Point Marina on the long weekend June 7 & 8. If you are interested in owning a boat, or want to get information about the marine parks, boat insurance needs, learning how to sail, purchase some new gear for your beloved boat; you cannot miss the Oceanic Whitsunday Boat & Leisure Show.
There will be loads of things to do, entertainment for the kids, the Whitsunday Marine Art Show, safety demos, great food and a cold beer.
Almost sold out but if you are interested in exhibiting or want information, please email to

It happens

Mates Frank and Leisa are up here on their boat again. They borrowed the courtesy car at the Keppel Bay marina to go shopping. They bought a 10-kilo block of squid to use as crab bait on their leisurely trip up the coast. They said bon voyage to the marina and journeyed up the coast to a nice anchorage. When they went looking for the ten kilos of bait -- yes, it was still in the courtesy car.

Lucky For Me

Award winning author Frank Robson's new book, Lucky For Me, Is a full-blooded account of a friendship between man and dog.
Frank Robson puzzles on Lucky, a cream-coloured terrier, who trotted into his life and taught him about survival, mate-ship and the joys of an independent spirit. Expect to laugh, cry and shake your head as you read this wonderful book.
At eighteen months of age, Lucky, a cream-coloured terrier, was dropped off at a vet's clinic in Queensland, abandoned by his owners and suffering from ticks and other terrors. A week away from being put down he was rescued and adopted by Frank Robson and his partner, Leisa.
From the start, the fluffy new member of the sea-going household proved an enigma, displaying a twelve-snort vocabulary, an ability to climb trees (the better to chase parrots) and a disdain for suburbia.
In this full-blooded account of a friendship between man and dog, Robson puzzles on the sentient being who trotted into his life and taught him about survival, mateship and the joys of an independent spirit.

Blessing thanks

Thanks goes out to all those who helped or attended the 19th Blessing of the Fleet on Whit Sunday. It was fun and serious with nice weather.
Next year the day moves later as with Easter, so Whit Sunday the Day of Pentecost and James Cook naming the Whitsunday Island, will be on May 31, 2009.


International Talk like a Pirate Day in Airlie Beach is Saturday September 20. Everyone likes to talk like a pirate, so in a town like Airlie you can also dress up like a pirate and have some fun. The Pirates of the Whitsundays are the polite pirates who use their manners and say please and thank you, and ensure that visitors always come first.

Schooner Rock light

Mariners are advised that the lighted north cardinal mark beacon Q which marks Schooner Rock in approximate position latitude 20° 54' S, longitude 149° 25.9' E off the northern end of St Bees Island has been reported to be unlit.
Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts: 251, 824

Nara Inlet entrance buoy

Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark buoy Fl.R.2.5s which has been temporarily established to mark the position of the destroyed lighted port lateral mark beacon Fl.R.2.5s in the entrance to Nara Inlet, which was reported as being off station, has been replaced in position. Mariners should continue to exercise caution when transiting the entrance. (Had a look the other day - the buoy is close to the end of the reef)

Spare a thought

"Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels" Faith Whittlesey

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
Blessing of the Fleet this Sunday at Airlie

This Sunday is Whit Sunday and will see the 19th annual Blessing of the Fleet at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
A flag Parade on Airlie Foreshore from Broadwater Avenue Lagoon entrance (start 10.30 am) to the Whitsunday Sailing Club for the 19th Annual Blessing of the Fleet.
Rev. Terry Ayling will perform the Blessing at 11 am followed by lunch & Entertainment
Hamilton Island is taking a much bigger role this year with events including a Whits Sunday Sunrise gathering on Pentecost Island, named in 1770 by James Cook recognising Pentecost and Whit Sunday from the Christian calendar.
Other events include the Official Handover of Sailing Dinghies to Hamilton Island State School at Catseye Beach, and an Inter-Island Catamaran Sail Competition on Hamilton, Hayman & Daydream Islands with a beach BBQ & Pentecost Celebration at Catseye Beach Hamilton Island.
Our Blessing of the Fleet is held each year On Whitsun Day or Pentecost Sunday as our special day. A Blessing of the Fleet is part of the activities of many seaside and fishing communities around the world.
You can come and get involved in the Festival of the Wind' and the 19th annual Blessing of the Fleet,

Coming up in Whitsunday

Just a month to go until the Oceanic Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show on the weekend of June 7-8.

Then look forward to the 19th Annual Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week 2008 to be sailed on 14th - 21st August organised with the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
Classes to be sailed IRC Racing Class; One Design; Premier Cruising Class, Performance Racing Class, Cruising Class Non Spinnaker Class and Sports Boat Class
Later in the year you may enjoy International Talk like a Pirate Day in Airlie Beach - Saturday September 20, this year - Everyone likes to talk like a pirate so in a town like Airlie you can also dress up like a pirate and have some fun. The Pirates of the Whitsundays are the polite pirates who use their manners and say please and thank you, and ensure that visitors always come first.

SEANET for safety

The South East Asia Amateur Radio Network (SEANET) was established in 1964 on 20m 14.320 MHz.
The objective of this Net is to promote international understanding and fellowship among amateur hams and to relay maritime and land based 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.

Lights on

International Lighthouse/Lightship Weekend 16-17 August 2008 is a highly popular annual amateur radio event. Last year 380 lights were on the air from 48 countries with 40 lighthouses being activated in Australia, a wonderful effort second only to the USA with 45 lighthouses.
The event really seems to have captured the imagination of amateurs in this country so keep up the good work and join in this fun event again this year.
All you need to know about the event is contained on the official web site at
The event is organised and managed by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group in Scotland.
We are gradually running out of available lighthouses on the East Coast of Australia so you had better grab one to be in the event.

Sailor rolled

A sailor aboard a damaged sailboat is nursing concussion after being rolled over in the turbulent South Atlantic Ocean but says he has no intention of giving up an unusual solo voyage around the world.
Glenn Wakefield reported from his 12-metre sailboat off the Falkland Islands in a ham radio transmission layered with static.
"This storm is expected to last another three days, so I'll just have to tough it out, that's all I can do here and then once it's over I'll make my way to Stanley, capital of the Falklands." He said.
Wakefield sailed away from Victoria, British Columbia in mid-September intending to become the first North American to circumnavigate west-about, or into the prevailing winds that whirl around the bottom of the planet, rather than sailing with the wind as is conventionally done.

Shute Harbour light

Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark No.2 beacon Q.R in approximate position latitude 20°17.5'S, longitude 148°47.98'E off the northern end of Shute Island has been reported to be unlit. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS chart: 253.

Boat size world

"When you're in the boat, there is nothing else in your world that matters right then except for what's going on in that boat"

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
Titanic replica arrives in Mackay

The famous Titanic replica will arrive in Mackay this morning and will be open to the public.

Mackay is the first stop on an extended Australian tour for the famous ship.

The builders, ADF constructions, invite the public to enjoy morning tea onboard at the Mackay marina and to inspect the luxury ship.

Further information and to book school tours please call 49535000 -
Sent to media group on April 1 and managed a few bites. Har, Har!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Festival of the Wind signals start of Whitsunday sailing season

Plans for this year's 'Festival of the Wind' incorporating the 19th annual Blessing of the Fleet to be held on Whit Sunday May 11, are advancing with the draft program for the event circulating with events at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, Hamilton Island including a Sunday, May 11 Sunrise Gathering on Pentecost Island.
A flag Parade on Airlie Foreshore from Broadwater Avenue Lagoon entrance to the Whitsunday Sailing Club for the 19th Annual Blessing of the Fleet sail past
The Blessing to be performed by Rev. Terry Ayling followed by lunch & Entertainment
An Official Handover of Sailing Dinghies to Hamilton Island State School , Catseye Beach, Inter-Island Catamaran Sail Competition on Hamilton , Hayman & Daydream Islands with a beach BBQ & Pentecost Celebration at Catseye Beach Hamilton Island.
Our Blessing of the Fleet is held each year On Whitsun Day or Pentecost Sunday as our special day. A Blessing of the Fleet is part of the activities of many seaside and fishing communities around the world. Here in Whitsunday, we celebrate Whitsun Day and the naming of our area by James Cook in 1770.
You can come and get involved in the Festival of the Wind' and the 19th annual Blessing of the Fleet,

Back yard boats

A British man who spent five years building a 30-foot yacht in his backyard said he now faces a another challenge; getting it out of his garden.
John Melling, an engineer, said he always knew removing the 26-foot-wide Trimaran yacht from the back garden of his Tywardreath, Cornwall, home would be difficult, but he had initially counted on employing the Royal Air Force to airlift the vessel; a service they no longer provide.
"RAF St. Mawgan (air force base) used to airlift boats for people in similar situations as me and used it as a training opportunity," he said. "But apparently they don't do that anymore -- so I am going to have to take the fence down to get the boat out now."
"We will be taking this boat to Greece eventually, after I have retired, to spend some time in the sunshine," Melling said.
"I may even race it --- but right now the challenge is getting it out of the garden."

Shute Island light

Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark No.2 beacon Q.R in approximate position latitude 20°17.5'S, longitude 148°47.98'E off the northern end of Shute Island has been reported to be unlit. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS chart: 253

Freedom may have problems

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it" - Thomas Jefferson

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
National event for Airlie

Whitsunday Sailing Club, in conjunction with North Queensland Sabot Association will jointly host the Australian National Sabot Titles in Airlie Beach, starting December 27. The regatta will cap off Whitsunday Sailing Club's "Year of Sail", which includes learn-to-sail courses for students of Cannonvale State School and Whitsunday Christian College.

Ghost who sails

A ghost ship was discovered in Italian waters when Coastguards spotted a 22-meter two-mast sailing ship near the Porto Rotondo resort but not giving any signs of life.
The vessel had no name and no flags. It also appeared to be free of any crew members, or any living thing at all for that matter. To add to the mystery Italian media sources reported that ships of this kind are not registered anywhere in Sardinia. And besides, no one has seen anything like it in all Italy.
After searching the ship's cabins coastguards discovered French maps of North African seas, a flag of Luxemburg, Egyptian food leftovers and a wooden tablet in bad Italian that said "Bel' Amica" (with only one "l" instead of two), which translates into English as "Beautiful Friend."
The ship's appearances point to the fact that it is very old.

Giants in deep water

Australian scientists believe they have discovered several new species of marine life in the Antarctic, where they have collected giant worms and spiders the size of dinner plates.
Three ships have returned from the Antarctic, where Australian, Japanese and French scientists conducted a census of life in the icy Southern Ocean off the region's east coast.
Among their findings were several previously unknown species, which will be sent to universities and museums around the world for identification, tissue sampling and DNA bar-coding.
Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census project leader Graham Hosie said it was expected some new species would be found among the collection.
"Not all of the creatures that we found could be identified and it is very likely that some new species will be recorded as a result of these voyages," Dr Hosie said.
Glass-like animals called tunicates, fish, starfish, sea urchins and other organisms were among the rich range of marine life found by the Australian vessel, Aurora Australis, which scoured the sea bed, led by voyage leader Martin Riddle.
"In some places every inch of the sea floor is covered in life," Dr Riddle said.
"In other places we can see deep scars and gouges where icebergs scour the sea floor as they pass by.
"Gigantism is very common in Antarctic waters - we have collected huge worms, giant crustaceans and sea spiders the size of dinner plates."
The census results will be used to help monitor the impact of environmental change in Antarctic waters.

Mullet comeback

The mullet, haircut not fish, appears to be making a comeback -- in Ireland. The hair style seems to be all the rage among 13- to 18-year-old teens.

Acme Oysters

The Acme World Oyster Eating Championship was won Saturday by a 22-year-old Chicago man. Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti took the title in
New Orleans by downing 35 dozen oysters in eight minutes.

A Titanic event

This week ham radio operators around the world are taking part in a special-event transmission to commemorate the 96th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, originating from the Titanic museum in Branson.
Operators will transmit the news of the 96th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic using special event call sign W0S.
The special call sign, WØS, stands for "White Star," the name of the company that built the Titanic.
Speaking of the Titanic, why is there a little memorial far from the ocean in Broken Hill NSW, which remembers the Titanic sinking?
As a mining town, Broken Hill understands disaster and what it means to those close to such an event. The community feels the loss of life very keenly.
Well, 96 years ago, the ill-fated 'Titanic' struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage. In the early hours of the next morning as the ship was sinking, the heroic bandsmen on board continued to play. The citizens of Broken Hill, thousands of kilometres from the sea, were so moved by the bravery of the bandsmen they decided to construct a memorial in their honour.
If you visit Broken Hill visit this remarkable monument, and, if conditions are right, you may even hear those ill fated bandsmen playing "Nearer My God To Thee".

International Marconi Day 2008

The 21st International Marconi Day event takes place on April 26. Among the stations taking part will be EI0MAR, from the Vintage Radio Museum, located in the Martello tower in Howth, Ireland. An experimental Marconi wireless telegraphy station was set up at the same location in 1905. The HMS
Monarch, with wireless telegraphy equipment aboard, transmitted from various locations in the Irish Sea each time relaying its distance from the receiving station in Howth where signal strengths were logged.
The International Marconi Day event is organised by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club.
Another taking part in Marconi Day is the Maritime Radio Historical Society in the USA with transmitters at the site established in Bolinas, CA by the American Marconi Company in 1913.

Maltese Falcon adventure

"We have finished four of the most incredible days of diving ever," reports Tom Perkins of the 289-foot Dyna-Rig Maltese Falcon from Cocos Island, Costa Rica.
"The eight or so species of sharks in the Cocos were in full abundance, the water clear, and the temperature perfect; we swam with hundreds of the typical 2.5-meter hammerhead.
Cocos Island is a diver's paradise, and the island itself is beautiful. Cocos is the world's largest uninhabited island - only a handful of park rangers, camping ashore, together with a young marine biologist who joined us for some dives, are present.
"We were told that their 'patrol boat', a 12-ft outboard-powered skiff, was out of commission with motor troubles. Accordingly, fishing boats from several nations were poaching by fishing well inside the 12-mile prohibited zone. When we departed Cocos after dark, we immediately encountered seven illegal fishing boats only three miles offshore. In the darkness they interpreted our radar footprint - which must be awesome with our high carbon fibre masts and reflective carbon yards - as probably that of a warship so, upon our approach they pulled their nets and headed for legal waters.
We chased them for a couple of hours in radio silence, scanned the horizon with our powerful searchlight, and saw them over the border. They'll be back, of course, but it was fun helping enforce the law, if only for a few hours."

Marine Notices

Rattlesnake Island live firing

Mariners are advised that military units will be conducting live firing on Rattlesnake Island this week. The active area is a circle of 4.8 NM with the radius centred on approximate position latitude 19° 13.00' S, longitude 146° 55.00' E and not exceeding a height of 2000 feet above sea level.
The firing point is at approximate position latitude 19° 02.27' S, longitude 146° 36.43' E with a firing bearing of 305° (T).
Mariners are warned to keep well clear of this area throughout the above times. AUS charts: 256, 371, 827

Bailey Islet - Light altered

Australian Maritime Safety Authority has amended the range of the light to 15M 21 01.80 S 149 33.00 E

Black Island mark

Mariners are advised that the lighted special mark beacon Fl.Y.2.5s, which marks the reef off the northern end of Black Island in the Hayman Channel has been destroyed. Remnants of the beacon remain on the bottom. A lighted special mark buoy Fl.Y.2.5s has been temporarily established in the position of latitude 20° 04.5398' S, longitude 148° 53.5325' E, which is about 100 metres in a north-westerly direction from the beacon position. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts: 252, 254


"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."- Winston Churchill

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Queensland Recreational fishing survey

Are you a recreational fisher? If so, the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) wants to hear from you.
They want to know what sort of fishing information you want, where you get it and how you think DPI&F could better communicate with recreational fishers.
Your feedback will greatly assist DPI&F to communicate more effectively with recreational fishers.
To help DPI gather this information, please complete the online survey at Responses close Friday, 2 May 2008.

Pirates Seize Luxury Yacht

Pirates seized control of a French luxury yacht carrying 30 crew members Friday off the coast of Somalia. Attackers stormed the 288-foot (88 meter) French flagged sailing ship Le Ponant as it made passage without passengers between the Seychelles and the Med.
Somali officials urged tough action against pirates holding the French yacht after an elite French paramilitary unit was placed on standby to intervene if negotiations fail.
The local governor in Somalia's breakaway northern region of Puntland, Musa Ghelle Yusuf, said he would be "happy... to see the pirates killed" as a small French warship, the Commandant Bouan, maintained permanent surveillance of the vessel.
"The French and American ships must attack the pirates. They have our blessing," Ghelle said by phone, adding that the hijackers have been encouraged by ransoms paid in previous ship seizures.
"These pirates are terrorists and there is no need to negotiate with them," Ghelle said. "Attacking them will solve future piracy plans."
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) called on the international community to boost security on the northern Somali coast.
The IMB's Piracy Reporting Centre said anti-piracy activities, including patrols by coalition warships, had suppressed incidents on Somalia's east coast, but pirates had now headed north to the highly strategic Gulf of Aden.
"There are a lot of tankers carrying vulnerable cargo, and we are worried about an environmental disaster if there's any attack on chemical or crude oil tankers," he added.
Pirates seized more than two dozen ships off the Somali coast last year. The U.S. Navy has led international patrols to try to combat piracy in the region. Last year, the guided missile destroyer USS Porter opened fire to destroy pirate skiffs tied to a Japanese tanker.

Snakes at sea

While Queensland's east coast trawl fishery operators are mainly concerned about catching prawns and scallops, they also incidentally catch a range of bycatch species that can occasionally include highly venomous and hazardous sea snakes.
Sea snakes are protected species in Australian waters and in an effort to reduce the impact of trawling on sea snake populations, scientists from Queensland's Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) have been working closely with commercial trawler operators.
The research project, which was jointly funded by DPI&F and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), recorded information on trawler sea snake catch rates, sea snake species composition and mortality rates over the last three years. The study also measured the effectiveness of various bycatch reduction devices (BRDs) at excluding sea snakes from the fishing nets, with the aim of advising fishers about the best devices to use.
"Sea snakes can be traumatised and die when caught incidentally in trawl nets, and while the snakes are not usually aggressive, they are highly venomous and can be an unwelcome surprise for boat crews who have to return these protected species to the sea." says DPI&F principal fisheries biologist Dr Tony Courtney
Australia has 37 of the world's 54 sea snake species. Sea snakes are the only marine reptiles to spend their entire lives in the water and are protected throughout Australia.

Brains or beauty

Think you've got the brains? A leech has 32 brains. A slug has four noses.
What a choice.

Aluminium trivia

Almost 70% of the aluminium ever produced is still in use. That's 480 million metric tons of a total 690 million metric tons manufactured since 1886. Thanks to recycling!

Yummy slimehead for dinner

This deep-sea fish, slimehead, for some reason, proved unpopular with even the most ardent piscivore. Even the Japanese were reluctant to tuck into sashimi slimehead. But now, thousands of tonnes are sold each year. The secret? It's now orange roughy.
British company Marks & Spencer revealed that changing the name of pilchards to Cornish sardines has proved a sales winner. Too many people clearly had memories of tinned mush lurking in tomato sauce.
Plenty of other species are suddenly winning over consumers simply because they've got an attractive name. A flatfish called a witch has been renamed Torbay sole. Megrim, another flatfish, has had the marketing boys down and will henceforth be known as Cornish sole."
Years ago, you couldn't sell dogfish, because its sharky features proved a turn-off. But renamed rock salmon, it became a standard dish in chip shop. Sounds much like Australia.
What about Patagonian toothfish? Try a spot of Chilean sea bass, then.
Some restaurants sell cheap flounder, as more expensive plaice. "I don't know what you're worrying about anyway," the cook said. "They're all flatfish anyway." And she may soon be right.
"The cook was floundering, but I know my plaice," ><((((º>

Maritime notices

Shute Bay light
Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark No.8 buoy Fl.R.2.5s adjacent to Shute Bay has been restored to normal. AUS Chart 253

Nara Inlet entrance light
Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark buoy Fl.R.2.5s which has been temporarily established to mark the position of the destroyed lighted port lateral mark beacon Fl.R.2.5s in the entrance to Nara Inlet, which was reported as being off station, has been replaced in position. Mariners should use continue to exercise caution when transiting the entrance. AUS Chart 252

Seabed operations completed
Mariners are advised that the seabed hydrographic survey operations to be carried out in Pioneer Bay, Muddy Bay and Shute Harbour have been completed.
Cancel Notice: No.145 (T) of 2008. AUS Charts 252 253 824

History lesson

What did George Washington say to his men before they crossed the icy freezing Delaware River on a snowy, windy December 25 1776?
Probably, "Get in the boat!"

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
Lack of lights 'led to fatal ferry crash'

A lack of navigation lights and a failure to keep a proper lookout on board a private motor cruiser led to a collision with a Sydney Ferry which killed four people, a maritime investigation has found.
The Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) handed down its report on the collision on March 28 last year between the cruiser Merinda and the ferry Pam Burridge under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Four people died after the Merinda, with a dozen prominent members of Australia's ice skating community on board, was cut in half by the HarbourCat ferry.
The OTSI report says the collision happened because the Merinda was not operating with navigation lights and the vessels did not see each other.
The lack of lights meant the master of the Pam Burridge did not see the Merinda until it was too late.
A failure to maintain a proper lookout on the Merinda meant those on board the motor cruiser did not detect the ferry, the report said.

Titanic replica arrives in Mackay

"The famous Titanic replica will arrive in Mackay this morning and will be open to the public" read an email on Tuesday morning this week.
"Mackay is the first stop on an extended Australian tour for the famous ship.
"The builders, ADF Constructions, invite the public to enjoy morning tea onboard at the Mackay marina and to inspect the luxury ship.
"Further information and to book school tours please call 49xxx (the number of a local radio station)
Yes, it was April 1 and April Fools jokes were rife.
Among others were 'Toad fish attacks on increase', Pods of beached dolphins / whales almost in your backyard and the 'news' that a tourism venture for Japanese visitors would harpoon whales with paint ball cannons.
Better luck next year!

Rowing Yer Boat

Two blondes were driving along a road by a wheat field when they saw a blonde in the middle of the field rowing a row boat.
The driver blonde turned to her friend and said "You know - it's blondes like that that give us a bad name!"
"I know it, and if I knew how to swim, I'd go out there and drown her."

Queensland: Premier Boating State

Queensland is now the premier recreational boating state in Australia, with more registered boats than any other state or territory in the country.
Marine Queensland's retiring general manager, Barry Hibberd, said Queensland had surpassed New South Wales as the country's most popular boating community.
Mr Hibberd said it was satisfying to know that Queensland had achieved Australia's top boating status in his retirement year.
'Over the past decade, boating popularity in Queensland has created a wide variety of supply and demand issues with which industry has had to deal,' he said.

Mr Hibberd said it was a surge in boating popularity in the last quarter of 2007 which pushed Queensland's boat registration numbers past those of New South Wales.
At the end of January, boating registrations in Queensland totalled 219,643.

'The summer boating season got off to a bumper start last year with 1,186 registrations during September - a 26 per cent increase on September 2006, and a strong upward trend continued throughout the final quarter to push Queensland to a new Australian boating record,' said Mr Hibberd.

He said the popularity of recreational boating in Queensland continued unabated, with boat registrations growing at about six per cent a year and with one in five people over 15 years of age holding some form of marine licence.

'The number of boats on local waterways is growing by around 10,000 every year and this rate has outstripped population growth by about two-to-one annually for the past five years,' Mr Hibberd said.

'As an example of growth in the big boat market, since 2002 on the Gold Coast, the number of vessels over 10 metres increased by 47 per cent and the number over 15 metres increased by 93 per cent.

'But this big boat growth has been right across the state, exacerbating the shortage of local marina berths.'
He said the shortage of marina berths also had caused a spike in value of private waterfront residential properties with boating facilities.
He said boating popularity would keep pressure on all levels of government to ensure supply of facilities such as public ramps, pontoons and jetties kept pace with public demand.

James has a new toy

Jaunting around the Whitsunday Islands with casino mogul James Packer on his new $17-million, 32-metre Italian Mangusta 107 super yacht last week were cricketer Andrew Symonds and his girlfriend Kate Johnson, who among other guests on the floating palace, buzzed about on jet skis off Whitehaven beach.
Also in the neighbourhood, soaking up the sun on Hamilton Island, was Rogue Traders babe Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt.
While the winter trips to the Whitsundays are just beginning for this year, Sydney is currently enjoying most of the income.
While visiting celebrities make themselves comfortable aboard the biggest status symbols on the water, the economy is raking in millions each week.
NSW Maritime spokeswoman Penny Robins said more than 50 of the 24 metre-plus cruisers were expected to tie up in Sydney this summer.
"Sydney Harbour will host more super yachts this summer than during the bumper season of the 2000 Sydney Olympics," she said.
They generate about $2 million a week to local businesses, for berthing, provisioning, security, transport, maintenance, repairs and spare parts.

TV mogul Reg Grundy's $90 million blue and white floating palace Boadicea usually visits up north each year to enjoy the Whitsundays.
The five-deck Boadicea has a cinema, bars and a swimming pool. Two weeks ago it was the venue for a celebrity-studded party to launch the latest book by Grundy's wife, Joy Chambers.

Billionaire James Packer is waiting for a $50 million Mangusta 165 to be built. When it is delivered it will be the world's largest open yacht at 50 metres and is expected to be moored in the Mediterranean to be used as Mr Packer's European base.

His father's old boat, the converted icebreaker Arctic P has not been seen in Australia recently.
It was last lent to Hollywood star Tom Cruise for his honeymoon with Katie Holmes in the Maldives.
Property developer Lang Walker has his 37.5-metre cruiser Kokomo II and his Georgetown registered sailing yacht Kokomo with its 49-metre mast. Confusingly, millionaire ethanol producer Dick Honan also has a super yacht, called Kokomo III.
Last week the 50-metre Andromeda was at Campbells Cove, the 48-metre Morning Glory was at Berrys Bay, the 45-metre Texas was at Woolwich and the 42-metre Nelson was at Mosman Bay.
New Zealand billionaire businessman Graeme Hart's $90-million vessel, Ulysses, has also been seen, as has Channel Seven boss Kerry Stokes's sleek Antipodean, and then there is Seafaris, the 41-metre catamaran chartered by Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary for a cruise to Pittwater during their recent visit to Sydney.
Tiring just keeping track, time for a G&T.

No-Go Zone lifted

Mariners are advised that the vessel "Romance" has now been refloated and the 1/2 nautical mile exclusion zone surrounding the vessel has now been lifted. Cancel Notice: 144 (T) of 2008 AUS Chart: 252

> <((((º>

"Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes the trees, then names the streets after them"

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
Aye, 'twas Blowen in Bowen for Easter Regatta

Sailors enjoyed the fresh breezes of Bowen on the weekend for the Easter Regatta with both off-beach and offshore yachts competing with good fleets.
The usually stiff breeze was a bit much for the younger sailors however there was plenty to do and all were looked after by the great crew at the Port Denison Sailing Club and the North Queensland Cruising Yacht Club. The volunteers of VMR and the Whitsunday Sailing Club helped man the radios and support boats to ensure safety and camaraderie both on and off the magnificent waters of Edgecumbe Bay.
Your Waterfront writer also learned that Bowen used to be Blowen, but the wind blew the 'L' out of Bowen.

Blessing of the Fleet Airlie Beach,

Our Blessing of the Fleet in Airlie Beach is held each year On Whitsun Day or Pentecost Sunday as our special day falling this year on Sunday, May 11.
A Blessing of the Fleet is part of the activities of many seaside and fishing communities around the world. Here in Whitsunday, we celebrate the naming of our Whitsunday area by James Cook in 1770.
This year a 'Festival of the Wind' incorporating the 19th annual Blessing of the Fleet is now being planned. The community is invited to add to and join in with the draft program now at

Pirates sail Sydney

This Sunday March 30 is the annual Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association
(RANSA) Pirates Day Race around Sydney Harbour with all funds raised going to the Sir David Martin Foundation, who are dedicated to supporting 'Young People in Crisis'.
The day starts at 11.45am under the big flagpole with a Pirate briefing where race instructions are handed out. Importantly, this race is about rat cunning and local knowledge and you will be given a list of questions and clues to follow. The race takes about an hour and a half to complete (under motor) and you should be ready to repel boarders at all times.
Following the race it's back to home port (RANSA) where the BBQ followed by the Rescue the Wench Race, Treasure Hunt, Tug of War competition and finally the awarding of prizes for Best Pirate and Wench, Best Pirate Ship and overall winner.
This is a great day for kids, so dress up your Pirate Ship with as many Pirate flags and accessories as possible, and most importantly - that you look like Pirates and Wenches - arggghhhhhh!!!

Li-low slashed, African dies

Three Spanish policemen face murder charges after a Senegalese man drowned when they allegedly punctured the inflatable mattress he was using to try to reach Spanish territory.
Laucling Sonko, 29, and three other Africans were intercepted by a Civil Guard boat as they approached a beach in Ceuta, Spain's North African enclave, last September.
The group had left Morocco using the li-low mattress to take them into Spanish waters. They were stopped metres from their destination and a police patrol boat towed them back into Moroccan territorial waters.
The policemen allegedly slashed their mattress 100 meters from the shore, ignoring Mr Sonko's pleas that he could not swim.

Marine head elected

Barry Jenkins has been elected unopposed as president of Marine Queensland, setting a new record for the state's peak marine group.
MQ general manager, Don Jones, said no other president had served for six consecutive years in the association's 34 year history.
Mr Jones said the unprecedented election results ushered in an era of stability and continuity for the association.
"The board can press on with its strategic plan uninterrupted by the retraining and education that follows election of new directors," Mr Jones said.
MQ directors are president, Barry Jenkins; vice-president, Rob Elwell; treasurer, Chris Grice; and committee members, Chris Carrington, James Cullen, Sharon Russell, Peter Taylor and Robbie Williams.
Mr Jones said the stable line-up of directors would assist with his transition into the role of general manager, following the retirement of previous general manager, Barry Hibberd, later this week.
The annual general meeting unanimously applauded Mr Hibberd's outstanding service to the industry and association since he was elected director of the Boating Industry Association of Queensland (the forerunner to MQ) in 1996 and general manager in 2000.

Offshore Challenge 2008 announced

The Australian Offshore Challenge is heading for Queensland, and the level of interest has been phenomenal say organisers.
The proposed course will run from Southport or Coomera starting on Sunday September 7th and finish at Airlie Beach one week later.
Even at this early stage, expressions of interest have been coming in from manufacturers, dealers and owners of a huge variety of power boats. We have had to expand the number and description of classes to cater for the broad mix of vessel types, sizes, power and configuration.
In addition to more "conventional" craft, the event office has received a strong level of enquiry from importers and owners of RIB's (sorry, RHIB's!). Clearly this event is an ideal testing ground for these high performance speciality craft.
You can expect some challenging navigation and a lot of spectacular scenery with each day offering a unique and different experience through one of the world's most beautiful coastal passages.
Being a navigational rally, the actual course to be followed will remain a secret until the start of each day.
The Australian Offshore Challenge offers a fantastic adventure for all power boat enthusiasts

Multihull petition

To date more than 5,700 petitioners including ISAF Sailors of the Year and Olympic medallists have signed the IOC petition asking that multihulls be included in the Sailing Regatta for the 2012 Olympics to be held in the UK.
It is probably the largest ever grass roots expression of concern at the management of our sport and concerns excluding a large part of the sport.
The multihull class was voted out at a meeting of the ISAF Council in November last year.
Before the November ISAF meeting the multihull community was unaware what was at stake or what to do to about it. Now that we know, we need to gather whatever submissions we can, however short the notice.

Ferals will be shot on sight

Mariners are advised that a feral animal control program is planned to take place on Wild Duck Island, Turn Island, South Percy Island and St Bee's Island in the Mackay\Capricorn National Parks Management Area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
These control operations will commence at 0800 hours on Monday, March 31 and continue until 1800 hours on Friday, April 4. This program will require the use of live firing of weapons.
An exclusion zone will be placed around Wild Duck Island, Turn Island, South Percy Island and St Bee's Island. The exclusion zone will extend seaward of the High Water mark by 200 metres.
All vessels are to remain clear of exclusion zones during the above detailed times. Marine VHF security calls will be made morning, midday and afternoon on channel 16. A Marine Parks vessel will be patrolling the outer edge of the exclusion zones. AUS charts: 251, 823

True fact revealed

"The first sailboat race occurred the first time one boat came within sight of another"

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
Pope to take a Captain Cook of Sydney

A harbour cruise is a 'must do' for any visitor to the Harbour City of Sydney.

His Holiness Benedict XVI is no exception.

Sydney World Youth Day coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher said this week that a flotilla of boats carrying youth representatives and Catholic Church dignitaries from around the world will accompany the Captain Cook Cruises ship carrying the Pope as it arrives on July 17 for the official papal welcome.

"Hundred of thousands of young people will await him as he alights from this newly named Popeboat 'Barangaroo Wharf'," Bishop Anthony said on board the ship on Sydney Harbour.

While we all like talking and worrying about the weather, His Holiness will also take his chances with the weather, but with some help.

"I have nuns all around this country praying for good weather," Bishop Anthony Fisher says.

This week Bishop Fisher outlined the Pontiff's nautical jaunt while standing aboard the newly designated Popeboat. Pope Benedict will arrive via a 13-vessel "boat-a-cade" - a nautical adaptation of the traditional Papal motorcade.

Cap'n Bligh in Airlie

Hon Anna Bligh MP Premier of Queensland received her Ship Captain Certificate last week in Airlie Beach from Cap'n Dan representing the Polite Pirates of Whitsunday
Cap'n Anna said she had two teenaged sons, one of whom really liked talking like a pirate, so she could consider attending International Talk Like a Pirate Day in Airlie Beach on Saturday September 20.
Details at

Blowin' in Bowen

This weekend the Whitsunday Easter Regatta and North Queensland Championships are to be sailed in Bowen, Whitsunday North.
Hosted by Port Denison Sailing Club and Whitsunday Sailing Club the program starts on Saturday morning with sailing in the afternoon and a welcome BBQ at the PDS Club at sunset.
All classes are catered for and there may be vacancies on either private or official boats, especially in a working capacity, for people who may wish to get on the water. There may also be crewing positions for those sailors who don't have their own boat at the regatta. Let the registration crew know, so they can help you.
If required, there will be a special course/event set up for novice sailors, close inshore in sheltered waters, allowing them to participate without the pressure and distance of the larger courses.
Info: Jeremy 0429 315 939 Linda 0747862331

Rally for Mackay

Mackay Marina Village has been chosen as the new Australian Port of Entry for the Blue Water Rally.
The Blue Water Rally is a biannual event which enables cruising sailors to fulfil their dream of circumnavigating the world in their own yachts, accompanied by families and friends. Safe passage is made possible by a dedicated support team. This is the seventh world Rally organised by Blue Water Rallies Ltd and the fleet is made up from 30 yachts from 9 nations. Currently in the Galapagos Islands the yachts are due to arrive into Mackay in August for a 10 day stopover before continuing on to Darwin.
Rally Director, Peter Seymour who visited Mackay in January commented: "I was delighted with my visit to Mackay Marina and to the city. Australia has always been an important stopover for our crews, who particularly need good boatyard facilities for refitting their yachts halfway round the world.
Our visit to Mackay promises to be a great success and we look forward very much to arriving in August."

Ahoy! Err, Hello

Without Thomas A. Edison, we would all answer the telephone "Ahoy-ahoy!" like Mr. Burns. Yup, that's where that came from! When Bell invented the phone, he used to answer it that way, but Edison, who made great strides in furthering phone technology, politely suggested "hello" as a better option.


The name "sabot" (pronounced sab-oo) comes from wooden shoes traditionally worn in some European countries, called clogs. The word is of French origin. The word sabotage was supposedly derived from sabot, as people would drop these wooden shoes into machinery when displeased with the conditions of their employment in order to stop production.

Nara Inlet light

Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark buoy Fl.R.2.5s which has been temporarily established to mark the position of the destroyed lighted port lateral mark beacon in the entrance to Nara Inlet, has been reported to be off station. The position of the buoy is reported to be about 150 metres to the west of the charted beacon position. The buoy will be put back into its correct position on the end of the reef in the near future. Mariners should use caution when transiting the entrance. AUS chart: 252

Bright side of life?

"It is not fair for you to think negative thoughts and then to expect others to bring you happiness. It cannot be done. There is but one source of happiness and that is within you"

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
Whitsunday connection in message in bottle mystery

A message in a bottle from a crewman of the schooner Patanela tossed into the sea almost twenty years ago offers no clue to the mysterious disappearance of the ship.
The note, in faded blue handwriting inside a Bacardi bottle, was found on a secluded beach near Eucla, WA, by Esperance woman Sheryl Waideman on New Year’s Eve.
It was written by John Blissett, 23, of Taree, NSW, as he and three others sailed Patanela from Fremantle across the Great Australian Bight on October 26, 1988.
Blissett had worked on the Golden Plover on charter around the Whitsunday Islands; including work on the film “Dead Calm” with Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman.
Less than a fortnight later, Patanela simply vanished as she sailed eight miles off Botany Bay in the early hours of November 8, 1988. The crew planned to enter the harbour at dawn.
The solitary trace was a barnacle-encrusted life ring found floating off Terrigal seven months later.

Whitsunday holiday offer for finder
The note in a bottle sheds no light on what happened. Rather, it offers a sailing holiday to the lucky finder.
"Hi there - out here in the lonely Southern Ocean and thought we would give away a free holiday in the Whitsunday Islands in north Queensland, Australia," John wrote.
"Our ship is travelling from Fremantle, Western Aust, to Queensland to work as a charter vessel."
Adventure delivery to Whitsunday Islands
The note invites the finder to call one of a pair of phone numbers to claim the prize.
It gives Patanela’s position as 34 degrees, 26 minutes, 20 seconds south, 129 degrees, 18 minutes, 54 seconds east in the Great Australia Bight.
That’s south of Eucla - raising the possibility that the bottle drifted ashore and has sat undiscovered since.
John’s mother Marj, of Taree, said she was stunned to receive a message from Mrs Waideman revealing the discovery.
"It was totally unexpected. It is not going to solve the mystery but it is a little piece of John we never had," she said.
"It showed what an enjoyable and interesting trip they were having. They were two young blokes having a good time and they wanted to give somebody else a good time to enjoy the experience of sailing on such a magnificent vessel."
In an email to the Blissett family, Mrs Waideman described stumbling across the bottle while wandering on a secluded section of the coastline between Mundrabilla and Eucla.
"We had a great time as it’s very isolated and we love beachcombing, fishing and collecting old bottles," she said.
"The bottle did not look very old but I was still very excited and we decided to open it at home. We were all extremely upset after finding out the story to know these people were missing."
Aboard Patanela, a 19-metre steel-hulled schooner was John Blissett and his friend Michael Calvin, both from Taree, plus the skipper, Perth businessman Ken Jones and his wife Noreen. None have been sighted since Patanela departed Portland, Victoria, in early November.
Inquest into lost ship's fate
An inquest which started in 1992 concluded that Patanela foundered in the early hours of November 8, 1988 some time after a final radio contact with Sydney Harbour. Nothing remained to explain the vessel’s fate.
The disappearance sparked wide speculation and a variety of conspiracy theories including claims of piracy and drug running. There is no evidence to either substantiate or disprove any such claims.
The coroner concluded the most likely explanation for such a sudden disappearance was that Patanela was run over by a large commercial vessel - although there was a complete absence of any floating wreckage such a short distance off Sydney.
Throw in the towel
An increase in naked sleepwalking among guests has the Travelodge hotel chain in Britain training staff on how to better deal with them.
Step one: cover them in a towel.

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap’n Dan

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Broken boat? Build a new sleek craft at Rotary challenge

After a week of broken boats it’s time to look to the future and the upcoming Oceanic Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show held on the June long weekend.

At a meeting a couple of years ago, Ian ‘Stack’ Hudson of the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach listened to Ian Roebuck and your Waterfront writer talk about a boat building competition held at a wooden boat show we had attended. The rules, from memory, were that your crew was given a sheet of plywood, some Sikaflex glue, nails, hammer and a saw to build a boat.

Oh, yeah, you also got a lifejacket as you had to float yer boat around a course in the marina, some craft sliding gracefully beneath the water before finishing the course.

Was it fun? You bet!

So here’s a sneak preview of a proposal for a boat building competition for this year.
1. The boats must be designed to row/paddle and sail. 2. Apart from one pre built component, (not a hull), the boats, spars etc. must be built from materials provided.
3. Crew/team of two must also operate (get wet) the craft for the on water racing.
4. Supply tools including battery operated portable tools. 5. Plans and cardboard templates allowed. 6. Construction time is two hours.
Awards will be given for - Best Boat - Boat quickest around the race course and Overall Winner. More info Stack Hudson of the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach on 4946 5333 and there may also be an opportunity to compete at the Sydney International Boat Show.

Romance CQ Rescue record?

Question. Last week on Feb 12 the CQ Rescue helicopter winched 37 people from the shipwrecked schooner “Romance” at Hook Island. Is this the most people rescued by helicopter from a single vessel in Australia?

Dear Cap’n Dan, "Thank you for your inquiry. Over the last three years during my time at AMSA [Australian Maritime Safety Authority], there have been a number of rescues involving multiple people taken off vessels. AMSA was involved in the rescue of 10 crew members off the Wunma, a 113 metre motor barge caught in bad weather about 80 kilometres off Karumba in the Gulf of Carpentaria on 7 February 2007. At the end of April 2006 we also coordinated the rescue of 16 fishermen off the Taiwanese registered vessel San Chi No. 12 that had grounded in the Torres Strait.
It is my recollection that 21 crew were removed from the Pasha Bulker after she grounded at Newcastle last year. The response to this incident was coordinated by local police as was the response to the Romance incident in the Whitsundays.
While I cannot give a definitive answer as to whether the Romance rescue involved the most number of people being removed from a vessel, it would certainly rate quite highly. As indicated above, however, while AMSA does many rescues, police agencies around Australia also coordinate these on occasion and you would need to check with them regarding previous incidents."
Kind regards, Tracey Jiggins, AMSA PR Manager
(Note: More on this later. Cap’n Dan)

Stand out to sea

“It is better to meet danger than to wait for it. He that is on a lee shore, and foresees a hurricane, stands out to sea and encounters a storm to avoid a shipwreck”

Charles Caleb Colton

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap’n Dan

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Surfs up as wild weather buffets Whitsunday waterfront

An intense low pressure weather system swept through Whitsunday on Monday night leaving the dawn light to show the extent of the damage left in its wake.

For shear numbers of damaged yachts, the wild weather achieved a cyclonic result.

Recent talks with Whitsunday Water Police Sergeant Graeme Pettigrew about issues put mooring maintenance near the top of a list for public information. Not hindcasting, but the weather beat us to it.

Many vessels had moorings still attached and showed evidence of dragging into other yachts on the way to the beach or rocks.

While there is millions of dollar of damage, the main thing is that there were minimum injuries to the public and service personnel. How can the community ever thank enough those that spring to action to help without regard to time of day or comfort? A big sincere salute to all those who do such a wonderful job.

A bad day of yachties and the boating public, although on the bright side some of our local surfers can stop complaining that we never have any surf.

We truly try to do something for everybody.

First, the bad news

In the aftermath of Christmas 1990 Cyclone Joy your waterfront writer was single handing a client's yacht to Airlie from Hamilton Island when during a marine VHF radio contact the words "Do you want the good news or the bad news" came across.

Hey, I know this, "OK Give me the bad news, over"

"Your yacht is parked on Mandalay Road, though it seems in pretty good condition, over"

"OK what's the good news, over?"

"You didn't get a parking ticket, over" Har, Har, Har.

Sailor to anchor Hamo

Glenn Bourke, the former CEO for the Volvo Ocean Race round the world and the man credited with delivering the world's best ever Olympic sailing regatta, is to become the new Chief Executive Officer for Australia's premier tropical island destination, Hamilton Island.
Chairman of Hamilton Island Enterprises, Mr Sandy Oatley, said he was delighted that Glenn Bourke had decided to take up the position.
"Glenn will bring to Hamilton Island exceptional business acumen along with proven experience in the successful organisation and presentation of major international events," Sandy Oatley said. "The island is enjoying remarkable growth and Glenn's ability will further enhance our plans for it to become a truly world class tourist destination and residential precinct."

Glenn Bourke said that he was enthusiastic about working with the Oatley family and taking on the many ventures that will come with his appointment.

"I am very much looking forward to the opportunity and challenge that the Oatley family has afforded me at Hamilton Island," Glenn Bourke said. "I have always enjoyed the camaraderie that comes through working with large teams that hold great vision and clear ambitions, and my role at Hamilton Island promises that.

"My new position will also bring a significant change in life that I am really looking forward to. I will no longer be travelling the globe continually, as I have been for the past seven years. Instead every day will see me appreciating the sheer beauty of this tropical island and the magnificent region that surrounds it."

After coordinating all aspects of the sailing regatta at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Glenn Bourke became the CEO of Australia's leading ocean racing yacht club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, in Sydney. His business and sailing talents then led to him being appointed CEO of Germany's Illbruck Challenge which won the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-2002, and the following year Volvo lured him into the position of CEO for the actual event. In that role he propelled the race into an exciting new era and reinforced its status as the world's most successful long distance ocean race.

As a yachtsman Glenn Bourke has won seven world sailing championships including, remarkably, three consecutive world titles in the Olympic Laser dinghy class, in 1988, 1989 and 1990. He represented Australia in the Finn dinghy class at the 1992 Olympics, has sailed in the America's Cup and Admiral's Cup, and was named Australian Yachtsman of the Year in 1989 and 1990.

Glenn will be based on the island and be responsible to the Oatley family for all island operations. He will take up his appointment in March.

Queens coming to Sydney

Cunard's 90,000-tonne Queen Victoria, is making her way to Australia on her maiden world voyage, along with her elder sister, Queen Elizabeth 2, who is sailing on her final world voyage. Their meeting on Sydney Harbour on February 24 will attract lots of interest and spectators.

Both liners left Southampton in January on their historic journeys, which saw the two ships meet again in New York with their big sister, Queen Mary 2, on January 13 and then again in Sydney Harbour on February 24.

Queen Victoria and QE2's Royal Rendezvous in Sydney will mark Queen Victoria's first visit to the harbour city and QE2's final call - thirty years to the day since her maiden visit.

The Queen Victoria will transit the Whitsunday Islands on February 28 enroute to Port Douglas.

Queen's curtain call

QE2's final Sydney visit marks her 24th call to the city since her first arrival in 1978. During her 40 years of service, the 70,327-tonne QE2 has carried more than 2.5 million passengers and sailed almost 5.5 million nautical miles - more than any ship in history.

Driftwood Bay depths

Driftwood Bay on the southern shore of Hamilton Island has been resurveyed with changes to depths and contours refer Chart AUS 252 Notice to Mariners [511/2007].

It's natural

"In physics, you don't have to go around making trouble for yourself - nature does it for you"

Frank Wilczek, Nobel prize-winning theoretical physicist, who is very interested in the quantum theory of black holes.
And we thought it was about the weather.

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Whitsunday Navy Cadets homeless

The Whitsunday unit of the Australian Navy Cadets (ANC) are homeless due to space restrictions at the Cannonvale SES building.
The Cadets met last Friday evening for a social parade at the Whitsunday PCYC and discussed their future with parents and community members.
Local businesses and especially building owners will be approached with a view to the short term use of premises while long term plans are made.
The Whitsunday unit, part of TS Pioneer based in Mackay, has been operating for about four years and take part in community activities such as Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and Vietnam Veterans Day.
Nationally, the ANC comprises around 30% of Australians in Naval uniform. While not part of the Australian Defence Force, as part of the Navy family Cadets have a significant role to play in linking the Australian community to the RAN. Cadets provide a positive focus on the RAN in the eyes of the public.

Cadets crew Young Endeavour

The ANC/Young Endeavour Voyage Scheme is a sailing program for Australian Navy Cadets aged 16 and over, focused on building leadership, teamwork and communication skills through sail training. This scheme is being sponsored by the RAN and will extend to 24 Australian Navy Cadets and three ANC staff members to participate in two dedicated voyages on STS Young Endeavour.
Sponsorship will cover all voyage fees, airfares and accommodation. Nominations will be sought from cadets over the age of 16 years and placement will be offered to the top 24 cadets who can demonstrate outstanding personal and leadership qualities and who have made a valuable contribution to their local community during the past 12 months.

Box Jelly danger

Luckily Whitsunday has recently been free of Box Jellyfish envenomation incidents recently, but recent rains have flushed the deadly creatures from their breeding grounds into the sea where they will develop into potential killers.
Surf Life Saving Queensland is warning swimmers that this is the time of the year when they are most likely to be stung by box jelly fish.
Dangerous Marine Creatures Program coordinator Melissa Cowlishaw says there have been 12 stings across the north since mid October.
But she says scientists are predicting a record season this year.
"It's really important that they swim within the red and yellow flags and within the stinger resistant closures, but it's important to remember that those enclosures don't stop the Irukandji jelly fish from coming through, just the larger box jelly fish," she said.
"We ask people to also wear some form of personal protective swim wear that covers 75 to 80 per cent of their body."

Pest fish

Steps to control the spread of pest fish stepped up this week with more than 6,000 Tilapia eradicated from two farm dams.
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) fisheries biologist Malcolm Pearce said following the recent publicity about a tilapia infestation in the Endeavour River, a number of land owners had contacted DPI&F with concerns their dams contained the pest fish.
"From the size and location of the tilapia we found in the Endeavour River, it is more likely that the pest fish were illegally released into the area prior to Christmas from a home aquarium," Mr Pearce said.
Under strict conditions, Rotenone (poison) was used to kill the fish in the farm dams before they were cleaned up by DPI&F officers and disposed of away from the water.
"We are urging people who think they have tilapia or other pest fish in their dams or in their homes in an aquarium, to contact DPI&F for advice and possible assistance with disposal."
"It cannot be overstated how important it is for people not to move tilapia and that they need to be disposed of away from the water," Mr Pearce said.
"Female tilapia may carry eggs in their mouth, and these eggs can survive long after the adult fish is dead.
Under Section 89 of the Fisheries Act 1994 a person must not possess noxious fisheries resources or release noxious fisheries resources into Queensland waters.

Pest fish in Qld

Noxious pest fish in Queensland include Carp, Piranhas, Tilapia, Electric Eel, Largemouth Bass, Mosquitofish and Nile Perch.

Barra back on bite

The end of the closed fishing season for barramundi on both the east coast of Queensland is expected to draw keen anglers to local fishing hot spots.
The East Coast season opened at midday February 1.
The closed season is set aside each year to help protect barramundi during spawning which is a vulnerable time in their life cycle.
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) senior fisheries management officer Anita Ramage said annual seasons are in place to not only protect our fish species, but to ensure that there are enough stocks to cater for Queensland's keen fishers.
"The closures allow fish to spawn and stocks to replenish to ensure there are healthy fish stores for current and future generations of Queensland anglers," Ms Ramage said.
"The closures in the Gulf vary from year to year and are always timed according to lunar and tide cycles coinciding with spawning peaks, so it is important for fishers to check when the season falls each year.

Barra Rules OK?

In the open season there is a possession limit of five barramundi per person. Minimum and maximum size limits also apply.
If fishing in one of Queensland's 18 impoundment areas that have been stocked with barramundi, one of the five barramundi you can keep can be greater than the maximum size limit of 120 cm.
A Stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) is required to fish in many impoundment areas that are stocked with barramundi so anglers should ensure their permits are valid. SIP cost $35 a year or $7 per week and are available from local businesses in the vicinity of each of the dams on the scheme, online or over the phone.

It's that simply

Occam's Razor: "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate."
Translation = "Avoid complexity when other options are at hand."
William of Ockham (1285-1349)

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan
2008 to mark 25 years for Hamilton Island Race Week

The significance of the 25th anniversary edition of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week has already led to the Farr 40 class planning to make a welcome return to the event, which will be staged between August 23, and 30, 2008.
Regatta organisers are making a special effort to have as many yachts that have competed over the past 24 years part of the historic silver jubilee celebrations.
There will also be a special division for classic yachts.
These participants will be part of an anticipated record fleet of 250 from Australia and abroad that will be racing at what has become Australia’s most successful and highly awarded regatta for offshore keelboats.
In preparation for such a remarkable fleet, Hamilton Island management has announced plans to undertake a major expansion of the harbour marina.
“We were caught a little by surprise by the record fleet of 217,” in 2007, said the chairman of Hamilton Island Enterprises, Sandy Oatley, “so we couldn’t provide the marina facilities we would have liked for everyone. Our plan is to complete an entire new marina arm before Race Week 2008 so that the number of yachts that will have to raft up will be kept to a minimum.”

Year of the Reef

Ten years ago, 1997 was declared the International Year of the Reef (IYOR). The first IYOR campaign was initiated in response to the increasing threats and loss of coral reefs and associated ecosystems, like mangroves and sea grasses. IYOR 97 was a global effort to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and support conservation, research and management efforts.
IYOR 97 proved to be very successful, with over 225 organizations in 50 countries and territories participating, over 700 articles in papers and magazines generated, hundreds of scientific surveys undertaken, and catalysed conservation and policy initiatives, as well as numerous local and global organizations dedicated to coral reef conservation.
Recognizing that ten years after IYOR 97 there continues to be an urgent need to increase awareness and understanding of coral reefs, and to further conserve and manage valuable coral reef and associated ecosystems, the International Coral Reef Initiative designated 2008 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR 2008).

IYOR 2008 will:

* Strengthen awareness about the ecological, economic, social and cultural value of coral reefs and associated ecosystems
* Improve understanding of the critical threats to coral reefs and generate both practical and innovative solutions to reduce these threats
* Generate urgent action at all levels to develop and implement effective management strategies for conservation and sustainable use of these ecosystems.

Tip of the Day:

Be a marine debris crusader! In addition to picking up your own rubbish, carry away the anything that others have left behind. More than just an unsightly nuisance, beach litter poses a significant threat to the health and survival of marine organisms, which can swallow or get tangled in beverage containers, plastic bags, old rope and other debris.

Cliff drop for drunk

In California, witnesses say an out-of-towner had been partying with friends. After drinking a few mixed cocktails, they say he "took off running toward the ocean" -- apparently unaware of a steep drop-off. The 19-year-old male fell from a cliff onto a beach below. After his tumble, witnesses called for help to rescue the injured man.

Eco yachting

Chartering with Queensland Yacht Charters has became more eco-friendly. QYC has gained its Advanced Eco-Certification, which recognises that the company has achieved best practice in ecologically sustainable tourism.
The award recognises QYC’s primary focus on experiencing natural areas and fostering environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation. The certification also recognises their contribution to local environmental groups.
Adrian and Suzette Pelt, owners of QYC since 1988 and their crew - Kellie & Kristin in Reservations and Terry, Phil and Tanya in Operations, will personally ensure that you have a wonderful holiday.

Yacht rescues fisher

World ARC yacht Tillymint, an Oyster 82 taking part in World Cruising Club's round the world rally, has been involved in the dramatic rescue of a stranded Caribbean fisherman whilst on route to Panama.
The small open fishing vessel, the Vegas from St.Lucia, had been drifting for 20 days without a serviceable engine. In the early hours of Saturday January 26 (local time), at approximately 80 nautical miles off the island of Aruba, the on-watch crew of Tillymint heard faint cries for help from close by, though they could not see another vessel. In the time it took the crew to drop sails, turn the yacht around and get back upwind against 25 knots to the incident position, the crew of the Vegas had started a small fire to attract attention. The fishermen were in a desperate situation, since despite passing close to other vessels they had been unable to raise a distress call.
Unfortunately, their signal fire got out of control and before Tillymint reached their position, the crew had to abandon the vessel and jump into the sea to escape the fire. One crewmember was rescued and taken onboard Tillymint. However, in the darkness and weather conditions prevailing at the time, they were unable to locate the remaining three fishermen.
All World ARC yachts have now resumed their course for Panama.

Vessel lost

Mariners are advised that the 8.90m vessel "Elsie 2" has been reported missing. The vessel was last seen moored near the entrance of the Pioneer River, but may have drifted or sunk during recent inclement weather. Mariners are advised to proceed with caution when transiting this area. AUS chart: 249

Point to ponder

“On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time”
- George Orwell

Fair Winds to Ye!
Cap’n Dan