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, http://blessingofthefleet.blogspot.com/

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 www.dpi.qld.gov.au/ 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 http://blessingofthefleet.blogspot.com/

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 http://piratesofwhitsunday.blogspot.com/

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