Monday, May 11, 2009

Easter Regatta as predicted - wet and windy

Easter Regatta as predicted – wet and windy


Sailors were not surprised that another Easter Regatta was wet and windy on Pioneer Bay at the weekend. However, it didn't dampen the spirits of the large fleet of competitors.

"With over sixty entries and a great variety of boats including Sharpies, 505's, Lasers, Tasars, Sabots, X3s, multihulls and a couple of Experimental Moths a great time was had by all," reports Off Beach Rear Commodore Terry Archer.
The organisation was excellent with Principal Race Officer Tim Parker saying that the event was not only successful but also fun for all involved.

Sailors attended from Keppel Bay in the south to Cairns and Tinnaroo in the north of the state.

Your Waterfront writer was starter for the youth classes of Sabots and X3s and can state that the conditions included wet squally 40 knots and sunny mild conditions, all within an hour or so.

Whitsunday Sailing Club president Mick Phillips thanked the many volunteers for their sterling effort without which there is no event.


Sailors head north for a labour of love

Sailors head north for a labour of love
Whitsunday Sailing Club offbeach sailing and learn to sail will not be on this Sunday because of the Labour Day weekend. Serious sailors are heading to the Lake Tinaroo May Day Regatta for an eight-race program over three days.
Tinaroo Sailing Club's major event for the season is always popular with visiting sailors from across the state and organisers expect one hundred boats on the water.
The sailing club at Tinaroo Dam, located sou' west of Cairns, was established in the early 1960s. With an area nearly the size of Sydney harbour (and not nearly as many boats), Tinaroo Sailing Club offers a wonderful place to sail in Tropical Far North Queensland.
Most competitor's camp on site at the club's facilities and enjoy a great weekend!
Ice melting?
Your Waterfront writer recently remembered an old photo while reading about the demise of polar ice areas.
The photo was one of a submarine on the surface at the North Pole.
A bit of a search discovered a 1958 photo of USS Skate, the first nuclear submarine to surface at North Pole - the photo showing the sub on the surface in clear water.
In fact, USS Skate was able to surface ten times.
Is the ice melt new? Will we be soon swamped by the rising sea or is it an ebb and flow thing as the tides?
While at the North Pole, crewmen performed a mission of sentiment, scattering the ashes of Australian explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins.
Wilkins worked as a Gaumont cinematographer covering many international events including the Balkans War in 1912. However, he wanted to become a polar explorer. His first trip to the Arctic was as cinematographer with the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913 led by Vilhjamur Stefansson. He walked thousands of miles over unexplored territory, returning in 1916 to Point Barrow, Alaska, to learn the world had been at war for two years.
In 1928-1929, he flew across the Arctic Sea, from Barrow in Alaska to Spitsbergen, Norway. It was the first time such a plane flight was achieved; Wilkins was knighted and chose to be known as Sir Hubert, rather than Sir George.
In 1931, he was the first to attempt a submarine cruise to the Pole.
So this remarkable Australia adventurer walked ice at both the Artic and Antarctic , trekked in parched desert, flew aircraft including a Zeppelin and went under the ice in a submarine.
Truly remarkable, my adventure started while thinking about an old photo.
Going boating?
Weather wise the wind looks to pick up later in the week but it should stay dry for the long weekend. If it does not it shows the relationship between rain and long weekends.
Carrying the right boating safety equipment and knowing how to use it is essential as well as ensuring your boat is serviced and fuelled.
While boats that do not require registration are not obliged to carry compulsory safety equipment, it is strongly recommended appropriate equipment is taken in the event of an emergency.
Some safety equipment types include components that can deteriorate over time. This can decrease their effectiveness or in some cases render them inoperable. This equipment includes fire extinguishers, EPIRBs, flares, inflatable life jackets, smoke signals, and inflatable life rafts.
The manufacturer or an authorised agent must service this equipment by the expiry date, which must be clearly marked on the equipment.
Equipment that cannot be serviced or no longer works must be replaced if it is to be carried as part of the safety equipment requirements.
Rattlesnake Island
Mariners are advised that the Department of Defence Maritime Wing will be conducting live firing on Friday June 5, from 0730 to 1430 hours.
The range layout is a circle of 4.8 nautical miles with the radius centred on Rattlesnake Island and not exceeding a height of 6000 feet above sea level.
Firing point is at approximate position latitude 19° 20.27' S, longitude 146° 36.43' E with 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
Adventure, defined
"Adventure is not outside; it is within"
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

LEGO conference for Whitsunday

LEGO conference for Whitsunday


OK, it's not about little colourful interlocking plastic bricks that kids play with, although it is about building for the future and includes, as it does, the bricks and mortar of marine studies education.

LEGO in this case is 'Linking Estuaries of the Great Barrier Reef and Oceans' the annual conference of the Marine Teachers Association of Queensland planned for Airlie Beach in September.

Marine Teachers Association of Queensland (MTAQ) is a professional association of teachers of Marine Studies in Queensland primary, secondary and tertiary levels. MTAQ is a non-profit organisation, which coordinates activities to support marine education, teachers of Marine Studies and students.

Marine teacher at Mackay North High School and conference organiser Dedan Daniel told The Whitsunday Coast Guardian this week that Airlie Beach was chosen for it's beauty, central location and bustling maritime industry.

"The MTAQ, with over 400 teachers working throughout Queensland are looking for speakers and industry representatives with information that teachers would be interested in hearing."

"These are, in no particular order, information regarding marine careers and jobs that are out there. Many teachers do not know about all the careers that there are for their students to think about. Some that spring to mind include marine pilots, deck hands, ships captains, stewardesses, marina employees, Superyachts, marine surveyors, however there are many more"

"It would be interesting to hear from an authority on marina development and all the processes they had to go through to develop a marina"

"Also, a scientist who monitors water quality and waste from areas around the region, perhaps from Island resorts and marinas.

"People from the commercial fishing seafood industry, tourism, charter operator, sailing, rec fishing, diving, getting a coxswain licence etc

"Any other relevant topics to marine teachers; these are the topics most people teach in their schools, for example navigation, boating, sailing,  snorkelling water safety, oceanography (coastal physics), aquaculture, ecology (reef and mangrove), and management of marine systems. What about a good way to teach kids to tie knots?

"Generally what teachers look for at conferences is some interesting information about anything marine, ideas they can take back to their classroom, and also to have a good time" Mr Daniel added.

If you can help, forward ideas and contacts to


Barrier Reef Park News


The construction of new amenities at South Whitehaven Beach will be underway this week for approximately twelve weeks. Access to the Southern toilet block, day-use area and group campsite will be restricted from May 6.

Commercial operators are advised to use the sheltered picnic area during this time, and remind visitors of the location of alternative toilets at the northern end of the day-use area. New camping nodes at the southern end of the beach will remain open. Please follow on-site signs and direction and not enter the construction area.

New Great Walk construction is underway on Whitsunday Island. Visitors to Dugong and Sawmill Beach in coming months can expect minor disruption during the operation of plant and equipment used in the construction of the Whitsunday Peak walking track, part of the new Ngaro Sea Trail walking track.


Superyacht consult


Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Superyacht Access Study Consultation Workshop, as part of the Superyacht Access Study, representatives of the Great Barrier Reef marine tourism industry, Superyacht operators and agents, and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park management agencies will attend a consultation workshop on Thursday, May 7.


Live a bit


"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air" Ralph Waldo Emerson


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan