Monday, September 28, 2009

Surf's Up for Whitsunday's new nippers

Surf's Up for Whitsunday's new nippers
A new school holiday activity got underway this week at the Airlie Beach Lagoon with the Surf Life Saving Queensland Whitsunday Junior Activities Program.
The program, the first conducted here, features safe fun water based activities led by highly trained Surf Life Saving instructors
Airlie Lagoon Head Lifeguard Stacey Allard told Waterfront "We got off to a great start with about 50 local kids enjoying the activities"
"It is a good start for this new kid's activity that combines learning and having a good time."
The Surf Life Saving Queensland Community Awareness Team spends time year round educating members of the community about the importance of Surf, beach and all areas of aquatic safety. The program runs for four mornings this week.
Surf Life Saving Queensland currently has lifeguard contracts at 48 beaches/lagoons including Airlie Beach.
Take a number
Waterfront got a call from sailor Alan Southwood who saw a problem and has thought of a good solution.
On a recent weekend a small boat was taking water at Shute Harbour and was in danger of sinking.
Alan tried to contact the owner but could not find a name or phone number. The authorities could not help, as it was the weekend.
Alan's suggestion is that boat owners who leave their craft at anchor or on a mooring leave a phone number in an obvious place near the helm or engine panel so it's handy if needed. Another idea is to put a phone number on the hull near the rego sticker. If your boat has a problem, you will know . . . quickly and you can get it sorted. Much easier and cheaper than having to refloat your pride and joy.
Junior sailors
The Whitsunday Sailing Club now has three sessions a week of junior coaching and training. Sunday Mornings are going strong with a dozen in the Learn To Sail Level, and seven in the intermediate group.
The Sabot Squad is kicking off again on Tuesday afternoon; this is a great chance for the Sabot Squad to hone their skills in time for the Spring Regatta and the Nationals in Gosford over Christmas. There is a limited opportunity for young sailors to join the squad for the next few weeks as crew to learn all about the Sabot.
Killer sharks for GBR
South Australian Great White sharks will be cast in new film that will showcase nature gone amok on the Great Barrier Reef.
"Horrific" will best describe The Reef, the latest from Andrew Traucki, who co-wrote and co-directed with David Nerlich the killer-crocodile flick Black Water.
Underbelly star Damian Walshe-Howling will lead the cast of The Reef, says the film's director, Andrew Traucki.
Walshe-Howling will play the lead character of Luke with Zoe Naylor TVs "McLeod's Daughters, Gyton Grantley Balibo, Adrienne Pickering Knowing, and Kieran Darcy Smith The Square also in the cast.
The story is about a group of friends whose boat capsizes on a jaunt to the Great Barrier Reef. Deciding to attempt a swim to the distant shore, they find themselves stalked by a Great White shark intent on making meals out of them.
Wow! That should boost tourism to the GBR. Not!
The $3.5 million Ozploitation film is set to begin a five-week shoot on October 12 in Hervey Bay; live shark footage will be captured in South Australia.
Comments by critics so far include;
"Wow sounds like a bigger budgeted version of Open Water...i think i will pass on this . . ."
"A movie about a great white shark that terrorizes people? I just KNEW there was some originality left in Hollywood!"
Mariner notice
Mariners are advised that the starboard lateral mark located on Dent Island, approximate position latitude 20° 20.33' S, longitude 148° 56.17' E has been reported unlit. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in the vicinity.
Charts AUS 252 & 254.
"On life's vast ocean diversely we sail,
Reason the card, but passion is the gale"
        - Alexander Pope, Essay on Man
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Monday, September 21, 2009

LEGO conference for Airlie Beach

LEGO conference for Airlie Beach
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 beginning Sunday in Airlie Beach.
Marine Teachers Association of Queensland (MTAQ) is a professional association of 400 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.
"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" spokesperson Dedan Daniel said.
Jan Jarratt MP Member for Whitsunday a former teacher will open the conference on Sunday.
Talk like a Pirate Day
International Talk like a Pirate Day in Airlie Beach is this Saturday September 19. 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.
Airlie Pirates get about Saturday afternoon and may land at a bar with picnic tables in mid Airlie or another choice establishment at the beach. Probably get to the Rum Bar later.
Hook and Hayman area
Mariners are advised that the starboard lateral mark buoy off the southeastern corner of the Langford Island and Bird Island reef in the South Channel has been permanently withdrawn.
The starboard lateral mark buoy off the eastern side of the Black Island reef in the South Channel has also been permanently withdrawn.
Mariners are further advised that a port lateral mark buoy has been established between Cockatoo Point and Stanley Point in The Narrows, between Hook and Hayman Island. A special mark buoy is also established close to Ian Point in Stonehaven Anchorage, AUS Charts Affected: 254
The Storm
"Remember, the storm is a good opportunity for the pine and the cypress to show their strength and their stability" Ho Chi Minh
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fun Race sails yet again this Saturday

 Fun Race sails yet again this Saturday


Famous or infamous, after more than 30 years the Great Whitsunday Fun Race is on for this Saturday with all the usual entertainment both on and off the water.

Presentations are at the evening party for first, second and third in each division as well as prizes for Best Theme Boat, Best Dressed Yacht, Best Dressed Crew and Yacht from Furthest Away.

Registration is $10 with a briefing Friday night and Saturday morning; Division 1 warning signal goes off at high noon.


Sail for cause


L J Hooker Whitsunday is hosting the great strides walk to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Queensland, and sailors are invited to sail the course instead of walk or run this Sunday.

The event starts at 9.00am outside L J Hookers Office on the foreshore park. Then a walk or sail to the end of the boardwalk near the VMR and back, approximately 5kms. There will also be a BBQ afterwards at the sailing club to raise money for this event.


Junior sailors


The Whitsunday Sailing Club now has three sessions a week of junior coaching and training.

Sunday Mornings are going strong with a dozen in the Learn To Sail Level, and seven in the intermediate group.

The Sabot Squad is kicking off again on Tuesday afternoon; this is a great chance for the Sabot Squad to hone their skills in time for the Spring Regatta and the Nationals in Gosford over Christmas. There is a limited opportunity for young sailors to join the squad for the next few weeks as crew to learn all about the Sabot.


VMR helps


"VMR Whitsunday responded to a call for assistance relayed by a commercial vessel. The vessel requiring assistance was reportedly south of Border Island with no means of power, no GPS, no charts, no mobile phone coverage and apparently little or no experience with VHF radio operation.

"VMR1 was activated but was turned around when we were advised that the vessel in distress had managed to restart their engine, but then asked us for the best route back to Hamilton Island!

Obviously, without an accurate start point there is no way that we can help guide a vessel apart from very general directions. Luckily, they managed to find their way back without further incident as darkness was approaching.

"All skippers must be aware of their responsibilities in regard to knowing their vessel, its safety and communications equipment, and how to navigate safely within the limits of their own capabilities.


Sail away


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

-- Mark Twain


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan



Monday, September 07, 2009

Whitsunday has a Clean and Pristine future

Whitsunday has a Clean and Pristine future
Marine Clean, a new environmental clean up organised by the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association (WCBIA) will pick up any rubbish from the weekend of September 12/13 for a week.
The event has received support from the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee and EcoKids Reef Guardian Club. Charter boats, their guests and volunteers will complete questionnaires detailing rubbish collected.
Meanwhile the ever-busy Rotary Club of Airlie Beach in conjunction with Clean Up Australia and Whitsunday Council has announced its first Northern Clean Up Australia Day on the weekend of October 3&4.
In the northern region, there has been strong community desire for some years to include a second Clean Up Day event, during a season more suitable here in the tropics. Discussions with councils across the region identified early October as the perfect time to conduct the event - pre cyclone season.
In the generally cooler and drier month of October, it will be a fun and rewarding way to clear up all that accumulated rubbish that creates so many new issues when it is caught up in waterways during the cyclone season.
Marine Clean Details from Rotary Club of Airlie Beach Clean Up organiser Rex Snowsill,
Help PNG call
Waterfront has received a request from Keith Jackson AM, through the OceansWatch network asking for any yacht owners who might be sailing from Australia to Papua New Guinea with some room onboard.
"Dr Alan Lawford, who practices in the Sydney suburb of Arncliffe, has assembled six computers and peripheral equipment but has no means of delivery to Kavieng Hospital on New Ireland".
"This Papua New Guinea hospital is seriously short of IT capacity, so if anyone is sailing over and have some space aboard they can make contact." Keith at
White whale
John Dyson, master of Fantasea Adventure Cruising vessel 'Wonder', sighted the albino humpback whale Migaloo, on the return voyage to Shute Harbour from Hardy Reef, east of the Whitsunday Islands one afternoon last week.
'Wonder' with 113 guests on board spent half an hour observing Migaloo.
"This was a very rare sighting and is believed to be the first sighting of Migaloo in the Whitsunday waters this season."
What's in a name?
Item last week about names on racing yachts worth a giggle and Terry Archer's Whitsunday Sailing Club yacht 'Africa' or Another Flaming Regatta I Cannot Afford; we have chosen some more names.
Names start nicely with Sunrise, owned by Helen and Jeff Shipsey. Then 'Sunflower' Tulip, Bliss and Seduction leading to Living Doll, Cracklin Rosie and True Love.
Russell McCart's Night Nurse or Leon Thomas with Guilty Pleasures but, hey, don't hold back; Outrage from Fallen Angels (Damien Suckling) Primal Scream, Supertramp, and Dan White on Riff Raff.
Local sailmaker Charles Wallis sails Reignition with another local Craig Piccinelli sailing Wobbly Boot. There is Ropabull and Rock N Roll, Airlie Retreat, Ocean Affinity and China Blues,
All these names would make anyone say Holy Cow!
VMR thanks sailors
VMR Whitsunday has thanked the Whitsunday Sailing Club for organizing donations at the End of Race Week Party.
VMR benefited by almost $700 through the generosity and support of the race week participants. 
Reef Reflections
Your Waterfront writer is looking to interview recreational and commercial fishers about experiences and fishing on the Great Barrier Reef over the years.
The interviews take the form of oral history and are a spoken interview to get an idea of what fishers think has changed, good or bad during their time.
Reef Catchments commissioned the work and the resultant Reef Reflections history will extend the body of knowledge of the GBR. If you care to be involved, drop an email to or C/ Guardian.
Sailing season ends soon
Fun Race on Saturday September 12 and International Talk like a Pirate Day in Airlie Beach on Saturday September 19 mark the end of another great 'winter' sailing season.
Details from Whitsunday Sailing Club and
"Talking the talk, fishing the fish"
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

First seconds ahead in close yacht racing

First seconds ahead in close yacht racing

Melbourne sailor Michael Hiatt's Farr 55 Living Doll won the 20th annual Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week by a mere 40 seconds on handicap.

Tied with Ray Roberts Evolution Racing on points; each having scored three wins, two seconds and a third, Hiatt took the title on the count back.

The 100-yacht fleet enjoyed the winter weather with wind from zero to 30 knots over the week.

Next year will be a big 21st birthday party for the regatta.


Boat names


There are some great names on racing yachts often worth a giggle.

Local Whitsunday yacht Africa that won the cruising division has a story.

Owner Terry Archer of Whitsunday Sailing Club says Africa is the abbreviation of Another Flaming Regatta I Cannot Afford.


Migaloo sighted


Possibly the most famous humpback whale, the white whale Migaloo was sighted recently for the first time in two years.

Migaloo is an aboriginal name that means "white fella."

Researchers from Pacific Whale Foundation located Migaloo close to Snapper Island, near the Daintree River.

The researchers say Migaloo appears to have developed a lump on the side of his head, which might be a tumour.


"P" for power


Urine-powered cars, boats, homes and personal electronic devices could be available next year with new technology developed by scientists from Ohio University.

Using a nickel-based electrode, the scientists can create large amounts of cheap hydrogen from urine that could then be burned or used in fuel cells.

"One cow can provide enough energy to supply hot water for 19 houses," said Gerardine Botte, a professor at Ohio University developing the technology.

"Soldiers in the field could carry their own fuel."              

One molecule of urea, a major component of urine, contains four atoms of hydrogen bonded to two atoms of nitrogen. Stick a special nickel electrode into a pool of urine, apply an electrical current, and hydrogen gas is released. 

Consumer products will no doubt follow in the near future if the idea catches on.


Ship for World Youth


The Ship for World Youth (SWY) is a unique international cultural exchange program organised by the Government of Japan. The most prestigious program of its kind, SWY brings together over 250 youth from around the world to learn about international cooperation and understanding.

Over a two-month period, participants are involved in a wide range of activities aimed at fostering cultural sensitivity, understanding and friendship. Most of the program is conducted onboard the cruise liner Nippon Maru, with some activities scheduled in Japan, and others in a number of seaports that are visited in the course of the voyage.

Since 1989, the program has run on an annual basis. Each year a different mix of nations is invited to participate and a different ports of call are incorporated into the itinerary.


Pretty Boy; Pretty lucky


A pet budgie was reunited with its owner after being rescued a half mile from land in the English Channel near Devon.

A scuba diver in a boat spotted the struggling bird on the waters' surface.

Taken aboard, the blue budgie earned the nickname 'Captain'

The near exhausted budgie "was like a floppy wet rag, but I washed off the salt water which was stinging his eyes and wrapped him up warm in a dark, ventilated box to calm him down," rescuer Cathy Jackman said.


Live firing off


Mariners are advised that the live firing activities exercise - planned for the marine component of Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area until September 4 - be cancelled.


"Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others"


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan