Monday, July 27, 2009

San Francisco here they come!

 Local support for our World sailing reps


San Francisco here they come!


Whitsunday sailors Paul and Dale Mitchell are already entered in the 505 World Championships to be sailed at San Francisco in August and local off beach sailors are ready for a fun weekend in Airlie Beach to support them.

Regatta organisers Tim or Maze Osbourne say, "We're on a mission to help send two of our local boys - Paul and Dale Mitchell - off to the 505 World Championships in San Francisco, and to have a bunch of fun in the process."

This weekend sailors from around the region will enjoy an offshore vs. off-beach "FundRace," with the opportunity for novices to get a ride aboard a yacht or find out how to become a sailor at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Sunday morning from 9 a coaching clinic for junior sailors, conducted by Paul and Dale Mitchell, along with some of their friends followed by some short sprint races with on-water support from Paul and Dale.

For more information Contact Tim or Maze Osbourne on 0408 544 202.


Dive shipwreck


Not strictly, a wreck perhaps, but the intentional sinking of decommissioned Aussie warship HMAS Adelaide at Terrigal an hour's drive north of Sydney will be an enormous gain for scuba divers in NSW.

The 138 metre, 4100 tonne guided missile frigate will be sunk on a sand bank 1-km from shore at a maximum depth of about 35 metres.

Central Coast dive clubs had been working for over 10 years to secure an ex-naval vessel as a dive site.

Local Sue Dengate, whose son served on the HMAS Adelaide, said divers would continue to appreciate its history.

"When a diver goes on this wreck when it's sunk, they will want to know more about its history and that ... gets people involved more in the services and the contribution they make."

HMAS Adelaide was built in the United States and commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy on 15 November 1980 and is the second ship to carry this name. The first was a light cruiser that served from 1922 to 1945.

Whitsunday divers will follow the progress closely as a wreck dive site in our area would benefit our local dive tourism industry.

Proposed date for sinking the ex HMAS Adelaide is April 2010.


Whitehaven Beach amenities


The construction of new amenities at South Whitehaven Beach will continue through July 2009. Commercial operators are advised to use the sheltered picnic area during this time, and remind visitors to follow on-site signs and direction to alternative toilets. New camping nodes at the southern end of the beach will remain open.


So the story goes . . .


A Navy Admiral (*which Navy will go unspecified) was court-martialled for an incident where he was found chasing a young woman through the hallways of the hotel in which they were both staying.

Allegedly, neither of them was wearing anything. One of the charges was that of "being out of uniform."

The Admiral's lawyer argued that the officer was not out of uniform, as the regulations read:

"A Naval officer must be at all times be appropriately attired for the activity in which he is engaged."

The Admiral was acquitted.


Black Island beacon destroyed.


Special light beacon marking the reef at Black Island has been destroyed; a special light buoy, Fl.Y.2 5s, exists in situ. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution. AUS252


Life of learning


" It takes several years for anyone to learn to handle a yacht reasonably well, and a lifetime to admit how much there is to learn." Maurice Griffiths, Journalist, Author and Yacht Designer, 1902-1997.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Monday, July 20, 2009

Coral Sea Conservation Zone examined

Coral Sea Conservation Zone examined
The Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) has welcomed the establishment of a Coral Sea Conservation Zone by Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.
"Coral Sea issues can now be examined rationally," says Queensland Seafood Industry Association Chief Executive Officer Winston Harris.
"This appeared to be a "holding action" that would allow issues surrounding long-term protection of the environment of the Coral Sea to be discussed rationally, with proper input from all stakeholders."
"The Queensland seafood industry will certainly welcome the Federal Government's refusal to be rushed into any rash decisions by the current lobbying campaign by US-based environmentalists to shut the entire region to all forms of fishing," Mr Harris said.
Mr Harris said the Coral Sea Conservation Park was part of a broader planning process for the East Marine Region, which stretched from the Torres Strait to southern New South Wales and as far east as Norfolk Island and was expected to be completed by the end of next year.
"The QSIA looks forward to playing an active role in helping the Australian Government protect the marine environment in this region, while at the same time providing for sustainable harvesting of seafood." Mr Harris said.
Special regatta planned
The Whitsunday Sailing Club off beach is holding a special regatta on July 25 and 26 to raise money to help send Dale and Paul Mitchell to the 505 World Championships in San Francisco.
These guys started sailing here at the club in Sabots. Now they sail on 18-foot skiffs, 505s and are flown around the country to crew on racing yachts during major events.
Besides a weekend of sailing, the event includes some coaching with Dale and Paul, a camp over at the club and a movie on the big screen, with pop corn of course!
So check out the flyer I have attached or go to the clubs website for more information. We would love to see you all there.
Let the offbeach crew know if you can make it or if Mum or Dad could help out with the Food Bar or Safety Boats.
Island park news
Visitors to Dugong and Sawmill Beach on Whitsunday Island in July can expect minor disruption during the operation of plant and equipment used in the construction of the Whitsunday Peak walking track and upgrades to camping and day-use areas.
Rare and threatened species
Did you know the Whitsunday region is home to 98 species of rare and threatened plants and animals including the Beach-stone curlew and Coastal Sheathtail bat? For a complete species list or to find out more contact QPWS Whitsunday.
Free navigation book
Nathaniel Bowditch was an early American mathematician remembered for his work on ocean navigation. Often credited as the founder of modern maritime navigation; his book The New American Practical Navigator, first published in 1802, is a shipping industry standard that is still carried onboard every commissioned U.S. Naval vessel.
Bowditch is the definitive work on navigation. Prepared by the United States National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Bowditch Includes the latest advances in electronic navigation and digital charting technology. It also covers traditional navigation such as celestial, plotting and dead reckoning.
Armchair navigators will love this and can get a complete and free copy online at
Hydrographic survey
Mariners are advised that hydrographic survey operations will be carried out in Abel Point Marina, from the seaward entrance of the entrance channel into the marina to the public boat ramp, on Wednesday, 15 July 2009.
Operations will be carried out by the hydrographic survey vessel 'QG Norfolk' that can be contacted on VHF radio channel 16. Mariners should use caution near the vessel. AUS charts 252, 253 & 268
Black Island light out
Mariners are advised that the lighted special mark beacon Fl.Y.2.5s in approximate position latitude 20° 04.56' S, longitude 148° 53.58' E in Hayman Channel off the northern end of Black Island reef has been destroyed. Mariners should use caution when in the vicinity. AUS charts 252 & 254
Worrying about squalls
"It takes a real storm in the average person's life to make one realize how much worrying was done over the squalls"
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Boating should be a pastime that everybody can enjoy safely

Boating should be a pastime that everybody can enjoy safely
When opening the National Marine Safety Committee 'Summit Down Under', NMSC's CEO Margie O'Tarpey emphasised that the Committee has always valued its collaboration with the private sector with the shared aim that "boating should be a pastime that everybody can enjoy safely".
According to keynote speaker Peter Chennell, Safety Manager for the UK's Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), your brain is your most important piece of safety equipment.
"It's about attitude, we need to find out how we get people to change their behaviour and use their safety equipment," Mr Chennell said.
To this end, the RNLI, the charity that provides the Lifeboat and Lifeguard service around the shores of the UK and Ireland, is commissioning research into the psychology of behavioural change.
Mackerel muster rigged
The Whitsunday Game Fish Club is rigging up for the annual Mackerel Muster Competition with some great prizes.
A rigging demonstration and briefing on Friday evening July 17 at the Cannonvale clubhouse followed by a weekend of fishing in paradise.
The Club also has their presentation night and AGM coming up.
Reel win for seafood
Seafood-loving Queenslanders and the State's seafood industry are winners with the introduction of a new seafood safety scheme says Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) CEO Winston Harris.
"Our industry is world class in the product it harvests. Queensland seafood continues to be recognised as a premium clean and safe product and we need to capitalise on this reputation."
"We have been working on this scheme with Safe Food Production Queensland (SFPQ) for a number of years now. We are delighted to see it is finally being implemented. Our members are proud of the seafood they produce and look forward to working with SFPQ in ensuring the continued safety and quality of seafood product."
The Queensland seafood scheme was developed with support from industry and the Queensland Seafood Marketers Association, Mr Harris added.
QSMA Secretary Martin Perkins agrees. "Queensland produces some of the best seafood in the world. It is a big part of the Queensland lifestyle and Queensland experience."
"Seafood consumers have told us time and time again that they want to buy Queensland seafood that is safe and of high quality. The introduction of this scheme will help enhance this reputation."
Park planning
The management plan for Holbourne Island National Park is to be reviewed. Landholders, local governments, interested groups and members of the public are invited to make written submissions suggesting how the area should be managed. For further information visit
VMR calls
VMR1 has been quite busy as more boaties are heading out in the beautiful weather, with a number of multiple activations.
These include towing broken down boats, night medivacs with a paramedic when the Mackay and Townsville Rescue helicopters were grounded by fog, flare sightings and the usual boats out of fuel.
VMR 1 and crew also attended the Oceanic Whitsunday Boat Leisure Show.
Dent pipeline
Boaties are advised that subject to weather conditions, pipeline laying operations will take place between Hamilton Island airport and Dent Island between July 14 and July 17. If the pipeline cannot be laid in one day, it will be lit at night. Mariners need to navigate with caution in this area.
Port Newry
Mariners are advised that a lighted starboard lateral mark buoy Fl.G.2.5s has been permanently established in the position of latitude 20°51.8010'S, longitude 148°56.0480'E off the south-eastern side of Acacia Island in Port Newry. AUS charts 251, 824
Lights out at Laguna
Mariners are advised that the starboard lateral marks No.5 and No.9 beacons Q.G, which marks the entrance channel into Laguna Quays marina is reported to be unlit. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 252 & 824
Think safety
"Your brain is your most important piece of safety equipment" Peter Chennell UK's Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Monday, July 06, 2009

Favourite fresh coral reef fish on plates this Christmas

Favourite fresh coral reef fish on plates this Christmas
Coral reef fish will be protected and fishers will have fresh-caught local seafood on their plates at Christmas following the announcement of new spawning closures for coral reef fin fish.
"Recreational anglers will be pleased because it means there will be no closures over the Christmas holidays while previously there have been December bans," said Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries, Tim Mulherin when announcing new dates covering the next five years.
"It's also great news for commercial fishers and charter boat operators who have been in favour of changes for some time now because of economic impacts."
The overhaul means fewer closures for shorter periods and no more December closures. There will now be two 5-day closures a year instead of three 9-day closures.
The closure dates for this year are October 15 to 19, and November 14 to 18.
"This new regime gives everyone certainty and allows for long term planning," Mr Mulherin said
"Importantly, fishing under these changes will still be sustainable.
"Coral trout and other coral reef fin fish will still get some breathing space when they're spawning.
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Resource Manager Brigid Kerrigan said the closures would apply to waters on Queensland's east coast between Cape York and Fraser Island, extending to the eastern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
"The closure dates are based on the new moon phases, which is when coral trout and many other reef species aggregate to spawn, and are therefore more susceptible to fishing at those times," Dr Kerrigan said.
"Anglers are reminded that the closures only apply to those who are fishing for coral reef fin fish, which includes coral trout, cods and gropers, emperors, parrotfish, sweetlips, tropical snappers and sea perches."
Construction starts
In coming months, visitors to Dugong and Sawmill Beach, Cid Harbour, can expect minor disruption during the operation of plant and equipment used in the construction of the Whitsunday Peak walking track.
GPS jamming
Britain's Ministry of Defence is conducting tests on military systems that may jam or seriously degrade Global Positioning Systems.
Yes, jamming the GPS signal is illegal, except when done by government.
The Ministry of Defence conducts occasional tests that may result in some loss of service to civilian users of the Global Positioning System. This includes such equipment as in-car navigation devices and other networks that rely on GPS signals.
Unsafe Passage
Mariners are advised that the Unsafe Passage Rear Lead, F Bu (F day) located on Daydream Island has been restored to normal. AUS chart 252
Sailing south?
Mariners  are  advised  that  live  firing  activities  will  be  conducted  in  the  marine  component  of Shoalwater Bay Training Area during July 12 to July 16.
The  Defence  Practice  Area  has  been  expanded  and  may  be inconsistent with the area currently represented on some available marine charts and land maps.
If you are sailing the inshore route, you could potentially sail into the area and should to check the chart accompanying this notice, available on the MSQ website.
A line due south from High Peak Island through Cheviot Island to Port Clinton transects the Marine Danger Area that will be closed. All waters, creeks, beaches and other areas within the declared marine danger area are not available for access.
Pursuant  to  section  53 and 54  of  the  Defence  Force  Regulations,  Any  person  or  vessel  found within  the  Marine  Danger  Area  of  the  Gazetted  Defence  Practice  Area  commits  an  offence subject to 5 penalty units or imprisonment for 3 months, or both [and] such  persons  or  vessels  maybe removed  by  Australian  Defence  Force  personnel  or  by  the  Queensland  Police. Defence Support Central Queensland Duty Officer: 0408 023 400. AUS charts 260, 367, and 822.
Nice breeze
"The really nice breezes blow through my body and into my soul"   ~Astrid Alauda
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan