Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Will swim from Whitehaven Beach to Hamilton Island

 Clean up Australia marks 20 years of change


Clean up Australia founder Ian Kiernan is a passionate yachtsman, sailing competitively for more than 40 years, representing Australia at the Admiral's, Southern Cross, Dunhill, Clipper, Kenwood and Trans Pacific Cup competitions.

In 1986/87 Ian fulfilled a long-held dream by representing Australia in the BOC Challenge solo around-the-world yacht race. He set an Australian record for a solo circumnavigation of the world. It was during the BOC Challenge that Ian saw and was appalled by the amount of rubbish choking the world's oceans. He committed himself to do something about it on his return, starting in his own backyard - Sydney Harbour, organising a community event - Clean Up Sydney Harbour on Sunday 8 January 1989.

There was an overwhelming response from Sydney residents, with 40,000 volunteers turning out to lend a hand to clean up. The huge success of the first Clean Up sparked national interest in the simple but effective community-based idea. And so, in 1990 the first Clean Up Australia Day took place on Sunday, January 21.

Now an accepted community activity we look forward to Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday March 7. In North Queensland, communities and councils are aiming a clean ups during a cooler time of the year.


Oceans of junk


Others have found novel ways of highlighting junk in the ocean. One, the Junk Raft, was 30-feet long, built on six pontoons filled with 15,000 plastic bottles; deck is made of salvaged sailboat masts, and four sails speeding it along at roughly 2 knots, to make about 50 miles per day. It took three months to sail to Hawaii from California. Note from crew: Most dangerous moment? Driving to the Long Beach Aquarium on the day of departure.

Another awareness raising project is 'Plastiki' a distinctive, one-of-a-kind 60-foot (20m) catamaran made out of reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled PET plastic and waste products.

Adventurer and ecologist David de Rothschild plans to sail across the Pacific Ocean starting in San Francisco, later this year ending his journey in Sydney, after a planned visit of several sites of ecological importance including the Great Barrier Reef in an attempt to draw attention to the amount of waste disposed of in our oceans.


Swim for the Reef


Two ultra marathon swimmers - Rob Hutchings and Todd Cameron plan to swim the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, starting in August 2010. Spanning 2300km (1429 miles), it will be the longest multi-day ocean swim ever completed. -

This Saturday, the boys will be joined by local tri athlete Christie Leet. They plan to swim from Whitehaven Beach to Catseye Beach on Hamilton Island - a distance of 14.5 kms. There will be a meet and greets at the Airlie Beach Lagoon Friday at 5.30 and later at Coral Sea Resort. 

Great Barrier Reef Swim - http://www.gbrswim.org/


Distress hoax fine


A hoaxer who sparked a huge air and sea search costing £24,000 (A$42,200) after falsely claiming he and a friend were lost in a dinghy has been fined £2,500 (A$4,200).

The 21-year-old tied up RNLI lifeboats, a helicopter and police units for two-and-a-half hours after he made a hoax phone call saying he had got lost while on a fishing trip.

He said they were very cold and he was particularly worried about his friend's physical condition. Eventually, Welsh police traced the distress call, which showed the men were safely onshore.

The accused received a 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year. Magistrate Peter Loxdale said: "This was very serious and the costs were colossal. The only reason you were not jailed is because you are full of remorse."


Light restored


Mariners are advised that the Q(6) + LFl.15s light on the south cardinal mark beacon which is about 0.5 nautical miles south-east of Bird Island has been restored to normal. AUS charts 252, 254 & 825


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grandest Ocean liner to visit Airlie Beach

Grandest Ocean liner to visit Airlie Beach
The most exciting, the grandest, most magnificent ocean liner ever built; Cunard's Queen Mary 2 is due at Airlie Beach on Sunday February 28 on a two-month around the World cruise.
The Airlie Beach visit is the first stop in Australia for the luxury liner and its 3000 passengers, so we should make sure they get a great welcome.
Of course, one of the best ways to do that is to join the Volunteer Ambassador Program has been meeting and greeting cruise ships for some years now with Judi Dunn at the helm.
"Our volunteers are a critical ingredient in the successful experience for the passengers and therefore ensuring the cruise ship companies continue using Airlie Beach as their 'port of call' in the Whitsundays," Judi said.
If you like meeting and greeting people and helping to show off our destination you may contact Judi Dunn 0408 285 915.
What about a charter boat operator taking passengers out to have a closer look? A mate suggests that people would come from around the region to go out and have a turn around the great ship.
33rd America's Cup
Starting this week, the 33rd America's Cup will be raced for by two giant multihulls. The speeds of these mammoth multihulls are much greater than have ever been seen in the history of the America's Cup before. They are predicted to change the usual boat-against-boat match racing tactics.
The multihull crews have reported speeds over 25 knots in just over ten knots of wind.
The 33rd America's Cup will be held under the strict Deed of Gift rules. It is specified that the match be sailed in yachts 90 ft by 90 ft ,and so the Golden Gate Yacht Club developed their trimaran BOR BMW Oracle Racing 90, now USA 17, whilst the Société Nautique de Genève have opted for a giant catamaran.
The Deed of Gift Match is decided over just three races across two course types. Races 1 and 3 will be contested over a simple upwind-downwind loop totalling 40 miles, whilst Race 2 will be 39 miles long and around an equilateral triangle course comprising a 13-mile beat and two 13 miles reaches.
Among the Challenger and Defender crews, there are many of the best sailors in the world, charged with competing with craft, which have effectively brought a quantum leap in speed and technologies since the 32nd America's Cup.
STOP PRESS: Race one was postponed on Monday due to a lack of wind.
Sunday February 14, 2010 marks both Valentine's Day and the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Tiger. Note: Nothing about sailing or golf here.
Tracking ships from space
Two new receivers will be tested on the International Space Station to help keep track of large ships at sea.
VHF radio signals from a ship's transponder regularly transmit the vessel's identification and location, but this data can only be picked up line-of-sight by other ships or when near land.
To improve the tracking of ships, these signals will be received on the space station to see if it can provide greater real-time tabs on shipping movements.
Smidgen of trivia
Until recently, no one thought a smidgen was an actual unit of measure. However, kitchen supply stores in North America and elsewhere are now selling sets of "minispoons" in which the smallest spoon is labelled "smidgen."
It is designed to hold exactly 1/2 pinch or 1/32 of a teaspoon, which is roughly 0.005 of a fluid ounce or 0.15 of a millilitre.
Moreover, where did the word 'smidgen' come from? Well apparently, it is a diminutive of "smutch" or "smudge"; it originally meant a small spot.
Fitzalan Passage light
Mariners are advised that the lighted special mark buoy Fl Y 2.5s in Fitzalan Passage, east of Henning Island, has been reported to be unlit.
Mariners should use caution when in the vicinity. AUS charts 252, 253 & 254.

Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Whitsunday Swim to raise awareness of Barrier Reef

Whitsunday Swim to raise awareness of Barrier Reef


 Two marathon swimmers, Rob Hutchings and Todd Cameron, have set their sights on swimming the full length of the Great Barrier Reef a distance of 2300km in late 2010.

"I have always dreamed of doing an extreme expedition like climbing Everest, but I'm not a mountain climber. Swimming is my passion and the Great Barrier Reef is my Everest," Rob Hutchings said.

Swimming in tandem, the men will have a support team of kayakers, sailing and semi rigid boats supported by a mother ship. It is anticipated that the Swim will take between 3-4 months.

"Based on current training we anticipate swimming 20-30km per day," says Todd, who has recently travelled from Toronto, Canada to train with Rob in Adelaide.

Swimming off the coast of Adelaide, they have had the opportunity to test out their sponsored Shark Shields Freedom 7 units. Their other concern is marine stingers.

A promotional 14km swim from Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island to Hamilton Island, Queensland is set for the Saturday February 20 to campaign for this epic expedition later in 2010 and will be preceded by a fundraising cocktail party dinner on Friday the 19th at the Coral Sea Resort.

The GBR Swim will be a four-month feat of human persistence and commitment; not only as a physical challenge, but also in sending a message of ocean conservation. It aims to raise awareness and bring about change to the plight of our oceans due to climate change and present facts about the nature of sharks and the need for their protection.

Find Great Barrier Reef Swim on Facebook or gbrswim@yahoo.com.au


Off beach 2010


Whitsunday Sailing Club Rear Commodore Off Beach Terry Archer Reports on the 2010 racing calendar and club championships.

"Thanks to a fantastic offer from the Mairs Family, I am excited to present to you the 2010 Sail Iceberg Series.

"The series will run from February 21, with races each fortnight, incorporating the Easter Regatta, May Day regatta at Tinaroo and the June Regatta in Townsville, with the last round on June 27, just before the Tasar Nationals.

"First Prize of $1000 has been offered by Sail Iceberg, with $500 second Prize from the Home Loan Specialists, and $250 third prize from Ullman Sails / Airlie Sail and Shade.

"The series will encompass ten rounds, with two drops allowed, and will be a yardstick handicap open to all classes from all clubs, with adjustments for longer courses for bigger boats, so everyone is in with a chance to win the prize.

We will hold a second series later in the year after Hamilton Island race week, from September to December. Details will be developed over the year.

Other big news is that we have been asked to host the Tasar State Titles again in conjunction with the Easter regatta, as well as the International 505 State Titles at the Easter Regatta.


Hoax mayday: jail


A 25-year-old former West Australian sea rescue volunteer has been ordered to repay more than $54,000 to police and serve six months in prison, after making a false distress call, which prompted a massive sea search.

In Joondalup Magistrate's Court the former sea rescue volunteer, was sentenced for creating a false belief after pleading guilty to making a hoax distress call on October 17 last year.

Using the marine radio, the man claimed that a vessel, Sea Dolphin 2, was sinking 40 nautical miles north of Rottnest and the crew were abandoning the boat.

The man then listened as 30 volunteers and seven boats conducted a two-day search.

Magistrate Martin Flynn said man needed to be made an example of and described his actions as an affront to fundamental strengths in society of helping a stranger and volunteering. He said the bogus call had put the lives of volunteers in danger.

The court was told the defendant had previously been convicted in 2004 of making hoax calls to air traffic controllers and pilots at Perth Airport.


Dam poll


A poll now being conducted on the Peter Faust Dam website asks, "Would a floating pontoon be an added value to the dam?"

The 'Yes' vote gets a resounding 91% of a Total Vote of 55 dam users.

The dam is currently at 70% capacity.

The Faust Dam Fish Stocking Association Inc. meet on the Last Wednesday of the month at the Proserpine Ex-Services Club at 7.00pm.


Nara light out


Mariners are advised that the Fl.R.2.5s light on the Port Lateral Mark beacon in approximate position, which marks the entrance into Nara Inlet at Hook Island, has been reported to be unlit. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. Chart AUS252


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Teen sailor passes half way mark in South Atlantic

Teen sailor passes half way mark in South Atlantic
Queensland teen sailor Jessica Watson has passed both the half way mark and the Falkland Islands in her around the world solo adventure.
Jessica writes "after looking over all the latest charts, I can't help being a bit surprised at how small the South Atlantic seems after the never ending Pacific!
"My quite sunny conditions ended with a bit of a bang, Ella's Pink Lady and I have been having a very interesting time out here.
"The wind was expected to rise to a near gale, but none of the computers or forecasts picked that it would reach the 65 knots that I recorded, before losing the wind instruments in a knockdown!
"So in the middle of all the drama, back at home Mum received just about the worst phone call possible from the Australian Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC), telling her that one of my EPIRBs (emergency signalling devices) had been activated.
"One of the knockdowns had caused the automatic EPIRB mounted under the dodger to turn on without me knowing. Luckily, I called in only a few minutes later before anyone could really start to panic. I was pretty annoyed at the stupid thing for going off and giving everyone such a scare!
"When the wind had finally calmed down, I was treated to a pretty incredible sunset and as I was clearing things up on deck, a couple of dolphins stopped by just as if they were checking that we were all OK."
Jessica has now been sailing for 100 days and is about 1,500 nautical miles ahead of where we thought she would be at this stage of her voyage.
Fish Feeding
By following some simple responsible park practices, you and your guests can help protect our parks.
Most food fit a human to eat, particularly bread and meat, is generally not suitable for fish and may damage their health. Be aware that feeding fish may result in undesirably aggressive behaviour in some fish and can be dangerous to people in the water.
You need a permit to feed fish as part of your tourism operation and this permit will contain some important requirements about how you go about the activity. These include keeping fish feeding away from people who are in the water, not handfeeding fish. Also, don't feed bread, cooked seafood and processed food to fish - use raw fish or prawns or approved fish pellets.
Olympic sailing success
Yachting Australia and the Queensland Academy of Sport, supported by Yachting Queensland, are developing Queensland's future Olympic sailing champions with the formation of the Queensland High Performance Sailing Program.
The new program is a major step forward for high performance sailing in Queensland as the Australian Sailing Team heads down the long road to success at the 2012 London Olympic Games and beyond.
The Australian Sailing Team had great success at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games bringing home two Gold and one Silver medals and the formation of the Queensland High Performance Sailing Program is designed to see Queensland athletes add to Australia's sailing success tally at future games.
Brampton Island
Mariners are advised that the Fl 6 10m 3M light on the western side of Brampton Island has been reported to be unlit. Mariners should use caution when in the vicinity. Charts affected AUS 251 & 824
Enjoy the rain
"Rain may pour down from the heavens, but if you only hold up a thimble, a thimbleful is all you will receive" Ram Dass
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan