Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Adventure on the high seas continues

Adventure on the high seas continues


On October 17 last year, the day before her departure, Jessica Watson said.... "Tomorrow I am going to wake up and sail around the world." This was her dream. When she sails into Sydney Harbour this Saturday morning, 210 days after her departure, she will have achieved her dream. She will have sailed around the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.


Bligh voyage


"Did I tell you that it is bad luck for a wooden boat not to leak?" writes Aussie adventurer Don McIntyre from a 25-foot long, 7-foot wide, open wooden vessel nearing Vanuatu.

Don and three crew are reliving Bligh's nightmare Mutiny on the Bounty voyage of 221 years ago when Fletcher Christian cast William Bligh and 18 of his men adrift.

They are attempting to sail the same voyage under similar conditions, no charts, no toilet paper, not enough food or water, in an 18th century traditional open timber whale boat.

McIntyre is not new to adventuring, but this challenge is like nothing he has experienced before. The conditions reflect that which Bligh encountered.

"We just had our first knockdown about an hour ago. The boat was full of water with crew bailing and one on the helm. We are still in gale conditions with 5-6 metre seas and 35 knots wind from the south east."


Turn on the lights


Navigation lights are a requirement under marine safety legislation, courtesy and common sense.

All boats, including sailing or rowing boats, must show lights if operating at night or in restricted visibility. Even a boat that does not travel between dusk and dawn may still need to show lights, for example during a heavy rain shower. Or if they breakdown and drift into the night.

A yacht must comply with the powerboat lighting requirements when under engine power.

The requirements for navigation lights are provided in an international agreement known as the Collision Regulations (COLREGS). The rules in the COLREGS applicable to lights provide specifications about the position, colour and performance of navigation lights.

Unfortunately, some boat owners fit non-compliant navigation lights.

In addition, the lights on some boats have been allowed to deteriorate to a point where they no longer comply or the wrong lamp (bulb, globe) has been used.


X marks the spot


Brit election report; There be a pirate running for Parleyment. Just sendin' thee a holler to tell thee that Mad Cap'n Tom, friend, honoured captain of the UK Talk Like a Pirate Day be running for Parleyment as an MP for Chelsea and Westminster.

Demands: that be the policies. Rum t'be tax free. All British schoolchildren t'be trained in swordsmanship an' gunnery. To fix broken Britain - a roll o' duct tape sent t' all homes. Require Apple to rename the iPad in the UK. New name: the iPatch.

Mad Cap'n Tom fer Parleyment: on May 6, X marks the spot.

Results are in fer Cap'n Tom;  "I be pollin' 84 votes, So thank ye all, from th' bottom o' me heart."

Broadside: International Talk Like a Pirate Day in Airlie Beach be Saturday September 18 this year.


Cruise News


"I have received confirmation that Airlie Beach will be welcoming an extra cruise ship in May this year," Reports Judi Dunn at the helm of the cruise ship Volunteer Ambassador Program.

"The (additional ship) Pacific Dawn will be arriving in Pioneer Bay on Monday May 31. The Pacific Jewel will visit on Saturday 22 May 10"

If you want to join the meet and great call Judi on 0408 285 915


Platypus Rock

Mariners be advised that the west cardinal mark beacon VQ (9) 10s, which marks Platypus Rock off the southern end of Shaw Island, has been reported to be destroyed. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 252, 254 & 824


Abel Point Marina entrance

Mariners be advised that the Fl R 2s light on the port lateral mark No. 2 beacon which marks the entrance into Abel Point Marina has been restored to normal.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Teen sailor Jessica Watson - The Last Cape!

Teen sailor Jessica Watson - The Last Cape!


A month of heavy stormy weather, waves the size of buildings, sleep deprived, six months in a boat at sea without seeing another person. Some days beginning with a knockdown; the yacht on its side, objects flying down below. Days ending in exhaustion or worse, not ending, just going on and on until you cannot do anything except drop into your bunk.

Sixteen-year-old Queensland sailor Jessica Watson has had it all and then some on her quest to be the youngest to sail unassisted around the world.

Jessica has conquered her last cape and joyfully wrote "Monday, May 03, Good news. Ella's Pink Lady and I have made it around the South East Cape of Tasmania and we're now headed north on the final leg to Sydney!"

Passing clear of the last cape in the dark "with not the nicest conditions" Jessica will keep clear of busy shipping lanes and has revised her expected ETA to end her voyage for the weekend of May 15-16.

Jessica's homecoming landfall will be at the Sydney Opera House, the time and date to be confirmed.

News of Jessica's voyage has been one of the most requested items of Waterfront these last six months. Stay tuned for her book to be published by Hachette "as soon as possible after her return."


Whit Sunday sailing


NQ Sabot Assoc is holding a training weekend May 23-24 for young sailors in preparation for the Qld State titles to be sailed at Yeppoon on the June long weekend.

Coaching, racing, camping and fun at the Whitsunday Sailing Club and taking part in the 21st Blessing of the Fleet. Phone Jeremy Cooper 0429315939


Man rescued


A would-be sailor has had to be rescued after running out of fuel circling a small island when he thought he was sailing around the UK coast.

The Sheerness Lifeboat and Thames Coastguard assisted the man who ran aground off the Elmley Marshes on the Isle of Sheppey on April 19.

With only a road map for directions, he set off on the river Medway, headed for Southampton.

The man told the rescue team he had been keeping the coast to his right and had ended up sailing in circles around Sheppey.

The RNLI towed the man's motor cruiser and officers gave him advice on fuel usage finding the man had owned the boat for less than a day and seemed very surprised that its fuel consumption was greater than his car.

Neville Crane, of the Isle of Sheppey HM coastguard rescue team, told BBC Kent "He was very short on expertise, even shorter on safety equipment and had no navigational equipment whatsoever on board.

"He was absolutely aghast that he had used three tanks of fuel to get to Elmley, which was only the very first part of his journey to Southampton when he could do the whole journey by car in less than one tank.

"We did impart the invaluable advice that in our opinion he'd be better off making the journey by train."


Marine Notices


Since cyclone Ului, repairs have continued with work done at the entrance to Nara Inlet on Hook Island where a temporary lighted buoy is established. Mariners are advised that a temporary lighted buoy Fl R 2.5s has been established to mark the entrance to Nara Inlet. The buoy also marks the remnants of the destroyed port lateral mark beacon, which is

exposed at low tide and submerged at high tide. Mariners are advised to use extreme caution when transiting the entrance. AUS chart 252

Mariners are advised that the Fl R 2s light on the port lateral mark No. 2 beacon which marks the entrance into Abel Point Marina has been restored to normal. AUS charts 253 & 268



Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Local marine stinger research needs help

Local marine stinger research needs help


The Whitsunday Stinger Management Committee has asked for assistance of Queensland Health, CQ Rescue and Queensland Ambulance Service to notify of potential and confirmed stings to help build a better picture of the jellyfish problem locally.

The committee believes that this year has seen an increase in the number of stings however; a database would provide proof and inform future activates.

The goal is to raise awareness about stingers and to decrease the number of stings occurring in Whitsunday waters each year.

The Committee believe they have had success in decreasing the number of stings in recent years by promotion of a balanced message regarding marine stingers. This works by informing the public how to prevent stings through wearing protective gear and actions in the event of a sting.

Formed in 2005 the Whitsunday Marine Stinger Management Committee comprises tourism, industry, volunteer and government agencies.

Whitsunday Regional Council provides leadership with support from Tourism Whitsunday, Surf Lifesaving Queensland, Queensland Ambulance Service, Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association, Fantasea Cruises, Cruise Whitsundays and GBRMPA.

Marine Stinger Advisor Dr Lisa-Ann Gershwin had previously advised of stings that occurred but this is now less frequent as she has moved to Tasmania.

Usually the only time the Committee hears of stings in the region is through the media, which can be difficult at times as Committee members are asked to provide comments to the media and often don't have the information of the stings that have occurred.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the Committee's program and improve methods, a record is needed of the number of possible/confirmed Irukandji stings occurring in Whitsunday area between Bowen, the Whitsunday Islands down to Midge Point.

The earlier the notification, the more effective the Committee can be in developing prevention strategies.

With an updated database, the Committee can assess whether or not sting prevention has been as successful as previous years.

Contact the Committee through Whitsunday Regional Council by calling Dale Mengel or Angela Jackson at Environmental Health Services on 4945 0682.

The Committee looks forward to working together with community services to spread the message of stinger safety.


Whitsunday named


On Sunday May 23 it will be 240 years since Whit Sunday was named in 1770 by 1st lieutenant James Cook and 21 years since the annual Blessing of the Fleet in Airlie Beach was started by Father Keith Felgate.

Community groups who wish to take part at the Whitsunday Sailing Club may contact 49464131


Catching seahorses' fine                 


A 25-year-old man has received a twelve-month good behaviour bond for taking two pot-bellied seahorses, a protected aquatic species at Lakes Entrance Victoria in January.

Yang Yu pleaded guilty in the Heidelberg Magistrates' Court to taking the two pot-bellied seahorses while fishing for sand crabs using a hoop net in the Gippsland Lakes.

The prosecutor told the court that the two pot-bellied seahorses were returned to the water by fisheries officers, but were unlikely to survive after being kept in an esky with sand crabs for a long time.

Magistrate Jillian Crowe said this species needed to be protected, but could not assume the seahorses had died as they had been released back into the water.

No conviction was recorded and Mr Yu was ordered court costs.


Light off Airlie Beach


Mariners are advised that the lighted special mark buoy Fl Y 3s, temporarily established to mark a sunken vessel in Muddy Bay about 400 metres in an easterly direction from Abel Point, is permanently withdrawn. No remnants of the sunken vessel remain. AUS charts 252, 253 & 268


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Mutiny crew ready for adventure

Mutiny crew ready for adventure


The Mutiny on the Bounty, when Fletcher Christian cast Captain William Bligh and 18 of his men adrift in a 23-foot open boat marked the beginning of one of the greatest open boat voyages in maritime history.

During the following seven weeks, Bligh and his men sailed over 3,700 nautical miles, in an overloaded boat, with little food or water and no charts, from Tonga to Kupang in Timor.

The 221st anniversary of the start of this epic voyage is April 28, 2010. On that same day, in the same place, at the same time, Australian adventurer Don McIntyre and crew will relive Bligh's nightmare.

McIntyre and crew will be attempting to sail the same voyage under similar conditions, no charts, no toilet paper, not enough food or water, in an 18th century traditional open timber whale boat.

McIntyre is not new to adventuring, but this challenge is like nothing he has experienced before.

"We are all very busy here in Tonga and today met with His Majesty King George Tupou V, the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, Australian, New Zealand and Japanese Ambassadors, a host of other dignitaries and the heads of the Defence forces along with the Tongan National traditional Dance troupe all made for a very special day that I will not forget." Don writes.

Safety equipment, a strong risk minimisation program, a GPS, charts, torches and the emergency food will be onboard sealed in a box and not used. The hardships and human dynamics of the crew is part of the experience sought, to get close to Bligh and his men.

Good luck on the voyage Don, you might need it.


No More Island


A disputed island in Bay of Bengal has disappeared into the sea.

For nearly thirty years Bangladesh and India have argued over ownership of a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal. Now the dispute has been resolved for them.  Due to rising sea levels, as of March 24 the island is gone.

Its disappearance below the waves has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols and one might now say that New Moore Island is, no more.

New Moore or Purbasha (as it is known in India) or South Talpatti (as it is known in Bangladesh) was a small uninhabited offshore sandbar landform in the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta region. It emerged in the Bay of Bengal in the aftermath of the Bhola cyclone in 1970.

Although New Moore was uninhabited and there were no permanent settlements or stations located on it, both India and Bangladesh claimed sovereignty over it because of speculation over the existence of oil and natural gas beneath its shores. 

The highest elevation of the island never exceeded two meters above sea level.

In March 2010, Sugata Hazra of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University, Kolkatta, India, said that the island had disappeared.  He said that sea level rise, changes in monsoonal rain patterns that altered river flows, and land subsidence were all contributing to the inundation of land in the northern Bay of Bengal. 


Bottle letter delivered


In 1914, British World War I soldier, Private Thomas Hughes, tossed a green ginger beer bottle containing a letter to his wife into the English Channel. He was killed two days later fighting in France. In 1999, fisherman Steve Gowan dredged up the bottle in the River Thames. Although the intended recipient of the letter had died in 1979, it was delivered in 1999 to Private Hughes' 86-year old daughter living in New Zealand.


Abel Point Marina


Mariners are advised that the port lateral mark No. 2 beacon Fl R 2s that marks the entrance into Abel Point Marina, has been reported to be unlit. Mariners are advised to use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 253 & 268


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Message in a bottle from sailor

Message in Bottle find

Last week Michael Lawrence was walking on a rocky beach near Lorne Victoria with his son Pete, 13, when they discovered the old whiskey bottle with its enclosed message written in Chinese characters.

The message reads; "Happy to connect with you. I would like to make friends with you. Would you like to?", and was signed Li Xing Bo according to a translator.

Reporters from a Chinese TV network tracked down the author of a message in a bottle. They report Li Haibo, a crewman on a freight ship, dropped the bottle into the ocean after leaving Argentina five years ago.

Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation scientists mapped out how the bottle may have made the journey, a serpentine course through the Philippines and along the east coast of Australia, before looping under Tasmania and around to Lorne.

A message in a bottle is a form of communication where a message is sealed in a container, archetypically a glass bottle, but could be any medium, so long as it floats and remains waterproof and released into the sea or ocean. Such messages are not intended for a specific person, but to end up wherever the currents carry them.

Because of their simplicity they are often associated with people stranded on a desert island, attempting to be rescued. However, many people release such messages for pleasure, to see how far their message can travel and to make new friends.

They are also used for scientific studies of ocean currents. The phrase "message in a bottle" has also come to refer to any message sent without an intended destination.

The oldest message in a bottle spent 92 years 229 days at sea. It was released in the North Atlantic on April 25, 1914 and recovered not that far away by fisherman, Mark Anderson of Bixter, Shetland, UK, on December 10, 2006.


Cruisin' life


This week the Holland America Line cruise ship MS Volendam anchored at Fitzalan Passage near Hamilton Island.

The graceful mid-sized ship known for its staterooms with a generous amount of personal space carries 1400 passengers with a crew of 600. Registered in The Netherlands she is ten years old.

The next cruise ship to arrive in Airlie Beach is the Pacific Dawn on Monday April 19, followed by Pacific Jewel on Saturday May 22 and Pacific Dawn on Monday June 21 reports Judi Dunn of the Volunteer Ambassador Program.


Marine notices


Still having more reports than usual following Cyclone Ului, as always, mariners are advised to navigate with caution.


Reef Point, Whitsunday Island Port Lateral Mark beacon Fl.R.2.5s which marks Reef Point on Whitsunday Island, has been reported destroyed. AUS charts 252, 253, 254 & 824


Proserpine River entrance, near Conway Beach. Mariners are advised that the Lighted Starboard Lateral Mark beacon No.1, Fl.G. 3s that marks the entrance to the Proserpine River, is destroyed. A lit buoy has been established, just south of the remains of the beacon.

The Lighted Starboard Lateral Mark beacon No.2, Fl.G. 3s that marks the entrance to Proserpine River, has been severely damaged, is leaning over and may be unlit. AUS charts 252 & 824


Muddy Bay, Airlie Beach

Mariners are advised that the FL.Y.3s light, which was established to mark a sunken vessel in approximate position latitude 20°15.96'S, longitude 148°43.38'E in Muddy Bay, has been destroyed.


Macona Inlet, Hook Island, Whitsundays Group, Mariners advised that the Lighted Starboard Lateral Mark beacon FL.G.2.5s which marks the entrance to Macona Inlet, have been reported destroyed. AUS chart 252


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan



Grounded ship tried shortcut: fishers

Grounded ship tried shortcut: fishers


Fisherman say they have seen ships like the now grounded Shen Neng 1 take 'shortcuts' through the Great Barrier Reef.

A Maritime Safety Queensland spokesperson also revealed facts relating to the shortcut near the site of now stricken ship.

The illegal route through the GBR has enough depth to permit ships to take the shortcut on the run to China, saving time and fuel, if it works out.

Ships may also exit legally through surveyed channels such as Hydrographers Passage, known as the Coral Gateway, open for navigation in the 1980s.

The Shen Neng 1 hit Douglas Shoal at full speed when it ran aground on Saturday night.

An MSQ representative said the passage was possible, but "poorly executed" by the Shen Neng 1, which was obviously "well outside the shipping lanes."

Authorities are hoping for good weather to stop a stricken carrier spilling more oil into the Great Barrier Reef.

Chinese owners Cosco face fines of up to $1 million over the incident, while the captain could receive an individual penalty of up to $250,000.

Global tug operator and salvage company Svitzer has been contracted to supply tugs and equipment to remove the ship.

 Svitzer Salvage recently succeeded in refloating a cargo vessel that grounded in January in Algeciras Bay, Spain during a storm.  


Ahoy sailors!


The Rotary Club of Airlie Beach Young Endeavour program is looking for young sailors to take part in a sponsored program. The program application date is extended until this Friday April 9.


Mariner notices


Following cyclone Ului, there are still lights out and navigation marks destroyed so Mariners should use caution when navigating in the vicinity.


Mariners are advised that an 8-metre fly bridge cruiser has sunk in shallow water in the Muddy Bay small craft mooring area, a buoy mooring float (MM348) marks the position of the vessel. AUS charts 252, 253, 268, 824 & 825


The leading light at Unsafe Passage, between North Molle and South Molle Islands have been reported to be unlit. However, Waterfront brought a yacht through on Monday and they were lit at that time.


At Bait Reef, mariners are advised that the starboard lateral mark beacon in approximate position latitude 19° 48.56' S, longitude 149° 03.76' E, which marks the western side of Bait Reef, has been destroyed.


Seaforth Creek entrance lighted buoy lateral mark buoy Fl R 2.5s has been temporarily established in position. Mariners should use caution when transiting the entrance as remnants of the beacon remain. AUS chart 251


Victor Creek. The port lateral mark No.4 beacon Fl R 3s which is the second port lateral mark beacon from seaward marking the entrance into Victor Creek, has been destroyed. A port lateral mark buoy Fl R 3s has been temporarily established to mark the position of the destroyed beacon. Navigate with caution as remnants of the destroyed beacon remain. AUS chart 251



Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Monday, September 06, 2010

"Hush money" claim to Sydney Ferries tenderers

"Hush money" claim to Sydney Ferries tenderers PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 August 2010 06:52

The New South Wales state government in Australia has paid transport operators Veolia and TransdevTSL up to AU$6 million (US$5.38 million) for the money they wasted tendering against Sydney Ferries for management of the service.

Sydney Harbour ferry 'Supply', in Sydney, Australia.

The state opposition Treasury spokesperson Mike Baird accused the payments of being "hush money" and criticised the whole tendering process for being deeply flawed following a Maritime Union of Australia campaign, which forced NSW Premier Kristina Keneally to cancel the process.

The previous premier, Nathan Rees, opened up Sydney Ferries for privatisation following a critical report from barrister Bret Walker, which recommended private sector management. The Australian has reported that the two tenderers spent between AU$2 million and AU$3 million in bid preparations, however details of the tendering process have not been disclosed.

See the Work Boat World editorial from October 2009, from Editor-in-Chief Neil Baird on the perils of government-owned ferries.

Source: The Australian