Friday, April 08, 2011

Seeing under the sea

Seeing under the sea has taken a turn, you can now do it without scuba gear or even getting wet and on Monday night you can see how it is done.

Mike Cappo from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) will show you at a free presentation at the Reef Gateway at 7:00 pm. 

Did you ever wonder how scientists study the fish populations of the deep inter-reef habitats? 

And what have they found? Well, wonder no more and come along to a fascinating evening with Mike Cappo from AIMS and learn all about BRUVS.

Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS) have been developed by AIMS scientists in order to monitor the vast areas of deeper inter-reef and shelf habitats inaccessible to research divers so that important bioregions there can be included in marine protected areas.

BRUVS consist of tourist-grade "HandiCam" video cameras in simple underwater housings made of PVC sewer pipe and acrylic, with a canister of minced pilchards on the end of a bait arm in the field of view. The housings are held in steel frames, and picked up after one or two hours filming at the seabed.

In his talk, 'One Fish, Two Fish, Green Fish, Blue Fish' Mike will present some ideas formed by counting and measuring deepwater reds, coral trout, tusk fish and reef sharks including tigers and hammerheads with BRUVS.

The Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee and the award winning OUCH Volunteers have pooled their resources for the presentation at Reef Gateway on Monday April 11 at 7:00 pm.  More information WLMAC Secretary 0407676952.


America's Cup News


"The big news today is that San Francisco AC34 (34th America's Cup) will be designated a "National Special Security Event," which means that the US Secret Service will take over the responsibility for regatta security and the FBI will take over policing duties.

"The announcement was accompanied by a maritime security plan produced by the newly formed 34CUP security organization that shows all San Francisco harbors will be closed during the 43 days of racing from July through September, a move that drew strong reactions from the local boating community.

"Close all the harbors?" asked local sailor Roman Barnakle. "I don't understand why they just couldn't set up some of those barriers with the retractable nylon webbing around the racing area."

However, due to budget cuts, maritime law enforcement will be closing off harbors rather than trying to patrol the perimeter of the racing area.

"There's no way that taxpayer dollars should be spent on providing security for these super rich guys to go play around in boats," said Richard Stiphington of the American Way Taxpayer's League.

"Why should taxpayer dollars be used for event security when they can be used to build a life-sized ark in the middle of Missouri?"

Your Waterfront writer then noticed the press release date was April 1, 2011.


China rejects 'hot' ship


Singapore flagged motor ship 'MOL Presence' was this week refused entry to the Chinese port at Xiamen in Fujian when high levels of radiation were recorded on arrival officials say.

The incident represents the first time a ship has been prevented from entering a foreign port due to radiation.

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) rejected Chinese claims that 'MOL Presence' was contaminated when inspections off Kobe, Japan found levels below the Chinese figures.


Marine Notice


Stonehaven Anchorage - Mariners are advised that the lighted starboard lateral mark beacon Fl G 2.5s in approximate position latitude 20° 05.3' S, longitude 148° 53.1' E, which is between Black Island and Bird Island in the South Channel adjacent Stonehaven Anchorage, is reported to be unlit. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 252 & 254


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Whitsunday Sailing Club proves forty years young

Sailing Club proves forty years young

Some twenty-five years ago, having recently moved to Airlie Beach, I walked
into the bar at the Whitsunday Sailing Club and while enjoying a refreshing
ale, asked about membership.

"Ask Jimmy Hayes" was the response. So I sat down to wait for Jimmy Hayes,
and so began one of the countless friendships I have formed at the club over
the years.

Many good ideas were discovered after a night at the club bar; coming to
light later, written as they were on the back of a drink-soaked beer

Some surviving ideas include Airlie Beach Race Week, originally sponsored by
Hog's Breath, the annual Blessing of the Fleet, the ever popular Wednesday
afternoon sailing and marine training.

Some that didn't stay on the calendar include the City to the Sun Race from
Sydney to Airlie with the Cruising Yacht Club, Paradise to Paradise Race to
Port Vila Vanuatu and one I thought would last, but was not to be;
Mooloolaba to Airlie.

Sometimes the best laid plans have a flaw, and the Soggy Santa is surely
included as one of those. On this Yuletide occasion Santa, who shall remain
nameless, felt it necessary to fortify himself before the encounter with the
young sailors with their cheeky comments and sticky lolly hands. Suffice to
say, Santa perhaps over-did the heart starter and when delivered to the
sailing club bay by speedboat proved that the most dangerous place is
between the boat and shore.

You just never know who you will meet at the Sailing Club bar and it has
always been one of those places where unique individuals abound. If you were
to find yourself talking to someone wearing a 'Rolls Royce Owners Club'
t-shirt you can be confident they either found it in a rag bag or actually
own a Roller, or two.

Mrs Cap'n Dan had her work cut out planning our wedding, having to juggle
the race calendar and tide times so Hayman's 'Sun Paradise' could dock at
Abel Point to embark our Wedding party. My mate Fr Keith Felgate, Ex Royal
Navy padre, said we really had to be married at sea. He was right and after
a turn around the Whitsunday islands the reception followed at the club.

The long battle to get the lease for Port of Airlie began with the grandiose
plans of Christopher Skase to turn the entire Muddy Bay / Boat Haven Bay
into a resort, marina and golf course. When Skase bailed out (pun intended)
FAI insurance was owed something from him and got dibs on the lease.
Learning curve included realising that when they said something would happen
on Monday, the real question had to be "what year?"

The collection of photos on display at the anniversary dinner brought back
many memories, not only were we faster then, we were better looking! (Speak
for yourself! says Mrs Cap'n)

At the dinner party it was excellent to hear some of the yarns about days
gone by. Getting things done was one subject and Club patron Eddie Gray is
the font of knowledge when detail is needed. Having our State and Federal
representatives in attendance and wanting to impart some 'can do' spirit
onto them, Eddie described the use of gelignite to enhance dinghy bay
access, that predated the arrival of WH&S, nosey officialdom and the Nanny
State to the area.

The night included thoughts about the absent faces of friends. The late Bill
McGrath was remembered with son Mark accepting on behalf of the family a
plaque to his memory. Others were remembered for their fun, friendship and
how much drink they spilled doing it.

So here I am years later as a Commodore retired, the beer is still cold . .
. and I still spend some time at the bar waiting for Jimmy Hayes.

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan, Commodore (Ret.)

Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North