Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Have a safe holiday on the water


Water safety and school holiday fun


Whether it is running a multi-million-dollar ship tracking system covering the entire Great Barrier Reef, to preventing maritime accidents and safeguarding Australia's most precious marine environmental icons or helping kids with holiday activities, The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has a big job.

Not only does that job cover Australia's huge coastline but also includes the safety of boats and ships of all sizes and their safe construction and crewing in conjunction with Maritime Safety Queensland and the Water Police.

The AMSA website has plenty to help holiday kids better understand our marine environment and what can be done to protect it.

The AMSA website has been developed to encourage children to learn about the marine environment in a fun and interactive way. It will help them become more aware, respectful and passionate about our marine environment.

An oil spill cleanup experiment shows the effects of oil and explains what happens to spilled oil and experiments about oil bioremediation after the initial cleanup

Protect our seas education kits may be requested and other links explored at


Family fun on the water


Boating is an exciting and fun, family leisure option and by educating away some of the risks, parents can relax and the whole family will gain more from the experience.

Perhaps you didn't know that a good game can be made with lifejacket practice. Here goes, the game of 25 Second Lifejackets.

Run a 25-second lifejacket drill. When the skipper yells 'Lifejackets' everyone on board should appear on deck with their lifejacket on and a designated crew member also carries the grab bag of safety gear. Practise this with the family until it is completed within 25 seconds; no longer!

Over the side kid! Your children need to experience jumping into the water with their lifejacket on. As well as being a great advance check of the suitability of the jacket, it is essential that the children have confidence in the flotation of their jacket to reduce the possibility of panic in an emergency.  Find that nice warm bay and jump off the stern fully kitted up, get them used to swimming around in the jacket so that they learn the effect of the extra buoyancy on their body.

Show your children how to hold the jacket by pulling down gently on the collar while they jump. A fun but valuable practice is to jump in fully clothed with the jacket as your children will not necessarily be in their togs in an emergency and different clothing can affect their flotation.

These practices can be a fun game for children, making them better prepared in an emergency and give parents confidence in the effectiveness of safety measures.


Family as Crew


Engage your family as much as possible in the operation of the boat. More experience and knowledge leads to less danger. Kids should be shown and encouraged to start/stop the engine, use the manual winches, switch electrical equipment on an off, operate the anchor control, VHF radio and trim the sails.


Marine Notices


St Bees Island - a feral animal control program using live firing weapons will take place on St Bees Island October 3 – 7. An exclusion zone extends 500 metres seaward of the High Water mark. Marine VHF sécurité calls will be made on channel 16 by the Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service vessel 'Tamoya'. AUS charts 251 & 823


Abel Point Marina Entrance - be advised that the port lateral mark No.6 beacon Fl R 3s and starboard lateral mark No. 7 beacon Fl G 3s, which mark the entrance into Abel Point Marina, is temporarily unlit.

AUS charts 253 & 268


Port of Airlie Marina - pile-driving operations continue in Port of Airlie Marina. A Fl Y light marks the outermost pile by night.

Mariners should use caution in the vicinity.

AUS charts 252 & 268


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North



Friday, September 23, 2011

Whitsunday island ocean swim planned


Whitsunday island ocean swim planned


Planning is underway by local long distance swimmer Christie Leet for a swim from Roma Point on South Molle Island to Airlie Beach in late October.

International swimmer Chris Palfrey from Townsville will join Christie for this unique swim.

Earlier this year Mr Leet competed in the West Australian Rottnest Island Channel Swim and has previously swam challenges from Whitehaven Beach to Hamilton Island and Magnetic Island to Townsville.

Chris Palfrey did hardly any swimming until the age of thirty when his wife Penny introduced him to the sport. Penny is an English woman with a long history of competitive swimming. Penny and Chris were in Japan this month to swim the Tsugaru Strait, between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido first conquered in 1991. Only three people have successfully swum this strait to the northernmost island of Japan.

Long distance swimmers say an exciting thing about open water crossings, is that even in the 21st century, you can still be a pioneer. There are still events and crossings in lakes, rivers and along coastlines in almost every continent, which hardly anyone has swum.


In the swim


The Whitehaven Beach to Hamilton Island swim is coming up on November 20, on the Sunday of Hamilton Island Triathlon week.

But wait, there's more. Adventure swimmers are now going on Swim Tours visiting out of the way places that are very special unique places offering experiences. Adding the Whitsunday Islands destination to Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, the south of France and Fiji makes good sense.


Thar be Pirates!


There were plenty of pirates and pirate activities surrounding International Talk Like a Pirate Day in Airlie Beach with lots of media attention. Everyone likes to talk like a pirate so in a town like Airlie you can 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. This Pirate had the sniffles and spent most of the weekend in bed with a hot toddy, meekly saying "Aargh."


Stupid testing complaints


Some female tourists complain that nude beaches or topless beaches are too distracting for their husbands and can ruin their (her?) holidays. "Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women."

A recent survey from Thomas Cook and the Association of British Travel Agents revealed 20 of the most ridiculous complaints by holidaymakers made to their travel agent.

Here are just a few pearlers. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels."

A tourist at a top African Game Lodge overlooking a water hole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel "inadequate."

"The beach was too sandy." teams up with "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white."

Finally, "My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."


Marine Notices


Hayman Island Marina - Mariners be advised that the lighted starboard lateral mark beacon No. 1 Q (1) G marking the entrance to Hayman Island Marina, has been reported unlit.

Dent Island - Mariners are advised that the starboard lateral mark beacon Fl G 2.5s marking the northern end of Dent Island, has been reported unlit. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 254, 823 & 824 


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Stinger week highlights deadly marine animals


Stinger week highlights deadly marine animals


Marine Stinger Awareness Week consists of various school information talks in Bowen, Proserpine and Cannonvale and a display at the Rotary Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show.

The Whitsunday Marine Stinger Management Committee meets regularly and aims to provide a collaborative, coordinated and balanced response to the marine stinger issues for community, government and media.

Broadly, the group is concerned with three key questions: What dangerous marine stingers exist and what is their distribution? How can we better prevent stings through physical barriers and education? What should individuals and clinicians do when people are stung?

There is a need for a holistic state approach for stinger notifications and research to see whether there are particular variables that lead to an increase in stings.

The committee is supported by our Reef Guardian Whitsunday Council, Surf Life Saving Queensland, GBRMPA, marine tourism and dive operators, medical personnel, etc and meets at Tourism Whitsunday.

The Indo-Pacific or Australian box jellyfish (Chironex Fleckeri) is claimed to be the most venomous marine animal known to humanity and its sting is often fatal. However, there have only been 63 reported deaths from the box jellyfish in over 100 years.


Whitileaks Reef Watch


Leaked US embassy cables published by WikiLeaks have revealed that the federal government has "weakened" the compulsory pilotage regime for large vessels navigating through the sensitive maritime environment of Torres Strait.

On learning the Torres Strait pilotage regime was quietly amended 17 months ago, Don Henry of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said it was "absolutely essential'' that all shipping [through the strait] has pilotage.

The cables reveal the Howard government's October 2006 announcement of a compulsory pilotage regime in the Torres Strait was rejected by some governments and shipping companies.

The change involved leaving the "compulsory" framework in place while in practice reverting to a voluntary scheme for vessels by not enforcing penalties against ships that passed through the Torres Strait without a pilot and did not call at an Australian port. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority formalised the change on April 17, 2009.


Fishy claim


David Copp, a tourist visiting Ilfracombe Harbour, west of Bristol, in the UK, complained to the harbormaster that the fish being landed on the quayside had a "disgusting smell."

The 46-year-old was outraged that his children, aged seven and nine, had been forced to endure the sight.

"It's not the sort of thing you want to see on holiday, there was a real stench. My children were quite distressed by it. These people should be a bit more considerate to holidaymakers."

Mr Copp called Ilfracombe harbourmaster Rob Lawson to complain about the smell that had emanated from The Lady of Lundy trawler before calling the North Devon Journal to air his woes.

We expect any minute that local authorities will be swamped with complaints that the waves on the beach are very wet, cold and rather salty. And let's not discuss the sand – far too gritty and damp. 


Boat show success


Great weather greeted the reincarnation of the Rotary Boat and Lifestyle Show at Port of Airlie with visitors and exhibitors happy with the new site and attendance.

Carolyn Thompson was busy showing visitors both Box and Irukandji marine stingers (jellyfish) on the combined Whitsunday Marine Stinger Management Committee, Parks and Wildlife Service and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority display.

The floating exhibits were busy also with Sunsail getting more stock from their base at Hamilton Island after a busy Saturday.

Sunsail Sales Manager Sarita Wait, told the Whitsunday Coast Guardian

"Sunsail has been thrilled by the number of attendees at the Whitsunday Boat and Lifestyle Show at its new venue Port of Airlie." "After what has been challenging year for the region, Sunsail has enjoyed a successful show and looks forward to returning again next year", Ms Wait added.


Pirate Week


Wave your hooks in the air Saturday September 17, 2011 - 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. Meet up mid afternoon at the pirate picnic tables in mid Airlie.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan



Warrior cat a hot favourite with local lads

Warrior cat a hot favourite with local lads


Whitsunday sailors Dale Mitchell and Aaron Linton have been taking advantage of their skills and bags of breeze during the fast and furious Fantasea F18 Australian Championships, being sailed as part of Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week.

Going into the last day of the six day series, Dale and Aaron look certain to take second or third place battling closely with Townsville local sailor Mick Guinea who has years of experience in the F18 class of catamarans.

Not that Dale is lacking in the experience arena having represented the Whitsunday Sailing Club at World 505 Championships in San Francisco with brother Paul in 2009.

Dale, Aaron and Paul all learned the ropes on Sabots and everything off beach from a young age at the Whitsunday club with Dale often filling the job of Off-Beach Captain on race days.

Dale and Aaron are sailing a state of the art Nacra Infusion F18 'Ullman Sails'  that features  canted hulls, semi encapsulated front beam, wing shaped mast profile, high aspect asymmetrical spinnaker and shark fin shaped high aspect rudder blades.

Wanna know what that means? It means a warrior cat on heat that goes very fast.

The design came about a few years ago, when a group a sailors who wanted more competition at a level just below the Olympics got together and came up with the Formula 18 Class an open design 'box' rule that allows boats from a variety of manufacturers to race together as long as the basic specifications are met.


Watch at anchor


A recent court decision demonstrates the tough attitude to breaches of the Collision Regulations.

A collision between two fishing vessels in the early hours of the morning. Weather was fine and clear, no moon.

Vessel One was steaming under autopilot, deckhand on watch. Vessel Two was at anchor, with the Master and his deckhand asleep below deck. One collided with Two, effectively destroying Two. Two's master was rescued, but the deckhand was never found.

The master of Two brought a successful claim for personal injury, loss of earnings and stress.

The judge was critical of the lookout kept by the deckhand on One, noting that although the anchor light of Two was not bright, it met the statutory requirement and was lit at the time of the collision and easily visible in the prevailing clear conditions. One's radar was not operating, in contravention of the Collision Regulations; other issues included deck lights and alcohol.

The judge had no difficulty in finding that One had been navigated negligently.

However, the court also found that Two had been contributorily negligent. No anchor watch was kept aboard Two in breach of the collision regulations. The court reduced the award by 40%.

This Western Australian Supreme Court case shows a hardening attitude of the courts towards mariners who flout the collision regulations.


Resources pooled


Queensland boaties and fishers will see further enforcement from a single marine services agency when Maritime Safety Queensland teams up with long-time partner, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol this month.

Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure Minister Craig Wallace says Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol would transfer from within the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation to Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) within Transport and Main Roads.

"By bringing them within Maritime Safety Queensland's organisation they can better combine their assets in delivering services such as marine education and safety awareness programs", Mr Wallace said.


Mariner notices


North Channel, Bowen - Mariners are advised that the safe water mark Fl 2s in position latitude 20° 01.2680' S, longitude 148° 16.9719' E has been reported as unlit. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in this area. AUS chart 268


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North

Going to windward on the Bruce


Going to windward on the Bruce


Anyone venturing onto Highway Number 1 would be amazed at the number of yachts in amongst the gray nomad's caravans and polished professional trucker's rigs.

Yachties attending Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island Race Weeks in the past had to sail up and down the coast however; the highway named Bruce is getting some serious use.

Good thing too that yachties are racing in the dry winter and not during the wet when the Bruce Highway is as wet as the Coral Sea in places. It could then be easier to sail south except sometimes waiting for the weather can take a while as anyone who has spent days hiding behind South Percy Island can vouch.

Talking to Craig at Hawkes Boatyard he said business was brisk with boats in and out, ditto for masts and damage checks at the Abel Point Marina yard.

Craig identified two yachts through the yard that stood out, Hamilton Island Grand Prix division winner 'Hooligan' and Ian Oatley's multi-million-dollar Reichel/Pugh 42-foot yacht 'Q'.

'Hooligan' a gun metal grey-hulled TP52 featuring a radical new bulb keel and extended bowsprit scored seven first places in nine races. Indeed, this year 'Hooligan' has won every major series including Audi Victoria Week, Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta and the NSW IRC Championship at Port Stephens.

'Q' is a new yacht that says "look at me" on the topsides and with a rotating keel was a head turner when she was being dropped into the water at Hawkes Boatyard. Well, I had to go for a closer look at this superb machine. 'Q' had a problem when on an early outing on Sydney Harbour a keel malfunction caused her to trip and fall capsizing on her side in front of a fleet of 134 yachts at Watsons Bay.

Of course, while busier the highway called Bruce is boring as it lacks the dolphins and whales seen around the Whitsunday Islands racecourse.

Haven't seen much (any?) road works happening on Highway Number One, but that might be a story for another day.


Stormy weather


North American Hurricane Irene lost enough of her steam to make her landfall in New York, New Jersey and New England less of a life-threatening event than a very wet one, but the storm surge definitely arrived as forecast. Rivers overflowed their banks, seaside communities experienced massive flooding, and marinas and clubs lost docks, while boats floated free in harbours, sometimes attached to docks that had floated off their piles. Does this sound familiar?


Lights on


In 1998, four Australian lighthouses participated in what then was a very young event. Last weekend saw 66 Australian lighthouses registered for the International Lighthouse & Lightship Weekend.

In yester-year, the coastline had lighthouse protection, now much surpassed by modern satellite navigation. The radio amateurs operating from those locations, helps keep the spirit of the lighthouse alive.

Locally Cape Cleveland Light near Townsville joined Cape Capricorn ESE of Rockhampton with other Aussie lighthouses at King Island and Wilson's Promontory to name a well known few.


 Get ready!


The Rotary Meridien Whitsunday Boat and Lifestyle Show at Port of Airlie is on the weekend of September 10 -11. Fun Race Saturday September 10. Get ready!


Mariner Notices


Mariners are advised that the temporary exclusion zone in Shute Harbour declared by the Regional Harbour Master in Shute Harbour to facilitate the salvage of the vessel "Whitsunday Magic" is lifted.


Fitzalan Passage, the lighted Special Mark buoy Fl Y 2.5s in Fitzalan Passage between Henning Island and Whitsunday Island is re-established in position. AUS charts 252, 253 & 254


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North



Whales, sandy beach, dugong, turtles, sundowners for you


Whales, sandy beach, dugong, turtles, sundowners for you


People living in Airlie Beach had a great show during breakfast one morning this week. Right outside their window were Humpback whales playing in the blue water of the bay.

Also, a workmate sent a note: "Just saw a whale on the way to work at Hamilton Island. Makes me feel a bit better bout getting up for work at 6am on a Sunday!"

With the whale population growing every year, they are easy to spot. Many have offspring alongside and spend their time floating up and down the passage with the tide, the pups feeding and frolicking.

Friends sailed over to Blue Pearl Bay on Saturday spotting two pods of Humpbacks that made the kids very happy so they came up with a couple of questions, as kids do.

Q. How do you weigh a whale? A. At a whaleway station

Q. What do you do with a blue whale? A. Cheer it up!


Thar be a sign


Be on the lookout for a new nautical flag that is sure to enhance some fun times on the water. Incorporating a swallowtail design, the colours are blue at the base rising up to a red sunset colour.

Adorned with 'C U @' and a setting sun, indicates that you are welcome to come aboard for a sundowner. Facebook friends Grotty Yachty are responsible for the 'See you at sunset' burgee.


Marine Stinger


Marine Stinger Awareness Week will start September 6 and continue through to September 10. The week will consist of various information talks at schools in Bowen, Proserpine and Cannonvale and will finish with a display at the Whitsunday Boat and Lifestyle Show. GBRMPA and QPWS have been kind enough to allow space for the Whitsunday Marine Stinger Management Committee at their boat show display.


Dugong spotting


The local co-ordinator of Seagrass Watch Whitsunday Jacquie Sheils is looking for adventurous people who would like to get up close to turtles and dugong in the seagrass meadows of the Whitsunday coast and islands.

Imagine yourself with your group of snorkelers observing these unique marine creatures in their habitat while you learn to record the health of the seagrass surrounds.

Jacquie says, "It is a fun activity that is quite different. Training is given and we are in need of more volunteers for the start of the grazing season, so give me a call on 0420 747959 or check out


Life's a beach


News of the arrival of 200 tonnes of fresh clean EPA approved quality assured sand for the beach at Airlie as part of Council's maintenance program stirs a few memories.

The sand at one time was just average river sand from some unknown source and I think the old tourism association may have had it done before the council took on the task.

Years ago, there was effort put into getting rid of rocks that came to the surface; some were picked up and some pushed back down by the excavator during one tidy up.

Inevitably, some of the sand redistributes around the bay with a sandbar from outside the sailing club over to the creek. The late John De Vere of Golden Plover hired an excavator to dredge Airlie Creek and for many years there were two timber piles marking the entrance.

There is also the story about Hamilton Island in the Keith Williams' years sourcing nice sand from over Whitehaven way, but that might be a story for another time.


Mariner Notice


Mariners are advised the annual Multihull Solutions Whitsundays Multihull Rendezvous Race Week, a weeklong yacht race will be sailed from Sunday August 28 to Friday September 2.

Abel Point Yacht Club will conduct this Aquatic Event in the smooth and partially smooth waters of Pioneer Bay and Whitsunday Passage.

The race involves approximately 30-40 multihull sailing vessels. Mariners be advised to navigate with caution in the vicinity, especially at the party following each day of racing.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North


Smoke on the water - Race Week riff


Smoke on the water – Race Week riff


Sailing up Pioneer Bay midday Saturday I spied numerous colourful kites set across the horizon as the Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week fleet enjoyed sunshine and 15-20 knot puffs of breeze.

A bush fire in Funnel Bay was well alight and burning toward its inevitable snuffing at waters edge where it would run out of fuel.

Through the smoke on the water appeared another bright red flame-like image darting across the bay.

The big red multihull was taking advantage of the breeze, lifting her hulls like a dancer lifting her skirts in an exotic dance for the crowd.

But hark! There's no crowd about. The big red rocket sled; rooster tails splashing aft of whatever precious little was left in the azure waters of the bay; alone as she crossed the finish line.

Was it Christmas in August, Santa rushing toys to the girls and boys? No. Just a big boy's toy in the form of the record-breaking 18.48m New Zealand trimaran Team Vodafone; the quickest yacht to compete in the Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Week.


Top speed 31 knots with an average of about sixteen knots to set the record of 1 hour 56 minutes in the 31 nautical mile Double Cone-Armit-Alden Island race.

'Smoke on the Water' by British band Deep Purple, released in early 1972 was number four on U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and also four in the BBC's 'Top 20 Greatest Guitar Riffs Ever' was played by Ritchie Blackmore on a Fender Stratocaster.


Don't damage dugong


Boaties are asked to take extra care due to an increase in dugong activity in Whitsundays waters.

Whitsunday Mayor Mike Brunker has echoed a Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service advice to be on the alert for dugong activity in waters around Airlie Beach and Bowen.

"QWPS has recorded an increase in dugong activity at Shute Harbour, Abel Point Marina area, Hill Inlet and in Edgecombe Bay, Bowen," Mr Brunker said.

"Dugong are migrating to feed on local seagrass beds but unfortunately these beds are close to shallow boating areas," he said.

"I ask all boaties to keep an eye out over the next few months, avoid shallow seagrass meadows, and when in shallow areas, reduce speed to below 10 knots, as well as observe harbour and marina speed limits."

"By applying a bit of commonsense, unfortunate situations involving accidental harming of a dugong can be greatly reduced," Mr Brunker said.

Report dugong and any marine animal strandings to the 24hr Marine Animal

Strandings Hotline 13 QGOV (13 74 68).


Lighthouse weekend


They throw a powerful beam and cut an often lonely and solemn figure above the rugged seascape while protecting the coastlines of the world.

The 14th International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend August 20-21 will light the way and celebrate their guardianship of seafarers through history.

This weekend Amateur radio operators will ensure attention is paid to these important heritage structures in recognition of the role played in the safety of seafarers and their charges over the years.

Around the Australian coast a record 59 entries adding to the over 400 participating around the globe.


This is a job?


The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators and the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association have successfully secured funding from the Queensland Government for a long term Crown of Thorns (COTS) Eradication Program in the Whitsunday area and Great Barrier Reef.

Twenty fully funded places available for youth between 17.5 and 24 years old to train in COTS control over six months.

A fantastic opportunity for youth in our region, those interested should apply for this award wages paid traineeship position.

Training includes courses in Open Water Scuba, Advanced Adventurer Diver, Stress & Rescue Divers, COTS Control, First Aid and Oxygen providers leading towards future employment as Dive Masters in the marine tourism industry.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North



Welcome to Record Fleet for Airlie Beach Race Week


Welcome to Record Fleet for Airlie Beach Race Week


Welcome to Airlie Beach and thank you for being  part of  a record fleet for our fun in the sun event. I thought I would pen a few lines about the race history to which you will no doubt add by your presence. Welcome aboard!

I remember one day spying a beautiful yacht in Shute Harbour. What drew my attention was the shape of a perfect clipper bow.

I later met the owner of 55-foot Storm, Don Algie and found that he had already had quite a chequered career and was destined to draught a few more checkers to his board.

One idea Don had was to start a restaurant by the name Hog's Breath; other idea a bit later was to start a sailing series in Airlie Beach.

Hamilton Island Race Week had been going for a few years under the leadership of Keith Williams and Dave Hutchen with their team building 'Hammo' into a serious race series attracting the top yachts and crews.

Originally titled Hog's Breath Cruising Classic the Airlie event was intended to be more irreverent featuring shirtsleeve sailing and onshore fun with reggae and calypso bands and the music of Jimmy Buffet.

Boss Hog Don and sidekick Miles Wood and the crew at the Whitsunday Sailing club lead by Commodore Jimmy Hayes would adjourn to Don's first Hog's Breath Café in Airlie and continue the plotting and planning over many beers and rums. Boss Hog Don was the type of guy and sponsor who would leave Hog's saying, "Drink as much draft beer as you want and close the door when you leave."

Those were the days, and that was the atmosphere of "infectious enthusiasm" that prevailed in Airlie Beach when we started race week.

Over the years, Airlie Race Week has developed, fended off competing series like Hayman Island Big Boat series, matured, changed sponsors to Meridien Marinas and generally become the tune up and play up week before the fleet heads to Hamilton Island.

Don sold the original Storm and had a new 20-metre Storm II built for a couple million or so and is still a competitor to be reckoned with in the Whitsunday waters he now calls home.

Many others worked hard over the years and it could not have happened without all the fabulous volunteers. However, this regatta is still Don's party to me.

The post race party including lottery drawn with coconuts spewing from Mucka's concrete truck and the Competitors Marquee at Abel Point Marina, allowing yachties an hour or two of after race "lie-telling" over cool refreshment, before hitting Airlie for dinner has proved a great success.

While Hog's has developed into a world-class event on the water, is remains a wonderful social event on shore reflecting the founder and patron of the event, Don Algie when he states the philosophy, "have fun, good partying and oh yeah, great sailing."


Ahoy Sailors


Without the volunteers, these events would not exist let alone prosper for the good of sailing and our community. Sure, there are professionals who get paid. Nevertheless, volunteers do a vast amount of work and we should give them our gratitude and a few beers. Perhaps a rum or two and a hug and kiss would be better than the traditional pat on the back. Want to help? Call the club on 4946 6138


Reality TV not new


Some viewers of Gilligan's Island apparently took the television show seriously in the 1960s. The U.S. Coast Guard received several telegrams from concerned citizens asking why they didn't rescue the Minnow's crew


Boat Haven Bay


Mariners be advised that the development works for the Port of Airlie Marina complex have been completed. All plant and equipment including special mark buoys Fl Y 5s are withdrawn. AUS charts 252 & 253


Only one month until the Rotary Meridien Boat and Lifestyle show Airlie Beach September 10 & 11


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Sailors count in Census


Sailors count in Census


Special arrangements will ensure visiting sailors are counted as the national Census coincides with the build up to Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week

'You count with Meridien' was a phrase that came up during talks this week with Meridien manager Richard Barrett, marina staff and Census Officers.

"We are extremely busy with Race Week only a few boats shy of the record of 119 boats now, so working with Census Officers will ensure all goes smoothly."

Head of the Population Census program, Paul Lowe says it is vital that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) captures an accurate snapshot of Australia on Census night.

"The Census aims to accurately count everyone in Australia on Census night August 9."

Mr Lowe says ships and boats moored in Australian ports and marinas will be visited by accredited Census Collectors in the days leading up to Census night.

"People staying on their boats in ports or marinas on Census night will have the option of completing the Census in two ways. They can complete the traditional paper form or complete the Census online using eCensus."

Staff and passengers on international cruise ships and other ships in Australian waters, Census night will be counted on Census night.

The ABS is expecting at least 30 per cent of the population will choose the easier eCensus option.

The eCensus should be completed on Census night, August 9; however, the eCensus website is open until September 5.


Pirate Talk Week


In accordance with The Pirate Code, International Talk Like a Pirate Day be extended to include Fun Race and the Rotary Whitsunday Boat and Lifestyle Show at the Port of Airlie beginning September 10 with International Talk Like a Pirate Week in Airlie Beach extending until Ashes Sunday September 18.

More time means more fun and Fun Race this year will include clashes with horned Vikings, off beach dinghy races and messin' about in boats with a big party afterwards.


Free tickets


Always looking after the local community, the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach has a limited offer for you to get a free ticket to the 2011 Whitsunday Boat and Lifestyle Show, Port of Airlie September 10 & 11. Details


Mayday fakes


South Australian Police have received many radio calls for help that are hoaxes, wasting time and resources for emergency services.

The calls have related to a range of fake emergencies and Local Service Area operations manager, Senior Sergeant Gerry Nicholson, has warned officers are investigating.

These include calls on both CB and marine radio that creates the belief the caller is in dire straits and requires immediate assistance.

Responding to hoax calls results in the use of large numbers of volunteer personnel, helicopters, marine vessels and other emergency services  like police, SES, CFS and ambulance.


Racing insured


The Whitsunday Sailing Club is calling on yacht racers to ensure all privately owned boats carry the necessary insurance for racing.

Club officials believe it is in everyone's best interest on the racecourse and will ask owners to supply their insurer and policy number.

"We ask that you work on getting this information together - dig through your filing cabinet / shoebox / under the bed for your insurance policy - and have this information handy."


Shute Harbour notice


Mariners are advised that the lighted steering mark beacon Fl WR 4secs in approximate position latitude 20° 16.75' S, longitude 148° 48.06' E, located adjacent to Molle Channel, has been reported unlit. Mariners should use caution when in the vicinity.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Fishers seek foreign crew for reef trout boats


Fishers seek foreign crew for reef trout boats


A severe lack of crew is forcing professional fishers to call for overseas skilled workers to meet the challenge of Queensland's two-speed economy.

While the Hong Kong Market price for live Coral Trout is hitting highs of $AUD85.25 a kilo, Queensland fishers have their boats tied up due to lack of crew.

Bowen fisher Greg Smith is Chairman of the industry Reef Line Council and tells Whitsunday Coast Guardian, "Most of the Coral Trout skippers up and down the East Coast of Queensland as well as the majority of our members, have approached me in recent times outlining the desperate need for skilled labour."

"At present, the Queensland Coral Trout industry is facing a multitude of problems; the greatest of which, is the supply of skilled crew for our fishing vessels. Many of our members are grounded through lack of crew and are loosing money hand over fist as we can not set out to fish in empty boats."

"We all feel that it would be the solution to many of our current industry problems, mostly the crippling plight we find ourselves in, when it comes to recruitment and retention in the two speed economy we are all suffering, in Northern Queensland.

"Currently, advertisements for crew members go either un-answered or applicants simply do not meet the requirements or have the aptitude for the work required of them," Mr Smith added.


Whale of a time


Friend took her Dad for a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef; here is her report. "We're not even 5 minutes from the mainland and we've seen whales already - feeling so very privileged!!!! And beautiful weather as well - love living in the Whitsundays."


Your own island?


What makes somebody want to own an island? "It's the sort of place that's on people's wish lists," says William Jackson, an estate agent who sells three or four islands every year.

Right now there are quite a few islands you could snap up around the world. Once the haunt of pirates, Sully Island is just 400 metres off the Welsh coast near Cardiff, could be yours for a mere £95,000.

There are several other islands for sale around the British Isles including Thorn Island off the Pembrokeshire coast, with a Grade II listed Napoleonic fort on two acres of grassy rock.

Last month, a local buyer bought Taransay, a Hebridean island with a wealth of history and once home to pagans, Vikings and TV's Ben Fogle.

"Owning an island is a kind of Shangri La wish, to have your own kingdom," says Jackson.

Closer to home Double Island is just 1.5km off the coast north of Cairns with an $8 million price tag for one of Australia's most exclusive resort island retreats, offering an endless source of unspoilt beauty and natural tranquillity, And only six minutes from Cairns Airport by helicopter.

On the other hand, you could rent Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson's Makepeace Island, located 20 minutes from Noosa. Once called Pig Island, a muddy patch of land floating in the Noosa River, this 9.2 hectares heart-shaped island has been transformed into an ultra-luxurious retreat to accommodate 22 guests.

Branson also owns Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands that only costs US$53,000 a night for your 28 friends.


Mariners be advised


Pioneer Rocks - that a lighted isolated danger mark buoy Fl (2) is temporarily established at Pioneer Rocks. The light is of reduced intensity and marks a large area of rock and reef. The lighted buoy will be in place until the permanent beacon light is restored to normal.


Unsafe Passage - that the front leading light F Bu (F day) bearing 240° which marks Unsafe Passage between Mid Molle Island and North Molle Island has been restored to normal.


Fair winds

Cap'n Dan