Monday, April 09, 2012

Welcome sailors to Easter Regatta

Welcome sailors to Easter Regatta


It's time to dust off the boat and head out on the waters off Airlie Beach for some fine racing, and great company.

Over many years, the Easter Regatta has heralded the beginning of the cooler season sailing on the Whitsunday Coast with the series shared between Bowen and Airlie.

If you're keen to take part in the Easter Regatta this year, but you don't own a boat then you'll be glad to learn that the Whitsunday Sailing Club have a range of boats available to hire for the weekend.

X3's can be sailed by a crew of two children, or one adult. Ideal for novice sailors, but those with some experience will also enjoy racing them. A Sabot is a junior class boat, suitable for children up to 15 years of age mainly suitable for children with some sailing experience. The Laser is a fast boat with plenty to offer intermediate to advanced sailors. The Club have 4.7, radial and full rigs available to suit sailors in various weight ranges.

Corsair is an excellent boat for first time sailors (when paired with someone with some sailing experience) and an ideal family boat. Sailed by a crew of two, or three. Tasars are terrific boats for intermediate to advanced sailors, and offer some first-rate class racing. Sailed by a crew of two, the Tasar is the fastest boat we have available for hire. Tasars can deliver some thrilling speed in a bit of wind, yet remain very manageable by intermediate sailors of all ages. These boats are a favourite of husband/wife, or parent/child couples

Enter online and save paperwork on the weekend

Further details Daniel Scott 0409 592 758     


Forget koalas: roll on casinos


In a sign of the new time tourist wise, The Australasian Casino Association wants special priority processing by immigration and customs officials in Australian airports for tourists willing to pay. They say a more relaxed visa system will allow more Chinese high rollers to visit, and to stay longer at Australia's 13 casinos.

A record 558,600 Chinese visited Australia over the past 12 months, a 17 per cent increase, and the market was worth more than $3.8 billion in 2011, up 15 per cent on the previous year.

Travel abroad was the wealthy Chinese people's favourite leisure activity, with 55 million travelling overseas last year. Their second favourite activity was 'entertainment' - or casinos. It is called 'Entertainment' as it is illegal to promote gambling in China.

Earlier this year Australia's highest-profile billionaire and owner of Melbourne's Crown Casino James Packer suggested Australia should look at destinations such as Singapore and Macau, which had attracted middle-class Asian tourists with 'integrated resorts', which feature casinos.

Rich Chinese tourists were rejecting group tours and wanted to shop, visit casinos, play golf and drink wine.

They also like activities such as boating and yachting, hunting, horse races and polo.

Australia was focusing more on signage, translators and serving Chinese food at breakfast, but we also need to connect on an emotional level. At the Tourism and Events Excellence conference in Melbourne earlier this year, it was said Chinese tourists were very brand and status conscious and liked to give gifts.

"They want to signal to others that they can afford luxury products and experiences. You need to deliver products in a way that enables Chinese tourists to brag about it back home."

Nevertheless, Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said Australia needed to differentiate itself from Europe and the United States and its lifestyle and natural environment were very appealing to Chinese tourists, as well as its optimistic, young cities.

In a submission to the Federal Government's Asian Century review, the casinos also call for an increase in direct flights from China to Australia, and more Australians learning Asian languages.

However, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the Government was already providing "streamlined processing arrangements for high rollers."


Marine notice - Shute Harbour


Mariners are advised that the lighted special mark buoy Fl Y 5s, temporarily in Shute Harbour, is been removed. AUS chart 253


Just a thought


"Stop, drop and roll isn't just an effective fire safety tip, but also a unique way to get out of a boring conversation."


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Cap'n Dan is having a break from ABC Tropical North while standing as a candidate for Whitsunday Council Division 1

World sailing event for Whitsunday


World sailing event

for Whitsunday


The 5th Laser SB3 World Sailing Championship will be sailed at Hamilton Island December 13 to 20 this year.

Originally to be sailed in Singapore, Hamilton Island is the venue that will see international championship crews do battle on our azure waters under blue skies.

A once in a lifetime opportunity for many sailing teams across the globe, highly subsidised shipping will encourage a good turnout of European entries for the fifth World Championships of the class in the one of the world's best 'sailing paradise'.

Up to 120 teams are expected to compete from 16 nations in the December regatta enjoying a tropical Australian experience.

Last years event topped 100 crews making it one of the largest keelboat World Championships in 2011 and sailed on the English Riviera, South Devon's Beautiful Torbay off Torquay site of Fawlty Towers and the Sailing Venue of the 1948 Olympic Games.

Four Aussie crews sailed at that event including Olympian Glenn Bourke, CEO of Hamilton Island.


Ramp open


Whitsunday Regional Council is this week announced that the Port of Airlie boat ramp will be temporarily open to boat users in the region from Tuesday 27 March. Due to the inclement weather conditions experienced last week, the initial opening date was delayed. However, all necessary works are now completed to temporarily enable the car park area and boat ramp to be safely used by the community. Port of Airlie hopes to have the car park fully constructed and sealed by mid 2012 with works to commence after Easter. Some boaties are concerned about the depth of the ramp and silting, so a user reports to the Whitsunday Coast Guardian please. Also of concern is that boaties do not want the pressure off improvements to the VMR ramp.


Tsunami trawler found


A Japanese fishing trawler, carried away by the tsunami was found drifting near British Columbia the Canadian Department of National Defense reported this week. The 150-foot trawler was carried away last March by the tsunami off the east coast of Japan. About 5 million tons of debris was swept into the ocean in by the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan.


Epic Shackleton voyage


In 1916, in a desperate attempt to reach help, Ernest Shackleton and five sailors set off on an 800-mile (1300 kilometre) voyage to South Georgia Island, across some of roughest waters in the world, in the James Caird, a 6.9-meter lifeboat, to rescue twenty-two men left behind on Elephant Island. Now, the Shackleton Epic Expedition led by Tim Jarvis has constructed a replica named the Alexandra Shackleton, in honour of the explorer's granddaughter. The expedition will attempt to recreate Shackleton's truly epic voyage later this year.


Multihull trials


ISAF Evaluation Trials are enjoying glorious conditions on Santander Bay, Spain with just days remaining in the 2016 Equipment Evaluations to decide the multihull design to be sailed in Rio.

Also being evaluated are the exciting kiteboard classes with officials and sailors trying a range of courses and starts including a standard downwind slalom with a reaching start. They then changed to a full round slalom with the reaching starts proving to be tricky, but a lot of action on the gybing marks and also some crashes and tangles leaving the coaches and spectators  impressed with the board speeds and the upwind angles of the kiteboard sailors.


Just cruising


As we can see by the jump in cruise ship visits to our waters, an industry estimate anticipates that one million Australians will be taking a cruise holiday in 2020.

Perhaps it's the luxury of the ship, the convenience of travelling to different locations on one vessel, or the chance to meet other, like-minded travellers that makes it so popular. This only serves to reinforce cruising as the preferred means of travel.


Marine Notices


Platypus Rock, near Shaw Island - Mariners are advised that the temporary west cardinal mark buoy VQ(9) 10s which marks Platypus Rock off Shaw Island, is unlit and reported off station. The buoy is currently located to the north east of the reef.

Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 252, 254 & 824


Spitfire Rock, Kennedy Sound - Mariners are advised that the lighted West Cardinal Mark buoy Q(9) 15s which marks Spitfire Rock in Kennedy Sound, south-west of Lindeman Island, has been reported destroyed. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 252, 254 & 824


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Cool for cats

Cool for cats


Doing battle to be the Olympic multihull at the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition are seven contenders starting this weekend at the Prince Felipe High Performance Sailing Centre, Santander, Spain.

About 44 sailors from 23 countries will be part of the evaluation for the multihull design to race at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition.

Seven Mixed Multihull boats that are aiming to become the selected equipment are Hobie 16 – Hobie Cat, Hobie Tiger – Hobie Cat, Nacra 17 – Nacra Sailing International, Nacra F16 – Nacra Sailing International, Spitfire S – Sirena Voile, the venerable Tornado – International Tornado Class Association and the Viper from Australian High Performance Catamarans (AHPC)

With the America's Cup moving to in the catamaran direction and the massive racing and recreational following multihulls enjoy, one of the biggest mistakes in Olympic sailing was to remove the multihull from the Games, especially when one considers their exciting television value.


Eco-crew vision


Jacquie Sheils has a passion for the Great Barrier Reef and its amazing inhabitants. Jacquie works with visitors, teachers, student groups, volunteer organisations, journalists and film crews, helping them to make the most of their experience of this incredible ecosystem.

A marine biologist and reef interpretive guide with more than 15 years experience of introducing visitors of all kinds to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, Jacquie asks, "What makes the Great Barrier Reef, great?"

Jacquie says to know the GBR is to love it. Her Eco-crew provides environmental education and tour guiding services for visitors, teachers, school groups and tourism operators studying and visiting the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands.

"I have worked on the Great Barrier Reef since 1993, providing interpretive services for a diverse range of tour operators, including large, pontoon-based day cruises, small boat day trips, a mini cruise ship live aboard and an island-based volunteer ecotourism project."

Jacquie is a member of Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee, active participant in GBRMPA Eye on the Reef program, Seagrass Watch Volunteer Co-ordinator Whitsunday and Order of Underwater Coral Heroes volunteers OUCH.

Check out


Mariner Notices


St Bees Island - Mariners are advised that a control program requiring the use of live firing of weapons will take place on St Bees Island in the Mackay National Parks Management Area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

These control operations will continue until approximately 1800 hours on Friday, 30 March. Exclusion zones will be placed around St Bee's Island between these dates. The exclusion zone extends seaward of the high water mark by 500 metres. All vessels are to remain clear of the exclusion zones during the above detailed times. Marine VHF security calls will be made at 0800, 1200 and 1600 hours on channel 16 by QPWS vessel 'Tamoya'.

A Queensland Parks and Wildlife vessel will be on patrol during these times on the outer edge of the exclusion zone. AUS charts 251, 823 & 825


Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal - Mariners are advised that current diving operations at Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal berths utilizing the vessel 'MV Shadows' is extended until 29 June. The dive vessel will keep a listening watch on VHF channels 14 and 16.Mariners should use caution near the operation. AUS charts 249, 250 & 823


Keep a weather eye out


The current weather pattern and forecasts mean that boaties should make preparations earlier rather than later. The low coming down inland has the potential to get a bit nasty. Just sayin.


Love thy . . .


"The Bible tells us to love our neighbours, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people," wrote G. K. Chesterton


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North and 4MK



Paradise Lost: Heritage reef dumped on

Paradise Lost:

Heritage reef dumped on


A mission last week by a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization mission considered impacts on Australia's Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (WHA)

News that the Federal Government was considering putting an Environmental Management Charge on dumping millions of tonnes of waste in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park highlighted that currently the park is dumped on free, gratis and for nothing.

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) says a levy to dump dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park will cost the mining industry hundreds of millions of dollars.

Judy Lynne, executive officer of peak recreational fishing group Sunfish Queensland, said the plan "betrays the trust that Australians have in the authority and the federal government to protect a world-recognised icon which is not only a marine park and World Heritage area but designated one of the natural wonders of the world."

Tony Fontes is Chair of the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee and he was one of many to make a submission last Friday.

With over thirty years experience working on the Great Barrier Reef he is an acknowledged expert on issues confronting the Great Barrier Reef and the GBR Marine Park Authority.

"On behalf of the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee (WLMAC), I would like to thank UNESCO for the opportunity to present our concerns regarding the current and future health of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area." Mr Fontes said on Friday.

"The WLMAC is a voluntary, community-based group which provides advice to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) on issues related to the Reef."

"As you are no doubt aware, there are a number of pressures on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. A short list of these pressures would include (in no specific order): Port development, Marine debris, Coastal development, Water quality and Climate change."

"While none of these pressures are new, we have watched their deleterious effects increasing over the years, particularly their cumulative impacts. This has now all come to a head with the proposed ports development/expansion the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back." 

"Should these developments be allowed to go ahead as proposed, our committee feels that the Federal and State Governments will have failed in their duty to protect the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The unique quality of our Great Barrier Reef will forever be lost.

"We didn't have much time, about two minutes to present our topic, however as we also had a written submission, it was a worthwhile effort." Mr Fontes exclusively told the Whitsunday Coast Guardian.


Spoils sport


While the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority seems presented as the culprit, the potentially hundreds of millions of dollars collected from the proposed new fee to dump dredging spoils into the World Heritage-listed area is wanted by the Federal Government.

Marine park chair Russell Reichelt says he believes all money raised be used to protect and manage the Great Barrier Reef.

However, the federal government wants any money above the authority's existing and paltry $35 million budget to go in their coffers.

'Victori spolia'- To the victor, the spoils.


Resort closed


Hook Island Wilderness Resort is in 'caretaker mode' with operators of the 9.31-hectare property, Laguna Island Adventures Pty Ltd unclear when it will reopen saying this week, they "would have a better idea in mid April."

Meanwhile the redevelopment of Hook Island Wilderness Resort and the Environment Impact Study (EIS) has been 'inactive' almost since Gazettal of a 'significant project' declaration in August 2007.


Special date


If you are contemplating or planning your wedding or some other extra special occasion in 2012, this is the last opportunity to take advantage of the day/month/year special date.

12 midnight on the 12th of the 12th and 12pm on the 12th of the 12 will be the last time that this will occur until the 1st of the 1st 2101

Now if the tides are right and the planets coincide. . .


Abel Point Marina


Mariners be advised that the port lateral mark No.6 light Fl R 3s and the starboard lateral mark No.7 light Fl G 3s that mark the entrance into Abel Point Marina is restored to normal. AUS charts 253 & 268


Give thanks


"Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for," observed Will Rogers


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan



Cap'n Dan is a regular commentator on ABC Radio Tropical North and 4MK