Crowns without glory for Whitsunday reefs
Crown of Thorns starfish are one of the biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef because they eat their weight in coral every day.
A 14-person dive crew on the hunt for coral-devouring Crown of Thorns starfish (COTS) will target reefs off the Whitsunday Coast.
The dive crew, part of a $1.4 million yearlong mission funded by the Federal Government, kill the starfish by injecting them with sodium bisulphate.
The dive team killed about 1300 of the coral-devouring crown of thorns starfish on reefs off Cairns in the first 10 days of their intensive mission to prevent another outbreak.
Local marine biologist Emily Smart told members of the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee this week that the team is heading for Whitsunday waters and how tourism workers and operators could help.
"At this late hour it would be best for people who are out there regularly to state where they are NOT seeing COTS as well as where they ARE so that they don't waste time looking in the wrong place."
"All they are after is where, how many and how big, e.g. hand sized or less, hand to elbow size or bigger." Ms Smart added.
Sighting reports may be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
The increased flow of nutrients into the Reef from flooding in recent years has caused young Crown of Thorns starfish to flourish. Each female spawns about 20 million eggs. Past outbreaks have lasted between 10 and 15 years.
More gold sailors
In the week that Whitsunday will show support for returning Gold medallist Para-cyclist David Nicholas, sailors are buoyed that Australian sailors Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch have also won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games
It is neither one's first Paralympic Games or medal, but it is the first time that either sailor has won Paralympic gold, Fitzgibbon added to his silver medal from Beijing 2008, while Tesch added gold to her two silver and a bronze won in Wheelchair Basketball.
Tesch, whose first taste of sailing came with being selected from a bunch of hopefuls by David Pescud's Sailors With Disabilities to race to Hobart in 2009 did it after losing her mother to cancer on the opening day of racing and dedicating the win to her..
"I was able to channel all of that emotion we won the gold medal for mum. I've watched mum battle with cancer and saw how tough it is. They pull their armour on each day and battle cancer and we did the same thing - and went out and won the gold medal for all the people going through what my mum did."
Shackleton voyage berths
In 1916, Shackleton and his crew set off on a 1300-kilometre voyage to South Georgia Island, across some of roughest waters in the world, in the James Caird, a 6.9-meter lifeboat. It was a desperate attempt to reach help and to arrange the rescue of the twenty-two men left behind on Elephant Island after the loss of his ship 'Endurance'.
The epic lifeboat voyage re-enactment; in a replica of the James Caird, named the Alexandra Shackleton, in honour of the explorer's granddaughter; will be attempted in September 2013.
Shackleton enthusiasts and members of the public have an extraordinary opportunity to be a part of the expedition, a berth aboard the expedition support vessel 'TS Pelican' a 148-foot, three-masted barquentine similar in size to Shackleton's original expedition ship, 'Endurance'.
"A berth on TS Pelican as part of the Shackleton re-creation is the stuff of childhood dreams," says Tim Jarvis, AM FRGS, 46-year-old British/Australian adventurer and Shackleton Epic expedition leader.
Pelican of London is a sail training ship based in Weymouth, UK. Built in 1948, she served as an Arctic trawler and coastal trading vessel until 1995. The Pelican was under sail in the Thames Estuary at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last May.
Hook Reef Group, off Whitsunday - Mariners take note that the restoration work at Hook, Bait and Barb reefs be completed. AUS charts 249, 823 & 824
Hayman Channel and The Narrows - between Hook Island and Hayman Island - Mariners be advised that aids to navigation have been re-established and altered. Full details NtM 934 (Permanent) of 2012 refers.
"Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up" - G. K. Chesterton
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan is celebrating ten years online at http://waterfront.blogspot.com.au