Paddle against Plastic plods across paddock
The weekend weather held for the 2012 Naish Paddle Against Plastic across the lonely paddock down to Mackay with a few stops along the way.
Friday saw four paddlers depart Airlie with a quick run down the bay to Pioneer Rocks then turning into the wind slowing the boards right down allowing the Sunsail support boat to come into its own. Later, the full moon greeted the boys into Hamilton Island.
Saturday dawned with fifty or so nautical miles ahead for Ocean Crusader Ian Thompson and his two remaining mates.
The dawn breeze died mid morning making progress easier but duty called at Blacksmith Island to clean plastic from the beach.
"Out here in the middle of the magical Whitsunday Islands, there were ropes, a herbicide container, bottles and bottle caps," organiser Ian Thomson said.
Continuing in a style reminiscent of the Tour de France the lads paddled till, as the sun set the boys were rounding Slade Point. Paddling with smiles on their faces as they caught each wave, Thommo falling off every so often, the boys finally entered the marina just on dusk. It was a massive achievement. They had managed to cover the 50nm in under 14 hours, albeit with a little help from the chase boat.
'We're not claiming any records; however it's nice to be here. Compared to my solo sail around Australia this was easy as I had two good mates, Luke and Tris to paddle with," Thomson said at day's end.The paddle raised money to visit schools at Hamilton Island and Cannonvale to present the Ocean Crusaders Education Program.
Whitsunday kids are getting ready to race at the Queensland State Titles November 17 & 18 at the invitation of the Tinaroo Sailing Club, in conjunction with the Australian International O'pen BIC Association for two days of non-stop, fast and furious racing in the Far North.
Simply referred to as the Open Bic, the nine-foot single handed sailboat designed is for younger sailors. The quick and cost effective international class began in 2006 is recognized by the International Sailing Federation and features a thermoformed polyethylene self-draining hull with an open transom and a fair sized sail.
Pitch battle saves Victory
Hemp and pitch came to the rescue of HMS Victory employing the skills used by sailors 300 years ago after modern methods failed.
Synthetic mastic, the modern caulking material commonly used in yachts could not cut the mustard so the folks restoring Nelson's HMS Victory have returned to using hemp oakum and pitch, the caulking technique used when the ship was new.
The modern caulking materials could not adequately cope with expansion and contraction of the planking and the large spaces between the planks, allowing rainwater to seep through, causing rot in the ship's structure.
Visitors to man o' war HMS Victory will see the ship caulked just as it was by Nelson's men before the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
A container, originally loaded in Shanghai, was opened at Compton, California, near Los Angeles. Inside was a 3-month-old kitten that had survived without food or water for the 21 days that it takes to make the 6,500 mile journey from China. Remarkably, the kitten appears to be in reasonable good health, despite the ordeal and is nicknamed Ni Hao (NEE'-How), which means "hello" in Mandarin,
Australia has the third largest fisheries zone in the world and the lowest harvest rate, at only about three per cent of the global average. "We import 70 per cent of the seafood we eat, all of it from resources far more heavily impacted than our own," says marine scientist Walter Starck.
"The Law of the Sea Treaty under which we exercise exclusive economic zone (EEZ) rights to this resource provides that if a nation does not utilise their EEZ resources other nations may petition for access to them.
"Locking up vast areas of EEZ and restricting fishing to absurdly low levels while imposing heavy demands on resources elsewhere is not a "use" likely to be upheld in any petition to the World Court.
"This may well lead ultimately to our under-utilised EEZ being opened to Asian fishing companies," Starck emphasised.
"The next time someone asks you if your glass is half full or half empty just tell them you are glad you have a glass"
Fair winds to Ye!