Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paddle against Plastic plods across paddock

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. 

Tinaroo titles


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.


Shanghaied cat


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,


Somthin' fishy?


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.


Broken glass


"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!

Cap'n Dan


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

History in Abell hands

History in Abell hands


With news of the marketing and proposed sale of Abel Point marina in Airlie Beach, local identity Ian 'Stack' Hudson approached the selling agents Jones Lang LaSalle to finally set the record straight suggesting it is time to correct the spelling to 'Abell' Point.

In correspondence to Jones Lang LaSalle this week Stack wrote: "I understand you have the responsibility to sell the above marina on behalf of receivers."

"I would like to bring your attention to the matter of the misspelling of the marina [name], a simple mistake made many years ago and regrettably perpetuated ever since, but with the sale, the new owners have the perfect opportunity to right the original wrong, when they re-do all the signage, office stationary etc."

"The mistake was dropping the second "l" off the name ABELL."

"The point on which the marina stands is still called Abell Point, so it's time for the new marina owners to revert to that."

"The Abell family, with Dick, Jim, Arthur, Tom and Alf took up land in Airlie Beach and Jubilee Pocket in 1904, followed by Morrie in 1906. They were one of the original pioneers of the beach area. Their name is correctly spelled on Abell Road and Abell Road East in Cannonvale. A book of their lives and adventures was published by Colin Abell in 2007."

"I won't hark on this, but believe in your negotiations that this matter be brought to the attention of the prospective owners. I am certainly not on my own in wanting the correct spelling returned to the marina's name."

"Incidentally, I have nothing to do with the Airlie Beach Abells, but my maternal grandmother's maiden name was Abell." Mr Hudson added.

Ian, an Access Consultant, received a reply from Jacob Swan, Director – JLL Queensland Retail Investments.

"Hi Ian, Thank you for your note. You have an impressive knowledge of the history of the Abell family and Airlie Beach."

"We will convey your point to all potential purchasers throughout the process and encourage them to act on same." Cheers, Jacob Swan.

Ian told The Whitsunday Coast Guardian "I thought I'd check this morning with three of the lessees at the marina to determine if they had a negative reaction to extra costs involved with a revert to ABELL. No names, no pack drill, but one was the GM of a grog shop, another a dive shop and the third a mob of marine mechanics.  .  .

"One was highly enthusiastic for the change from the historical and heritage point of view, one said he had "no worries" and the third said it would be "great to have it as it should be."

"OK, it's only three of the lessees, but if that is any indication . . . I have given this info to Jones Lang LaSalle," says Stack.

The error was recognised in 1994 by the (then) Whitsunday Shire Council, but not before the spelling gained general currency. (Additional source: Ray Blackwood, The Whitsunday Islands)

So, what do readers think?


Prince passes


Patrick Roy Bates, better-known as Prince Roy of Sealand – the title he awarded himself  – died recently age 91 in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK. In 1967, Major Roy Bates, a veteran of WWII, occupied a derelict concrete offshore WW2 anti-aircraft gun platform in international waters off the east coast of England. He declared it the Principality of Sealand.  Being only about half the size of an Olympic swimming pool, Bates declared it to be "the world's smallest independent state." He also declared himself "His Royal Highness, Prince Roy of Sealand." His son was dubbed Prince Michael, and wife and daughters became Princesses Joan and Penny. Even though Prince Roy is gone, one may still purchase a noble title from the principality as well as other goods including coffee mugs, tee shirts, identity cards and email addresses.  Becoming a Lord, Lady, Baron or Baroness starts at £29.99, while becoming a Count or Countess will set you back £199.99.


Mariner notice


Hay Point Pilotage Area - Mariners are advised that Exclusion Zone has been established in an area bounded by imaginary lines from:

The prohibited area is depicted on the attached map 'S9-174 I' prepared by Maritime Safety Queensland and held at the Maritime Safety Queensland office in Mackay. Until further notice unauthorised ships are prohibited from anchoring, berthing, mooring, or operating in the Hay Point Berth 3 construction area, within the waters declared as the Exclusion Zone. AUS charts 249, 250 & 823


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Marina for sale

Marina for sale


Abel Point Marina is to be placed on the market this week by receivers and managers McGrath Nicol. Jones Lang LaSalle will handle the 507-berth marina sale with expressions of interest closing on November 22.

The marina, with commercial and retail space and future development potential, is expected to attract widespread interest locally and from South-East Asia as one of the major gateways to the Great Barrier Reef.

Sources say the receivers were working on a development application for future development over the site allowing for a master planned marina and tourist development including residential, resort, commercial and retail uses.

Meridien Marinas and A P Marina Pty Ltd (formerly Meridien Marinas Abel Point Pty Ltd) were placed into receivership by the Bank of Scotland in mid-2011. Since then it has been business as usual for the busy well managed marina. Price point mentioned is around $20 million.

There are 356 marinas in Australia, with most owned by smaller or family companies.


ACCC Reviewed


Meridien Pty Ltd (Meridien) acquired Abel Point Marina at Airlie Beach in Queensland in December 2006. Meridien was also constructing the Port of Airlie Marina. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) assessment considered whether, when the Port of Airlie Marina opens, there will be a substantial lessening of competition for commercial and recreational users as, at that time, both marinas will be owned by Meridien, rather than separately owned.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Informal Review result announced on 29 April 2008, says the ACCC formed the view that the proposed acquisition was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in the relevant market. Factors informing this conclusion included:

1. Meridien plans to sell berths at the new Port of Airlie Marina in conjunction with apartments. Berths are unlikely to be available to users who do not want to purchase an apartment in the marina complex. The ACCC formed the view that this would have likely been the case with or without the acquisition. In contrast, berths at Abel Point Marina are available for separate lease. As a result, the ACCC formed the view that it was unlikely that there would have been close competition between the marinas for the business of local recreational users at Abel Point Marina who are only interested in a marina berth, rather than a berth and apartment bundle.

2. Many of the recreational boat users who are interested in buying an apartment and marina berth bundle at the Port of Airlie Marina are likely to live outside the region. The range of substitutable bundles for these users is likely to be considerably broader than just the two marinas in the Airlie Beach region. As a result, they are likely to be more responsive to changes in price than local recreational users, for whom the convenience of a berth in Airlie Beach is important. Source: ACCC


PM visits troops


The 4600 Singaporean troops at the Australian Defence training ground Shoalwater Bay received a warm welcome from the local community and had a visit from Singapore's PM Lee Hsien Loong.

The Prime Minister of Singapore wanted the local community to know his country deeply appreciates the generous welcome shown to troops and described Australia as a warm and gracious host and a "trusted friend" of Singapore.

"I spent yesterday at the Shoalwater Bay training area to watch our annual SAF training exercise, a live-firing exercise called Exercise Wallaby," PM Lee said.

"We deeply appreciate Australia's strong support for our armed forces to train here and we wish to thank both the Australian government as well as the local communities for welcoming us so generously."

Mr Lee said the relationship between the two countries was not just about defence, but also education, trade, tourism and culture.


Marine Notices


Shoalwater Bay - live firing activities will be conducted in the marine component of the Shoalwater Bay Training until November 3.

The Marine Danger Area of the Gazetted Defence Practice Area has been expanded and may be inconsistent with the area currently represented on some available marine charts and land maps. Mariners are requested not to approach within 500m of any military vessel involved in the exercise.


Fitzroy River - Mariners are advised that the Port Alma No. 10 buoy has been re-established in position. AUS charts 247, 265


Really Rude


"Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength"


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Celebrating ten years online at -