Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Onboard with Marine Studies

 Onboard with Marine Studies


Marine studies have been an important part of our high school for some years and with the announcement by the Marine Teachers Association of Queensland of their annual conference to be held at Griffith University on the Gold Coast it is a good time to reflect on what is a success in our education system.


Our Whitsunday region has a strong focus on water both salt and fresh and everything to do with on and under water.


A very high local boat ownership means a possible career path for young people in science, servicing and safe operating of craft that is fuelled by engagement of youth in the positive outcomes of marine studies at an appropriate age.


I don't believe there is a better mission statement than that of the MTAQ: "To foster curiosity, imagination, knowledge and enthusiasm for 'real world' science and vocational maritime studies for Primary, Middle and Secondary school students MTAQ has established the following community and government partnership projects. .

"Our list of achievements includes publications, professional development programs, agreements and memoranda of understanding, certificates and licences for members, a curriculum exchange of ideas, exam papers and teaching pedagogy, professional development programs, workshops and conferences."


As a commercial ship operator I have found over the years that the youth that have attended High School Marine Studies courses have been interested, engaged and seeking for further their knowledge of our marine environment.

The conference will in collaboration with the Griffith University School of Environment, Engineering and Technology Department and MTAQ invites all Marine teachers and support staff to attend.

With the 2014 implementation of the Queensland Studies Authority new Marine Science syllabus, Marine Scientists at Griffith University have come on board with the new syllabus and run workshops  to enable teachers to deliver with Marine Science 'best practice'. Teachers will have the opportunity to learn real marine science from real marine scientists.


The conference is intended to help teachers make the learning of science accessible and engaging, and ultimately to improve student performance in science and help build a community with a high level of scientific literacy.

For further information or to see the activities and resources available check out www.marineteachers.org.au/


City of Adelaide


The two headlines from the same day and posted only an hour apart. The first reads "World's oldest clipper ship transported to Australia." The second – "City of Adelaide clipper ship export ban sought."   Both articles are about the clipper ship, City of Adelaide, the world's oldest surviving composite clipper ship and the only surviving sailing ship built to give regular passenger and cargo service between Europe and Australia.  She is five years older than the composite clipper, Cutty Sark.  

After numerous delays, the Australian consortium intends to move the old ship by barge to Adelaide, Australia in just less than two months. Or not.

Meanwhile, the group which wants to keep the ship in Scotland has asked the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, to intervene to stop the move.

The old ship has been rotting at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Scotland for years. The museum, which lacked the funds to care for the ship, had threatened by scrap her.  In August 2010, Scottish Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop awarded the Australians the right to move the ship to Adelaide.  That might have ended the argument, but so far, it has not.

The ship's rudder was transported to Adelaide in January.   Barring court action to block the move, the City of Adelaide may finally return to its namesake port later this year.


Yongala wreck


Mariners are advised that during this week buoy replacement and servicing of moorings will be undertaken during daylight hours on the Yongala wreck site 12 nautical miles east of Cape Bowling Green. The works will be conducted from the vessels 'PMG Harmony', barge 'PMG150' and dive vessel 'Louisanne'. The vessels will remain anchored in close proximity to above position, day shapes and lights will be displayed. Navigate with caution in this area. AUS charts 256, 257 & 827


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Race Week, Reef Fest; bang for Yer buck!



Race Week, Reef Fest; bang for Yer buck!


The Schweppes Recycled Raft Race as part of the Whitsunday Reef Festival was so successful, it was fully subscribed, that a new plan might be needed in future.

First, a huge 'thank you' to the mighty Lagoon Lifeguards without whom the event could not happen. Above and beyond the call of duty – again – our lifeguards protect the public 365 days a year. Ratepayers and Council should know that the Airlie Lagoon has arguably the best safety record on the east coast. The lifeguard crew are proud, but never complacent, about putting the safety of the public above all.

The Schweppes Recycled Raft Race has grown to the point that it may have to be taken out to sea, as it was suggested that New Beach at Port of Airlie would be a good spot with a rounding mark to seawards.

A beach atmosphere could be easily achieved with off beach sailing, iron person race, beach volleyball and mini fun race added to the calendar.


Sky High


Everyone loves a good fireworks show and Friday night as part of the Reef Festival and concluding Abell Point Airlie Race Week the community got bang for their buck courtesy of sponsor Porter's Hardware.

Big noisy bangers beat those little arty-pharty sparklers so besides the blasting big bungers it was time to catch up with mates not seen for some time.

For those out early Saturday morning; 0418 hours to be precise, six or eight on the rockets went skywards giving an extra boutique show for those night owls (yeah, don't ask!)and early market stall holders around the Airlie waterfront.


The law?


Recreational fishing and boating groups are really upset that a federal law change may see their activities sunk.

"Thanks to a new commercial vessel law, if a recreational fisher goes out on a Kayak, films a fish capture on a GoPro camera and then uploads it to a tackle manufacturers Facebook page in exchange for some lures, they are breaking the law if they do not comply with commercial vessel requirements (i.e. vessel in survey)," say the Pleasure Cruising Club.

"The really unfair part of this is that the recreational fisher is now subject to commercial operator penalties which are court prosecuted offences.

"Recreational Fishing and Marine Industry journalists and article authors are now in the firing line with enforcement agencies now actively threatening TV journalists with heavy enforcement action,

"There are two pieces of new Law that you need to have regard to: the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 - An Act to provide for a national law about marine safety for certain commercial vessels, and for related purposes. And Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Regulation 2013

These regulations sit under the Act and provide for the specification of a thing that is or is NOT a domestic commercial vessel.

 Section 10 Definition of domestic commercial vessel—things that are not domestic commercial vessels

(1) For paragraph 7(5)(b) of the National Law, a vessel is not a domestic commercial vessel:

(a) if it would, but for this section, be a domestic commercial vessel only because:

(i) it is sponsored during a sporting event; or

(ii) it is being used for a promotional activity, including an activity to produce an advertisement, or as part of a film set; or

(iii) a person is paid to operate the vessel or to be a member of the crew of the vessel; or

(iv) a person (the trainee) pays another person to train the trainee in the trainee's vessel; or

The Club goes on to say that their members and "select Marine media personalities" have been threatened with big fines in Victoria. Stay tuned.


Underwater work


Abbot Point coal terminal - diving operations will continue at Abbot Point Coal Terminal No. 1 and trestle until January 30, 2004. Diving operations will be conducted from  'M.V Shadows' and 'L.B Clam' during daylight hours only, both vessels will fly 'Alpha' during diving operations and monitor VHF channel 16. AUS charts 255 & 826


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Race Week fun for you



Race Week fun for you


Part of the fun of Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week is getting involved helping out during the event if you are not racing. Whatever your skill set you will probably get a job if you get in contact with the sailing club. You could help on the water or on land and take part in all the activities while meeting a new circle of friends or catching up with long lost mates.

You will be surprised at the people from across the country and overseas who will make the 24th annual event a fun filled success once again. You will work alongside volunteers who have assisted in international and Olympic events during the seven-day regatta sailed from August 9 to 16.

Tim Parker is coordinator of on water activities who told the Whitsunday Coast Guardian "We always have our volunteers who return year after year, however this time around we are seeing more new faces."

For more information on Abell Point Marina Airlie Beach Race Week, please visit the official website at www.airlieraceweek.com or 49 466 138


Fun Fest for you too


Don't fancy volunteering out on the water? No probs, as the Whitsunday Reef Festival also needs a hand. Here is a note from feisty Festie Margie Murphy

"Hey Festivalians, In two weeks time we will need as many helpers as we can get to host the  biggest party Airlie has ever seen! Could you please reply as to general hours/times you may be available and of anyone else you know who may be available and Chantal will put you in the roster." Cheers Margie.



Alice Springs lighthouse?


One of the 424 lighthouses taking part world wide actually is in the middle of Australia. This big brown land is a very big island nation and at its geographic centre 1,500 kilometres from the coast is Alice Springs, which hosts the famous Henley-On-Todd Boat Regatta each August - albeit on a usually dry river bed.

The Northern Territorians and many visitors take the annual iconic event very seriously with up to 3,000 witnessing the regatta, which began in 1962.

One of the driest parts of Australia deserves registration this year in the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend. With the help of the Henley-On-Todd team, a lighthouse has been built to promote the spirit of amateur radio and lighthouses.

If you want to register a lighthouse, lightship or marine beacon in this year's event on August the 17th and 18th then visit the website www.illw.net


Yarr! Thar be Pirates!


Having successfully repelled boarders in the shape of the Federal election, International Talk Like a Pirate Day in Airlie Beach is on Saturday September 14.


Old fish and the sea


A fisherman in Alaska took home a catch for the ages when he reeled in a 40-pound shortraker rockfish that experts believe is at least 200 years old.

The record-setting shortraker fish was hauled from a depth of approximately 900 feet.

"I knew it was abnormally big but I didn't know it was a record until on the way back we looked in the Alaska guide book that was on the boat," the fisher said.

Troy Tidingco, Sitka area manager for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the fish is still being analysed but he believes it is at least 200 years old beating the current record of 175 years. Researchers are able to determine the age of a shortraker by the number of growth rings along its ear bone.

If the fish is actually as old as believed, it would easily predate the Alaska Purchase from Russia in 1867. Scientists say they still don't fully understand animal longevity. The oldest known animal on record was a clam believed to have been 400-years-old.


Mariner Notice


Whitsundays pilotage area - north of Fitzalan Passage. Mariners are advised that the lighted special marker buoy F1 Y 2.5s in Fitzalan Passage between Whitsunday Island and Henning Island, is reported to be off station. The current reported position of the maker buoy is latitude 20° 17.21' S, longitude 148° 54.60' S to the north west of Reef Point.  Mariners are advised to take extreme caution when navigating in the area. AUS charts 367 & 822


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Monday, August 05, 2013

World First graces Port of Airlie Marina

World First graces Port of Airlie 


By Cap'n Dan Van Blarcom



Super yacht colours Airlie waterfront



The new superyacht berths at Port of Airlie Marina are already attracting the high class of yacht sure to be drawn to the safe deep water port within an easy walk of Airlie Beach and fast cruising distance to the Great Barrier Reef.


Newly berthed is Motor Yacht MARY-ROSE a Delfino 93 launched by Benetti yachts in Viareggio, Italy in May 2011.


A very noticeable aspect of M/Y MARY-ROSE is the chameleon colour scheme that yacht spotters have noticed; it changes with the mood of the owner. This is possible as she sports the world's first exterior LED lighting system; a technology that illuminates the exterior areas in over 30 different colour combinations and tones, varying with the chromatic appearance. This produces optimal lighting and atmosphere at all times in any light conditions.


Built exclusively for a demanding Australia owner, MARY-ROSE is the second motor yacht of the new Delfino 93 series of 28.50m "pocket superyachts" by Benetti that debuted at the Cannes Boat Show in 2010.


MARY-ROSE was designed by Stefano Righini with an interior by Carlo Galeazzi. Built in composite MARY-ROSE is designed to accommodate up to ten guests in comfort and style.


MARY-ROSE special features include a customized audio system, allowing optimal enjoyment of music selections both inside and outside the yacht.


Powered by twin 747kW Caterpillars, M/Y MARY-ROSE has a range of 1,500 nautical miles at 12 knots.


Reef Fest Recyclable Raft Race



Reef Fest Recyclable Raft Race


The Whitsunday Reef Festival Schweppes Recyclable Raft Race will be sailed at 3 O'clock Sunday afternoon August 18 at the Airlie Lagoon.


Get your entry in now by following the simple provisional rules informed by the Pirate's Code - guidelines really- that the craft be made of clean recycled materials sailed / paddled by two or more crew and may be recycled into a JJ Richards bin following the race. Rules Note: Subject to judge's whim or payoff and of course no correspondence will be entered into; see 'fine print'.


Over the last few years a wonderful collection of quite creative craft has taken to the water; some have even managed to float! However under the watchful eye of our mighty Lagoon lifeguards we haven't lost anyone, although the level of seamanship has left something to be improved upon.


The Whitsunday Reef Festival -15-18 August- is a celebration and showcase of our vibrant and diverse community. Now in its 13th year, a rich history has developed in the community bringing different people together to celebrate what we all share, a fabulous lifestyle and beautiful place in the tropical north to call home.


Enter now and get an extra sponsor's prize if you can answer correctly; "what is the oldest soft drink in the world"

To enter or further details and fine print - raftrace@theelectricparrot.com


Sometin' Fishy


 Two people were caught with approximately 150 alleged reef fish including approximately 100 Red Emperor. The owner of a recreational fishing vessel was reported for the allegedly poaching from "no-take" protected zones. The suspect was intercepted by Qld Boating and Fisheries Patrol officers and charged with State-Fisheries offences.


Lady sails globe


Seventy-year-old Jeanne Socrates, believed to be the oldest female sailor to make a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe is now home in British Columbia, Canada.

Socrates an amateur radio operator KC2IOV set out from Victoria's Inner Harbor in her 36 foot cruiser Nereida in October 2012

This was not Socrates first attempt having made two previous attempts. The first ended in Cape Town, South Africa in 2009 and the second journey concluded in January 2011 with damage to her boat in a storm off Cape Horn. 

Socrates, a grandmother and retired teacher is raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care, a UK based program that provides free home nursing for terminally ill cancer patients.


300 lighthouses ready


A milestone of 325 worldwide registrations has been reached for next month's International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend August 17/18.

Over 30 countries are represented with Australia and Germany leading with 50 each. Then USA on 40, England has 30, Argentina 20 and Sweden 15.

Now in the 16th year, the annual event promotes public awareness of traditional marine navigation methods, amateur radio and to foster international goodwill. Guidelines and registration www.illw.net


Weather; windy


Be sure to check out the new and easy-to-use timeline feature for marine area wind forecasts from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology marine wind forecast maps website. Also, the maps now use forecasts from BOM's high-resolution computer model.  www.bom.gov.au/marine/wind


Mariner Notice


Dent Passage - a lighted Special Mark buoy Fl Y has been temporarily established in Dent Passage between Dent Island and Hamilton Island to mark the position of a submarine water pipeline. The buoy is expected to be in position for up to two (2) weeks. AUS charts affected: 252, 253, 254 & 824


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


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


Barrier Reef fishing : black market?



Barrier Reef fishing : black market?


Fishing dories discovered fishing in green zones continues to be a problem with seven incident reports relating to commercial line fishing in the Townsville/Whitsunday Marine Park area and 40 in the Mackay/Capricorn area from January to March 2013; more reports than any other area in the Marine Park.

Recreational fishing offences in green zones declined in Jan-March 2013 compared to Oct-Dec 2012, but it continues to be the most frequent offence in the Marine Park with 300 recreational offences recorded reef-wide so far this financial year. There were 27 line fishing incidents for Townsville/Whitsunday and 20 in Mackay/Capricorn between January and March 2013.

Large numbers of people recreationally fish in the Maine Park, with the majority of offences involving local residents who don't fish regularly and are fishing relatively close to shore, and the most common action is an advisory letter.

However, there are growing concerns that well organised and equipped fishers are targeting green zones at night and possibly selling their catch on the black market. Inshore and offshore vessel and aircraft patrols will continue to target illegal fishing, particularly in the highest risk areas.


Reef fine; report


The payment of fines incurred for reef offenders, particularly commercial reef line fishers, has improved over the past year as the regulations have now been improved and an active debt recovery program has started.

This includes enforcement actions such as suspending the driver licence of fine defaulters. This initiative has resulted in an increased number of outstanding fines being paid and an increase in offenders entering fine payment plans. Over $100,000 in fine payments have been collected by GBRMPA since July 2012.

It appeared that fines weren't acting as a deterrent and commercial fishers in particular were re-offending.


AWA 100


Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) celebrates its 100th birthday this month. AWA produced all things radio, appliance, television and more for all those years.

In association with Marconi there was a radio operator training arm especially active during WWII.

The Historical Radio Society of Australia and the AWA Veterans' Association will be holding a Centenary reunion in Sydney on July 28 and is looking for other former associates. Details: awaveterans@gmail.com


Yacht presumed lost


With the news that the search by The Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) has formally ended the 85-year-old American schooner 'Nina' is presumed lost in the Tasman with seven aboard having perished.

Reports coming to light suggest the while 21-metre 'Nina' looked good above the waterline, she had become hogged, meaning the hull of the boat bends upward amidships due to structural weakness affecting her seaworthiness. The Tasman being a very unforgiving body of water she may have sustained a catastrophic failure turning her into a pile of planks in seconds. She had not been out of the water for three years while it was moored in Whangarei.


'Nina' built in 1928, left Opua NZ on May 29 with six Americans and a 35 year old leader of the British Greens, who refused, on environmental grounds, to fly across the Tasman.


It was last heard from on June 4 when 685km west-north-west of Cape Reinga, bound for Newcastle, Australia. The area was being hit by winds of 80kmh gusting to 110kmh, with swells up to 8-metres.


RCC said a customs declaration said while 'Nina' had no long-range (SSB) radio, she carried a satellite phone, a Spot satellite personal tracking device and an EPIRB.


O'Lucky Irish


Just before 3 am Saturday morning an Irish traveller ended in the drink off the main jetty in Bowen. Police called to the scene thankfully found the soggy groggy backpacker and got a lifebuoy line to him. Trying to get him back up was a problem, the jetty being quite a height from the water.

Our resourceful constabulary borrowed a boat, plucked the paddling paddy from the harbour and handed him to the Ambos to look after. Job well done!


Marine Notice


Lady Musgrave Island - the port lateral entrance beacon into Lady Musgrave Lagoon is damaged and could be leaning. This beacon is unlit.

Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in this area.

AUS charts affected: 818 & 819


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


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


Monday, July 22, 2013

Abbot Point decision delayed


Abbot Point decision delayed


The new Federal Environment Minister Mark Butler has changed the deadline to August 9 on a decision on dredging at the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen to allow him more time to consider the project's potential environmental impact.

Green groups including the Australian Marine Conservation Society had called on Environment Minister to delay his decision.

Bowen fisherman Greg Smith told ABC Radio that claims the dredge spoil from the proposed expansion at Abbot Point coal terminal would contain toxic waste are ludicrous.

Mr Smith says he has worked on submissions to the Federal Government since the beginning of the expansion process and says most Bowen residents support the expansion in principle.

"Ninety-nine point nine per cent of Bowen residents want to see a sensible development at Abbot Point. They want to see employment for the town of Bowen and Abbot Point is in a good spot to do the least environmental damage while still shipping coal out."

Mr Smith said the community should work with the developers to limit the potential impacts of the proposed expansion.


OUCH Volunteers,


The next clean up dive is scheduled for Friday, July 12.  Check you calendars and give Secretary Tony Fontes a shout if you can join in.  Departing from Port of Airlie public boat ramp 8:00 am returning around 3:00 pm. You need to supply your own dive gear; OUCH will supply tanks, weight belts and lunch.  The volunteers picked up nearly 140 kg of rubbish last time.  Amazing! Tony Fontes 0417749143


Reef Walkers


The 'Reef Walk' group are walking from Cairns to Gladstone to raise awareness about perceived threats to the Reef. The group led by June Norman should arrive in Airlie Beach on Friday, July 12 and stay until Sunday.  On Saturday, people may support June and her Reef Walk group for a walk from the Volunteer Marine Rescue base - 8:00 am start - to the Lion's Club Airlie Beach Markets near the Whitsunday Sailing Club, about a 40 minute walk. 


Classic Yacht Overdue


Tasman Sea – classic 70-foot American staysail schooner 'Nina' with seven sailors aboard left New Zealand's Bay of Islands on May 29 bound for Newcastle, Australia. On June 3, when Nina was 360 miles northwest of Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand, she reported rough conditions, and asked for advice on how to get out of it.

Although nobody sounded distressed the forecast was for winds to 60 knots and 20-foot seas. These are heavy weather conditions, but certainly the schooner had ridden out as bad or worse.

New Zealand Rescue Services learned on June 14 that 'Nina' was overdue. Since then they have conducted what has been described as their most intensive search ever. But nothing has been found.

The famed schooner 'Nina' a narrow hull with long overhangs was designed by the famed Starling Burgess and built by Ruben Bigelow on Monument Beach in Cape Cod in 1928. She was built expressly to win the 3,900-mile race from New York to Santander, Spain. And she did. When she arrived, a launch pulled alongside and a gentleman waved his cap and shouted, "Well sailed, Nina, I congratulate you. I am the King of Spain."

Nina became the first American vessel to win the prestigious 600-mile Fastnet Race. She then won the London to Chesapeake Bay Race.

In 2008, the owners started a circumnavigation with the schooner, and a documentary film. 

While nobody knows what happened to Nina, several maritime rescue experts have speculated that the 84-year-old wood boat suffered a catastrophic failure, one that for some reason left the crew unable to set off the vessel's EPIRB.

Years ago it was not uncommon for several cruising boats to go missing in the South Pacific each year. Thanks to EPIRBs and vastly improved communications such unexplained disappearances have become rare and at least have an explanation.


Port News: cruise ship 'Dawn Princess' arrives today (Wednesday, July 10) midday and departs about 8pm. She is on a trip from Perth to Sydney with Airlie the last stop before Sydney. Saturday will see 'Pacific Dawn' in port 7am to 4pm.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


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




Where were Ye in '83?


Where were Ye in '83?



Where were you when...? People often remember where they were when life altering memorable events or the sudden and shocking deaths of iconic individuals occurred.


Think; where were you when, news that the people's princess, Diana died? Outspoken Beatle, John Lennon shot. 3DB Radio morning news that The King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley died or assassination of the 35th President of the United States of America John F. Kennedy.


Events; Man on the moon, Berlin Wall, Asian Tsunami, War Ends, Saigon falls, Bagdad bombed, 9/11 Towers. Mandela released February 11.


The impact on you and across the globe. Events that changed the shape of our popular culture.


In Australia, a country that stops for a horse race, it could be the Whitlam Dismissal or first female PM. What about September 26, 1983?


Remember Bob Hawke and That Jacket? September 26, 1983, was the day that Australia II ended the longest winning streak in world sporting history, 132 years, defeating the American entry Liberty to claim the America's Cup.


Australians will have the chance to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the country's most famous sporting victories, the 1983 America's Cup, this September.


The victory and its lasting impact in Australia will be celebrated 30 years on Thursday, September 26, 2013, bringing together many of the major players from the famous win.


This will be the only gathering of the Australia II crew in Australia to mark the 30th anniversary, with skipper John Bertrand and crew to be joined by syndicate chairman Alan Bond.


Bertrand, as well as skipper of Australia II is chairman of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, said that there are a number of reasons why the 1983 victory remains so popular 30 years on.


"Looking back at 1983 Australia was coming out of a tough recession, we had been severely affected by bushfires and floods," said Bertrand. "I think the way that we were able to come back from three-one down, with our backs against the wall to break the 132 year winning streak by the Americans captured the imagination of the Australian population, and in many ways continues to today.


"I look back at the campaign with pride and satisfaction at what we achieved. It was the ultimate team performance; our team culture was of resilience. We came back from the dead to win and people have learnt a lot from that over the years.   I look forward to giving people a better understanding of the inside story." Bertrand said.


The Sydney lunch will be the only time that the crew will gather in Australia to celebrate the 30th Anniversary, coming just a month after they celebrate in San Francisco, coinciding with this year's America's Cup.




Of course BVGYC is Airlie's world famous Beaut Views Grotty Yachty Club where much silliness took place usually around Airlie Fun Race time. I was reminded of the BVGYC at the Pioneers of Airlie Tourism get together at the Airlie Bowls Club on Saturday. There was the night at BVGYC when John Bertrand head-butted the platypus. Ah, memories!  


That Cup


Love it our hate it, there is always much, much more to the America's Cup than just sailing. Faster, outrageous, dangerous legal minefield – and that's on land!

So bet you will be surprised that with preliminary races starting this week there is a change to the rules regarding the sail boats with two of the three competitors facing huge problems to reconfigure to meet the changes.

The AC72' is a truly awesome piece of technology; 72-feet long, nearly 50' wide they are a 'flying carpet', they fly above the water. In 20knots of breeze they reach over 40 knots (80+kms an hour)

The wing sails fixed on a 130ft mast create lift in exactly the same way as an aeroplane wing but it's most spectacular trick is to use hydrofoils to lift the hull of the boat clean out of the water.

Larry Ellison the owner of Cup defender Oracle and one of America's richest men took possession of the America's Cup in 2010 with grand plans to transform this elite, gentleman's sport into a TV spectacle for the masses: Nascar on San Francisco Bay. Ellison reinventing the cup for "the Facebook generation, not the Flintstones generation."

"A level playing field is all spectators ask. Then let the best Kiwi team win" was overheard.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan



Friday, July 12, 2013

Croc tung warning signs souvenired




The signs thoughtfully erected by Queensland Parks and Wildlife were very popular for the few days they were up before being souvenired. Warning that crocodiles had been sighted in Boat Haven (Muddy) Bay, the signs advised against swimming at the beach. Tourists lined up to take photos with the signs until the signs got knocked off. Of course it has all happened before and perhaps the Parks people should print more and sell them to visitors thereby getting the message across and making a dollar as well.


Airlie Reunion


This Saturday will see the Airlie Beach Bowls Club become a hive of historical activity with a reunion of Airlie Beach 'Pioneers of tourism' taking place.  

Some interesting photos and memories are surfacing and in should be a 'do not miss'

Memorabilia is sought for display and needs to go up earlier on Saturday with organiser Dale Hell is considering archiving some, perhaps in a book or online form. Details 0416273598


Dredging spoil


It is worrying that groups that say they are opposed to some development issues are perceived as being opposed to all development.

A case in point is a leaflet distributed relating to the Abbot Point expansion and specifically regarding dredging and where the spoil may go.

Now I must say I attended meetings of the technical committee so have a reasonable understanding of the various issues.

I noted that much thought and work was completed by a range of interested parties to ensure any dredge material did not impact the onshore Caley Valley Wetlands. An early act of the incoming Queensland Government was to reduce that part of the Abbot Point development that would have seen a huge amount of material to be moved.

It may be fashionable to present mainly uninformed opinion as fact; however it does not do their cause much good when the story is an unsubstantiated one-sided litany of disaster.

For people that at other times quote their version of "The Science" the arguments put forward on this occasion are not only unscientific or factual, but certainly biased political emotionalism.

To discuss this issue in a responsible way there must be some guidelines and total anti development 'keep coal in the ground' is not much of a basis for discussion.

Implying that the spoil is destined to be dumped on the Catalina war grave or the Barrier Reef when the clear intention is that the spoil is deposited under the shipping lane in deep water does not provide any basis for honest discussion. The sandy spoil is most like the sea bed where it is proposed to go in deep water.

And fishers may reflect that the people who want coal left in the ground may also like fish left in the sea or in green zones.


Mariner Notices


Shute Harbour South Channel- the No. 3 Green lateral Buoy, Fl G 2.5s has been reported missing from location. AUS charts 252, 253, 254 & 825


Port of Airlie - marine development - construction works for Arm E of the marina development have begun will continue until October. Yellow marker buoys to mark the boundary are being installed. Mariners keep clear. The all round white light on 'A' berth entrance to Port of Airlie has been repaired.


Unsafe Passage - There have been at least three notices issued about the unlit front and rear leading lights on Daydream Island, which mark Unsafe Passage, between North Molle and Mid Molle Islands. AUS charts 252 & 253


Controlled burning - Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will be conducting controlled burns this week on Pentecost Island, Lindeman Island, Shaw Island, Mansell Island, Thomas Island, East Repulse Island and St Bees Island. Visibility may be poor.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that it is very hard to verify their authenticity" – Winston Churchill