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.
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
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 is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North