Friday, December 17, 2010

Whitsunday sailor takes on world

Whitsunday sailor takes on world

 

The eyes of the sailing world are on Melbourne this week as the world's top sailing talent descend on Sandringham Yacht Club for the opening round of the 2010/11 ISAF Sailing World Cup.

 

Whitsunday youth sailor Klaus Lorenz will proudly sail an Optimist (sail number AUS 677) for Queensland.

 

Although the event is billed as "Melbourne set to have the wind in her World Cup sails" light winds played havoc with the Sail Melbourne program on day one for the invitation races with some classes staying on the beach.

 

Your Waterfront writer was last week was talking to visiting members of Sandringham YC about the huge preparations at the refurbished club. The 'Sandy YC' members won a yacht charter with Queensland Yacht Charters in their youth sailor raffle.

 

They are proud this event will attract 400 the world's best male and female competitive sailors from around the globe to their club and excited that the World Cup acts as a key Olympic selection event.

The World Cup encapsulates all the glamour and excitement synonymous with the world of sailing. Fashion, fun and summer spirit are incorporated across all aspects of our lifestyle marine driven carnival, making it an exciting addition to Melbourne's Summer Events Calendar.

Off shore and on shore the event promises the largest sailing regatta in the Southern Hemisphere. Australia's own Beijing Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page and his new 470 partner Mathew Belcher will be up against the world's best on Port Phillip Bay. Current 49er world champions Nathan Outteridge and Ian Jensen and Olympic RS:X board sailor Jessica Crisp are just a sample of the sailing elite taking part on their quest for world glory.

Interactive spectator activities include sailing lessons and on-shore demonstrations will tempt the whole family into discovering the excitement and glamour of the sailing lifestyle. Online you will find sailing action on YouTube.

 

Klaus graduated from champion Sabot sailor to maintain his champion status taking a gold medal the recent NSW Optimist Championship. Klaus is honing his skills as he has entered in the Australian Optimist National Championship to be held at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Pittwater in Sydney starting on January 9.

Klaus has entered the Nationals with training partner and Sister Eva who crewed together when they won the Queensland State Sabot Championships.

Royal Prince Alfred has received entries from every state of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany and Cook Islands and is expecting 150 entries by Friday's closing.

 

Sailing Santa

 

Young off the beach sailors will no doubt enjoy their visit from Santa this Sunday afternoon after racing. With a bit of luck Santa will be steady on his feet and not fall from the committee boat into the harbour as happen on the soggy Santa occasion. Yo! Ho! Ho!

 

Seeing the light

 

Bloke up Cape Gloucester way was geographically embarrassed while driving his vehicle and ended up bogged on the beach.

Seeing lights, he said to himself "here they come to rescue me" so he had a nice nap while waiting.

Waking some time later he wondered why he had not been saved.

He realized the lights were the Gloucester channel navigation beacon lights.

 

Marine notices

 

The Narrows - Mariners are advised that the port lateral mark buoy located south of Stanley Point between Hayman Island and Hook Island is off station.

Shute Harbour - Mariners are advised that the port lateral mark No. 8 buoy Fl R 3s located at the entrance to Shute Harbour, is reported off-station.

Mariners should use caution in the vicinity. AUS charts 253 & 254

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

New date for 2011 Rotary Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show

New date for 2011 Rotary Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show

 

The Rotary Club of Airlie Beach have announced the return of a bigger and better 2011 Whitsunday Boat and Leisure Show to be held on September 10 & 11 right in Airlie Beach at the new Port of Airlie marina.

As this is the weekend of the famous Whitsunday Fun Race, the Boat and Leisure Show will provide another element to the iconic event.

The move takes the show away from its earlier spot on the event crowded June long weekend and ends competition with the long-standing Dingo Beach Whit Fun Day.

Meridien Marina's Port of Airlie site will stimulate visits to the region and bring direct economic benefits as well as adding to our other 'winter' boating and leisure events.

Located in Australia's foremost tropical boating paradise this major local event will take full advantage of a great new location, with more space than before for more exhibits set in a prime new marina complex.

The show will be an irresistible event for anyone who loves boating, fishing, sailing or finding excuses for spending time on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.

 

Hammo regatta change

 

There have been a few changes in the 28 years that Hamilton Island Race Week has been sailed and 2011 will see some more improvements for the premier event.

Olympic and America's Cup sailor, now Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke says, "It is part of our on-going efforts to improve the regatta and see it retain its reputation as one of the world's great sailing events."

"We have decided to reduce the length of the regatta by a day after consulting many of the longstanding competitors,"

'The changes in 2011 mean that we will be presenting a more compact and stimulating sailing and social schedule, and once the trophies are presented to the victors the competitors will have an entire weekend to get themselves home. There will be no need to rush to get back to work.'

Glenn Bourke also confirmed that there will be only one lay day in 2011, and the super yacht division which was introduced this year will again be part of the regatta. Additionally, the sportsboat and high performance keelboat divisions will be expanded.

The Notice of Race, detailing competition days from Saturday August 20 to Friday August 26, has been posted on the regatta website - www.hamiltonislandraceweek.com.au

 

Sailability meets

 

Sailability Whitsunday is a local branch of an international organisation facilitating sailing for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

The local group has incorporated with Sailiability Queensland and is calling for help and volunteers to attend a meeting on Thursday, December 9, 10 am at Whitsunday Sailing Club.

John Hamaty, President of Sailability Queensland will be attending. RSVP or info 0417 363 097

 

Ferals shot

 

Mariners are advised that the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will carry out a 'Feral Animal Control Program' which will require the use of live weapon firing.  The programme will take place on St Bee's Island, South Percy Island, High Peak Island and Wild Duck Island in the Mackay\Capricorn National Parks Management Area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Control operations continue until Friday, December 10. Exclusion zones extending 500 metres seaward. QPWS will make visual checks for vessels in the vicinity and radio contact will be attempted should a vessel pass within the 500 metre exclusion zone. Security calls will be broadcast VHF radio channel 16 from the QPWS vessels 'Tamoya' and 'Woppaburra'.  All vessels are to remain clear of exclusion zones during the above detailed times. AUS charts 251, 822, 823 & 824

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Heartless, no brain killers in Queensland waters

Heartless, no brain killers in Queensland waters

 

What has no heart, bones, eyes or brain, is made up of 95% water, and yet is still a remarkably efficient and deadly ocean predator?

If you thought of the box jellyfish you would be right. However, to put this in perspective, there are many creatures that kill more people.

Official records show the box jellyfish has caused 63 deaths since 1884, in waters surrounding Queensland and extending further North.

Deaths by this jellyfish have also been reported from Philippines, Maldives, Japan, Papua New Guinea, South India, Java, Malaysia, and Gulf of Thailand. The Labuan District Hospital in Malaysia recorded two to three deaths every year since 1991.

In the Philippines the multi-tentacled box jellyfish is estimated to cause 20 to 40 deaths every year.

The much smaller Irukandji is the focus of research and investigation with the Whitsunday Marine Stinger management committee working to coordinate research to understand this potentially deadly creature.

But what animal really kills?

According to the National Geographic Channel documentary 'Elephant Rage', some 500 people are killed by elephant attacks each year.

According to the Department of Elephant Research investigating the increase in DBE (death by elephant) cases elephants kill people by sitting on and smothering them, by strangling them with their trunks or by trampling.

Jellyfish, Crocs and sharks hardly rate in the death stakes against the mosquito responsible for the deaths of more than two million people per year due to malaria.

Locally, with the early rain and runoff, there is an increased chance of box jellyfish in local waters. Take precautions and be safe.

 

Flying a kite

 

A new approach to harnessing tidal energy is ready for testing with underwater kite power generators tethered to the ocean floor near Ireland.

'Deep Green' tidal kites will be anchored underwater and, using kinetic energy and automatic rudders will fly in figure eights with the oceanic tides. Because water is eight hundred times as dense as air, these kites technically could produce nearly eight hundred times the energy as wind turbines.

Eventually, the silent tidal kite farms could significantly increase green energy across the world if the test is successful.

 

Beer, girl, coconuts, boat

 

Three teenage boys, who had attempted to row the sixty miles between two small Tokelau Pacific islands, became lost and drifted for fifty days across nearly 700 nautical miles (1300Kms) of the Pacific in a tinny.  

A more complete story is now coming out how the three boys, two aged 15 and one 14, found themselves in this predicament.

It all started with a girl.

In October, a sporting event was held on Atafu, the Tokelauan atoll that is the boys' home.  One of the attendees was a girl from a neighbouring atoll, Fakaofo.  At least one of the boys was smitten by the young lady. 

When she left their island, the three boys decided to go visit her.  Reportedly, alcohol may have played a part in the decision.  Around midnight on the day of her departure, they stole a skiff and brought along a bag of coconuts, some beer and a fuel tank.

The fuel ran out, so they decided to row to the neighbouring atoll, some sixty miles away.

Instead, they got lost and drifted for fifty days before they were picked up by a passing tuna fishing boat. 

Remarkably, all three boys are in relatively good health – a bit sunburned, thin and thirsty, but generally OK.

 

Mackay Harbour

 

Mariners are advised that the lighted port lateral mark No. 2 beacon Q R, which marks the entrance into Mackay harbour is temporarily unlit. AUS chart 250

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Volunteers wanted for local Sailability

Volunteers wanted for local Sailability

 

Sailability Whitsunday is a local branch of an international organisation facilitating sailing for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

The local group has incorporated with Sailiability Queensland and is calling for help and volunteers to attend a meeting on Thursday, December 9.

Spokesperson Bruce Carter says they have had assistance from the state organisation to set up the group and now wants the community to get behind it.

"The organization's purpose is to facilitate sailing for everyone, regardless of age or ability with emphasis on opportunities for people with disabilities". Mr Carter told The Guardian.

"Nationally, Sailability Australia is a Yachting Australia Committee whose key objective is to encourage and facilitate sailing and boating throughout Australia for people with disabilities in social, recreational and competitive activities.

An important aspect of the organisation is that availability of the Access dinghy designed to appeal to that huge majority of the world's population who would love to have a go at sailing, but find it too difficult or uninviting to do so.

"Whether as a recreation, a competition sport or a therapeutic activity; the Access Dinghy design features allow total novices of any ability level to sail with little or no tuition, in safety" Mr Carter added.

Around the world, Access Dinghies are introducing whole new communities to sailing. Apart from the development of revolutionary sailing craft and supportive equipment, the Access Dinghy Sailing System also fosters the formation and development of the innovative "accessible sailing" network throughout the world.

An Access dingy will be available at the meeting for inspection.

People with disabilities are an entire segment of the community who want to enjoy and will travel to social and competitive events designed to include them.

Disabled people need the same thing as other tourists; facilities and access that are suitable to their needs.

The branch will soon have a web site and the meeting on Thursday December 9 at 5.30 downstairs at the Whitsunday Sailing Club will establish a plan for future training and events.

Further information: Bruce Carter 0407 632 887

 

Free boat festival

 

Entry to the Australian Wooden Festival on Hobart's waterfront in February will be free for the first time.

The State Government has given an additional $300,000 to the festival to make it free for the public and allow the perimeter fences to come down.

Premier David Bartlett says getting the fences down was an important part of getting more people involved and spreading the economic benefits of the festival.

Jessica Watson, the youngest person to sail solo round the world, will be a special guest at the festival in February.

 

Travellers radio Net 

 

The Travellers Net, a voluntary service to the amateur radio community will run in a new time slot from 04:00 UTC to 05:00 on a frequency of 21.185 MHz

The Travellers net commenced soon after the introduction of the Novice Class licence in Australia to allow travellers with Novice calls a similar service to the 20 metre Traveller's Net which runs on 14.116 opening at 02:00Z for full calls.

The operators on both nets log call sign, name and planned overnight stop for all travellers who check in each day, pass any messages as requested to their family and friends.

 

Propeller injures

 

A woman was recovering in Rockhampton Hospital after she had to be evacuated from Great Keppel Island for medical treatment.

The woman suffered a large laceration to her lower leg from a boat propeller.

An ambulance representative said the woman was standing too close to a boat.

 

Mackay Harbour

 

Mariners are advised that an Iso R 2s light of lower intensity has been temporarily established on the port lateral mark No. 4 beacon, which marks the entrance into Mackay harbour on Bagley Point. AUS charts 249 & 250

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Love on the Great Barrier Reef

Love is in the sea

 

It's springtime and love is in the sea. It's Hot; the sea temperature that is. And after the romantic full moon rises, you have to be under the sea at night to witness the world's largest living organism, the Great Barrier Reef, undertake its annual reproductive cycle.

Only Scuba divers and those that have gills can witness this natural wonder as the corals release their eggs into the warm water, then rising to the surface like thousands of bubbles in a champagne flute.

Annual coral orgies, the simultaneous mass spawning of corals on the Great Barrier Reef were first observed scientifically in 1981.

Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef during coral spawning is an amazing experience and to add to that experience, the coral spawn only at night,

Coral spawning is now the focus of international research, but nature cannot be totally predicted.

The process begins six months before when eggs and sperm begin to form inside the coral polyps. For spawning to take place, water temperatures must be at least 27 degrees.

However, corals need a specific cue so they can release eggs and sperm into the water at the same time. That cue is November's full moon and on the 2nd to 6th night following the full moon, the majority of corals spawn. This year, coral spawning is expected to occur around November 25, 26 & 27 (give or take a few days)

Spawning is timed to coincide with periods when there are minimum tidal movements, which allows the reproductive components time to find representatives from the same species and mix and match before being swept away. Some years there is 'split' spawn with corals in shallow warmer inshore reefs performing in November while those in colder waters on the outer reefs, spawn in December.

Corals make such an effort to spawn at the same time in order to increase opportunities for fertilisation. Mass spawning also overwhelms the appetite of predators. Developing larvae (planula) are swept off to begin new reefs. A planula attaches itself to a vacant patch of reef and starts to grow as the founder polyp for a new coral colony. Coral spawning is a once in a lifetime experience and the highlight of diving at night.

 

Turtle breeding

 

Although the whales have returned south, boaters still need to keep an eye out on the water as marine turtles have begun the mating phase of their breeding cycle. Turtles mate on the surface, and there are a fair few turtles in the area, so ensure you stay clear for their protection, as they may not be aware of your approach!

 

Marine Notices

 

Boat Haven Bay, (Muddy Bay), adjacent Airlie Bay: hazard to navigation, a lighted buoy Fl Y 3s is established in position to mark the drying wreck, a steel coral viewing vessel, situated just off the rock wall of the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Boat Haven note: A meeting of the Proserpine Shire Council on June 9, 1960 approved the adoption of 'Boat Haven' as the name for the bay at the eastern end of the Town of Airlie, till then known as Muddy Bay. The idea was to rid that muddy bay of the stigma of the earlier name. Source: Ray Blackwood.

 

Dent Passage caution

 

Mariners are advised that vessels transiting Dent Passage off the western end of the Hamilton Island airport runway are cautioned about frequent day and night aircraft movements. Vessels with an overall height greater than eight (8) metres are advised to keep clear of the flight path zone during aircraft movements. A chartlet (Map S11-41 dated 8 November 2010) details 'distance from runway' and 'mast height' restricted areas.

AUS charts 252, 253 & 254

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Observing Remembrance Day - November 11

Observing Remembrance Day - November 11

 

With recent calls for both Melbourne Cup Day and Halloween to be declared public holidays it may be time to take a minute or two to consider a most deserving alternative.

November 11 is Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, Armistice Day (the event it commemorates) or Veterans Day. It is a Commonwealth holiday to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war, specifically since the First World War.

King George V specifically dedicated the day to be observed on November 11, "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" to recall the signing of the Armistice and the end of World War I on that date in 1918.

In Bermuda, which sent the first colonial volunteer unit to the Western Front in 1915, and which had more people per capita in uniform during the Second World War than any other part of the Empire, Remembrance Day is still an important holiday.

In Canada, Remembrance Day is a public holiday in all provinces.

Veterans Day is commemorated in the United States on 11 November, and is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states.

Armistice Day November 11 is a national holiday in France, Belgium and in Poland.

In the United Kingdom, two minutes of silence are observed on 11 November, although the main observance is on the second Sunday of November, Remembrance Sunday.

The poppy's significance to Remembrance Day is a result of Canadian military physician John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields." The poppy emblem was chosen because of the poppies that bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their red colour an appropriate symbol for the bloodshed of trench warfare.

There is a case to consider putting Remembrance Day on the 'holiday' calendar and if so, it must be observed on the '11th day of the 11th month' with no apologies to those who only want a long weekend.

 

Newfies not forgotten

 

The Royal Newfoundland Regiment was the only North American unit to fight in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915.

The regiment was chosen to be a part of the rearguard, finally withdrawing from Gallipoli with the last of the British Dardanelles Army troops on 9 January 1916.

Later in the war the regiment was virtually wiped out at Beaumont Hamel on July 1, 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Of the 780 men who went forward only about 110 survived, all the officers were casualties. Only 68 were available for roll call the following day.

 

Mariner notices

 

Further work completed by MSQ on damaged navigation marks and hazards to navigation around the Whitsunday coast and islands. Update AUS charts 251, 252,253, 254,268, 824 & 825

Unsafe Passage: the leading lights on the northern end of Daydream Island marking Unsafe Passage are restored to normal.

Abel Point Marina Entrance: the Fl R 3s light on the port lateral mark No. 4 beacon that marks the entrance into Abel Point Marina is restored to normal.

Hamilton Island Marina Entrance: the damaged lighted starboard lateral mark No. 3 beacon Fl G 3s that marks the entrance channel is repaired.

Shute Bay: a steel pile and a timber pile on the northern shoreline of Shute Bay are considered hazards to navigation and may be covered at high tide. Mariners are advised to navigate the area with caution.

Goldsmith Island: Mariners are advised that a one-metre diameter metal buoy be reported adrift north of Goldsmith Island.

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Eco Barge helps clean Whitsunday beaches

Eco Barge helps clean Whitsunday beaches

 

Ever see a pile of trashy flotsam and jetsam on a beach and wish you could pick it up but aren't sure what to do with it?

Libby Edge of Eco Barge has some ideas to help clean our waterfront every day of the year. Libby and her band of volunteers have collected tonnes of trash to prove it.

"From December, you'll be able to get hold of your own Eco Barge Services marine debris collection bag. They're large, lightweight and durable."

"This is a great chance for everyone – locals, yachties and tour operators – to help keep all our Whitsunday beaches clean," says Mrs Edge.

"If you want to go the whole distance, come into our Marine Debris sorting shed with your full bag. We will weigh and catalogue the debris and enter the data into our system.

"We'll even give you a replacement bag and give you your tally every six months to see just how much you are collecting.

Libby and the Eco Barge crew have been busy finding options to plastic bags and will shortly launch a bag made of bamboo. Fully capable of being recycled, Waterfront can testify that the bamboo material is so nice in feel and looks you could wear it.

Libby also reports a recent special guest in Member for Dawson, George Christensen MP who survived 25-knot winds and rain to help the volunteers scavenge 42 kilos of marine debris from Roma Point. 

Info on bags and volunteering call Eco Barge 4946 5198.

 

Hel-loo!

 

Is it a bird? A plane? No, it's new loos!

With the aid of helicopters to uplift the heaviest of the materials, parks rangers have begun construction on three new toilet facilities located at Tongue Point lookout, and Dugong and Sawmill Beaches.

This will be a big 'relief' for visitors and charter operators, especially those taking advantage of the new Ngaro Sea Trail walk up to the Whitsunday Peak! Both the Hill Inlet lookout and the campground at Dugong Beach will stay open throughout the construction period.

 

Mariner Notices

 

Mariners around the Whitsunday islands will be appreciative that MSQ have worked at many sites repairing or mitigating the danger of damaged navigation marks, some destroyed during cyclone Ului.

Mariners are advised to update AUS charts 252,253,254 & 824 and note the following.

Reef Point, Whitsunday Island; a lighted buoy has temporarily replaced the destroyed port lateral mark beacon Fl R 2.5s, which marks Reef Point.

Nara Inlet, Hook Island; Mariners are advised that a lighted port lateral mark buoy Fl R 2.5s has been temporarily established to mark the entrance to Nara Inlet. The buoy also marks the remnants of the destroyed port lateral mark beacon, which is exposed at low tide and submerged at high tide. Mariners use extreme caution when transiting the entrance.

Surprise Rock, east of Hamilton Island; a lighted Isolated Danger Mark buoy Fl(2)6s has been temporarily established adjacent to Surprise Rock. The buoy marks the position of the destroyed beacon.

Spitfire Rock, Kennedy Sound, south-west of Lindeman Island; a lighted West Cardinal Mark buoy Q(9)15s has been temporarily established next to Spitfire Rock in Kennedy Sound south-west of Lindeman Island. The buoy marks the destroyed beacon.

Whitehaven Beach, a lighted north cardinal mark buoy Q has been temporarily established at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island,

Fitzalan Passage; the special mark light Q Y located in Fitzalan Passage has been altered to a Fl Y 2.5s light. This light and the Fl Y 2.5s lights to the immediate north and to the immediate south are now synchronised.

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Reef Festival Raft Regatta success

Reef Festival Raft Regatta success

 

Half a dozen rafts constructed from all manner of flotsam and jetsam and staffed by crews that could be similarly described, converged at Abel Point Marina for the inaugural Recyclable Raft Race on Saturday.

The new event, part of the Reef Festival activities, had all the elements that make for a fun Whitsunday event.

Mix warm water; some thrown, good weather, a happy crowd and every description of craft inventively fashioned from materials that could be later recycled is an intriguing cocktail too good to pass up.

Amazingly all the craft finished the windward leeward style course, some shedding various bits along the way, with only a few fun-filled capsizes at the finish.

Hold the front page; the winner is, well, the Whitsunday Times team splashed their way to victory in a boat not made of newspaper but of miscellaneous things. The Lounge Surfers seemed to be second on their contraption with EcoBarge taking third spot with a terrific rollover at the finish line. PCYC kids lost most of their SOS plastic bottle raft around the course and the floating Pallet was the quiet achiever.

This was so much fun and thanks must go to John Nayler for pushing it along with Meridien Abel Point Marina allowing such a kooky event. Terry Kemp was on lifeguarding duties with other helpers and everyone got wet.

Can't wait until this event floats its boats again.

 

Eco quiz a winner

 

Another new part of Reef Fest Family Day on Sunday, the EcoKids Schools Environment Quiz was successful and well received.

The finalists were teams of three students from Hayman Island, Proserpine and Cannonvale State Schools.

The high standard of competitors shows that our local youth are very interested and knowledgeable about the environment and that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Reef Guardian Schools program is making a difference supported by our local professional and caring teachers.

The EcoKids Schools Environment Quiz was planned and executed with the assistance of Whitsunday Catchment Landcare, GBRMPA, Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service and the Reef Festival Free Family Day committee lead by Team Kerr.

The winning school was Proserpine State School in a tight contest with Hayman Island and Cannonvale.

Proserpine State School Principal, RaeLee Cox received a valuable prize that will benefit the school and a lucky family who will enjoy an Air Whitsunday Reef Adventure Tour scenic flight to the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Whitsundays - more to offer!

 

Researchers from the Queensland Museum, along with Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service Rangers, are conducting fauna surveys and undertaking trapping activities on Whitsunday Island.

The survey is targeted at accurately identifying a number of animals that were first revealed when QPWS conducted an environmental impact study (EIS) behind Whitehaven Beach before the construction of the Ngaro Sea Trail.

If these surveys prove fruitful, a couple of previously unidentified species may be revealed. The researchers are particularly interested in an unknown gecko and a freshwater crayfish, recorded during the initial EIS.

 

Beachcombing

 

Sandy beaches and rocky shores are great places to observe a wide variety of plants and animals. Be careful not to disturb animals or trample plants and leave rock and shells as you found them. Check the marine park zoning for the area and find out if collecting limits apply. Taking photos works well everywhere. Ensure children don't pick up anything dangerous; cone shells look nice, but can be dangerous.

 

Macona Inlet, Hook Island

 

Mariners note that a lighted Starboard Lateral Mark buoy FL.G.2.5s be temporarily established in the entrance into Macona Inlet. The buoy is located 50 metres southeast of the destroyed beacon. Mariners should use caution when navigating nearby, and not to pass close to the buoy, as remnants of the destroyed structure may remain. AUS chart 252

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Youth sail training

Youth sail training this weekend

     

Young sailors from around the region will converge at the Whitsunday Sailing Club this weekend for two days of competition training.

Aimed at sailors preparing for the NQ Championships in Townsville on October 30/31 and the Sabot and Optimist national events in January the training will be competition based.

This will be a great way to get a good weekend's sailing in with most of the NQ Sabot and Opti sailors including some "Oppie" sailors from Hamilton Island taking part.

Klaus Lorenz will co-ordinate and coach at the event and would appreciate some help.

"The aims of the event are, primarily, to help those sailors going to the nationals, and also to encourage others, sailors and parents, to think about competition sailing as a 'way of life'." Klaus says.

"As part of the event, we plan to schedule some discussion about the logistics, costs, etc., of taking up competition sailing from a base in NQ."

If you have any queries please call Gayna 4955 0000.

 

On the Edge

 

On Boathaven Island amidst the lush mangroves between the Airlie Sports Park and Mandalay Road is a unique boatyard owned for years by David and Bill Edge.

Lurking crocodiles and popping mud crabs maintain security around the boatyard while sailors and tradesmen spend character building time on their various projects and labours of love; the only sign to most of the outside world being the towering masts looking like a grove of sea trees on a verdant green ocean.

To give David and Bill time to concentrate on the marine contracting side of their business, they have announced that Neil and Sandra Mann will take over managing the boatyard. All details remain the same.

 

$60 million toy

 

The Royal Australian Navy supplies 'Sea Patrol' with vessels and crews and a $60 million, Armidale-class patrol boat to play the role of the HMAS Hammersley as filming starts in North Queensland on the fifth season of the Australian drama series.

Sea Patrol executive producers Di and Hal McElroy say the drama has a loyal audience of about 1.2 million viewers each week.

 

Submarine storm cooling

 

Atlantic hurricanes, typhoons in the northern Pacific and south Pacific cyclones are all tropical revolving storms (TRS) and need warm surface temperatures to form and increase in destructive power.

Ise Kogyo Co., a hydraulic engineering company based in Japan, has obtained a patent for a submarine designed to dive in the path of a typhoon and pump cold water to the surface to stop the storm in its tracks.

Their idea is to build a fleet of submarines to dive in the path of a typhoon and pump cold water to the surface to deprive the storm of its source of power.

"The idea is to have a series of 20-metre long water pumps, attached to the submarine to pump cold water to the surface," says spokesperson Tomotsu Omori.

Each submarine would be able to pump around 480 metric tons of water per minute and would work in coordinated groups of up to 20 underwater vehicles. In one hour, the inventor estimates, the submarines would be able to reduce the surface temperature of the ocean by 3 degrees over an area of 57,000 square metres and take the punch out of the storm.

 

Whitsunday Pilotage

 

Mariners are advised that a lighted buoy has temporarily replaced the destroyed south cardinal mark beacon Q (6) + L Fl 15s, which marks Langford Reef. AUS chart 254

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

"Spy ship" visits Whitsunday ports

'Spy ship' visits Whitsunday ports

One of the most talked about vessels on the waterfront in the last week has been the 'spy ship' fitted with a big communications dome and helicopter parked on deck.

Waterfront can reveal that the vessel, while of somewhat military appearance, is an expedition yacht named Karima and her flag is that of Bermuda.

Also Bermuda registered; the helicopter is a US$2 million AĆ©rospatiale AS 350B2 Ecureuil (Squirrel) nicknamed 'Sea Baboon'

Built in the Netherlands and launched in 1993 as 'Maupiti' and later renamed 'Karima' she has diesel electric propulsion and is fitted with a dynamic positioning system and an ultra-modern stabilisation system.

'Karima' is 49 metres (161-feet) in length and since her NZ refit was completed in early 2009, she has chartered around Tahiti, French Polynesia and has just returned from Indonesia.

Built of steel with aluminium superstructure, 'Karima' can accommodate up to ten guests in five suites with 11 crew members.

Its South American and British owners use the yacht for round-the-world expedition adventure charters and before you decide it is the motor yacht for you, consider the cost of filling up the diesel tanks with 80,000 litres.

 

Oil from algae

 

A bill (legislation) in the United States House of Representatives to give tax breaks to companies working on algae feedstock-generated biofuel has become law.

The Algae-based Renewable Fuel Promotion Act (HR 4168) includes a US$1.01 per gallon production tax credit and 50 percent bonus depreciation for property employed to produce algae-based biofuel.

The bill defines "algae-based biofuel" as "any liquid fuel which is produced from the biomass of an algal organism (in essence, an organism that is primarily aquatic and classified as a non-vascular plant),"

"The passage of this bill is a huge first step towards our goal of creating parity for algae-based biofuels within the tax code and among various other government programmes," Mary Rosenthal, executive director of the Algal Biomass Organisation (ABO) trade group.

"Algae to produce green crude can be grown on non-arable land, in salt or brackish water using carbon dioxide and sunlight as its primary feedstock."

 

Hayman Rocks

 

Although Proserpine rock wallabies inhabit mainland areas, they also call Hayman Island home!

As part of the population recovery plan for the threatened species, the wallabies were introduced to Hayman Island in an attempt to establish a safe and stable colony.

To ensure that the objectives of the recovery plan are being met, Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service Conservation Officers are currently conducting a nine week research study on Hayman Island to determine population numbers, health and the genetic diversity of the colony.

Each individual rock wallaby examined within the study will be condition assessed and micro tagged for future identification.

Further, breeding activity will be investigated for evidence of a normally breeding and genetically diverse population.

The project is undertaken with the full support and assistance of Hayman Island Resort.

 

Raft Regatta

 

Recyclable raft entries are still needed for the regatta at Abel point Marina on Saturday October 23.  

This is a great way to highlight the problem of plastic in the ocean and to propose a solution; inventive ways of recycling of plastic while having some fun. Want more information? Call John Nayler on 0407 15 13 11.

 

Mariner notice

 

Mariners are advised that yacht races will be conducted between Mackay, Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island and Bowen between Tuesday 12 and Saturday 16 October. The Whitsunday Offshore Yacht Racing Circuit (WOYRC) Series sails the waters of the Whitsunday Passage. Mariners are advised to navigate the area with caution. AUS charts 253, 370, 824 & 825

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

WWW. 2011 = Whitsunday Whale Week 2011

WWW. 2011 = Whitsunday Whale Week 2011

 

Mate tugboat Gordo alias Gordon Simmons has come up with a stunningly great event idea – Whitsunday Whale Week.

Gordo reckons we need to liven up the place and figures that besides highlighting the majestic mammals the grace our seas in winter it would be a chance to have some music onshore.

OK, what is the connection between whales and music? Well whales actually sing. Although the whales might have a problem with electric guitars, they could really beat the drum.

Me thinks Gordon wants a concert for whales and music lovers  down on the waterfront.

Surely, we will also dream up some other ideas, a whale photographic competition, a whale beauty contest, a whale welcome and greeting, whale calling, a whale paddle, whale naming and a whale of a music festival.

Anyway, the idea is to have the inaugural Whitsunday Whale Week next year just before the Race Weeks at Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island.

There were whales everywhere this year and trained observers state that Whitsunday waters were "chockers with whales."

Local business owner Maria Dwyer of Oceanic Insurance told Waterfront this week "It's time for us to do something new. Something fun. And Gordon's idea is new and it's not boring. We will get behind it."

So, if the idea of frolicking whales promoting the Whitsunday 'brand' sounds good drop a line to info@whitsundaywhaleweek.com

 

Health check

 

It's time for a reef health check up and over the next few weeks Marine Park Rangers will be conducting reef health impact surveys (RHIS) to assess the health of our inner and outer reefs.

RHIS are important for keeping track of the state of corals in the Whitsunday area and are also useful for learning how well different corals regenerate after damaging storm events such as Cyclone Ului.

RHIS can also help to identify any areas or causes of concern affecting reef health.

 

Last wish goes adrift

 

FORT LAUDERDALE — A burial in his beloved sea was the wish of Daniel Scott Lasky, who died last month at his home in Hickory, North Carolina USA.

The next day his family packed his body in dry ice, loaded it into a van and drove to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where Lasky once vacationed.

They chartered a local fishing boat, the Mary B, and Lasky's widow, Sharon, her pastor and other family members, along with the boat's captain and crew, motored four miles offshore from Port Everglades.

They tendered their final goodbyes and consigned Lasky to the deep. Family members then fished for a spell in his memory.

"Clearly what they were doing was trying to honour the wishes of their loved one," said Veda Coleman-Wright, spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff's Office.

But the sea proved no resting place. Though weighted down, Lasky's body resurfaced Saturday. About 9:30 that morning, a fisherman reported a man's body floating about four miles offshore.

Sheriff's marine deputies raced to the scene, along with the Coast Guard. Homicide detectives waited onshore.

Investigators later found Lasky's intended resting place in his obituary in the Hickory Daily Record: "Burial will be at sea."

Coleman-Wright said Sharon Lasky had a proper death certificate and permit to transport her husband's body.

Sheriff's deputies are conferring with the Coast Guard in deciding whether any laws were broken.

 

Hazard removed

 

Mariners are advised that the vehicle, which was partially submerged in the Proserpine River near the Proserpine River boat ramp, has been removed. AUS charts 370 & 824

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Reef Festival Recyclable Raft Regatta

 

Reef Festival Recyclable Raft Regatta

 

Sailors the world over are concerned at the accumulation of debris of all descriptions in our oceans. Plastic is the main offender even though the dumping of plastics into the sea was banned over twenty years ago.

 

The Whitsunday Reef Festival includes an event on Saturday October 23 to raise awareness of plastic in the sea while having some fun.

 

The first ever 'Recyclable Regatta' will be held at Abel Point Marina with youth, adult and corporate teams invited to enter a raft and participate in this great fun awareness event.

There will be prizes in each division and an award for the most ingenious design says organiser John Nayler.

 

"This is a great way to highlight the problem of plastic in the ocean and to propose a solution; inventive ways of recycling of plastic while having some fun"

"The design rules are simple," says Mr Nayler

"The rafts must be made entirely of recyclable waste material, excepting fasteners, glues or tape, with a maximum size of two square metres.

"The judging is at 11 am on Saturday October 23 at Abel Point Marina and includes the rule that at the end of the event the rafts will be broken down by the competitors and recycled." Mr Nayler added.

Raft builds are already underway with anti plastic campaigner Ian Thompson and the SOS kids at the PCYC demonstrating their raft at the lagoon this week.

Local debris campaigner Libby Edge from Eco Barge Services is also combing her tons of collected rubbish for suitable floatation.

To get involved in this event, take up the challenge. Start collecting your recyclables and design a raft for family fun, corporate involvement or team building. Information, John Nayler on 0407 15 13 11.

 

Turn on some lights

 

Waterfront is amazed that boat owners often don't have a light lit at night when at anchor.

It is also a good idea to have a light showing while on a mooring, although it is not required.

However, at anchor a light is required by the International Collision Regulations.

On a recent dark and stormy night, coming into Abel Point Marina there were several boats that did not conform to the regulations. They were near to the channel leading to the marina.

All on the water have a duty to avoid collision and one good way is to have the correct lights; and have them lit.

To ensure your navigation lights comply with the Collision Regulations you can check with your supplier about approval/ certification or check out the National Registry of Compliant Equipment on the National Marine Safety Committee's website at www.nmsc.gov.au.

Further, care must be taken when changing the lamp of navigation lights.

For instance, an LED lamp may not be a suitable replacement for an incandescent lamp in a particular navigation light. The lamp must match the navigation light fitting and its optical characteristics.

When buying replacement lamps check for rated voltage, power (wattage) and recommended part numbers.

 

Marine animals

 

Although it is unfortunately normal for mortalities of marine animals to occur in the Whitsundays, Qld Parks & Wildlife Service make it a priority to record each event and monitor trends. Whether it is a case of obtaining mortality details for our records, or investigating an unusual peak of stranded or deceased animals, QPWS are interested in every event. Call the DERM hotline 13 74 68.

 

Mariner Notices

 

Proserpine River; Mariners are advised that a vehicle is partially submerged in the Proserpine River in the vicinity of the Proserpine River boat ramp. Mariners should use caution in the vicinity.

AUS charts 370 & 824

 

Leeper Reef; Mariners are advised that the east cardinal mark buoy VG (3)5s, which marks Leeper Reef has been re-established in position. AUS charts 249 & 823

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan