Fantasea crew and you
They are not just marine crew. The Whitsunday Fantasea crew are a diverse group of people who are our friends, shipmates, neighbours, playmates and ratepayers. Their kids go to school with our kids. They shop where we shop and enjoy their sports and their kid's sports with us. We share our BBQs, car pool the children to birthday parties, sports and dance lessons. For many years, we have shared all the good things of living in what we would all like to be paradise. We share meetings, weddings, births, laughs, loss, shoulders to cry on, time to listen, lawnmowers and eskies together.
They are what we lose if they are forced away. Our kids lose friends and their school loses students. We lose the skilled critical mass that makes us what we are. An event like this ripples through the fabric of our town, further eroding our sense of community.
There is no question that 80 people and their families departing town would greatly affect our local economy.
The jobs drive recruitment night last Friday was the concept of Christie Leet of PRD and John Nayler at ChannelWhitsunday.com and others so contact them for updates or if you can help or need help.
"This is what our true community spirit is about," Whitsunday Mayor Jennifer Whitney said on Friday night.
Hand bitten off
Yachting & Boating World reports a boat captain is recovering in hospital after an alligator bit off his hand during a tourist trip in the Everglades swamp in Florida, USA.
Capt Wally Weatherholt was leading a family tour when a 2.7-metre alligator leaped out of the water bitting his left hand, severed it and swallowed it whole.
Wildlife officials killed the 'gator, retrieved the hand from its stomach and took it to the hospital but doctors were unable to reattach it.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are investigating whether Weatherholt was feeding or baiting the animal before the attack, a second-degree misdemeanour in Florida. Jorge Pino, an officer with FWCC, said that it was common for swamp skippers to take unnecessary risks with dangerous animals.
"The more flamboyant you are, the more aggressive you are in getting an alligator to come close to the boat, the more tips you're going to end up getting," he said.
Weatherholt's employers, Capt. Doug's Everglades Tours, are planning to lend a hand and hold a fundraiser to help the injured man and his family.
Modern war policy
'Russian' cargo ship The MV Alaed, was reportedly carrying refurbished Russian attack helicopters, missiles and unspecified munitions, on a voyage from Russia to the Syrian port of Tartus, where Russia maintains its only warm water port outside of the former Soviet Union.
Off Scotland, the ship turned around and headed back to Russia. The change of course was not induced by warships or threats of air attack, but by the withdrawal of the ship's Protection and Indemnity insurance policy by The Standard Club in London.
So insurance is the new war manoeuvre. Policy and paperwork is the new steel and beats the bomb and missile. A statement by the British insurer, Standard Club said that cover was withdrawn because the owners of the ship had "broken internal rules" of the mutual insurance association.
"We were informed that the ship might be carrying weapons, in particular Mi-25 attack helicopters, missiles and non-specific munitions. There are exclusion clauses in our cover and, for anyone involved in improper or unlawful trade, we can cancel cover."
Though listed as part of the fleet belonging to Russian company FEMCO, the ship is registered to Volcano Shipping in the Dutch Antilles, flagged Island Territory of Curaçao, and chartered by United Nordic Shipping in Copenhagen, Denmark.
STOP PRESS: The MV Alaed has been reflagged under the Russian flag and is reported to be ready to set sail from Murmansk to Syria in a few days. Hope they have insurance.
Bowen Harbour entrance - Mariners are advised that an unlit yellow spar buoy has been temporarily established marking the position of the partially submerged 7.5-metre fibreglass fishing vessel 'Kypena'.
"It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible."
Fair winds to Ye!