Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The hunt for coral-devouring Crown of Thorns starfish (COTS)

 

Crowns without glory for Whitsunday reefs

 

Crown of Thorns starfish are one of the biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef because they eat their weight in coral every day.

A 14-person dive crew on the hunt for coral-devouring Crown of Thorns starfish (COTS) will target reefs off the Whitsunday Coast.

The dive crew, part of a $1.4 million yearlong mission funded by the Federal Government, kill the starfish by injecting them with sodium bisulphate.

The dive team killed about 1300 of the coral-devouring crown of thorns starfish on reefs off Cairns in the first 10 days of their intensive mission to prevent another outbreak.

Local marine biologist Emily Smart told members of the Whitsunday Local Marine Advisory Committee this week that the team is heading for Whitsunday waters and how tourism workers and operators could help.

"At this late hour it would be best for people who are out there regularly to state where they are NOT seeing COTS as well as where they ARE so that they don't waste time looking in the wrong place."

"All they are after is where, how many and how big, e.g. hand sized or less, hand to elbow size or bigger." Ms Smart added.

Sighting reports may be made to steve@projectsglobal.net

The increased flow of nutrients into the Reef from flooding in recent years has caused young Crown of Thorns starfish to flourish. Each female spawns about 20 million eggs. Past outbreaks have lasted between 10 and 15 years.

 

More gold sailors

 

In the week that Whitsunday will show support for returning Gold medallist Para-cyclist David Nicholas, sailors are buoyed that Australian sailors Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch have also won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games

It is neither one's first Paralympic Games or medal, but it is the first time that either sailor has won Paralympic gold, Fitzgibbon added to his silver medal from Beijing 2008, while Tesch added gold to her two silver and a bronze won in Wheelchair Basketball.

Tesch, whose first taste of sailing came with being selected from a bunch of hopefuls by David Pescud's Sailors With Disabilities to race to Hobart in 2009 did it after losing her mother to cancer on the opening day of racing – and dedicating the win to her..

 "I was able to channel all of that emotion we won the gold medal for mum. I've watched mum battle with cancer and saw how tough it is. They pull their armour on each day and battle cancer and we did the same thing - and went out and won the gold medal for all the people going through what my mum did."

 

Shackleton voyage berths

 

In 1916, Shackleton and his crew set off on a 1300-kilometre voyage to South Georgia Island, across some of roughest waters in the world, in the James Caird, a 6.9-meter lifeboat. It was a desperate attempt to reach help and to arrange the rescue of the twenty-two men left behind on Elephant Island after the loss of his ship 'Endurance'.

The epic lifeboat voyage re-enactment; in a replica of the James Caird, named the Alexandra Shackleton, in honour of the explorer's granddaughter; will be attempted in September 2013.

Shackleton enthusiasts and members of the public have an extraordinary opportunity to be a part of the expedition, a berth aboard the expedition support vessel 'TS Pelican' a 148-foot, three-masted barquentine similar in size to Shackleton's original expedition ship, 'Endurance'.

"A berth on TS Pelican as part of the Shackleton re-creation is the stuff of childhood dreams," says Tim Jarvis, AM FRGS, 46-year-old British/Australian adventurer and Shackleton Epic expedition leader.

Pelican of London is a sail training ship based in Weymouth, UK. Built in 1948, she served as an Arctic trawler and coastal trading vessel until 1995. The Pelican was under sail in the Thames Estuary at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last May.

 

Marine notices

 

Hook Reef Group, off Whitsunday - Mariners take note that the restoration work at Hook, Bait and Barb reefs be completed. AUS charts 249, 823 & 824

 

Hayman Channel and The Narrows - between Hook Island and Hayman Island - Mariners be advised that aids to navigation have been re-established and altered. Full details NtM 934 (Permanent) of 2012 refers.

 

Reason?

 

"Don't ever take a fence down until you know the reason it was put up" - G. K. Chesterton

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

 

Cap'n Dan is celebrating ten years online at http://waterfront.blogspot.com.au

 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Whitsunday connection in ship sale

                                                                                         

Whitsunday connection in ship sale

 

Here is your chance to snap up two authentic paddle wheelers, The Kookaburra River Queens, that will be auctioned at Rivergate International Boat Show on Sunday October 7.

At one time the ships were named 'Club Crocodile River Queen' I and II hence their Whitsunday connection.

The 'Kookaburra Queens' were built 1987 and 1988 respectively by Millkraft Thompson Boatyards in Brisbane. Other than the Endeavour replica, these must be amongst the last large wooden vessels 100-foot+ built in Australia taking 35 artisan shipbuilders a year each to complete.

'They are part of Brisbane folklore, and I hope they'll remain here for many years to come,' said Marine Auctions principal Adrian Seiffert who will conduct the auction.

'This will be a memorable day in the life of these two wonderful vessels. However, the question remains, 'Will it be a sad or happy day?'' Mr Seiffert added.

'I have to wonder if these magnificent paddle wheelers stay in Australian hands, or whether yet another of our icons be snapped up by offshore owners.

The Kookaburra River Queens conjure up many happy memories for thousands of Brisbane families as well as international tourists. Many couples have held their wedding receptions on board.

Rivergate International Boat Show is at Rivergate Marina and Shipyard on October 5/7. The River Queens will be providing cruising opportunities so attendees can enjoy these magnificent vessels.

 

Home is the Sailor …                                                                                 

 

Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon July 20, 1969, best known for navigating the Sea of Tranquility, began his career as a US Navy aviator. Armstrong, who died on August 25, age 82, will be buried at sea as per his wishes. NASA has scheduled a public memorial service for September 13 at Washington National Cathedral. No date has been set for the first moonwalker's burial at sea to be carried out by the US Navy.

The moon's "seas," or maria, are not bodies of water but rather basalt plains that were formed by volcanic eruptions. They were name by early astronomers who mistook them to be actual seas.

 

Solar Island

 

New Zealand workers have flicked the switch and turned on the first of three solar power systems that will enable Tokelau to become the world's first 100% solar powered country.

Tokelau is a tiny Pacific island nation made up of three atolls and populated by only 1,400 people that was spending over $800,000 a year on diesel to provide electricity. Funded by The New Zealand Aid Programme, Tokelau will meet 100% of their climate change obligations.

 

Bear in woods

 

'Baranof Wind' a 79-foot, high-speed catamaran ran aground in Glacier Bay, Alaska. The passenger ship, with 72 passengers on board, was on a day-time sightseeing trip when it struck a rock causing hull damage and water ingress.  

Coast Guard reports say the cause of the grounding was due to brown bears. The master of the vessel attempted to manoeuvre closer to allow passengers to see one or more bears spotted along the shoreline. After viewing the bears, he attempted to steer back into deeper water, but struck a rock instead. The passengers were transferred to cruise ship Volendam. At press time there was no comment from the bears.

 

Marine notices

 

Hayman Channel - Mariners be advised that the lighted special mark beacon Fl Y 2.5s in the Hayman Channel off the northern end of Black Island has been re-established in altered position 20° 04.556' S, 148° 53.555'E.

 

South Channel between Hook Island and Bird Island - Mariners be advised that the lighted south cardinal mark beacon Q(6)+L Fl 15s, which marks

the southern end of the reef between Hook Island and Bird Island in the South Channel, is re-established in altered position 20° 05.786' S, longitude 148° 52.642' E. The lighted starboard lateral mark beacon Fl G 2.5s marking the eastern side of the reef between Hook Island and Bird Island in the South Channel be altered in position 20° 05.242' S, 148° 53.109' E.

The lighted special mark beacon Fl Y 3s off the southern end of Black Island in the South Channel is altered to 20° 05.234' S, 148° 53.513' E. Check notices for further information. AUS charts 252, 254 & 825

 

I squander billions!

 

"We can't blame government for squandering all that money on shinny toys like submarines without crew and that go nowhere. I'd probably be irresponsible if I had billions at my disposal"

 

Fair winds to Ye!            

Cap'n Dan

 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Lights at night and whales

Lights at night and whales
 
Last Friday night when bringing a ship down from Bowen and off Grimstone Point I spied through the moonlight a whale dead ahead. My action and that of the whale prevented a collision, but it was close.
While pondering the whale and coming across the bay, a bright light seemed to be moving towards me at speed. Glory be, I thought, here is someone with a headlight on their boat. Sure enough, however the light was proportionally bigger than the boat. Ye never know, but I hope boat headlights never catch on.
Knowing there is a three masted vessel at anchor I was keeping a good lookout for it but was close before thinking it is not very well lit.
Further up near Abel Point Marina there were a charter boat at anchor displaying no light at all and while in mooring areas it is nice to see some lights, those at anchor really need more than a garden gnome's night-light.
 
Whale of an idea
 
With talk of lights at night and WWW - Whitsunday Whale Week planned, Waterfront has been thinking about a way to put Whitsunday on the map with a great promotion.
Perhaps we could get the empty suits in Canberra to pass a law that whales must carry lights at night to protect them and to conform to the International Regulation for Preventing Collison at Sea 1972 (as amended). It would just be another law to the Canberra lawyers and would provide a way to introduce night-time whale watching. Tourists could then take the sunset cruise and sip champers while viewing whales with colourful disco light or laser beams shining up through their gushing spouts. Wonder if the whales would sing? I bet the whale gig wouldn't flop.
 
Just cruising
 
From nothing to fifty cruise ships per year is a wonderful record held by the Airlie Beach Cruise ship volunteers. With cruise lines increasingly operating in Australian waters and people choosing this type of holiday we should be happy (overjoyed!) that Airlie Beach is established on the cruising route.
But it did not just happen, just getting the remote powers that be to allow ships to anchor at Airlie took years for some desk jockey to put a mark on a chart.
Keeping this vibrant industry going is the work of our cruise ship volunteers who meet and greet the increasing numbers who come ashore.
You can help the 'Vols' in practical ways. Did you know they did not have new shirts for almost eight years? These colourful garments ate a major part of their success along with the personal touch provided.
Tourism Queensland recognised the need and met it. What about some cash or new ideas from Airlie business owners. Perhaps a shopping expedition further than Airlie is needed and an all day bus pass.
 
Navigation Act
 
In addition to column item last week about changes to maritime laws, the new national law no longer includes many provisions of the 1912 Act that were taken from the British Merchant Shipping Act of 1894. A favourite 18th century remanet deleted is that it is no longer an offence to take a lunatic to sea without telling the master.
 
Notice of Race
 
The Mackay Yacht Club - Dinghy Division, as the organising authority, invites entries for the 2012 Plantation Palms Festival of Sails on the waters off Mackay Harbour, 8/9 September.
 
Marine notices
 
Whitsunday Passage - Mariners are advised that an ill whale is currently drifting with the tidal stream in the Whitsunday Passage Area. The whale is unable to submerge and poses a navigational hazard. Mariners are requested to ensure they maintain a lookout in the area but are requested not to approach the whale. AUS chart 252
 
Hay Point Coal Terminal - Mariners are advised that diving operations will commence at the Hay Point Coal Terminal. The dive team will be operating from the vessel 'MV Shadows', the landing barge 'Clam' and undertaking clearance of debris from the southern end of berth No. 1, clearance of debris from under the structure of berth No. 1, and ultra-sonic inspection of the piles on berth No. 1, the head-end and existing trestle. Divers will fly the Alpha flag. The vessel will report activities and daily position to Hay Point
VTS and will be maintaining a listening watch on VHF channels 14 and 16. Mariners should navigate with caution in the area. AUS charts 249, 250 & 823
 
Great pleasure
 
"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do"
 
Fair winds to Ye!
Cap'n Dan

Apology from Yer Cap'n

Apology
 
I've been working at sea quite a bit lately and haven't caught up on the posting so you get a bunch at one time.
 
Sorry, will try harder.
 
Yer Cap'n
 

Century old maritime laws overhauled

 

Century old maritime laws overhauled

 

Federal Parliament has passed historic new laws that regulate the safety of ships and seafarers and ensure shipping operates in a manner, which protects Australia's precious marine environment.

The passing of the Navigation Bill 2012 and the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Bill 2012 also gives effect to Australia's obligations under various International Maritime Organization conventions and establishes the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as the single national maritime regulator. 

Shipping is a crucial part of the Australian transport system with almost all our imports and exports carried by ship.

The safety and efficiency of our shipping industry is critical to our economic prosperity and that's why these reforms are so important the government says. They represent the most significant overhaul of the regulation and management of Australia's maritime industry since 1912.

The Fisher Labor Government first drafted the 100-year-old Navigation Act 1912 at the time of the RMS Titanic. Now a century later the task of modernising this legislation has been finished. 

The National Law Bill replaces eight existing federal, state and territory regulators with one national marine safety regulator and a single national law, releasing manufacturers, operators and crews of commercial vessels from the current costly and confusing array of regulations.

 

Jessica Watson actress wanted

 

First, she circled the world on a sailing boat alone, then she returned to a hero's welcome by the Prime Minister and thousands of cheering fans, then she turned seventeen.

After that, there was the book, she became Young Australian of the Year 2011, and lent her name to many good causes. Now her short life is to be made into a major movie.

Jessica Watson, who was 16 when she became the youngest woman to unofficially circumnavigate the globe solo and unassisted, will be immortalised on film in 'True Spirit' due for release late 2013.

American producer David Brookwell says he had been looking out for another 'inspirational family film' to make and had followed Watson's dangerous journey with interest from afar. He said the net would be cast large to find a young Australian to play Watson, with the role most likely to go to an unknown actor.

'There are not a whole lot of big movie stars that could play her, so there is an opportunity to find somebody new,' Brookwell said.

'We might find the next Sandra Bullock at the age of 14. But we are looking for an Australian girl.'

Brookwell said the movie would focus on the inspirational aspects of the voyage and was a chance to redress some of the controversy surrounding the trip. At the time, Watson came in for criticism for being too young and inexperienced for such a monumental undertaking and her parents were blasted and harassed by Nanny Staters for allowing her to make the trip.

'It's really important to understand the preparation of her voyage because there was so much on the negative side and I don't think the critics fully understood what she did and the fact that Jessica really drove this project – it was hers,' says Brookwell.

The clear message here is that if you have a dream and work hard at it, you can make that happen.'

 

Watch this, Kids

 

As if things were not good to start with, airboat tour captain Wallace Weatherholt, 63, was arrested by Florida Fish and Wildlife officers on a misdemeanour charge of unlawful feeding an alligator while leading an airboat tour in the Everglades for a family from Indiana. Weatherholt allegedly demonstrated the ferocity of alligators by holding a fish over the water. He faces a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail after a 9-foot gator jumped up and grabbed the fish, along with Weatherholt's hand, which was severed at the wrist.

 

Marine notice

 

Hay Point pilotage area - Mariners are advised that diving operations will be undertaken from Monday, 27 August for seabed clearance at Lease A in the tug harbour at Hay Point. Operations will take place in daylight hours only and the dive vessel will exhibit appropriate signals with flags and will keep a listening watch on VHF channels 14 and 16. Mariners should navigate with caution in the area. AUS charts 249 & 250

 

Learning

 

"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself" said comic Sam Levenson

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

 

Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North and 4MK

 

Flotsam and jetsam feature in Reef Festival fixture

Flotsam and jetsam feature in Reef Festival fixture

 

Human ingenuity showed no bounds when flotsam and jetsam of wide variety and origin is cobbled together to form raft and ship like forms such as was evident at the Recyclable Regatta on Sunday.

The Airlie Beach swimming lagoon was the venue for the intriguingly designed fleet lovingly prepared to occasional standards of stability and higher standards of visual ambiance. The highest quality of thoughtful design featured classy operational drinks holders to sooth the crew with respect to the other design faults of their vessel.

That the winner of both junior and senior races was the same craft as last year with modifications show it is hard to keep a good design down; although the champion teen crew say their secret of success was "paddling really hard" some others found paddling really hard was not helpful when your craft is submerged.

Special thanks to the Lagoon Life Guards, Whitsunday Council and Airlie Beach Hotel for sponsoring the event for the enjoyment of the gaggle of onlookers who goggled at the spectacle.

 

Oil spill response

 

The Federal Government is spending $13.5 million on new oil spill response equipment, talks about "risks associated with these changing shipping patterns, particularly in north-Western Australia and the Great Barrier Reef" and then neglects to place any of the equipment in the busy ports on the Central Queensland coast.

Federal Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese says the program focuses on the partnership with the shipping industry to protect Australia's marine environment, part of a five-year federal government program to upgrade the nation's stockpile of oil spill response equipment.

"In the last decade, we have seen more ships on our waters thanks to increased mining and industrial activity," Minister Albanese says.

"While oil spills rarely happen, they can have catastrophic consequences, particularly in pristine environments," the Minister says.

"Incidents such as Pacific Adventurer in 2009 and Shen Neng 1 in 2010 remind us of the huge risks that oil spills can present to the environment."

Albanese says the new equipment will not only allow for more effective clean ups but also the ability to clean more oil, more quickly in rougher water. Additionally, mobile wildlife cleaning facilities will equip authorities with the ability to better clean wildlife affected by oil spills.

Eighteen dispersant spray systems, 31 skimmers (oil recovery systems) and 13 kilometres of boom (oil containment systems) will be delivered to Sydney, Melbourne, Devonport, Adelaide, Perth, Dampier, Darwin, Townsville and Brisbane.

So when the Minister sits in Canberra and says, "It's critical we're able to respond to such incidents quickly to minimise the impact on our marine environment and reduce the impact to industries and communities," can he understand why people living on the Queensland coast might think he is stupid?

 

Beards healthy

 

Scientists have finally done the research and 'discovered' what sailors have known for a long while – facial hair is a great way to retain ones youth. A group of Australian researchers found that facial hair provides an effective barrier against the sun's UV rays. So not only are sailors with beards total chick magnets, they're also healthy.

 

Excavator rescue

 

The 'Geitung' a 31-meter tug became disabled near Kopervik, Norway. The tug was towing a barge from Karm√ły loaded with a cargo of rocks when it suffered engine failure. The barge used the excavator as a paddle to pull the vessels toward the harbour. Later a pilot boat arrived on scene and took tug and barge under tow into the harbour. No reports of injuries, damage or pollution released.

 

Mariner Notices

 

Dent Island, Whitsundays pilotage area - Mariners are advised that a temporary starboard lateral mark Fl G 2.5s has been established marking the northern end of Dent Island. AUS charts 253 & 254

 

Hay Point, Half Tide Tug Harbour - Mariners are advised that work has started on the wharf maintenance project at the Half Tide Tug Harbour and will continue until October. Vessels are to pass well clear of the work area at a slow speed and minimal wash. Work will predominately be daylight hours, with the possibility of early mornings before dawn working into the evening to maximise working hours, depending on the tides. AUS charts 249, 250 & 823

 

Sailing considered

 

"There is nothing particularly difficult about sailing. But there are an enormous number of simple skills to be mastered."

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

 

Race Week spectacular on and off water

 

Race Week spectacular on and off water

 

A record one thousand plus sailors spread across 122 boats made a magnificent sight on the brilliant blue water off Airlie Beach for the Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week.

The changing wind conditions under the clear blue sky have provided plenty of challenges for the varied fleets.

The big red ORMA trimaran has little competition for line honours considering it hits 35 howling knots around the scenic courses provide by nature and the Whitsunday Sailing Club.

Plenty of activity onshore, just ho it should be.

Whitsunday sailor Hamish Swain enjoyed his sail with Jessica Watson on Monday afternoon as a prize. Jessica told The Whitsunday Coast Guardian after the blast around the bay on a Tasar with Hamish "I haven't been out for such a good sail on a small boat for ages. We had a great time."

A beaming happy Hamish agreed that sailing with Jessica was great fun for the current under 10 Australian Optimist Sailing Champion and the current 10-year-old Queensland State Optimist Champion.

Look out Australian Sailing Team!

 

Down to earth

 

Jessica is a very nice, down to earth person who admits she has trouble dancing in high heels, but gave it a go anyway. "It was completely out of my comfort zone," says the 19 year old who has started a university course with youth social work areas in mind. Those who followed Jessica's round the world sail know she loves reading so she says that studying sociology means, "There's lots of reading and I absolutely love it."

For his part, Hamish has been keenly following the Australian Olympic sailing team at the Olympics.

 

Fun Race

 

It's time to dust off your pirate costumes, retrieve your eye patch and earring from your treasure chest, and sharpen your plastic pirate sword. Those of you keen to enter your boat into the Great Whitsunday Fun Race this year will be thrilled to learn that this year entry forms and the course map are available online. To enter you can download and print an entry form and bring it into the club on or before Saturday. As well as individual entries, you may also nominate a team of three boats from the same sailing club or geographical region and contest our Teams trophy! www.whitsundaysailingclub.com.au

 

Discover Sailing

 

With plenty of interest in sailing following the Olympics, Yachting Australia have a new online resource by the name of Discover Sailing that will help you to find out about our exciting or relaxing sport.

Part of the new Discover Sailing Program is a Discover Sailing Experience that will be trialled around the country; however, in Airlie Beach all you have to do is go out sailing on a Wednesday afternoon to discover your own Sailing Pathway. Discover yourself and the sport of sailing @ discoversailing.yachting.org.au/

 

Let there be light!

 

The 15th annual International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend have gained 425 so far for the event this weekend.

Organisers of the fun event seek to break last year's record of 470 from 55 countries last year.

Australia is in the lead International Lighthouse  and Lightship Weekend with over fifty registrations is, followed closely by the USA on 48 and Germany with 44.

The main objective of the fun weekend on August 18 and 19 is to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships, their need for preservation and restoration, and to promote amateur radio.

 

Notice to Mariners

 

Hook Island, Black Island - Mariners are advised that work has commenced on the restoration of aids to navigation in the vicinity of Hook Island passage, Macona and Nara Inlets and the northern end of Black Island.

The construction will be off the barge 'Alpha Bree' for a period of approximately two weeks. Mariners are advised that the vessel will have very limited manoeuvrability while work is underway and other vessels should give a wide berth. AUS charts 252, 254 & 825

 

Lindeman Island Channel - Mariners are advised that the lighted beacons marking the entrance channel into Lindeman Island resort wharf have been re-established. The channel lights are now synchronised. AUS charts 252 & 254

 

Watson on winter

 

"Winter is such a great time to be sailing on the Queensland coast and it is great to go sailing with friends and enjoy Airlie," says Jessica Watson

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

 

Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North and 4MK

Welcome Aboard for Airlie Race Week

Welcome Aboard for Airlie Race Week

 

Sailors from around the globe are assembling in Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands to enjoy a couple weeks of sailing and fun. Sailors and their families come here for the warm weather and the warm welcome they receive at our Tropical Shirt Regatta – AKA - the 23rd annual Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week.

Social Events mean Party Time for sailors, their families and the community; so come and join the party. Check out the Regatta HQ at the Whitsunday Sailing Club, Tropical Hot Rock Pre Lay Day Party, Crew Party and the Ladies Lazy Long Lunch. Sailing August 10 – 16.

 

Lighthouse weekend

 

Australia is in the lead for next month's International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend with over fifty registrations, followed closely by the USA on 48 and Germany with 44.

The event evolved from the Scottish Northern Lighthouses Award Weekend first held in 1993 becoming the ILLW in 1998. Over the years, it has continued to grow and to date more than 450 lighthouses and Lightships in some 50 countries around the world are participating in the event each year.

With nearly 340 registrations so far organisers seeks to break last year's record of 470 from 55 countries.

The main objective of the fun weekend on August 18 and 19 is to promote public awareness of lighthouses and lightships, their need for preservation and restoration, and to give amateur radio some publicity.

Queensland entries include Pine Islet now at Mackay Harbour; Cape Capricorn; Lady Elliot Island lighthouse; Sea Hill Point, Curtis Island; Caloundra Lighthouse and for the first time, Cape Moreton Lighthouse.

The closest to us is the historic Pine Islet light reassembled on a new site at the Port of Mackay. The restoration of the lighthouse to full operational status was completed in late 1995. It therefore remains the last operational kerosene powered light in the world. The light was situated on Pine Islet in the Percy Group, south-east of Mackay. The building and light were prefabricated and then erected on the island in 1885. After 104 years of service, a fully automatic solar-powered light replaced the lighthouse in 1985.

After much lobbying by locals the lighthouse was preserved under the control of the Pine Islet Lighthouse Preservation Society and will be activated by VK4WIM Mackay Amateur Radio Club.

Sea Hill Point, Curtis Island was constructed in 1873 or 1876, moved in the 1920s, and is now on display at the Gladstone Maritime Museum and will be operated by the Central Queensland Amateur Radio Association

 

Sailing's romantic hitch

 

News from Italy this week claims what may be the most romantic moment in sailing. During Race 1 of the RS500 World Championship at Riva del Garda, Italy, International Class Chairman Michiel Geerling from the Netherlands rounded the windward mark and when his girlfriend Hilde van Susante hoisted the gennaker - sewn into the sail were the words WIL JE MET MIJ TROUWEN? (Translation - Will you marry me?).

The proposal went without a hitch (Ahem!) with the sailmaker and others involved keeping the secret.

 

 

Atlantic record set

 

British solo sailor, Alex Thomson has smashed the single-handed monohull transatlantic record, by more than 24 hours, crossing the finish line at Lizard Point, off Falmouth in Cornwall, in time to get back for the London Olympic Opening ceremony.

The 38-year-old sailor crossed the line setting the new time at 8 days 22 hours 8 minutes to cover 2800 nautical miles. The previous record, officially known as the 'West to East Ambrose Lighthouse to Lizard Point Under 60ft Single-Handed Monohull Record, Male' was held for 10 years by Swiss sailor Bernhard Stamm.

 

Marine notice

 

Proserpine River - Mariners are advised that the Starboard Lateral Mark No. 1 beacon that marks the entrance to Proserpine River be re-established in position. The beacon is fitted with a temporary flashing yellow light. The buoy temporarily marking the position of the destroyed beacon is withdrawn. The lighted Starboard Lateral Mark No. 3 beacon that also marks the entrance into the Proserpine River has been re-established. The beacon is fitted with a temporary flashing yellow light. AUS charts 252 & 824

 

Big mistake

 

"One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results," wrote economist Milton Friedman

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

 

Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North and 4MK

Aussie Sailors take Olympic gold

                                                              

Aussie Sailors take Olympic gold

 

LONDON: Aussie Laser class sailor Tom Slingsby added an Olympic Gold to his three times Laser World Championships in a tactical race sailed Monday at the British south coast Olympic venue.

And in the exciting Aussie inspired 49er class Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) will take gold with just the Medal Race to go while Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) will claim silver. The Australians have been dominant all week winning five of 15 fleet races and go into the Medal Race with an unassailable 29-point lead. Kiwi silver medallists Burling and Tuke also have an unassailable 31-point advantage over Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang (DEN) who should hold third place by a narrow margin.

In the Men's 470 class Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS)are neck and neck with Britain's Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell with just one point separating them at the top of the leader board, but with two races to sail on Wednesday it is too close to call as to which medal will be added to Australia's tally.

 

Sabots rule OK

              

So how did these Aussie sailors rise to the top of the competition of the best in the World? One common factor is that they started sailing Sabots at a young age.

Gold medallist Tom Slingsby who until this week said his best sporting achievement was winning three Laser World Championships started racing at age eight in Sabots.

"I enjoy the competition and racing against the best in the world and seeing were I compare against them," Tom says modestly.

Lake Macquarie sailor Nathan Outteridge started racing at age five and won the 2000 Sabot Nationals at Yeppoon. Nathan has coached at the Whitsunday Sailing Club during the Sabot Nationals.

470 sailor Iain Jensen from Lake Macquarie started racing Sabots at age five.

Finally, Queenslander Mathew Belcher, coached in the 470 by the brilliant Victor Kovalenko, also started in Sabots.

Makes you wonder about the kids bobbing about on Sunday mornings in the little boats with a wooden shoe design on the sail.

              

Our lifestyle

 

Lifestyle of the rich and famous on Hammo shows when mechanical mate was fixing a yacht on Sunday.

"Had a chat with Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr on Hamilton Island today, they where on the boat next to me that I had to repair. Nice bloke. Gave her my number and said next time I will change my shirt ... Just waiting for the call now..."

Yeah, well Craig didn't know who they were until the people on the boat he was repairing told him. He'd talk to anyone, especially if they're a good sort. All in a days work.

 

Sailing with Jessica

 

This week sees the start of the 2012 Telcoinabox Airlie Race Week, and Jessica Watson will be among those attending. As part of this great week of sailing in the Whitsundays, juniors between the age of 7 and 18 can enter a draw to win a sailing lesson with Jessica! The competition will be drawn on Thursday August 9 at the Telcoinabox Airlie Beach Race Week opening party. Jessica will take the lucky winner for a sailing lesson on Monday August 13 at 4pm, following her public appearance at the Whitsunday Sailing Club at 3pm.

 

Hooligans

 

Saw Bruce Absolon's Volvo 60, Spirit of the Maid at Hamilton Island. Hear famed 1983 Aussie America's Cup winning skipper John Bertrand will helm it. Crew believed to be a bunch of his mates including AFL legends Ron Barassi, 'Dipper' Depierdomenico and amazingly, Federal Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and Minister for the Arts, Simon Crean.

 

What's the drill?

 

Divers were called the other day after a hole was accidentally drilled in the hull of a plastic yacht in Abel Point Marina. The luck of the Irish and hey, it wasn't really a very big hole.

 

Mariner Notices

 

Mariners be advised that the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will be conducting controlled burns until the end of August. The affected areas include South Molle Island. Visibility may be affected by this operation. Mariners; navigate with caution. AUS charts 252 & 825

Hook Reef Group, work to restore the aids to navigation at Hook, Bait and Barb Reefs for about a week. The construction barge 'Alpha Bree' will have very limited manoeuvrability while work is underway and vessels should give a wide berth. AUS charts 249, 823 & 824

 

Naturally,

 

"Naturally, research, good planning, and good intentions are never left unpunished . . ."

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

London 2012 SOS - Support Our sailors

London 2012 SOS - Support Our sailors

  

At the Beijing Olympics Australia won two gold and one silver to place second only to Great Britain with four gold, a silver and a bronze.

The London 2012 Olympic Games are just around the corner and there are more ways than ever before to follow our Australian sailors.

Whether on TV, online or on the radio the London 2012 Olympic Games are set to be the most covered in history and there are plenty of ways to stay across the fortunes of our Australian sailors.

For the first time ever Australian viewers will be able to watch all 10 sailing medal races live and in full, totalling more than 16 hours, for more information click here. Channel 9 and Foxtel will also have a dedicated reporter in Weymouth, reporting daily on the sailing competition.

Whether via websites, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, online is the place to be for London 2012. For information on Australia's sailors, there is a range of options. Visit www.australiansailingteam.com.au and www.yachting.org.au for the latest news and support our sailors via Facebook at www.facebook.com/AustralianSailingTeam and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AusSailingTeam. Interviews will be available at www.youtube.com/YachtingAUS.

Channel 9 and Foxtel are the host broadcasters for the Games and will be beaming more hours of coverage into Australia homes than ever before. For more information on Channel 9's coverage click here, Foxtel will have eight dedicated channels with every gold medal live, including all 10 sailing medals.

The Australian Olympic Team's official website is london2012.olympics.com.au/ with news and video available daily.

For sailing specific news, the MySailing and Sail-World teams will be in Weymouth for the duration of the Games. For news from Australian Sailing + Yachting Editor Roger McMillan visit www.mysailing.com.au and for the latest from the Sail-World team visit www.sail-world.com.

Sailing begins in Weymouth on July 29 and continues until August 11 with 13 Australian sailors to compete in eight classes.

 

Pirates curse

 

The Whitsunday Pirates Curse is to keep having fun for all ages and this year the Whitsunday Reef Festival will do just that.

The Reef Festival committee invited the community to the Lion's Airlie Beach Markets on Saturday morning where many young and some mature pirates filmed a community commercial to highlight the Whitsunday Reef Festival as the largest community festival event in Airlie Beach. Running from August 16 to 19, Whitsunday Reef Festival is a community event run by a group of volunteers to celebrate the tropical lifestyle and aspects of the locality that makes Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays to unique! For the very latest information come to www.WhitsundayReefFestival.com.au

 

Mind yer friends

 

Fishing vessel Yankee ran aground on the appropriately named Error Island near Sitka, Alaska. A passenger on board contacted a friend via text message that the vessel was in trouble. The friend then contacted the Coast Guard in Juneau who dispatch rescuers to the scene. When rescuers arrived they found the vessel high and dry and in danger of falling over onto its side with the master of the vessel under the influence. The Coast Guard requested that the master leave the vessel, but the master refused to leave. The authorities forced the man from the Yankee and later arrested him. The Coast Guard reported that the hull of the vessel was undamaged and Yankee would refloat on the next high tide.

 

Shipwreck marked

 

Yongala Shipwreck, east of Cape Bowling Green - Mariners are advised that a temporary special mark buoy Fl W 5s has been established 13 nautical miles east of Cape Bowling Green marking the position of the Yongala Shipwreck site. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in this area. AUS charts 826 & 827

 

Is that clear?

 

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink" writer George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language", 1946

 

Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan