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Please heed the warnings - Newsletter


Please heed the warnings

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Please heed the signs! - photo © John Curnow

Dear Recipient Name

Most people know that there are many dangerous creatures in Australia. Whether they are small and venomous, or large and powerful, the devastating and quick result can be the same. So please listen, and take note of any warning regarding how to conduct yourself when travelling here. We are deeply saddened by the latest shark attack in the Whitsunday Islands, and send our condolences to the family, friends on board, other boaters in Cid Harbour, and also the first responders.

We have good friends there at both Tourism Whitsundays, and Cumberland Charter Yachts, the company from which they had chartered their craft. We do know how much this affects them, as well. For the record, never swim at dusk or dawn, certain locations like Cid Harbour, in murky water, and always have a spotter. Equally, if you are on the mainland in Queensland, the NT or Northern WA, never walk on the beach near a creek, estuary or river, for they belong to the crocs. Remember, the dumbest question is the one not asked, so please check with a local.

We pretty much covered off the wider subject matter back in an earlier newsletter entitled, Steady On. Drum lines are not the solution. They are indiscriminate, and the collateral damage is appalling. It is tantamount to using a shotgun to solve petty flies buzzing in your face.

Mars Keel -  Manufactured Keel Systems 250   Cape to St Helena Governors Cup 2019 300x250

Right. Let's move on...

Redland City Marina to undergo significant changes. - photo © John Curnow
Redland City Marina to undergo significant changes. - photo © John Curnow

I had occasion to be at Redland City Marina in Brisbane, recently. It is an extensive facility that is about to receive some major upgrades, one of which is a 200-berth dry stack, where an old tin shed currently stands. Not that this is particularly pertinent to cruisers, but in talking more with the manager, one Ken Drummond, you got to learn way more.

Ken certainly knows the pointy end from the blunt, having built many a fast cat in his day at Windspeed Catamarans. Mostly these were Crowther designs. He also did the full fibreglass fairing on the Collins Class submarines. As the Manager, he also oversees the on-site chandlery, which has gone ballistic of late, as owners come to the yard for repair, and get not only the right advice, but all they need to perform the tasks as well.

There are also all manner of trades on hand, from mechanical to shipwright, rigging to electrical. So if you just want the job done, they can make it happen. The extensive yard - for the whole facility amounts to over four hectares - has a tale or two. Ken informed me about the sailor who came from Lord Howe Island, put his boat on the hardstand, packed up, went to Europe for four months, and then on his return, did the whole thing in reverse.

Evidently he has not been the only one to do so, with another couple parking their cat for around the same length of time whilst they went on an extended cycling tour of Europe one Summer. Clearly the yard rates must be good, and with a Sea Lift to put the boats in and out, obviously quite safe and professional, as well. These two stories are not the only the ones utilising this plan, for there is another craft parked there right now whilst the owner explores France.

Phillip and Col Holmes at the Balmain facility. - photo © John Curnow
Phillip and Col Holmes at the Balmain facility. - photo © John Curnow

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Now one of the companies occupying space in the service area is Osprey Marine. As shipwrights, they do all manner of metal and timberwork, GRP and composite repairs, respraying and antifouling, electrical, as well as detailing and maintenance. It is run by Col Holmes, who is very much your typical, unassuming Australian.

However, tucked in the office are the pictures you see here. That keel should look very familiar by now. His father, Phillip, was well known for skiffs and things in the Sydney suburb of Balmain, and was contracted to build it back in the day. Not only was secrecy of paramount importance, whilst they made it in a shed that Alan Bond bought, but also accuracy. Col remembers being the sixteen year old you see with his Dad in the pic, and all the hours with the spokeshave he put in (including the worn out knuckles), as they carved out the plug for the moulding of the über-famous keel that sat below Australia II (KA 6).

The plug that made THE winged keel... - photo © John Curnow
The plug that made THE winged keel... - photo © John Curnow

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"To see it all being built as split plug was pretty amazing, as it was pretty outrageous to look at. Then to see the outcome of it all was just fantastic," said Holmes. Inside his facility was an alloy plate fishing boat which was being resprayed, and a 50-foot powercat was having more than a complete birthday.

"The worst part was is that we only had the one plan to work from. There were no CAD-CAM files being sent via the internet. The Naval Architect, John King, laid it out on the floor, and we were within 70 kilos by the time we delivered it." Remember of course that a 12m weighs in at something in the order of 25 tonne... "So it all turned out quite well. We also did the keel for the completely conventional Challenge 12 (KA 10, also designed by Ben Lexcen) at the same time."

Challenge 12 and Australia II during trials on Port Phillip - photo © John Curnow
Challenge 12 and Australia II during trials on Port Phillip - photo © John Curnow

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about coral reefs, long-line fishing, gear from Musto, sea turtles, seagrass and protecting the seabed, the ARC Down Under Rally, whales, Fiji, the Seawind Pittwater rally, quippy from Navico, training courses, Midway goes into battle on waste, the Multihull Solutions rally, surviving a hurricane, the Ocean Cruising Club's Suzie Too Rally, as well as much more.

So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of the home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...
John Curnow

Spinlock - Adventure Proof 2 - 300x250   Zhik 2018 Dongfeng Champions 300x250

It all starts with "hi, we are…"
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Vancouver Club Night - Dreamspeaker West Coast Adventures
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"Robust" corals primed to resist coral bleaching
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Selden CX & GX Furling Systems 600x500   Pantaenius EU 300x250
Ancasta opens Portland and Poole office to service central south west
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Operation Albacore III concludes
The fourth vessel was a Spanish-linked long-line fishing vessel that was found solely filled with sharks and shark fins, despite being licensed to fish for tuna and similar species.

FSE Robline ropes now for sale on
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North Sails 3Di Tech 300x250   GJW 2018 600x500
Busy programme continues for the ARC+ crews
The ARC+ and ARC+ St Vincent programme in Las Palmas kicked off in style on Friday evening with a fantastic Welcome Party at the 'El Pantalan' terrace restaurant at the southern end of the marina.

Seagrass an unexpected protector of marine history
Seagrass meadows are safeguarding shipwrecks off of the Australian coast, with Edith Cowan University (ECU) researchers likening them to security vaults for priceless cultural artefacts.

Companies invited to retrain veterans through sailing charity partnership
A sailing charity is inviting companies, community groups and individuals to get involved in their new Zero to Hero campaign by sponsoring an injured veteran to retrain as a professional Yachtmaster in the marine industry.

Roll up... Roll up! Welcome to ARC+ 2018!
ARC+ ralliers were welcomed today as the Rally Office opened its doors in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. A rush of participants were met by the multi-lingual yellowshirt team to 'check in', and receive lots of information

World ARC circumnavigation 2018-19: A sporty overnight sail from Mauritius
The shortest passage for the World ARC fleets circumnavigation is only 132 nautical miles from Mauritius to Reunion and this year provided exciting sailing conditions. Hal Haltom, Skipper of the American yacht Cayuse

Record number of yachts join the Down Under 'Go West' Rally
Having set sail from New Caledonia and Vanuatu at various times over the past couple of weeks, 43 of the participating yachts have already arrived in Australia and the remaining 29 are expected to depart and arrive in the next 10 days.

Science blog: Removing marine debris on midway
Once again, our marine debris team split—one team of five stayed at Midway Atoll and one team of ten departed on the vessel Imua to clean up land debris on other islands.

Manatees return to South Florida's waterways
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"Surviving" Hurricane Willa in Mazatlán
On Sunday, October 21, 2018, Hurricane Willa commenced. The rain and high winds one expects with such a storm did not materialize, but the news reports, emails, discussions and planning all ensued as per the stormy weather predicted.

Science blog: Machine learning and whale song
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Experience The Bahamas with Sunsail
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Navigation in restricted visibility in Cowes Harbour and news from Cowes Harbour Commission
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Cruising through Fulaga, Southern Lau Group, Fiji
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Sail away for the OCC Suzie Too Rally 2018
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Ocean Cruising Club Irish Dinner a success in Westport
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Product Comparison: Top-down furling systems for a 42ft cruising boat
Say you have a 42ft cruising boat and are looking for options for a top-down furling system (for free-flying downwind asymmetric sails). We take a quick look at your main furling unit and cable choices in this size range.

Navico® shifts electronics paradigm with introduction of new display category
Navico® — parent company to the Lowrance®, Simrad®, B&G® and C-MAP® brands — has announced the launch of a brand new category of marine technology — the information display (ID). Ushering in a new dawn of integration for boaters

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