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It just got really personal…

by John Curnow, Editor, 5 Feb 22:00 UTC
Snorkelling, with the peace of mind of Ocean Guardian's eSpear. © Andre Rerekura

Alas, please do not fear. There will be no dust up about to commence here. What I am referring to goes back to the editorial, Steady On. That was written after there were some very unpleasant shark attacks in the Whitsunday Islands.

In it, we looked at some new adaptations of some tech that has been around for a while now. Namely, how sharks just cannot abide an electric force field. Little wonder when you consider how attune they are, and that they partially use the earth's magnetic field to assist with trans-oceanic voyaging, in addition to temperature, tide and smell.

Ocean Guardian's Boat01 is a great way to create a virtual shark cage around the back of your boat so that multiple swimmers can enjoy a dip off the back. You can even daisy chain multiple units together to create an even larger space, as they operate in about a 10m wide, 6m down field of influence.

N.B. Nothing is better than prudence, so if it is dawn or dusk, or you are in an anchorage where there are a lot of food scraps going over the side, then you should not be in the water (nada, no way, never, etc, etc).

Alas, what to do if you are going off snorkelling, or doing some spearfishing prior to lunch? Something a little more personal, and easy to carry would be ideal. The legendary Val Taylor may tell you that sticking your thumbs into their eyes is a great deterrent, but then she had the benefit of a chainmail suit, and a fortitude that made the groundbreaking armour look decidedly weak. Me, I'd like something a bit more distant, a tad more arms length, categorically more scientific, and certainly way less likely to freeze up on you at exactly the wrong time.

It's sort of like having your own Harry Potter moment with a wand, but not requiring you to remember the correct spell, say it precisely as it is intended, which can be difficult underwater, and avoid a seriously nasty mishap. Just like a wand, you can even have it personalised, to a degree, for the Ocean Guardian eSpear comes in five colours Aquamarine, Carbon Black, Electric Yellow, Pewter Grey and Ocean Blue.

Now the recommended retail is AUD299, but, and it is a big but, if you order yours between now and March 15 via the indiegogo crowdfunding site, then you'll get a hefty 45% off, which brings it down to AUD164.45. I think that's what they call a no-brainer!

In speaking with Ocean Guardian's CEO, Lindsay Lyon, we got to learn a bit more. "In essence, it is all about three things. They are when you are snorkelling, decompressing on the way up after a dive, or if you have a fish on the end of a tether that is attracting some unwarranted attention from a predator. Our world's first, handheld electrical shark deterrent, the eSpear delivers a field that is 1m in diameter, and 2.5m length to help you deter an unwanted shark encounter."

Like most of us, Lyon and the team are dedicated to removing barbaric practices like drumlines that kill all manner of marine life randomly and indiscriminately, at the same time allowing everyone to have peace of mind when they enter the water.

Amanda Elizabeth, a Shark Scientist, has said about it all, "It's fantastic that Ocean Guardian are really accelerating their product development to cover more ocean users and the reason this excites me is the fact that their devices do not harm the sharks, or other marine life. We need to all work together to protect our oceans, but also have the confidence to share them with marine life, we are after all playing in their backyard."

Tacking big time now, and on March 23, Southern Hemisphere sailors will get the opportunity to be at the Multihull Solutions Expo at Coomera on the Gold Coast. They have a range of boats to look at on the hard, as well as in the water. Best of all, there are seminars you can sign up for from 0900 to 1600. They cover yacht ownership, cruising and handy multihull tips. Spaces are limited, and bookings are essential. Go here to be amongst it. Now one of those speakers is the very affable Chris Tilley, from Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance. He'll be unpacking insurance, so I imagine that seminar will be ultra-popular.

He attends a lot of boat shows, as you'd expect, but the Canadian's own path to here and now is a little less known, yet offers a clear understanding he has for boats and genuine empathy with their owners. "I grew up sailing out of, and then working at for seven years, the Royal Kennebeccasis Yacht Club along the St. John River in New Brunswick. I have sailed across the Bay of Fundy to Nova Scotia. Interestingly, the Bay of Fundy is known for the largest tides in the world, with a range of 17 metres!" (You can see that looks like in this video)

"After buying and then living on my own 28ft yacht when I was 22, I had the opportunity to do a delivery in Asia on a Beneteau 43. We sailed from Indonesia to Singapore, then Malaysia, and finally Phuket. That all lead me to Australia, where I had previously thought about looking to sail, and also starting a career in the industry. Along the way, I have been able to compete in inshore and offshore races, as well as great regattas like Sail Port Stephens. I now own my own timber launch, and cruise on Pittwater (just North of Sydney)."

"Working with Pantaenius has given me the opportunity to travel all over Australia, meeting and talking boats with our clients. Attending different boat shows and expos is definitely one of the perks of the job. It's great being able to sit down and hear about past or upcoming sailing plans, while being able to assist and arrange the different coverage that's required for extended cruising."

"I look forward to catching up with everyone at the MHS Expo. I'll be available to talk boats, cruising plans, insurance, and the benefits of the Pantaenius product with all our current, and perspective clients."

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about the marvellous Jeanne Socrates, rogue waves, RYA catamaran sailing school with Multihull Central, ARC, plastic, plastic, plastic, the Great Barrier Reef, gear from Musto, Hobart's Wooden Boat Festival, and we take the brilliant Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490 out on a first date, 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 Sail-WorldCruising 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

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