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Still here. Promise.

by John Curnow, Editor, 21 Mar 2019 23:00 UTC
They say Western Australia has beautiful sunsets, I've experienced plenty but it doesn't get much better than this evening in Southern Tasmania, and the prolonged twilight in this part of the world greatly prolongs the pleasure. © Tim Phillips

It's been a while. Sorry about that. It doesn't mean that we've had nothing to say. On the contrary actually, we have posting stories galore onto both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere websites. We especially loved Tim Phillips' recounting of his trip to Tasmania, the cacti with Barb Peck and Bjarne Hansen, Clean Up Before Bottoms Up, and Chilé with Laurence Roberts and Mary Anne Unrau. So we do hope you have been getting as much out of them as we have.

Some time ago, in The School Bus actually, I got inspired by one couple's tale to hit the high seas. He was keen on an alloy cat over a glass one, as he wanted that little bit of protection should they bump into anything. She was like, "Well don't bump into anything!" Anyway, the best part of this story is that they have not only purchased a Mumby 48 made form 5803, but have also had their first adventure aboard, and are set for another even longer soirée very soon. Nice work, and it was thrilling to see that the dream had become a reality for them. Cheers.

Moving on and it is hard to be anything but inspired and impressed by Jeanne Socrates. She's been such a star and writes in every now and then, so thanks Jeanne. Apart from all of that she is raising money for a great service: the RNLI. She's currently about halfway across the Indian Ocean, and unlike a lot of European adventurers, she took on Cape Horn as the first of the great capes. Solid. Much respect there...

It has been a tough journey to date, but she is still on track to be the oldest female, solo and unassisted circumnavigator. She's over half way now, and we wish her the very best for the remainder. She may behind her original timeframe, but the dogged determination remains paramount. Cape Leeuwin is next before being able to get into the Pacific, and then ultimately back up to Canada.

I loved how she wrote about where she is right now, "It's famine or feast down here - either too much wind or too little!" Well yes, the area is known for it and claimed many a sailor too. There have been some really big high pressure systems go through in the Southern Summer, and more than enough named storm activity higher up the latitudes, but so far, so good, and may that all continue. She is under trysail due to the damaged main, along with all the other setbacks she has overcome, including wind gear, solar panels, vang, and broken reef lines.

Multihull Central has had lots of news of late, including a move to inside the expansive facilities at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. There is a hardstand display of used craft, and RQ just got a brand new hydraulic trailer for easier hauling of multihulls up to 65 feet and 47 gross tonnes. That's more than enough to handle craft like Seawind's unique 1260, which you can see in our video here, and then Seawind's own video here.

The display area consists of up to a dozen large multihull spaces on a beautifully groomed area close to expert trades and shipwright services. It is also close to Brisbane airport (20 minutes), dining and other amenities, and also on-site accommodation. They have also recently formed the Multihull Cruising Yacht Club, and also offer the Catamaran Sailing School, as well as Charter Boat Central, and the Seabbatical Club to come on the back the highly successful book by Brent Vaughan.

Before we go, Andrew Bedwell came to us with a story. It involved a Mini Transat, which is not exactly an ideal cruising boat, but when he's already circumnavigated Britain in it, and wanted to have another attempt at going around Iceland and back, well, we got inspired. When he said it was for his daughter's school, well it ticked all the boxes then....

He's intending to start from Whitehaven on May 11, and stated, "I like a challenge. I completed a solo round UK the year before last. Last year's failed attempt of sailing around Iceland was thwarted, very luckily as it turns out, by locating the issue from a slight knocking from the canting keel pivot of my yacht. This turned out to be a complete fracture all around the pivot mounting plate. At any rate, I have decided to try again."

"I will be raising money for my daughters school, St Cuthberts, in Halsall, Lancashire. The school are very much behind this, and we've prepared an assembly with all the children, where we will be showing some of my video footage from our round UK trip, as well as how we sleep, eat, go to the toilet (the kids love that bit!), what I wear, and we have a life raft to set off to show how it works if the worst happens. This has been loaned to us by Norwest Marine."

"The school will be tracking my progress, from my SPOT and AIS, and my shore crew will be updating the children and parents with position, expected weather conditions I will be encountering, and overall progress. As well as this, the school will be using my trip to highlight that if you set your mind to something, you can do it, even if you have a failure."

"Depending on the school year group, they will be explaining the midnight sun, how weather changes and develops, all about whales (where they go, whaling from yesteryear), sea life in general, and why we need to keep the sea free of plastic etc. We also look at how we use the wind to make boats move, and in fact, every time I go into school, a teacher talks about how they are going to use the trip to teach the children," said Bedwell. We have more from Andy to talk about soon, but for now you can look at his Facebook page.

Before we go, if you're looking for a job on Sydney's Northern Beaches, then Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance could be seeking you! There are two types of roles available. The first requires boating and sales experience for a senior position within the company. The second set of requirements is around administration, bookkeeping, claims and sales support. These latter roles not need to have boating experience, but it will obviously help. These ones may even suit the correct candidates who might be looking to be a part-timer at their fun and friendly Warriewood offices.

There is always a lot to do, and much to learn, so a good work ethic is essential. Pantaenius is a family business headquartered in Hamburg, so there is plenty of opportunity to grow in an international sense. Incidentally, the Australian arm has been doing just that for nigh on seven years now. As Pantaenius themselves say, 'whilst insurance may sound like a boring industry to work within, we can assure you that yacht insurance is quite different!' Having worked with them for six years now, I can attest to that personally.

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos, the new Corsair 880 trimaran, oil spill in the Solomon Islands, pirates, blocks from Harken, whales, Japan, Fountaine Pajot, Jeanneau, Tahiti, Susanne Huber-Curphy arrives in Tasmania after one and a half laps, it was good to see that Cyclone Oma did not hit Australia, but Trevor did up the top of Cape York, and Pola missed Fiji and Tonga, Perini Navi's new 42m alloy gem arrives for fitout, Greece and the cruising tax, the Eagle 53, Rod Morris gives us more on the Caribbean Winter, mooring in the BVIs, 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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