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GABO – not just a little island…


The latest cruising news from the Northern Hemisphere and the world.
 03 Jun 2017

GABO – not just a little island...

Drive it like you stole it! Maike Muth from Pantaenius not letting go of the helm, as In The Wind's Skipper, Bernie Coetzer, looks on. And yes, it is San Pellegrino mineral water in the bottle. I know because I had one too!  © John Curnow
Off the East Coast of Australia there is a wee island called Gabo. It is roughly where the coastline stops being mostly East/West, and in turn becomes North/South. Water and wind usually run hard here, more often than not they won't be in the same direction, either, which is why the acronym took the name so seriously. Got A Bit On.

There has been a lot of activity of late, and trainspotters would have noticed that last week's newsletter did not go out. Apologies, but it does mean that this week we are sort of providing a bumper issue. And to make it big, we'll be taking a really close look at the Sunreef 60 cat, which was at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, and welcomed us aboard. For the record, this is a big cat, which kind of makes it a lot like having your own little island.

The main saloon of the Sunreef 60, In The Wind.  Charterworld

Sunreef certainly build luxurious sailing catamarans (and power ones too for those that have to be able to point at zero degrees AWA), yet they also provide for a level of pace. Marcus Ashley-Jones is pretty familiar with that concept, as he is an 18-footer skipper in his spare time, and said, “The Loft 60 we are on is the smallest craft in the Sunreef range, which is kind of funny, given how spacious it is. We are really excited to have one here in Australia at last, albeit for a small amount of time. There are a lot of Sunreefs out there plying the seas and they can be hard to catch, so it is great to have, In The Wind, stop by for the show.”

“She is large and very comfortable vessel for up to eight guests and two or three crew, but Sunreef are more than able to have your boat meet your needs. These are as big as you can go as a husband and wife team, yet still be very easy to sail, and manage everything. So it is entirely up to you how you want your boat laid out. Either configuration is purposely designed to be operated shorthanded, as you can see from the big, powered primary winches.”

Sunreef 60 is all about letting time slide by.  Sunreef Yachts

“Sunreefs are ocean performers, and will do eight knots uphill at 35 degrees and then march off up to 16 when off the wind, and with the spinnaker deployed. The Sunreef DNA is luxury performance, and those sorts of numbers ratify that. Narrower hulls, carbon mast sections and booms are all part of the programme.” Indeed the spaces are grand, for sure, but not stupendous, and you sleep athwartships on raised island beds, where there is more space to be had.

It is also important to note that whilst the carbon rig section is utterly huge, it is spreaderless. Designed by multihull racing experts, it allows for less weight up top, and in a seaway, that means less pitching. The canoe boom (with lazy jacks) is also very impressive, and it swallows the square-top, fully battened and two-reef mainsail. You can also opt for in-boom furling if you choose.

Massive rig section on the Sunreef 60, as it is spreaderless.  © John Curnow

“This keeps the ease of sailing, and doing so shorthanded, front and centre. All in all it offers up the power to handle her mass, and still make her feel like a true sailing cat. In other words the people sailing her can still also enjoy the whole experience as they get about seeing the globe”, said Ashley-Jones.

“There are great developments coming from Sunreef very soon, which will join all the others out gallivanting around the globe right now, so it has been good for people to see the boat here at the show. The reception to this, our Australian premiere, has just been fantastic. The difference that Sunreef offer the market is now better understood.”

“People can see that this is not prêt e porter, and so it really means starting with a blank canvas. It is not a tick the box scenario at all. It is done in conjunction with your stylist or designer. Finally, pride of build means all the team are behind getting your project to your exacting standards. They are as luxurious as they are well made.” The Sunreef 60 starts at about $2.2m and presently you will have to wait until April/May 2018 to get your hands on one.

Owner's Stateroom aboard the Sunreef 60, In The Wind.  © John Curnow

As for In The Wind, she is under the command of Bernard Coetzer, who is a certified open water diver. Bernie loves spending time out on the water and finds great pleasure surfing, wake boarding, diving, and fishing during his free time. Now the chef on board is Angelique Coetzer, who commented, “From the Gold Coast we are heading up to Eastern Indonesia (off West Papua) to the archipelago, Raja Ampat. It is said to offer the best diving in the world, and has the highest recorded marine biodiversity in the world. What a perfect location for an exclusive and completely private charter experience.”

“Not only is the scenery unreal below the surface, but the islands themselves are so worth seeing as well. Of course, you'll also have it all to yourself, as well. A day on board In The Wind is something that even the best resort cannot deliver, not only because we are here to look after you, but because of what you will do and see, which is never the same.”

“Naturally, we are also here to ensure you get your coffee just way you like it, as well as drinks served just so. After all, it is always five o'clock somewhere in the world! After diving, or even surfing (Bernie may even loan you one of his boards), it is time to think food. As a marine protected area you cannot source your produce right there, yet all the colours and species will have inspired you, so I think a seafood dish is on the cards for sure. I am thinking scallops to start with, then Schnapper with truffle and white wine sauce and finally something sweet to complete your five-star dining experience.”

Fly by wire - no actual helm at the lower command station.  © John Curnow

At $30k for eight days for six guests with unlimited diving, food and beverage it certainly does sound better than good. In The Wind are also able to cater for guest wishing to look at 10 or 12 days, as well, and you can pick up the conversation with them via their website

OK. In this newsletter you will find that we have tales for you about North Sails' new 3Di NORDAC, the many interesting developments at Sail Exchange, the Race for Water, Tahiti, lifejackets and immersion, ARC World, Portugal and Europe, Dutch canals, the Caribbean, the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island, the Gulf Stream, practical tips, Sawlty Dog, plastic, training and courses, rescues, as well as much more.

So you see, there are tales, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do enjoy... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top and the drag down menu, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

Now then, are you out there plying the seas and got something to say? We'd love to hear from you via – 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

Zero Emissions – World's first SkySails-Yacht crosses the Atlantic
SkySails Yacht,
As first of its kind yacht the 35m “Race for Water” has been utilizing the innovative kite wind propulsion system developed by SkySails Yacht GmbH of Hamburg/Germany throughout the voyage.... [more]

The island of Huahine
Andrew and Clare / Freedom and Adventure,
We left Raiatea last Tuesday accompanied by a pod of dolphins who altered course to play in our bow wave. A very welcomed sight which always brings a smile to our faces. We sailed twenty miles in light conditions and sparkling blue seas to the island of Huahine.... [more]

Salty Dawg™ Sailing Association Rally to Maine starts next month
Salty Dawg Sailing Association,
The nonprofit Salty Dawg™ Sailing Association (SDSA) second annual cruising rally to Maine will set sail from the Chesapeake Bay on July 10 and from Dutch Harbor near Jamestown, RI on July 15. Participating vessels may start from the Southern Chesapeake, Annapolis in the Upper Chesapeake, or near Newport, RI.... [more]

North Sails launches revolutionary polyester cruising product
North Sails,
North Sails, the worldwide leader in sailmaking, introduces the latest application of their patented 3Di technology - a revolutionary cruising sail made of 100% polyester fiber. 3Di NORDAC is an innovative product that marries patented 3Di shape holding technology with the toughness and affordability of polyester sails. Tailored for small to medium sized cruising boats...... [more]

BoatUS – NOAA National Charting Plan looks to the future
The plan also allows NOAA to focus attention on underserved waterways, such as resolving chart discrepancies in areas of importance to recreational boaters.... [more]

An intense opening in Bermuda for the Race for Water crew
Race For Water,
The crew of the Race for Water had been looking forward to the first stopover of their five-year Odyssey in Bermuda – but it has not been a holiday since they arrived safely in port 10 days ago. Although, after a month crossing the Atlantic, using only the power of the sun and the wind, the crew were happy to get their feet back on dry land and to be joined by some reinforcements....... [more]

Mayflower Marina welcomes first arrivals ahead of ARC Portugal 2017
World Cruising,
Mayflower Marina in Plymouth has begun to welcome participants set to join ARC Portugal 2017 ahead of their departure from the Plymouth Sound this Sunday 4 June, bound for Bayona in Spain. The offshore passage, due to take the cruising yachts four - six days, is the first leg of a three week adventure to explore the Portuguese coast on their way to Marina de Lagos on the Algarve.... [more]

Off the beaten tracks - World ARC in Suwarrow and Niue
World Cruising,
After sailing 690 from Bora Bora, World ARC fleet joined the atoll of Suwarrow, a beautiful island part of the Cook Islands. The fleet anchored in its peaceful and amazing lagoon. No one lives on this island that is only accessible by boat.... [more]

RYA launches 2017 Safety Advisory Notice
Loretta Spridgeon / RYA,
Compiled for the leisure boater and first launched in 2014, the RYA Safety Advisory Notice offers a simple digest of critical safety issues including those that have arisen from incidents and tragic accidents in the past year.... [more]

Coast Guard, locals rescue 44 stranded on breakwall in Provincetown
U.S. Coast Guard 1st District Northeast,
The Coast Guard, Provincetown Harbormaster, and TowBoatUS Provincetown responded Sunday to 44 people stranded on a breakwall near MacMillans Pier in Provincetown. The local fire department alerted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England to the situation at 1:47 p.m,... [more]

Coast Guard, locals launch search after unmanned unlabeled kayak found
Coast Guard First District Northeast,
The Coast Guard and Salisbury Police Department launched a search Sunday morning for a possible missing kayaker after an unmanned, unlabeled kayak was found at about 6:30 a.m. on the north jetty at the entrance to the Merrimack River. A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, and a response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Merrimack River launched...... [more]

ARC Europe - First arrivals in the Azores
World Cruising,
The first boat is now just a few hours away from Horta. The German flagged X-562, Teamgeist chose a route north of the rhumb line and is expected to pass the finish line by 2145 local time (UTC -1) today, after 11 days at sea. Later in the evening Pure Elegance, a Dufour 560 is expected, having opted for sailing south of the rhumb line.... [more]

Gouda to Amsterdam
SV Taipan,
On a misty Saturday morning we departed Veerhaven Marina and passed once more under the Erasmus Bridge eastward towards Gouda. Heavy Barge Traffic disappeared soon after we left the main river and we meandered up the canal to Gouda through a couple of locks / flood barriers... [more]

Five things a monohull sailor should know about multihulls
Ray McCormack / 48 North,
You can hardly think about chartering in 2017 without acknowledging that you may be sailing a big cruising catamaran. Even though the Pacific Northwest has been slower to adopt the trend, at many of the world's charter operations, there are now more multilhulls than monohulls.... [more]

Top Caribbean music festivals you can reach by sea
Carol Bareuther / All At Sea,
There's nothing better than listening to music with the sights and sounds of the surf in the background. The Caribbean is famous for its many music festivals, from those that feature high-profile productions with well-known names to regional rock stars. Many venues are right on the beach! Here's a sampling of sweet-sounding events where you can dance on the sand.... [more]

Reef Summit sets new course of action for the Great Barrier Reef
A blueprint to respond to coral bleaching and other recent impacts on the Great Barrier Reef was the focus of this week's two-day Reef Summit in Townsville, Australia. Hosted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the summit — Managing for resilience— was the first of its kind for the Reef and involved more than 70 leading marine experts from around the world.... [more]

Cruising fun in the BVIs, a sailors paradise
SV Crystal Blues,
The British Virgin Islands are a sailors paradise - reaching across the Sir Francis Drake Channel is a marvelous way to spend an afternoon, racing south west past Virgin Gorda, heading for a Dark and Stormy at the floating bar in The Bight on Norman Island - it's the stuff dreams are made of.... [more]

Where am I - Social change in Caribbean cruising
SV Crystal Blues,
Sailing west from the BVIs, a cruising sailor enters an area that is increasingly influenced by proximity to the United States. While the southern end of the Caribbean oscillates between French, Dutch and English histories, and quaint provincial social influences, the northern islands are suddenly and dramatically quite American.... [more]

See how your smart phone can help save your life
Exposure Lights,
OLAS, the man overboard location alert app from Exposure Lights is now available on Android as well as through the App Store.... [more]

Coast Guard Foundation to recognize heroism and mission excellence
Coast Guard Foundation,
At the event, the Foundation will recognize Coast Guard Air Station Houston aircrew CGNR 6581. In addition, the2017 Guardian Award will be presented to ConocoPhillips, a Houston-based oil and natural gas producing company. Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, Commandant of the Coast Guard, will deliver keynote remarks.... [more]

USCG, partner agencies conduct environmental response to sunken boat
U.S. Coast Guard 1st District Northeast,
Coast Guard Sector Boston response personnel along with members of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection responded to potential pollution from the sunken fishing vessel My Dee Lite Friday, at Green Harbor Marina in Green Harbor.... [more]

A sleigh ride in the Gulf Stream
SV Crystal Blues,
The Customs lady looked fearsome (why is it always the Customs folk who play tough?) but gave us our clearance and charged only US25 cents for the pleasure. The Immigration man smiled, removed the little cards from our passports and said 'have a nice voyage, you're cleared'. With that we sailed away from Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands the next morning, on the first day of May...... [more]

Gorgeous day on the east side of Raiatea
Andrew and Clare Payne,
We are enjoying a gorgeous day at anchor behind a small island on the east side of Raiatea. A little piece of paradise in flat calm water with beautiful views of the mountains and the surrounding reef. Both water and air temperature at 28 degrees makes life very pleasant.... [more]

The Indispensables - The Canvas Bucket
Rob Murray,
A cruiser we met in a marina in Oregon commented that the two most useful items on a boat are a bucket and a towel. He may or may not be right, but I would add that the most useful bucket is one made of canvas.... [more]

What's the weather like in Calgary
Christine McGregor,
The BCA Calgary fleet continued their season with an April 24 meeting conducting a weather research activity. For novice and experienced offshore sailors alike, the opportunity to spend time finding and learning how to use some of the most valuable and recent weather resources is a valuable skill to learn and keep fresh.... [more]

Steady as she goes, North in the canals
SV Taipan,
Canal travelling is another steep learning curve to challenge the cruising sailor. The language barrier is frustrating, although almost all Dutch speak English its not necessarily easy using VHF. The current seems to be always against us. All that aside, its been a lot of fun and for the most part, reasonable weather.... [more]

World ARC - Second start from Bora Bora - Au revoir French Polynesia-
World Cruising,
The World ARC fleet said ‘au revoir' to French Polynesia as they continued their westward journey. The fleet left Bora Bora in two different starts on the 14th and 16th May. The second start of leg five from Bora Bora via Suwarrow and Niue to Tonga took place at 1500 Bora Bora time (UTC - 10).... [more]

ARC Europe - Bye Bye Bermuda
World Cruising,
Today was the start of ARC Europe Leg 2 from St George's Harbour in Bermuda at 1100 local time. The strong winds that we have experienced here for the last few days decided to move on and in the words of Bermuda Weather's marine synopsis 'a high pressure will park overhead Bermuda imparting lots of sunshine and a light to gentle breeze over the next several days'.... [more]

High water on the great lakes – Boom or bust for boaters-
With Great Lakes water levels on the rise and expected to continue to increase into summer, recreational boaters could find that deeper water under the keel may open a whole new range of cruising, fishing or sailing grounds to navigation.... [more]

35th America's Cup – Can cruising yachts stop over to view the action-
Sue Richards/Noonsite,
After the qualifying rounds filter out the challenger to take on Oracle Team USA, the main event begins on June 17 and will continue until one team wins seven times.... [more]

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