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Near or Far


The latest cruising news from the Northern Hemisphere and the world.
 23 Aug 2017

Near or Far

George Carlin  
Tested a lot of boats of late, and this notion about dawdling along just kept coming back to me. It also did not seem to matter at all if your cruising was to partake in your local waterways or to become transoceanic voyagers; the guiding principals were the same.

Later I read how a long-term cruiser had returned home and was in shock at the pace and materialistic nature of our society. Frantic was the word used.... When you liveaboard, simplicity, a certain zen-ness, spontaneity, and appreciation for your complete surroundings are your guiding principals. Think of it like when you were a backpacker and your whole existence stemmed from the big pack on your back and the smaller one on your front. Over-indulgence was simply just not going to cut it.

Now George Carlin did a magnificent sketch on ‘stuff', which you can view now by going here, and there is a lot draw from that about living both on land and at sea, yet it was the email received after the last editorial called Huxley that got me to thinking. A dangerous thing indeed...

Here were a young couple that realised in order to do all the many things that float their respective boats; they needed to sail around the region. Yet they had no real understanding of all that this entailed, so wide-eyed and always on the learning curve they stepped into the breech. Apart from being able to get to the places they wanted to, they hoped to be able to inspire others, and perhaps provide a little bit of grease to apply to the rails, thereby assisting others take to the seas.

So totally in the same vein, and now you'll see the thread weaving away here, and some time ago now, we looked very closely at the burgeoning situation with people buying a boat, putting it into charter, skilling up themselves by using it in the locations they sent it to, and then finally taking off around the country, the region, or the globe for that matter.

The article, Planning and completing your SEAbattical, which can check once more here, was all about how to take the dream and turn it into a reality in a timeframe that was neither so short as to have left worrying about your skills, or too long as to see your boat lying at the end of the quay, rotting away as you struggled to find the time to make it happen. We then came back and reviewed it all in Closing the loop, when many more than expected had attended and took charge of their aspirations.

If you want to go around the Pacific or the globe, then this could be for you!  Multihull Central

The core aim was to get people out there doing the cruising before they got any older. i.e. waste no time. Brent Vaughan from Multihull Central had even written the book, called SEAbbatical, and the seminars in Australia were run under that very name. It has recently been tweaked to reflect the financial aspects of it all, and is back as the Charter Boat Investment Masterclass.

This next one is on in Sydney, on Saturday September 9 from 1000 to 1500hrs at the Multihull Central Marina in Rozelle Bay – Lot 4 Chapman Road, Annandale, NSW 2038. There are Free Open Boat Displays from 0900 to 1700hrs, and you can read all about it here, and better yet book for it, right here. As the overriding comment that is always made by people in this space is that they wish they had done it sooner, if you are around, and it is of interest, then get along to it.

Shetland ponies and puffins  SV Taipan

OK. Back to the business of newsletters, and this time you will find that we have tales for you about Maine, which almost as far away from that as you can get from Tahiti, Humpbacks gorging, ponies (not seahorses), the ARC, the new Seawind 1260, penguins, Jon Sanders and that 10th lap of the planet (at 78 years of age mind you!!!), plastic in the oceans and it is not fish food, books, seminars on getting you out to sea sooner, apparel, North Sails offer, the North Pole, that is a long way away no matter which Hemisphere you're in, Pompeii, the Race for Water, the Great Barrier Reef, records at the Sydney International Boat Show where just over 63,000 souls attended, seals, whales, dolphins, wooden boats, Coastguards, Florida, canals, 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

Sunshine, smiles and support on ARC Channel Islands
World Cruising Club,
The second edition of ARC Channel Islands, organised by World Cruising Club in association with RYA Active Marina, came to a close at the weekend following a week long cruise exploring Cherbourg, Guernsey and Alderney from the rally's start port of Gosport.... [more]

Australia's biggest Shag fest does ultimate Prostate check
Sail-WorldCruising and Powerboat-World,
More than 1,000 official Shaggers (members of the Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club) are making their way to the pristine waters of the Whitsundays (Cape Gloucester Resort, Hideaway Bay and other locations) to show their support for the Prostate Cancer Australia Foundation as part of the annual SICYCRendezvous that runs from 24 to 27 August 2017.... [more]

Lobster madness
SV Crystal Blues,
Coastal Maine is famous for it's lobsters - last year they landed more than 130 million pounds of lobster and exported over $200 million dollars worth of live lobster, with the majority flown to Asia. Along the coast, lobster shacks decorate every harbor, serving the thousands of tourists that flock to this coast in the summer months.... [more]

Dismal Swamp Canal to open by the end of September,
Crews continue to dredge the canal, which officials at the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Matthew in October. Crews continue to dredge the canal, which officials at the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Matthew in October.... [more]

Onward to Cape Cod, Boston and Maine
SV Crystal Blues,
After two busy weeks in Greenport we moved further north east with a day hop to Block Island. Next morning we continued, heading for Buzzard's Bay and the Cape Cod Canal. With favourable tides we managed to run up the bay and into the canal by mid afternoon, where currents took our ground speed up to more than 11 knots.... [more]

Moorea and Huahine
Andrew and Clare / Freedom and Adventure,
It is two weeks today since we left Tahiti and sailed to the Island of Moorea. We anchored near the Soffitel Hotel on the eastern side of the island where the water is calm and the snorkeling good. We enjoyed peace and quiet, sunny days and welcomed shade late afternoon thanks to the nearby mountains.... [more]

Race for Water blocked by the tropical cyclone Harvey
Race For Water,
Under scrutiny for several hours by members of the crew, it has just been declared a ‘tropical depression' and according to the NOAA, is 100% likely to evolve into a storm and then a cyclone over the coming days.... [more]

Humpbacks feed in Rio del Mar,
There is no doubt that whales are one of the spectacles of our planet. In both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres they stop onlookers, have organised tours and if you are one of those person just fortunate to simply come across them in their habitat, they reaffirm your faith in all things special.... [more]

Shetland ponies and puffins
SV Taipan,
Blissful weather saw the end to our Norway adventure and that meant Mokster days were over. Schengen visa was finished and it was time to move again.... [more]

2017 ARC Channel Islands - Glorious Guernsey
World Cruising,
After a relaxing couple of days in Cherbourg, the rally awoke Monday morning feeling refreshed and relaxed. The sea state resembled a mill pond and the winds were light, to the relief of many of the crew who suffered seasickness during their passage from Gosport to Cherbourg. A couple of spinnakers appeared and Clare from World Cruising Club captured some excellent pictures.... [more]

Seawind 1260 – A product of the best ideas
Multihull Central,
The 41ft Seawind 1260 is a product of the best ideas, engineering and craftsmanship accumulated by the Seawind Catamarans team of expert builders and designers. With over 30 years' experience in building high quality offshore cruising catamarans, the 1260 combines the best of the company's expertise and experiences...... [more]

Twenty-eighth blog from Jon Sanders - He's made it to Noumea
Jon Sanders,
'Noumea' New Caledonia a long Island - kinda lies south-east to north west. 30 N Miles wide and 220 miles long, sort of. Plenty of reef. The fringing reef well out with several well posted passages into the Lagoon. Once inside the lagoon one cannot steer a course direct to Noumea, or one would come to a grinding halt. 'Crunch' (Coral reef and Islets). Never the less a small boat paradise....... [more]

Expedition to support monk seal research and recovery efforts
NOAA Fisheries,
Biologists with NOAA's Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program and Marine Turtle Biology and Assessment Program have been deployed in the NWHI since May. They have been monitoring the status of monk seals and turtles while conducting research projects on the species' biology and ecology.... [more]

Rare chance to study critically endangered North Pacific right whale
Jessica Crance,
Even after so many years of doing field work, sometimes you are still left amazed. Because every now and then the stars all align, and everything works out exactly as you hoped it would.... [more]

41st Annual Wooden Boat Festival - Overall report
Anika Colvin,
Tall ships, paddleboards, kayaks, tugboats, and everything in between—North America's largest wooden boat festival celebrates its 41st year on September 8–10, 2017. Demonstrations, presentations, plays, music, dancing, and great food—this is a weekend of fun for all ages... [more]

Fish eat bits of plastic because they think they smell good
Josh Gabbatiss,
Hundreds of marine species are known to eat plastic – including those that regularly end up on our dinner plates. But why? It now seems that ocean-borne plastic has a smell that marine animals find appealing.... [more]

State of the Gyres
Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore, BoatU.S. Magazine,
Our oceans and waterways cannot absorb the amount of plastic going into them. Here's an update on the state of the gyres and a look at some of the ways we're trying to clean them up. Take a massive area of ocean. Add swirling currents from wind and the earth's rotation. Gradually mix in plastics of all types and sizes. Bake well under ultraviolet rays while stirring continuously for decades.... [more]

Maritime and Coastguard Agency CEO awarded Honorary Fellowship
Samantha Sinclair / MCA,
Vice Admiral and Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Sir Alan Massey has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN). The highly-coveted accolade was presented to Sir Alan by the Royal Institute of Navigation's Patron His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, at the Institute's Annual Meeting held in London last month on 18 July.... [more]

ARC Baltic - The big museum of St-Petersburg
World Cruising,
As the half point of the ARC Baltic after already three weeks sailing from Rostock to Bornholm to Visby and to Tallinn fleet was underway to St-Petersburg, Russia. The fleet made of 23 boats was divided into three groups of boats in order to arrive at different time to famous Kronschtadt Island compulsory stop for any boats coming to St-Petersburg to clear IN with Customs and Immigration officers.... [more]

ARC Channel Islands sets sail
World Cruising Club,
There were smiles as well as butterflies amongst the skippers and crews of the 2017 ARC Channel Islands rally, as they prepared to set off for the first of two Channel crossings on Saturday 12th August. An early morning departure added to the excitement of the occasion as boats slipped lines and headed out from Haslar Marina, Gosport, aiming to make the most of the daylight....... [more]

Blue skies welcome ARC Channel Islands fleet in to Gosport
World Cruising,
This year's ARC Channel Islands rally, in association with Hamble School of Yachting and the RYA got off to a bright start with blue skies welcoming the fleet of 10 Yachts and 30 crew. At 14:00 rally control opened for check-in on-board lead boat Rebel. Willem from Flotaxe was the first to Check-in and attention soon turned to his custom built Waarschip 740 Ocean... [more]

Coast Guard, locals launch search after empty, homemade raft found
Coast Guard First District Northeast,
The Coast Guard launched a search for a possible person in the water Saturday after an unmanned, homemade raft was found drifting in Mt. Hope Bay, near the mouth of the Taunton River on the Massachusetts and Rhode Island border. A good Samaritan alerted Coast Guard watchstanders to the empty raft at about 7 a.m.... [more]

Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba returns home after two months at sea
Coast Guard First District Northeast,
While in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the crew intercepted two separate smuggling vessels which resulted in the drug seizures and detention of seven suspected smugglers.... [more]

We're back – And we have so much to share with you
Katie Sweeney,
I was fortunate to participate on the research cruise and the re-sight trip. Despite some challenging weather, we were very successful and productive! We also saw a lot of amazing things along the way.... [more]

Five fun things to do with kids in the Florida Keys
Peter Janssen,
If you're cruising in the Keys with your family, here are some great ideas from Drew White, the resident expert at Cannons Marina on Longboat Key. White spent summers there as a kid himself, and now lives there. You may have your own list... [more]

Early-storms one indicator of active Atlantic hurricane season ahead
Today NOAA issued the scheduled update for its 2017 hurricane season outlook. Forecasters are now predicting a higher likelihood of an above-normal season, and they increased the predicted number of named storms and major hurricanes. The season has the potential to be extremely active, and could be the most active since 2010.... [more]

An expedition to the North Pole in a way that's never been done
Kevin Loria,
The first explorers that tried to reach the Pole travelled by dogsled in the early 20th century. But the next explorers to reach that iconic point on the globe may arrive in a sailboat.... [more]

Dismal Swamp Canal to re-open in September
Tatja Hopman,
Crews continue to dredge the canal, which officials at the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed due to extensive damage from Hurricane Matthew in October.... [more]

Tour operator fined for harassing Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins
Joseph Bennington-Castro,
NOAA Fisheries and Hawai?i's Department of Land and Natural Resources have discouraged these types of activities for years, alerting people to the risk of wildlife disturbance and law violation.... [more]

A solar-hydrogen boat in La Havane
Race for Water,
The Race for Water vessel and her crew made landfall in Havana on Thursday 20 July for an 18-day Cuban stopover. Having set sail on 7 July from Caroline Bay Marina in Bermuda, the mixed solar-hydrogen-kite-powered vessel took 13 days at an average speed of 3.5 knots to cover the 1,300 nautical miles separating Bermuda and Cuba.... [more]

R.I. Auxiliarist Arnie Geller wins boating safety educator award
Reid Oslin, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary,
One of New England's busiest Coast Guard Auxiliarists, Arnie Geller of Warwick, Rhode Island, has another honor to add to his long list of boating safety accomplishments.... [more]

Ghost nets get a new lease on life on floors of Reef HQ
Fishing nets are crucial to the fishing economy of the region, but those that tear away or are abandoned in the sea can become deadly for marine life.... [more]

New rules to better protect and enable access to the Whitsundays
The updates to the Whitsunday Plan of Management — an area-specific plan that manages use in this highly visited region in addition to Reef-wide zoning — follows extensive consultation.... [more]

Crystal Blues USA Land Cruise - Where should we go-
SV Crystal Blues,
Sitting in the unusually chilly waters of New England, we've started to dream about another type of voyage. This time, we plan an anti-clockwise circuit around the central USA, by car, taking in the north, the midwest and the south - the American heartlands.... [more]

A hostile target becomes a gracious host
SV Crystal Blues,
We first met Arthur Stroem and his crew on Nordik Light in the dark, 35nm north of the coast of Haiti, in the Old Bahama Channel. Nordik Light was following us on a moonless night, edging closer on a course that would bring her - well, a little to close for my liking. So we altered course, but they followed and settled in behind us again, still getting closer....... [more]

Keep the water out with Zhik's new Superthermal Hydrobase
We've all done it - and fished a rope out of the water, pushed the rudder down or stepped down the slipway one foot too far and gained that unwanted wet sleeve or leg.... [more]

Hardanger Fjord on to Bergen
SV Taipan,
Departing Lysefjord we headed north towards Bergen. We had been keeping in touch with our Dutch friends, circumnavigators, Dick and Anita aboard “Kind of Blue”. and an oportunity to catch up presented at Sondaal in a small Fjord off the huge Hardanger Fjord.... [more]

Perini Navi lauches 60m S/Y Seven
Perini Navi,
The launch and christening ceremony took place at Perini Navi's headquarters in Viareggio in the presence of the owners, together with their family and guests, as well as Perini Navi's shareholders, employees and valued suppliers.... [more]

FLIR Maritime Asia launched Raymarine Axiom Pro Advanced MFD at SIBS
Liza Dukino,
FLIR Maritime Asia Pty Ltd launched the expansion of its Raymarine Axiom™ Multifunction Display (MFD) line to the Australian market with the introduction of the Axiom Pro at Sydney International Boat Show. Designed for serious offshore enthusiasts and professional captains, Axiom Pro features Raymarine's HybridTouch™ user experience, combining multi-touchscreen controls with an ergonomic keypad... [more]

It's 144 years old, needs love, and it could be yours-
It is not for everyone, and a steel structure at sea offers plenty of issues, but something quirky, and miles away from anyone else could well be the very thing for someone. It needs love, but is said to be in suitable condition for someone willing to do the work. It is a 144-year-old lighthouse, two miles off of North Point State Park, and it is up for sale to the highest bidder.... [more]

Boating on steroids - An electric foiling speed boat
SV Crystal Blues,
We did see her rip across the harbour, silently, late one afternoon in the fading light. When I approached the crew later they were unable to talk about the vessel at all, except to say it was an 'electric speed boat'.... [more]

Bavaria Catamarans takes blockbuster Nautitech 40 Open to a new level
Bavaria Yachtbau,
The hundredth Nautitech 40 Open has just been delivered, and Bavaria Catamarans will surprise its customers with the next generation of the Nautitech 40 Open at the autumn shows. The stylish design of the hull, the new luxurious layout inside and many new features have made the best seller from Rochefort, France even more attractive.... [more]

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