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Poetic licence


The latest cruising news from the Northern Hemisphere and the world.
 08 Sep 2017

Poetic licence

Jack Tar has all the cruising accoutrements  
We took a little bit of poetic licence in the boat that wrote the book, which looked at the Treleaven's Beneteau Oceanis 50, Cape Finisterre. This was the one with all the lovely pics of Cape Finisterre, and all the places that the Treleavens had taken her.

However, that is not where the licence came in. Now even though we mentioned her predecessor in the article (Cadiz the Beneteau Oceanis 473), we need to point out that it was that particular vessel that was ‘the boat that did', in terms of ‘Letters from the Med'. Cape Finisterre was the craft that allowed ‘Letters from the Caribbean' to come into being. Of course, the two that made it all happen were Ian and Andrea Treleaven themselves.

Jack Tar under A-Sail  

At any rate, Cadiz later made it all the way to Australia on her own hull, after crossing the Atlantic and then the Pacific. Cadiz is now known as Jack Tar, and her fourth owners are very proud of her. The Treleavens were her second custodians, and her third owners did all the work to turn her into a blue water cruiser with watermaker, solar panels, crane for the dinghy and outboard, cockpit navigation instruments, inverter, and so on, as you can see from the pics.

Her present owners have had her for two and half years now, and next year she will go off to Noumea, so Cadiz/Jack Tar is still racking up a few miles. Alas, don't line up looking to buy this particular boat, because her owners are adamant that she is ‘certainly not available for purchase'.

Looking like the world cruiser that she is - Jack Tar  

Moving on, and if you read these pages you'll know we love a bit of technology and all the things it can provide for. Now at five and six million quid for the recently announced 835 and 895 models, the new Oysters are not inside everyone's budgets, but when they come standard with North Sails and carbon sticks, you can see that they do indeed command attention. After all, everything has a way of trickling down, eventually!

Equally, even though it is a smaller market the more you go up into rarefied airs, the fact that mainstream builders are now venturing into 60 feet and beyond says a lot. Oyster craft now range from the 475 to the 118, and they have sold six of the new 565s, three of the new 595s and three 675s since this year's Düsseldorf show, alone.

Also interesting is that Oyster reflect on how those craft from the 745 down are family focused, with some having paid hands, whereas the three above (835, 865 and 118) are run by pro crew. However, the really interesting items were in the facts that the composite build, medium displacement and super-comfy craft are out plying the seas – and how!

When the present Oyster World Rally ends in 2019, 100 Oysters (of all descriptions and ages) will have completed circumnavigations, which is a bit under one in five of their total fleet!

Oyster 118  Oyster Yachts

Apart from that, their own figures would suggest that the fleet has amassed some 20 million blue water nautical miles, with many doing over a ton each, and a further, decent chunk in the 40 to 60,000nm bracket. Well that got me paying attention!!! So if you look at it in terms of bang for mile, then the high barrier to entry could well be clocked back to something more palatable, and the terrific resale could help too. Just saying... Plus, a friend was lucky enough to enjoy a delivery through Tahiti and Polynesia on an Oyster 725, and I stopped talking with him about it, so perhaps that speaks in even greater volumes!

The technology of GPS and chartplotters has certainly played its part in the great revolution of heading off to destinations far, far away. However, like anything, they have their limitations. Some are obvious, and some are not so much spoken about. We have countless articles on this site about the times that things went awry. Many are with thanks to Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance, and their clients, for talking about them with us.

So then when super-accomplished cruisers, SV Crystal Blues, also come a cropper, it raises its head once more. Their brilliant piece,! Navionics_sonar_charts_and_the_missing_reef!new forms part of this newsletter, and was also the impetus to then go back and look at the Tanda Malaika story, which has also popped up recently with Andrew and Clare Payne in their piece about Huahine. Anyway, since we originally published it, and on August 3, the following response from Navionics also appeared.

“Thank you for contacting Navionics.”

“We were very sorry to learn of this unfortunate incident. The Navionics chart of Huahine, is derived from official French Hydrographic Office Charts as well as satellite imagery.”

“Despite our accuracy, charts have errors whether it is a result of survey errors or source errors. This applies to ALL charts, whether government or private, official or otherwise. The International Hydrographic Organization stated that less than 10% of the seas are charted as well as the Moon, and even that 10% contains errors. This is why the common rules of navigation require that skippers, in addition to official charts, use multiple sources of information, including sailing directions, cruising guides, radar, sonar, local diligence and good eyesight.”

“With the best chart in the world, one should never get close to coral reefs at full speed and at night, but rather when the sun is highest, at very slow speed, and with a person on watch on the bow. This is the only way to ensure that breaking waves be spotted from a distance, and that possible uncharted coral heads be avoided.”

“The warnings that go with all charts are not there to protect the chart makers, but rather to protect the chart users from making mistakes in over-reliance on any one tool of navigation. A review of this topic can be found here

Best regards,
Mary-Ellen Smith
Navionics Global Customer Service Manager

Now that's all fine, well, and good, but to be honest, this kind of thing needs a huge red warning akin to the one the Surgeon General has on cigarette packets. ‘The use of this product could be dangerous to one's health or wallet, or both!' Almost reminds one of the old tale. If it looks to good to be true, then probably is... The key always lies in utilising multiple sources, and reliable local knowledge where possible.

OK. Before we get back to the business of newsletters, it seems incredible that after Hurricane Harvey, Irma is now casting her spell over the Caribbean and soon Florida. In direct contrast, we have just published a story about the repairs to a marina at Airlie Beach that was hit hard by Cyclone Debbie back at the end of March.

So whilst the pain of the devastation is real for all, even those well over the other side of the world, perhaps it can serve as a reminder that one can rebuild things, but to look after the humans and animals. Please avail yourself of all the material we have on and our sister sites, and if you can, get out now!

Plastic free July  SV Te Mana

Today you will find that we have tales for you about World ARC, pirates, new J121 short-handed boat, Scotland, Maine, plastics, going sub hunting, running booze, whales, boat shows, Beneteau's Mr Product, ice (the frozen stuff, not the scourge of society), National Parks, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, 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 please email us – 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

Tips to keep safe with Hurricane Irma from Shurhold
Shurhold wants to keep you safe with approaching Hurricane Irma. The storm has already caused catastrophic damage through the Caribbean and is taking aim at Florida.... [more]

Miami-Dade orders coastal evacuation as Hurricane Irma threatens
Douglas Hanks and Patricia Mazzei,
The Miami Herald reports on the mandatory evacuations for residents in parts of Miami-Dade county and how this impacts on gridlock issues, but also describes how the eva zone could expand as Irma approaches. If you think you can go, you probably should...... [more]

World ARC departs Australia and sails onward to Indonesia
World Cruising,
Cheerio OZ!! The World ARC fleet has certainly enjoyed their time in the Land Down Under! Cruising the Great Barrier Reef was a highlight for many World ARC participants and the final stopover in Darwin continued to impress. Cullen Bay Marina in Darwin provided a perfect backdrop for the fleet to relax, enjoy Darwin city, tend to boat repair needs and explore the greater surrounds of the NT... [more]

Hurricane Irma - Warnings issued for parts of Florida,
Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, is currently pummeling the Turks and Caicos and will then head for the Bahamas before making a potentially devastating strike on Florida this weekend. Irma may also pose a serious threat to portions of Georgia and the Carolinas.... [more]

Navionics sonar charts and the missing reef
SV Crystal Blues,
Fact is, we were lucky. The mast and rig stayed up, the hull was not breached and the damage could be repaired fairly simply. However a boat built less heavily would have been in severe trouble. The story that follows is intended to serve as a warning for others, to help prevent further accidents. So how did it happen?... [more]

Hurricane Irma on its way to the Bahamas as a Category 5 Hurricane,
Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, is now full speed ahead for the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos before posing a serious threat to Florida and parts of the Southeast beginning this weekend.... [more]

BandG launches new Vulcan Family
Luke Reilly,
B&G®, the world's leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce the launch of the new Vulcan family of sailing chartplotters. The updated and extended series now offers a fully refreshed 7”, a 9” and an all-new, large-format 12”; all with Broadband Radar™ compatibility.... [more]

US Coast Guard sponsors 9th annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day
Coast Guard First District Northeast,
The US Coast Guard, the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation invite the public to visit and tour the towers and keepers' houses of 25 Maine lighthouses this Saturday September 9, as part of the ninth annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day. Also sponsored by the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation, this annual event is the largest of its kind...... [more]

Cruising the south end of Huahine
Andrew and Clare / Freedom and Adventure,
Three days later and with some regret we went back to the main township of Fare as Steve on ‘Liward' was playing with local musicians at the Huahine Yacht Club. We had a very good evening celebrating Steve's last gig for the season along with the crews on ‘Alcyone' and ‘Golden Glow'. The music was terrific, the company good, the food great, and the Club was fairly jumping.... [more]

Coast Guard seasonal Station Block Island closes for the winter
Coast Guard First District Northeast,
The unit closes each year due to reduced boating traffic during the fall and winter. Station Point Judith, its parent command, will assume duty for all responses in the area.... [more]

4 Days – How much time boaters have to prepare for Irma
According to the National Hurricane Center, Florida may have up to four days to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, a “potentially catastrophic Category 5” storm now approaching the Leeward Islands.... [more]

Hurricane Irma - Dangerous threat for Florida, Southeast,
Weather com has produced this accurate and detailed account of the latest with Irma as she builds in the Caribbean and gets set to unleash fury in the region. Hurricane Irma, a dangerous Category 5 hurricane, is nearing the island of Barbuda, an island of 1600 residents, with 185 mph sustained winds and higher gusts.... [more]

World ARC 2018 - Entries are now open-
World Cruising,
Join the fun in Las Palmas, the camaraderie of the ocean crossing and the excitement of landfall in Saint Lucia. Entries are open: You can now join ARC 2018!... [more]

Announcing the new Oyster 835 and Oyster 895
Oyster Yachts,
More sophisticated design and technology has been used to incorporate infused internal structures and carbon-fibre in key areas of framing and bulkheads; across the range the composite hulls and decks now have a more selective distribution of weight and strength.... [more]

Scottish West Coast cruise
SV Taipan,
Our arrival in Lock Eriboll from Stromness, 65 miles west of the Orkney Islands was without incident and in lovely afternoon sunshine we made our way south down the lock to tuck in behind a shingle spit with a pretty island on the end. Here, very close to shore, we found shallow enough water to anchor.... [more]

Cruising the Lobster Coast
SV Crystal Blues,
We worked our way north from Boston, stopping overnight in Portsmouth before another day hop to Cape Porpoise Harbor, just a few miles north of Kennebunk. It's small harbor, almost full of moorings but with space for perhaps three yachts to anchor just inside the sheltered zone. During high tides a little swell does cross over reefs, though it was never uncomfortable in the time we were there.... [more]

Miami Biscayne National Park - Underwater treasure chest of history
Henry Every and,
If you love a great image, then you too will be captured by the following article. Biscayne Bay means different things to different people. I can always remember the sunsets, colours and bridges, (bars too) for instance. Often it is thought of as a waterway to traverse before getting to the Bahamas or the Florida Keys. Yet like so many places around the world, there is much more on offer...... [more]

On roads turned waterways, volunteers improvise to save the trapped
Manny Fernandez and,
Hurricane Harvey has caused havoc and pain. From the other side of the world, we have watched in horror, and then marvelled at the efforts of so many, some travelling from neighbouring States to assist. To all of them and on behalf of all those they helped, we say thank you and well done.... [more]

Five things about America's mission to salvage a Soviet nuclear sub
Andrew Moseman and,
Strange times deliver strange outcomes, and the Cold War had plenty of them. Fancy going out to retrieve a sunken sub, and to do it covertly... What a tale, and then there is the old nautical adage. Never has there been a problem that throwing heaps of money at has never failed to make it disappear!... [more]

Did German U-boats smuggle alcohol into the U.S. during Prohibition-
Sarah Laskow and,
It is an intriguing and even beguiling notion, almost the stuff of films, where the line, 'based on a true story' can get wafer thin. You even punch it in to the search engine of Snopes to do a little fact checking, and when it circulates at the same time as 'Nazi sub found in the Great Lakes', one eyebrow certainly has higher altitude than the other...... [more]

Coast Guard emphasizes boating, water safety over Labor Day weekend
Coast Guard First District Northeast,
It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. There are stringent penalties for violating BUI/BWI laws, which can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges and jail terms. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.... [more]

Sailing to the Pacific Ocean's Trash Vortex
Rachel Riederer,
In the summer of 1997, sea captain and surfer Charles Moore was sailing home from Hawaii. He'd been recently finished the TransPacific Yacht Race, and on the way back to California, he decided to take a shortcut. Instead of following the current that swoops along the edge of the North Pacific subtropical gyre, he set a course through the still waters of the high-pressure zone at its center.... [more]

Preparing for a long-range Baja cruise
Capt. Nicole Sours Larson,
If you're considering cruising the Baja peninsula and, perhaps, beyond to mainland Mexico this autumn, now is the time to focus on planning and preparing your vessel for a potentially rigorous 750 nautical mile voyage to Cabo or about 900nm if you're continuing on to La Paz.... [more]

Fisherman recounts his amazing tale of survival, adrift in Atlantic
Johnny Dodd,
If there's such thing as a worst-case scenario, lobster fisherman John Aldridge found himself smack dab in the middle of it early one morning on July 24, 2013. Aldridge was alone on deck of the Anna Mary at the time, his longtime fishing partner Anthony Sosinski was asleep below, as the boat motored 40 miles out into the Atlantic on autopilot from Long Island's Montauk harbor.... [more]

The whale wars continue
Sea Shepherd / Captain Paul Watson,
Sea Shepherd has accomplished something absolutely remarkable over the last 12 years. In 2005 we set out to tackle the world's largest and most destructive whaling fleet. We were told it was impossible by some governments and a few NGO's.... [more]

What you can learn from Watson's sailing adventure around the world
Hugh Minson,
Lots of 12-year-olds have lofty dreams. Few realise them. For Jess Watson though, there was something about her that allowed her to breakaway from the pack. In 2010, at the age of 16, she became the youngest person to sail non-stop and unassisted around the world. My friend and I wanted to see how she did it.... [more]

Pulling G's with Beneteau – Pt II
John Curnow,
Just a little while ago we pulled some Gs with Beneteau's Mr Product, aka G3. You can go back and read Part One of the story of Gianguido Girotti, as and when you may like. However, for now we'll push on with the incredible semi-foiler Figaro 3, and the new Oceanis 51.1, along with what they represent for the brand as a whole. It is a very interesting tale, especially as Beneteau...... [more]

‘Steady as she goes' for the UK's coastal marinas and moorings market
British Marine,
The sector reported revenues of £152m in 2015/16, which is slightly down on 2014/15 figures (-1.2%), but 3.4% up on revenues posted in 2013/14. It is contributing over £70m in gross value added to the UK economy and supporting nearly 2,000 full time equivalent (FTE) employees.... [more]

Plastic free July
SV Te Mana,
So far our photos have shown nothing more than tranquil anchorages, glorious beaches lined with palm trees, and of course the never ending clear turquoise water with its beautiful fishes and coral. And for the most part this is reflective of what surrounds us.... [more]

Tuamotus tales
SV Te Mana,
Nick of course has no such trouble with his French passport. But I have to say there couldn't possibly be friendlier custom police in the world ... the above all transpired with a genuine Polynesian smile and a ‘don't worry, this happens all the time, how much longer do you need to stay to get your boat ready to leave?... [more]

Are we sailors yet-
SV Te Mana,
Nine days and four hours at sea. Done. Dusted. Or perhaps I should say salt encrusted. For us with our limited sailing experience, that's quite a long time.... [more]

Just could not have asked for more and SV Te Mana,
It was on the back of a previous editorial called, Huxley, that we were contacted by Jess and Nick of SV Te Mana. They were keen SUPers, and had just bought a boat as the delivery vehicle for their adventures in the South Pacific. Sounded wonderful, but there was also a real passion there, and enough nouse to make the adventure stay away from disaster. Terrific. Just the way we like it...... [more]

Pulling G's with Beneteau – Pt I
John Curnow,
In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. Over nine (+ve) in an aircraft, and without a G-suit, you will be unconscious. So at three G's, and pulling no punches with them either, we not only enjoyed our opportunity to sit with Gianguido Girotti (G3), we got to learn a lot as well!... [more]

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