04 March 2013

"Clean-up Australia!", says Peanut the turtle

Peanut the turtle has a message for all of us — pick up your rubbish, or animals might just pick it up for you!

Peanut became entrapped in a six pack ring when she was very young. As she grew, her shell and body grew around the plastic. Fortunately, she was found and taken into care, where the rings were removed. Today, many years later, her shell is still permanently disfigured,
 and some of her organs don't function properly. But she is in the care of a Department of Conservation, and is doing well.

Peanut was one of the lucky ones. Marine animals are commonly the victims of plastic waste — either by entangling themselves in things like netting or fishing lines, or by ingesting plastic (mistaking it for food) which causes them to either choke or fill their bellies full of plastic and starve.

Today is “Clean-up Australia Day”. So remember that by picking up plastic waste today (or any day), you could well save a life — perhaps several!

05 December 2012

My 2013 Calendar, "Orchids"

 Click here... A4 Calendar from albumworks ... and checkout the small print on the bottom of the cover. Kewl!

22 May 2012

Fremantle to Broome - May 2012

I've just returned from an 18-day sail up the coast from Fremantle to Broome on a 65-foot ketch with 8 others on-board. What an awesome adventure it has been and an experience and a half to say the least. It allowed us to take in the sheer beauty of our West Australian coastline as well as various weather conditions, from a completely glassed-out ocean to big seas, huge swells and strong winds including a mini tornado.

We left Fremantle on 1st May and headed straight out to the Abrolhos Islands where we arrived a couple of days later. After spending 2 days there exploring the islands, we set sail again to our next destination, Steep Point, approx 30 hours away, back on the mainland. It was on this leg of our journey we experienced some horrendous weather. We listened to the weather report before departing and expected to get some strong winds but nothing like what we actually got. 
The morning we departed started out very overcast with next to no wind at all. There was some thunder and lightning about, but not much rain to speak of. By midday, the wind started to pick up and the sea was getting progressively lumpy. The wind started building up from the NW from 20/25 to 30/35 with gusts of over 40 knots. We put 2 reefs in the mainsail, got rid of the head-sail altogether and hoisted the stay-sail. The boat was healing right over with it's starboard gunwale in the water and lots of green water was coming up over the dodger and drenching the cockpit and all its occupants. It was a very uncomfortable ride indeed and, as I stood at the foot of the mizzen mast facing forward under the dodger, I pretty much had somewhat of a ringside seat to what was about to unfold. 
The wind was blowing 35-40knots by then from the NW with swells of up to 5 metres. Then, all of a sudden from out of no-where the wind did a complete 180 degree about-turn to the SE. Nobody saw it coming! It was really weird and a bit scary I must say. Immediately the boat broached, dunking the stay-sail into the sea. Then she got knocked down to 70/80 degrees and everything that was on her port side unsecured ended up on her starboard side or overboard. From where I stood, I could see that the saloon windows down below where under water. This all happened in the space of about 10 seconds so you can imagine the fright we all got! Bracing ourselves for quite some time afterwards, we watched in awe the sheer size of the seas that were breaking around us, waiting to see what the wind was going to do next but fortunately it had just been a one-of. The storm abated soon after and conditions started to moderate as we got closer to the mainland. 
It wasn't until we arrived at Maud's Landing in Coral Bay on 8th May when we heard that a 'mini tornado' had in fact hit the Abrolhos Islands on 5th May and that 2 fishermen's shacks were blown away and destroyed. Fortunately nobody was inside them at the time. As for the rest of us on-board, we were all a little shaken and stirred maybe, but none of us was hurt either and, apart from losing a gaff, a dorade box and a life ring overboard in the middle of that storm, the boat survived relatively unscathed and we went on to enjoy the rest of our adventure. 
On our way further up the WA coast to Broome we stopped at Exmouth, the Montebello Islands and the islands in the Dampier Archipelago. Snorkelling, fishing, beachcombing, swimming and eating (and drinking) dominated our activities for the remainder of our trip. The sunsets were spectacular and the night skies were ablaze with stars so much brighter and clearer than you'd see in suburbia. 

We had many glassed out days when we enjoyed BBQ'd meals while under-way. We could walk up and down the full length of the boat without having to hold on. We even did some yoga on the foredeck while under-way and often times, all around us were so much wildlife like dolphins, turtles, sea-snakes, flying fishes, and birds. We even caught a 30kg tuna and a 15kg mackerel. I had first go on the tuna but the fish put up such a strong and heavy fight, it took 3 of us to boat it.
Upon arrival in Broome, 4 of us got off the boat as we had our respective accommodations previously organised. I stayed at the Pinctada Cable Beach Resort and treated myself to a complete pampering session in their spa before flying home after 2 days in Broome. 

It took 18 days to sail up and 2-1/2 hours to fly back.

21 January 2012

Laura Dekker - Youngest Ever Solo Circumnavigator

Laura Dekker and her trusty 38ft Jeanneau Ginfizz ketch "Guppy" have today dropped anchor for the last time, completing their circumnavigation, which officially makes Laura the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world.

The following is an excerpt from Laura's Weblog entry of 11th January:

"I have learned very much about myself along the way and I also have learned very much from all the different places and the many different people that I came in contact with in so many different countries. I have learned from the Pacific Ocean and its islands I had only seen in my dreams. I have learned from the Indian Ocean which snapped me out of my world of dreams showing me bad weather, storms, calm winds and what a long crossing is. And so too I am learning from the South Atlantic Ocean with its soft trade winds and smooth sailing..."

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Laura Dekker was born ready!

So long Laura and thanks for a truly inspirational ride. May you go on to live a long, happy and extra-ordinary life, what-ever you do and where-ever you choose to do it.

17 January 2012

Laura Dekker - Are we there yet?

Laura Dekker is expected to arrive in the Caribbean Island of Sint Maarten within the next week (weather permitting) which would make her the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world.

Her father, Dick Dekker said "She should finish her circumnavigation between January 20 and 25, perhaps on January 22 or 23”. If there was an official record to be broken, Laura would break it "by more than half a year!" Mr Dekker said.

It’s been a long battle for Laura whose original plans to set sail when she was 14 were blocked by a Dutch court. She was placed in the care of child welfare officers on the grounds that she was too young to guarantee her own safety at sea.

Mr Dekker said that after she completes her circumnavigation, Laura plans to live in New Zealand where she was born, saying his daughter was "tired of the Netherlands, which has not ceased trying to put a spoke in her wheels".

29 November 2011

Laura Dekker - Arrives in Cape Town

Laura and Guppy have said goodbye to the Indian Ocean and hello once again to the Atlantic Ocean.

They are presently in Cape Town for about 2 weeks, enjoying a visit from Laura's dad before heading north for the first time this voyage.

Here's an excerpt from ExplorersWeb.com

TeenSailor: Dekker finished her third ocean Dutch 16-year old Laura Dekker crossed the Indian Ocean in silence to avoid pirates. Alone in her vessel, the young sailor has now crossed three oceans on her way around the world.

15 November 2011

Laura Dekker - Arrives in Durban South Africa

Laura Dekker and her 38ft ketch “Guppy” have arrived safely in Durban after a 6000 nautical mile passage across the Indian Ocean from Darwin 47 days ago.

Laura kept this leg of her circumnavigation a secret due to piracy concerns.

Laura and Guppy have now crossed the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans since they left home some 450 days ago. Their next challenge will be rounding the Cape of Good Hope before making their way north and towards home.

11 November 2011

Remembrance Day - 11-11-11

Remembrance Day
Lest We Forget

Today at 1100hrs let us take a minute in silence and spare a thought for our diggers.

05 October 2011

Roz Savage - Indian Ocean Victory

At approximately 0630hrs on the morning of 4th October, Roz Savage made landfall in Grand Baie, Mauritius after rowing 4,000 miles across the Indian Ocean from Fremantle in Western Australia.

Roz Savage has just spent the past 5 months living within the confines of her small purple rowboat named “Sedna” carrying everything she anticipated needing, including watertight food storage bins and a water desalinator to make fresh drinking water. She had a small cabin to sleep in and a satellite phone for communication.

Many voices around the globe are joining together today to congratulate Roz on a job well done!

19 September 2011

Laura Dekker - Happy Birthday

Laura Dekker sailed to England alone when she was 13 and 6 months later she got the idea to sail around the world. So she started to prepare for her voyage and a year later she left.

She and Guppy are now in Darwin with her father who came over to celebrate her 16th birthday together. They are in the process of preparing Guppy for the next leg of their voyage and the plan is to set off on September 24. At this stage Laura has no firm plans as to where her next stop will be.

25 August 2011

Laura Dekker - Welcome to Australia

"Guppy is slowly pointing her nose into the Van Dieman Gulf....and if all goes well, we should be in Darwin tomorrow..." Laura Dekker.


Laura Dekker demonstrated exceptional sailing skills in negotiating her way through the Torres Strait and is now heading for the Van Dieman Gulf on their way to Darwin.

It will be interesting to see which route she decides to take across the Indian Ocean.

21 August 2011

Laura Dekker - One year on

365 days have passed since Laura Dekker left Gibraltar, on 21st August 2010, in chase of her dream..... "youngest ever solo circumnavigator".

With the Pacific Ocean behind them, Laura and Guppy are now in the Torres Strait heading for Darwin.

10 July 2011

Laura Dekker - International Date Line

The 180° line of longitude, exactly half way around the earth from Greenwich, UK
and 0° longitude is approximately where the International Date Line is located.

If you cross the IDL from the east to the west you gain a day (24hrs), as was the case for Laura and Guppy, who are now anchored at Vava'u in Tonga.

24 May 2011

Laura Dekker - Marquesas on the horizon

"Hup, Guppy, Hup!
You are the best!
I established a new record: 194 nautical miles in a day... I beat my father's record by one mile..."

Laura - 13th May.

08 May 2011

Roz Savage - "Purple Hearts" from Mother Earth

Photo: Colin Leonhardt.

Sponsor-A-Mile for Roz Savage: http://bit.ly/FollowGreenRowe

To follow Roz's voyage and/or show your support, go to http://www.rozsavage.com/

Laura Dekker - Galapagos to Marquesas

I don't know who took this picture and I hope they don't mind me posting it here but it is sooo beautiful I just had to share it.

With a heavy heart upon leaving the "most extraordinary" Galapagos Islands and the people she met there, Laura and Guppy set sail today for the Marquesas Islands.

The distance between the Galapagos and the Marquesas is approximately 3,000 miles which would make it the longest leg of Laura and Guppy's epic voyage of adventure.

04 May 2011

Laura Dekker - Celebrates Guppy

Laura Dekker and Guppy have had a number of reasons to celebrate recently, including crossing the Panama Canal, then the Equator to arrive at the Galapagos Islands exactly one year after Guppy was launched.

Next stop...Marquesas


13 April 2011

Roz Savage - Indian Ocean challenge

A 43yo British woman, Roz Savage left Fremantle today in a bid to row solo across the Indian Ocean.

Roz has already rowed across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and will attempt to be the first woman to row across three oceans.

She hopes her journey, spanning 6,400kms across the Indian Ocean (destination yet unknown for security reasons) which is expected to take four months, will raise awareness about marine pollution.

At the very least, may it serve to inspire everyone to do their bit, notwithstanding those who have actually had first hand experience sailing through such destructive pollution and...well, when all is said and done, there is more said than done!

I sincerely wish you fair winds and calm seas and that you stay well and healthy throughout your epic voyage. Respectfully....Sam

09 April 2011

Laura Dekker - Crosses the Panama Canal

Laura Dekker and her lovely ketch Guppy are on track to navigate the next leg of their voyage, the crossing of the Panama Canal.

(Image courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory)

Making their way between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans amongst ever-increasing traffic in a relatively confined space could be a cause for concern at the best of times.

Fortunately Laura took advantage of an opportunity presented to her beforehand to experience the crossing there and back as a line handler on another vessel which has given her some knowledge of what to expect when she and
Guppy go "live" on the 10th and 11th April.

So apart from "good luck" there's nothing more to say other than "goodbye Atlantic, hello Pacific!"

Vietnam - March 2011

Each woman was as skilled as the other. It was awesome to watch!

08 February 2011

Laura Dekker - Precious moments

When all is well with your boat and she seems to be sailing along beautifully, as in this great shot of "Guppy", it's inevitable that you find yourself mesmerised by the sea in quiet contemplation.

I dare say, "Spot" may be ever present in Laura's mind during such precious moments.

29 January 2011

Perth on Cyclone Alert

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a cyclone watch for coastal areas from Jurien Bay to Albany as the category four storm continues to track south.

People in the areas between Jurien Bay and Albany are told to prepare now for very dangerous weather as Severe TC Bianca, now a category 4 cyclone, tracks toward WA's South West coast.

There's nothing normal about the weather anymore so I don't know what to expect.
Residents are being warned to prepare for dangerous weather conditions over the next 48 hours.....eeekkk!!!