Archive for November, 2010

“Out, damned spot! out, I say!”

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Yes, that’s a quotation from Shakespeare’s Macbeth – Lady Macbeth, in fact. She had blood on her hands and was trying to wash it off. 

But what about when you get blood on your sails? What’s the best way to clean the blood off sailcloth? Find out how in our latest newsletter – How to get blood off your sails.

And while you’re there, why not subscribe so that you never miss another edition?

Changing weather patterns?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

I know that some of our readers are meteorologists so I would be particularly pleased if they would comment – however harshly!

On the premise that the Antarctic ice cap is melting, (and evidence of bergs the size of Tasmania breaking away would seem conclusive to me) I believe that major climate change is happening right now.

The driest continent on Earth is Antarctica, all the usual air moisture being locked into ice and snow. Now that the ice is melting it stands to reason that the air is more humid than it was.

If that is correct, the prevailing west to south-west winds are carrying this damper air up to southern hemisphere landmasses.

Evidence of the approach of a front

Evidence of the approach of a front

This seems to me to be happening more and more often. In more than half a century of sailing I used to expect one of these cool changes to come every seven to 10 days in summer. Now we are getting them every two to four days.

The winds are heavier, storms more frequent and nastier and it is significantly colder.

Since Annie and I live in Sydney we have always known that we were in one of the world’s temperate zones. But I believe now that the temperate zones are having to work much harder at balancing out the cold and moisture from the south and the tropical heat in the north.

  • Has there been any research into these questions? 
  • Is it compatible with global warming? 
  • Is my theory – that increased moisture is being brought to dry countries like Australia – backed by scientific observation?

I look forward to your comments.

Lifejackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs)

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Wear It - LifejacketsNSW Maritime has introduced new regulations, applicable from 1 November 2010. There are now more situations when sailors, boaters and users of other watercraft are required to wear lifejackets. In this case, it’s not over-regulating, more like commonsense.

Read about the Lifejacket Reforms and then implement them on your boat. And sailors in NSW should note that these regulations are additional to those already in force.

In the first 12 months, NSW Maritime will issue warnings for first offences relating to the new regulations. But repeat offenders may be issued with fines.

Over the Christmas break you can expect to see Maritime staff checking that vessels are carrying the required safety equipment. But they will also be on the lookout for skippers boating under the influence (BUI).