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Cruising Helmsman

Cruising Helmsman March 2020

Cruising Helmsman is devoted exclusively to all types of cruising under sail. We focus on cruising destinations and how to get the most out of them, provide expert advice for the practical sailor and have a range of real-life accounts from seasoned cruisers and their on-board experiences.

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in this issue

2 min.
cruising camaraderie

“WHERE’S Phil and what the heck are you doing here?” you may be thinking. As a liveaboard boatie and regular contributor with some editing experience, it was a no-brainer for me to recently ask Phil if I could learn about the process of publishing at my favourite cruising magazine. When Phil said he was swanning off to Boot Düsseldorf and would I like to work on the mag in his absence, I jumped at the chance. So, after a week’s intensive mentoring he flew the coop and I’ve been attempting to fill Phil’s shoes, with the support of Yaffa’s team of editors and designers. Fortunately, the March issue focuses on a region I’m familiar with, as my partner Gary and I sailed through Indonesia and Malaysia to Thailand in 2017 on our…

6 min.

Real survivors WHAT waddled on land but swam supremely in subtropical seas more than 60 million years ago after the dinosaurs were ultimately wiped out? Fossil records show giant human-sized penguins swam through Southern Hemisphere waters – alongside smaller forms, similar in size to some Antarctica species today. Kupoupou stilwelli has been found on the remote Chatham Islands near New Zealand’s South Island and could be the oldest penguin known with proportions close to its modern relatives. Kupoupou, "diving bird" in Te Re Moriori, lived around 60 million years ago, when there was no South Pole ice cap and the seas around New Zealand were sub-tropical. The discovery was made by Jacob Blokland, a PhD palaeontology candidate, after studying fossil skeletons collected from Chatham Island. He has built a picture of an ancient penguin…

1 min.
best of the web

FIRIES GO ABOVE AND BEYOND Yaffa Sailing Media was happy to work with Above & Beyond Boating’s Neil Driscoll to ask boat owners in Sydney and Pittwater to donate their boats and take any of those brave fire fighters and their families out for a day this month. The response was so amazing, the Middle Harbour Yacht Club, the Royal Motor Yacht Club and the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club were enlisted to be the collection points. We will have a full report in next month’s issue. FROM RACER TO COASTAL CRUISER Are you considering turning your racing yacht into a cruiser? Petrea McCarthy describes the conversion of two Lidgard One Tonners and asks whether it will work for you. If you’re hands-on, have a limited budget and your focus is coastal cruising, recycling a…

1 min.
letter of the month

LOUISIADES SOLAR LIGHT PROJECT UPDATE Heading up to Louisiades again in 2020. This year I have changed my project from solar lighting to education, as people have no interest in maintaining the systems, very sad but that’s the PNG way. Father Young from Nimoa Island and Hope Academy asked me to help out with education. For the last four years the academy has been run on Nimoa Island, with students boarding at Nimoa. This is rather expensive and the kids are a little out of control, well being 17 to 20, what can one expect. A few girls would return to the village pregnant. The idea is to set up a closed Wi-Fi network, students can then access lessons from Nimoa and attend classes on a tablet or phone from the classroom at…

32 min.
cruising the straits of malacca

FOR centuries the Malacca Straits has been one of the most important trading routes in the world. At 478 nautical miles, it is the main shipping channel between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Over the centuries Indian, Arab, Portuguese, Chinese, British, and Dutch vessels have all sailed in these waters. The vessel types have changed and today it is various types of giant ships from just about every nation that pass through these straits daily. Whether they are picking up electronic goods, tin, rubber, palm oil, natural gas, crude oil or just passing through, one third of the world's shipping moves through the straits yearly. Sumatran sloops and large timber coastal traders still sail the straits trading with Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and beyond. These are large wooden sailing or motor powered…

8 min.
vive la différence

“ENGLAND and America are two countries divided by a common language.” I always thought it was Winston Churchill who coined this phrase in his speech to the American Congress at the height of the Second World War, but it was not. Churchill adapted it from George Bernard Shaw who, in turn, probably borrowed it from Oscar Wilde: “we have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.” As with many epigrams there is a grain of truth in it and this one could easily have included Australia in the same sentence. But does the same hold true with regard to nautical terminology between these English speaking peoples? I have lived and sailed in America and Australia and there have certainly been times when I’ve heard a boating term and asked…