Wild Oats XI line honours winner of the 2010 Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race low resby Damian Devine

Wild Oats 2009

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Wild Oats 2010

What has been touted as one of the toughest Rolex Sydney Hobart Races in recent years, saw the first finisher arrive in Hobart early this evening. The 100-foot super maxi Wild Oats XI blazed up the Derwent River and crossed the finish line off Constitution Wharf at 2037 AEDT with an elapsed time of two days, seven hours, 37 minutes, 20 seconds — since leaving Sydney Harbour at 1300 on 26 December, Boxing Day.

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Bosun’s Chronicle, January 2011


Cruiser “Olympia”

STOP PRESS: we’re planning individual Facebook pages for each of Julian’s books. Here are the first two:-


New content will be added on a regular basis, and there are special contests, too…

January 2011

An eclectic issue this month – a ship’s bell finds a new home halfway around the world, we have a fascinating haul of books on pirates& privateers – and Julian whets your appetite about CONQUEST…



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Image Scans of All Discovery External Tank Stringers Under way

STS133 Tank Cracks

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 04:53:30 PM GMT

X-ray type image scans of ?space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank are under way.

Technicians in the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida have removed the foam insulation and test sensors from the external tank, and Sunday they started computed radiography scans of all 108 support beams, called stringers, on the outside of the tank’s intertank section.

While additional scans are under way, engineers at various other NASA locations continue data analysis to help determine what caused small cracks on the tops of two stringers during Discovery’s launch countdown on Nov. 5.?

The latest scans are scheduled to continue through Thursday (Dec. 30) when Space Shuttle Program managers are set to decide whether testing and analysis indicate technicians need to perform known and practiced modifications on some of the stringers.

Aerospace & Defence

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The attrition continues in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – throughout the night and into this morning, an additional six yachts retired with a grocery list of problems: damaged steering, torn mainsails, broken booms and engine issues. This time, the retirements were among the small to mid-sized boats, bringing to 16 the total number to have retired with 71 boats still battling hard in the race.

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Reduced price: Ice-breaking tug “Tyr”


Ice-breaking tug.

Equipment: Furuno FR 810 DA radar, Furuno Navpilot FAP 5001 autopilot, Furuno SC-502 satellite compass, Furuno GP-31 GPS navigator, Sailor RT 2048 VHF + Sailor RT 144C VHF + Furuno FM 8500 VHF, Radio Ocean Pocket 3000 portable VHF, Icom IC-G M1500 E portable GMDSS VHF, Robertson rudder indicator, ESCO fire alarm system, 2 x Atlas Copco Airlet 530 starter air compressors. Viking 6DK Solas A-pack 6 person life raft, Hatlapa electric anchor winch with 2 x 125 meters chain and twin 250 kg anchors. Lidan 4 FB L8, 15 tons towing winch 500 meters of 28 mm wire, Mampaey towing hook. 3.000 litres/minute emergency pump with 4” connection. HAB 1720 marine hydraulic crane, 9 ton/m with 50 meters of 100 mm wire on winch. Faster 460 mob-boat with 40 hkr Evinrude (new 2009).

General arrangement: Wheelhouse with sofa and navigation desk. Main deck holds a large saloon with TV and eight table seats, galley with fridge/freezer, electric stove with oven, microwave, WC and of course the large sauna with shower. Below deck in fore is a large forepeak with chain locker and rope stores, accomodations with twin single and two double cabins, engine room, aft rope stores and steering gear room.


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Boxing Day Call for Plymouth Lifeboat Saves Major the Dog


Volunteer crewmember, Amy Mann with Major on board the lifeboat (Credit RNLI)

Date: 26/12/2010

Plymouth Lifeboat was out today to save Major the schnauzer dog who had fallen over a cliff onto rocks at Season Point at the entrance to the River Yealm. The injured dog was recovered by volunteer crew members and returned to its owner.

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Thus far, nearly 24 hours into the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, only one boat, the Bakewell-White Z39 Jazz Player has retired. The Victorian based yacht withdrew from the race last night when her mainsail tore in strong winds. Fingers crossed, it looks like boats, and sailors and equipment are coping with the aggravated sea conditions and building breeze that await them during their ride south.

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Race day for the 66th Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet dawned cloudy and rainy for the 87 competing yachts. The grey weather added a bit of gloom and foreboding to what may be in store for the crews racing to the finish line in Hobart, 628-miles away. Outside the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, shipping containers were being loaded in the rain with spare sails and supplies for the yachts and their arrival in Hobart. One of the crew loading the containers with sail bags, Dean Barrett, said, “They have to sail light down to Tasmania, so a lot of yachts ship their extra gear down to Hobart and will pick it up there—assuming they make it.” The forecast for the classic southerly “buster” includes a 24-hour period of potentially gear-breaking conditions.

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Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat crewmembers take to the waves twice on Christmas Day

Ballycotton-and they're off

A Christmas day swim at Garryvoe Beach in East Cork has become a tradition for many hardy men and women to raise funds for charity. Ralph Gunn and his friends run into the waves across the bay from the small village of Ballycotton to help raise funds for Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat. The event has become very popular for many people who turn out to cheer them on and 2010 was no different.

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