Military exercises in the Shoal Bay (Qld) area are a bit of a challenge for those heading South after their Whitsundays cruise this year. The area is closed from 2 October to 26 November 2015 with no anchoring anywhere in the area.
UPDATE 14/10: It look like the authorities have relented and access to popular anchorages is now allowed – refer to this Notice to Mariners (304) for further information.
On Australia’s East Coast, many cruising yachts now are on their way South after “wintering” in North Queensland. Many will decide to bypass NSW ports and make a 3 or 4 day passage direct to their home port.
When night sailing, sleep deprivation can be a safety issue unless managed thoughtfully . I liked this article from gCaptain, which provides some useful information on the way we sleep and some interesting hints to manage micro-sleeps.
How do _you_ stay awake?
Installing an Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) is becoming a mainstream option for yachts. Prices are dropping and AIS equipment is evolving, resulting in a greater variety of instruments on the market. That variety will no doubt increase further, but we can see distinct categories of AIS equipment emerge.
For those looking to invest in a system, we’re going examine those categories in a series of six posts. We will look at the full gamut of equipment, ranging from economical class B receive-only units through AIS integrated with Radio Receivers and Chart Plotters, right up to standalone class A systems.
There is already so much choice that we won’t be able to cover every available unit, but we will highlight representative equipment and discuss which features to look for.
AIS stands for Automatic Identification System, a marine system which identifies a ship to others in its immediate vicinity. It does that by continually transmitting a ship’s position, course and call sign on dedicated VHF radio channels.
Now that there is to be improved coordination between the Coastal Patrol and Coast Guard flavours of Volunteer Marine Rescue organisations, we now have a definitive list of VMR stations in NSW on the Coastal Patrol Website. Unfortunately, it appears only linked from inside “New Standard Operating Procedures for more effective NSW Offshore Vessel Tracking“, rather than clearly linked from the site’s menu.
[Update December 2012 The Coastal Patrol website is no longer active - the Marine Rescue website now covers the operation of Volunteer Marine Rescue stations in New South Wales. Unfortunately there no longer seems to be a downloadable list of stations, although you can find details for individual stations from this page. For anyone who prefers to have a printed list of coastal stations with contact details handy - Rob's Passage Planner is an excellent source of such information]