Disposing of Flares (Afloat)

AfloatCover It’s an old one but a goodie… How do you dispose of out-of-date distress flares? Robin Copeland in this month’s (Feb 09) Afloat, has an editorial about disposal methods – finding no really practical options. Walking into a Police Station with wide eyes, saying “look what I just found” will probably work…

The best option I have found to dispose of flares is as part of a safety-at-sea course or exercise which are regularly held by sailing clubs like the RPAYC. It gets you experience in activating them, as well as giving an opportunity to dispose of unwanted flares.

By the way, great magazine, Afloat. Great price, Good value. Did you know that you can read it online? You can safely subscribe to their email – no spam – just a monthly email with a list of articles – recommended.

Marine Traffic website

Marinetraffic.com falls in the category “why wasn’t I told about this before?”. It aims to plot all ships carrying AIS and uses volunteer ground stations. Stunningly simple concept (connect AIS receiver to a computer and upload AIS data to a central site)

Here is the state of shipping going to and from (and anchored at) Newcastle this morning:


Clicking on a vessel displays its details:


Wow…. Try it out.

Coverage is not complete (it needs a station in MacKay for example) and of course this is not a system on which yachties would want to rely on exclusively, but its yet another reason for having internet access on board. And a sensible resource for those as yet without our own AIS.

The shape of things to come.

Cruising the South Pacific with the Island Cruising Association

by David McKay

Diomedea Andrea and I sailed our 48 foot steel Van de Stadt yacht “Diomedea” amongst the islands of the South Pacific during the winter of 2008.  After leaving Sydney to cross the Tasman Sea in April, Diomedea arrived in Opua, Bay of Islands where we met John and Lyn Martin, directors of the Island Cruising Association. We had joined the ICA so that we could participate in a rally from New Zealand to Tonga in May.

We were provided with a  wealth of information and support prior to departure from Opua, including seminars on weather, safety, passage making, boat preparation and so forth.  Membership of ICA also provided significant discounts on chandlery and other purchases. Our clearance out of NZ was made very easy and quick.  Duty free food, alcohol and fuel purchases were facilitated.

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