The year in review
2020 Husick Award Winner
After consideration by our panel of judges (see below) the 2020 Chuck Husick Marine Technology Award goes to Raymarine for its Axiom+ multifunction display. Raymarine describes its Axiom units this way: “The performance-tuned Axiom+ is a new generation of award-winning Raymarine multifunction displays. Optimized for speed, Axiom Plus is equipped with a powerful quad-core processor for industry-leading responsiveness and speed, giving you the power to seamlessly redraw charts, navigate with augmented reality, and experience RealVision™ 3D sonar.” Meanwhile one of our judges, Rebecca Childress has this to say about Axiom+ “The newest one has twice the memory that my chartplotter has, but even mine with just 8MB of memory is an awesome piece of kit.”
Other finalists this year were the Cortex AIS, VHF and offboat monitoring system from Vesper Marine and the TG165 Spot Thermal Camera from infra red specialists FLIR.
Our judges were Ben Ellison, marine electronics expert and owner of Panbo.com marine electronics site; Jeff Merrill, trawler expert and owner of Jeff Merrill Yacht Sales in Seal Beach, Calif.; Bill Morris, circumnavigator, author of The Captain’s Guide to Alternative Energy Afloat and writer of ON’s Marine Electronics newsletter; Rebecca Childress, liveaboard voyager and frequent contributor to ON; Lawrence Husick, patent attorney and contributor to ON and Tim Queeney, ON editor.
Golden Globe boat still afloat
There are few better demonstrations of a well-built boat’s seaworthiness than to abandon it. Vessels abandoned by their crews have continued to float for months or even years later, sometimes fetching up on a beach somewhere. A recent example of this is Irish Golden Globe Race competitor Gregor McGuckin’s Biscay 36 ketch Hanley Energy. McGuckin abandoned his boat after it was rolled and dismasted during the 2018-2019 Golden Globe Race. Hanley Energy is still afloat in the Indian Ocean and according to a report by the Irish sailing site afloat.ie, McGuckin is looking at ways to recover the vessel.
McGuckin was awarded the Cruising Club of America’s Rod Stephens Seamanship Award this year for his efforts to rescue fellow Golden Globe racer Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy in the Southern Ocean. Both Tomy and McGuckin were rolled and dismasted by a hurricane-force storm. Tomy, however, was badly injured by his vessel’s dismasting. McGuckin built a jury rig and sailed more than 60 miles toward Tomy to render assistance. Ultimately, a French fisheries vessel, FPV Osiris, reached Tomy first and took him aboard. McGuckin was rescued by an Australian Navy frigate, HMAS Ballarat.
In addition to recovering the boat it seems there’s an additional benefit to bringing Hanley Energy into port: a barrel of seven-year-old Glendalough single malt Irish whiskey that McGuckin had aboard his boat.
Aussie sailor secures sailing speed record
While most sailors have slowed down a bit at age 81, Australian sailor Bill Hatfield is setting speed records. On February 22, 2020, he became the oldest man to sail around the world solo, nonstop and unassisted. He also set two official speed record in the process. The World Speed Sailing Record Council confirmed Hatfield’s two records on March 11. His records are: 1) First westabout solo nonstop circumnavigation from Australia and 2) first westabout circumnavigation from any country solo nonstop in a vessel under 40 feet regardless of age.
The WSSR Council announced the establishment of a new World Record Reference Time:
Time: Around the World Westabout. Singlehanded 40ft
Yacht: “L’Eau Commotion”. Northshore 38. Monohull
Name: Bill Hatfield. AUS
Dates: 8th June 2019 “Initial Benchmark Time.”
“I really didn’t set out for it to be a big media thing,” Hatfield said. “A few people said I must do a blog and, because I did it every day, I rather selfishly thought if I didn’t do it everyday people would take seriously any EPIRB activation and I did get a few alerts when I got closer to land than I should have.”
Container incident off Hawaii
In a case that is sure to add to the lore of containers lost overboard becoming hazards to navigation, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an incident off Hawaii’s big island on June 22. Twenty one containers fell off a Young Brothers barge that was being towed from Honolulu, Oahu to Hilo, Hawaii. The containers were lost at 4:30 am as the barge, Ho Omaka Hou, towed by the tug Hoku-Loa, approached Hilo harbor. At the time of the incident, the weather was east winds at 12 mph, waves to 4 feet with a south swell at 3 feet, and isolated showers.
The loss of the containers set off what the website HawaiiNewsNow called “…a massive salvage project.”
Nine of the containers were located, but 12 were unaccounted for. At least two of the containers were found floating. One photo shows a salvage vessel with a tow line on one of these floating containers. The image is the classic case of the floating or partially submerged container that forms the nighttime hazard in many a voyagers mind. Hitting such an object at night sailing at speed would likely result in hull damage.
Have you lost or found something at sea?
Editor’s note: this announcement is from Boatwatch.org, a website run by Glenn and Eddie Tuttle and associated with the Seven Seas Cruising Association, which is designed to aid mariners that are missing or overdue; have a boat stolen; or to whom urgent messages need to be relayed.
Boatwatch.org received a great idea from a cruiser which we have implemented on our website. Check out the new page called Flotsam and Jetsam at boatwatch.org/reporting-flotsam-jetsam/
The intent for this page is to report things lost or found at sea that could help find the owner and/or assist Coast Guard agencies, friends and families, and possibly aid with missing or overdue boating or aircraft incidents.
Debris from a possible sinking boat or airplane can provide important clues. No matter how small or insignificant you may think it is it could be the missing clue or a vital piece of evidence. Photographs are important as well as descriptions of barnacles or algae. Boatwatch.org will make sure the information gets to the proper authorities.
In maritime lingo, flotsam is wreckage or cargo that remains afloat after a ship has sunk, and jetsam is cargo or equipment thrown overboard from a ship in distress. The phrase is sometimes used to describe items floating or washed ashore, but it has also been extended into metaphorical use for any accumulation of odds and ends.
In addition to using the form to report your current flotsam and jetsam finds, please send us your stories or news articles about finding flotsam and jetsam, or losing things at sea? Please send it to one of our email addresses on the page.