Diamond in the Lava

The Hawaiian Islands are a sailors paradise, with warm trade winds and clear blue water. But finding a good anchorage can be a challenge for cruisers due to marginal bottom holding and swell protection. Rocky lava, coral bottoms and central Pacific swells can have you dragging or fouling your anchor, taking the fun out of a good nights sleep. But there is a diamond in the lava that you might want to put in your chart table drawer if you are passing through or staying for the season on the Kona coast of the Big Island.
Makalawena Beach in Puu Alii Bay is located on the island of Hawaii, between Kawikohale Point north and Kaiwi Point south. If you are provisioning in Honokohau Harbor, it lays about eight miles to the north. This unique spot possesses a sugar sand bottom for anchoring, emerald green water and an uncrowded sandy beach for your pleasure.
The compass approach into the bay from approximately three miles offshore is 127m. Watch the depth; at around 45 feet you will see a reef awash to your starboard, very visible even at high tide. Anchor anywhere from the end of the reef to the beach, allowing enough swing room in case the wind comes up from the NW. Prevailing winds are light and variable 5 to 10 knots shifting SW to NW. If high surf warnings are posted from the SW – W or NW, you do not want to be there. Its better to pick up a temporary mooring in Honokohau Harbor if the harbor entrance is not breaking white water from the swell. Read more »


Cruising West Sumatra

The west coast of Sumatra remains somewhat of an enigma to those in the cruising world. Sailors venturing east from the African coastline may stop briefly on the northern tip of Aceh on Pualu Weh, but most continue directly onto Thailand or Malaysia. Others stay out to sea and disregard Indonesia altogether on their way to Australia. Northbound sailors on a pilgrimage through Indonesia tend to favor the sheltered waters on the eastern side of Java and Sumatra, the flat coastline, and the ship dodging sludge of the Malacca Strait.
Hence, West Sumatra is a relatively uncharted destination for private cruising boats. Charter boats servicing the lucrative surf business in the Mentawis and Nias dominate these islands, and during the surf season, the anchorages are highly populated. But if you are not a surfer, you need not compete for the anchorages close to the waves, and the array of uninhabited islands, palm – fringed beaches and tropical snorkeling opportunities is astounding. Indeed, between October and April, there is less southern swell and anchorages are abundant, nestling in the lee of the islands from the dominant northwest winds. Read more »



Many anticipated that Campagnolo would have their electronic gear shifting in full production and coming out on new bikes for the 2012 model year. While their new electronic system is very close to production, and may well have been released by the time you read this, it was still in the prototype and testing phase when the product managers were specing their 2012 bikes.
When it is released, Campagnolo electronic will come in at the top Super Record level and will undoubtedly cost a bomb. Their system has been in development for close to 10 years, so we can only assume it will be very refined and sorted once it finally hits the market. Rumour has it that Super Record electronic will be 65 – 70g lighter than Shimano Dura – Асе Di2, but only time will tell.
Beyond the speculation of whats yet to come, there are no major changes within the standard groupset line – up from Campagnolo. As per 2011, every component group from the titanium and carbon clad Super Record down to Athena runs an 11 – speed cassette. Compact chainrings continue to be offered at every level and there are options of carbon or alloy crank arms at Centaur and Veloce levels. Read more »

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Beyond Painting – Spar Restoration

Regina Ocean is rehab continues
As the restoration and refit of our Pearson 424, Regina Oceani, continues —her inner being now strong and solid with a new engine, plumbing and some new cabinetry —we turn to her exterior facelift, where paint is the fountain of youth. Our painting encompasses four phases: spars, decks, hull and bottom, each to be covered over several installments.
We started with the preparation of the spars in the early spring and completed the painting when our Colorado weather was more reliable in early July. Getting experience spraying paint on parts that will be far off the deck seemed like the most logical learning ground. During these months, we also constructed a shelter over the boat —critical to good results when painting and necessary when we later open up so many holes in the decks in preparation of that phase of painting.
Our criteria for paint were high durability and high beauty. Two – part polyurethanes are the industry standard for meeting these criteria. The top coat, however, is only a small part of the story. The compatibility and workability of all of the paint systems elements makes the difference between an average “30 – foot” job and a true new – boat appearance.
There are a few shortcomings of polyurethanes. While expensive polyurethane paint systems are hard to scratch, once damaged they are difficult to repair. Spot repairs usually show “halos” that stand out. The alternative, acrylic paint, while easy to repair, does not have the durability required for the challenges of the marine environment. Read more »


An Act of God

The doubled – up wave on the quarter immediately spun the 50 – footers stern down and the bow up to weather. But the worst was to follow…

Imet the owner of the Grand Soleil 50 early on an October Saturday morning, and we quickly went through the boat, tied to a mooring in Jamestowns quiet little harbor. The crew, “Kentucky” Mike, Jon and I, were to meet later that afternoon to do the final preparations to take Sugar Plum to Puerto Rico. The weather looked good for a Sunday departure. Waiting much longer would only make things worse, as the weather in New England does not improve as one gets deeper into fall and early winter.

As usual, the trip to the Caribbean would include a transit of the Gulf Stream. Sometimes one can catch a favorable current, a meander flowing in the same direction to the south or southeast that we would be attempt – ing to travel. More often we would just try to get across that capricious stretch of water as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Its true enough that as one travels south out of New England, crews look forward to the warm water and sometimes – sunny skies of the Gulf Stream. But those warm waters can conceal a double – edged sword: stronger winds, steeper waves and increased squalls. It isnt always so. Much depends on the temperature and direction of the wind. When cold northerlies are in vogue, the colder air sinks as it gets to the warm water of the Stream, increasing the winds. Winds that might otherwise be in the 30 to 35 knot range can suddenly become 50 knots or more over the northern wall of the Stream, and the colder the air, the stronger the winds along the north wall. Winds blowing against the flow of the current will create a much steeper wave pattern. As we departed late that Sunday, however, the winds out of the northwest werent particularly cold, and they tended to blow at right angles to the current. Leaving a few days earlier than usual would help us avoid the worst weather, predicted for later in the week. Read more »


About the Guide

The 2012 Bicycling Buyers Guide is straight – out loaded with bikes. However, before you launch headlong into this magazine, its best to kick off with a little background information to explain where the information came from and what you can expect to gain from it.

To begin with, this Buyers Guide is not going to tell you which bike you need or what is best for you. We are simply laying out the information in a condensed form that allows you to peruse the offerings from almost every bike brand on the Australian market. With over 2,300 complete bikes listed inside, its like having the catalogue from every manufacturer all rolled into one magazine.

The Buyers Guide tables only include models that are sold as complete bikes —that is a ready to ride package with wheels, cranks, handlebars etc. If you included the potential build options on models that are sold as a frame – only, you would be lucky to fit the information in a good sized phonebook!

We have also placed a price floor of $499 on the bikes, which cuts out the supermarket level bikes as well as the lower end of the mainstream bicycle market. The fact that you have spent $10.95 on this magazine suggests that you are a keen rider or an enthusiast who wont be interested in the bottom end of the market. Read more »