Home' Afloat : AFLOAT April 2018 Contents 6 AFLOAT.com.au April 2018
Sydney needs to embrace their Wooden Boat Festival
For a city so steeped in maritime history it’s surprising Sydney
has been so slow in embracing its maritime heritage. So it is with
a sense of anticipation we look forward to this month’s Classic and
Wooden Boat Festival from 13-15 April in Darling Harbour.
For the second of its biennial festivals, stars will include
the 1924 luxury ketch Hurrica V, SY Ena, both originally built in
Sydney and Landseer III, a rare example of a large gaff rigged yacht
designed in Sydney.
In addition to the 140 plus boats moored around the museum
and Cockle Bay, a number of activities are planned. From perusing
a maritime marketplace and artworks, to a swimwear parade
showcasing cossies through the ages, and learning traditional
maritime skills with line throwing, sculling and caulking
A range of speakers in the festival symposium will include
talks about the restoration and history of MV Krait, Slocum and
his voyages, and the hunt for HMB Endeavour.
In planning the strategic direction of its reinvigorated festivals
the Australian National Maritime Museum has ensured that its
celebration of the beauty and diversity of Australia’s heritage
vessels and their craftspeople runs in alternate years to the highly
successful Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart (next due in
2019) and intends to work with that festival for mutual assistance.
To make the revitalization successful, after a less than
auspicious affair in 2016 – described variously as an unemotional
and sterile bureaucratic effort ... akin to Hobart’s AWBF on
Diazepam – Sydney needs to embrace their home-grown event
with a sense of pride and passion.
This festival is not just about
boats, it’s about the people in the
boats and the exuberance of the
exhibiting crews and their vessels.
A flo at ’s 91-year-old motor cruiser
Rosie will be in Cockle Bay ... so while
you’re there, come and say “Hi!”
• Meanwhile, blowing a pall over Sydney Harbour, community
concern is growing over the impact of polluting cruise ships.
Unregulated cruise ships use a heavy ‘bunker fuel’. This is
the thick sludge from a crude oil barrel after removing petrol,
kerosene, diesel and other petroleum products. This waste contains
concentrated sulphur, heavy metals and hydrocarbon compounds.
It’s a far cheaper alternative to refined fuels, and it saves cruise
companies a fortune. However, the toxic fumes emitted by these
cruise ships can cause a range of illnesses, including eye disorders,
lung and cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
The United States and Europe have recognised the high health
costs of international shipping and now restrict sulphur levels in
cruise ship fuel to below 0.1 per cent. Ships in Sydney Harbour are
still allowed to burn fuel with 3.5 per cent sulphur – 35 times more
than the fuel they are required to use in the US and Europe; and
3,500 times the level required by Australian diesel cars.
The NSW state government, to its credit, some years ago
legislated to prevent such pollution. But the legislation has not
been enforced because conflicting Commonwealth legislation
takes priority under the constitution. Who is looking after the
health of Sydneysiders?
h Robin Copeland
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