Fishing gear and kayaks are provided for your enjoyment while we are at anchor, and we always sail when the wind permits. We offer a timeless journey across Macquarie Harbour, from Strahan, into Tasmania's ancient temperate wilderness of the island's unspoiled West Coast. Elsewhere, after a shipbuilding trade show in Hamburg last week, rumours started to circulate about new ships for NCL and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, and from Spain, France and the UK have come news of more possible changes in the cruise markets. About twenty years ago now, in 1989-91, the traditional Norwegian company Fearnley & Eger built eight miniature cruise ships in Italy. Of the first quartet, two, the Clelia II (which will become Orion Expedition Cruises' Orion II next spring) and the Galapagos Explorer II, still operate as cruise ships, while two others are now megayachts. There was the bankruptcy of Renaissance Cruises in 2001, but by that time only two of these smaller ships, Renaissance Seven and Eight, were still owned by Renaissance, as the line had taken delivery of eight larger ships, the R One through R Eight, which sail today for Oceania, Azamara, Princess and P&O Cruises. As Hebridean managing director Mike Deegan said at the time, "the increasing costs of operating a ship in international waters and the weakening of the pound against the euro and dollar forced the line to sell its second ship." The next thing we know the ship was spotted at Abu Dhabi as the Sunrise, yet another Middle Eastern megayacht. Renaissance Five, meanwhile, until now Cruise West's Spirit of Oceanus, was acquired in 2001 and has until now been what was thought to be a relatively successful unit of the fleet, offering Inside Passage, South Pacific and Japan cruises that were nearly always sold out. It now appears from what we have been able to learn that this has been a hard sell and the ship has been sailing with light loads, where she used to be fully booked in the South Pacific and Alaska.
On September 8, the inevitable announcement came, "Cruise West, a global leader in small-ship explorations, today announced that they continue to work towards a restructuring of the company and its operations. In a related move, it was revealed that Cruise West president Dietmar Wertanzl had resigned on August 30, not long before the present news broke.
Then on Friday came news that 65 Cruise West employees, 24 on Wednesday and another 41 from last Friday, were being given their notice, while Spirit of Oceanus passengers who had future bookings have not been given nor promised refunds.
The release went on, "The Spirit of Oceanus voyage ended at its scheduled port of disembarkation so as to minimize any negative impact to our guests. Cruise West got its start in 1947 chartering small Canadian coastal passenger ships for cruises to Alaska, eventually buying those ships and building a successful cruise and tour business called Westours, of which it sold 70% to Holland America Line in 1971 and the balance in 1977 (see The Cruise Examiner, May 19, 2008). Chuck West then started again, eventually building up another fleet of small ships, of which two are still working through October. An interesting rumour has been reported by Cruise Business Online that Hapag-Lloyd Cruises may soon be ordering a new 30,000-ton cruise ship from a French yard, presumably STX France, who in that size range have built the somewhat larger Seven Seas Mariner and the eight second generation Renaissance ships.
Reports soon after the Norwegian Epic sailed from St Nazaire had representatives of Meyer Werft on board talking to Norwegian Cruise Line management about their next generation of ships.
From Spain, meanwhile, comes a rumour that one of Costa's older cruise ships, the Costa Victoria, may be moving to Carnival Corp & PLC's Spanish cruise line Iberocruceros. Also from Spain comes a report that Happy Cruises, the former Quail Cruises, is about to enter the cruise market from Havana.
Another report, also from Spain, says that Croisières de France's Bleu de France will not be sold on the French market after all for her winter cruises from Brazil as charterer CVC will need all the space due to strong sales of their cruises to Fernando da Noronha. Last Tuesday saw Classic International Cruises' Athena finish her 2010 UK season for Page & Moy at Dover and depart for Cuxhaven, where she started her autumn season for Hansa Touristik. The ship remains popular in the Swedish market as she was built in Gothenburg as Swedish American Line's Stockholm in 1946.
Plan luxurious celebrations with boat cruises in West Palm Beach Do you have a love for the open water, sailing across a breathtaking ocean or the sparkling Intracoastal?
Impress your guests with a party yacht charter in West Palm Beach Is there a special group of people in your life who you would like to treat to a glamorous and luxurious yacht excursion?
Nothing compares to the 360° views and upscale experience of hosting your event on the water.
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So organise your crew, get out the bunting and come celebrate one of the most successful seasons yet at the BSC. BSC’s inaugural Friday Afternoon [Non-Spinnaker] Series commences this Friday, April 1! This is a very low-management series with no laid marks, no starters and no tender services.
Skippers will be required to text their first lap and finish times to David Stenhouse, Race Manager, on his mobile (see details below).
Following the race, boat owners are invited to come back to the sailing club for drinks and a sausage sizzle. If you are not on the current entry list and intend competing, or, if you intend entering and require assistance, please feel free to email David for further information.
To kick off 2016 we are excited to announce that WAFF, the new European wellness workout, is now available at the Balmain Sailing Club and are offering discounted rates to all members! WAFF is a perfectly balanced physical, mental and emotional workout on a WAFF cushion, focusing on balance, core, postural rebalancing & relaxation.
The racing committee of Balmain Sailing club is abandoning the race due a severe thunderstorm warning. Ours is the only West-of-the-bridge-club to provide a tender service to moored yachts before and after racing but it comes at considerable cost in terms of wages, fuel, maintenance and wear and tear. These boats are also vital for our Sailing School operations and their reliability is essential. To meet these requirements we have no choice but to spend close to $20,000 on two new Yamaha outboards so if you are a yacht sailor who uses the tender service or a dinghy racer who benefits from the rescue boat facility I am asking for your help to buy these new engines. The Club generates a large amount of rubbish such as food waste, cans, bottles and carboard, and it costs us money to have all the rubbish removed.
Unfortunately users of the club also leave their rubbish on the Deck, or in our bins, for the Club volunteers to get rid of. Over the past two years we have gotten rid of a wide variety of rubbish that had nothing to do with the Club itself.
Recently the old steel trailer, heavy rope and a large amount of Vegetation has been removed from the Club. This year the Balmain Sailing Club Christmas Party will be held on Sunday, 20th of December following Race 7 of the Spring Series. We'll enjoy a delicious buffet meal along with desert, and an afternoon visit from Santa and his little helpers.
We'll be moving the Spring Series Race 7 forward to 1pm to make way for the festive celebrations.

I have had lots of feedback from competitors and partygoers about how effortless we made the 2015 regatta look. On behalf of all of us please join me in thanking these people who in big and small ways put in the hours and hours of work that made the regatta look so easy for those who enjoyed it. If I have missed your name please accept my apologies and thanks and let me know so you can be included in the roll.
Mike, Chris, Dave, Wilhelm, Silke, Leanne, Tommy, Marilyn, Nigel, Colin, Bryce, Michael, John, Henry, Leisl, Lindsay, Hoddo, Anni, Michael, Kathie, John, LYN, Garry, Nick Storey, Nick, Linda, Ryan, Fiona, Rod McCubbon, Steve Jackson, Simon, Chantelle, Mark, Paul, Michelle, Angela, Marie, Undies, Brian, Neil, Barb, Alan, Sue (Fletcher), Sue (Durman), Wanda, Geoff, Lindsay, Paul, Michelle, Patti, Andrew.
Thank you to all of those who sailed, served, swept, cooked and constructed and carried rubbish to make Balmain Regatta 2015 such a spectacular day. Enjoy the spectacle of the Balmain Regatta with family, friends or colleagues with a VIP Regatta viewing experience on board the magnificent Sydney Heritage Fleet yacht "Boomerang", hosted by Angela Catterns, celebrity presenter & Rear Commodore.
Our Twilight Series is again upon us, and that we have just 17 keelboat entries a week-and-a-half out from race 1. Rumour has it the legendary San JoJa (‘The Yellow Shitter’) may be making a come back! And please note that the club’s fantastic new marina is now available for up to six boats from a little further afield who would like to come back to the BSC post race to enjoy the presentation, and to meet fellow competitors.
Finally, it is with sadness that I note the passing  in August this year of Robert McGrath, owner of Luce Change, and winner of the 2014 BSC Pre-Christmas Twilight Series and on behalf of the Balmain Sailing Club I extend our sincere condolences to his family. WHEN Balmain Sailing Club first called for information about Balmain’s first female sailor, Irene Pritchard, it only had a photo of her in her boat Zephyr and a couple of lines of information.
Pritchard wearing a medal for winning Sydney’s Anniversary Day Regatta and has fleshed out her life story.
In 11 starts, Pritchard won nine, including the 8ft race at the prestigious Anniversary Day regatta. The Anniversary Day crowd cheered when she was presented with her medal, and the event’s chair man, Dr Burne, said that was the first time a lady had sailed a winner at any regatta held in Sydney. Pritchard skippered Procella in the 1899 Balmain Regatta, the first woman to compete in it. Balmain Sailing Club commodore Campbell Reid said it was wonderful to put a face and a life story to a true Balmain pioneer. The Irene Pritchard edition of the Balmain Regatta will be held at the club’s premises on Water St with an onshore picnic, music and celebration. Please join us for this special edition of the Regatta which is a celebration of women sailors. The Race entry links on the Balmain Sailing Club web site will now take you to the Topyacht entry system. If you have already entered and paid for the 2015 – 2016 season using the old system, you will be manually transfer you into the new system.
I know you will join me in congratulating our new committee members and I look forward to another year of achievement and great sailing. Liesl says she brings a positive and friendly approach and the ability to form and maintain positive relationships with people from all walks of life.
She says that the club is in an excellent position, following several years of change and improvement, with a vibrant and engaged membership and is  a wonderful place to sail and the perfect place to enjoy a quiet post race lemonade with some of her favourite people. She is looking forward to working with the committee and members to keep making the BSC a better place to sail.
Geoff joined Balmain Sailing Club when it was a small and friendly club and believes he can bring not only his sailing experience but also his management experience and enthusiasm to see the club progress into the future. Simon has been the Vice Commodore of Balmain Sailing Club and has resigned as per the constitution that requires 50% of the directors to resign each year. The BSC Annual General Meeting will be held at 10am on Sunday July 12 before the scheduled winter race.
All community-based clubs rely on the energy and enthusiasm of their members and in most clubs many roles fall to only a few people and we all know that many hands DO make light work. Please think about any contribution you can make and come to the club a couple of hours early on Sunday July 12. Our freshly finished pontoon and a swarm of volunteers painting, building fences and removing rubbish. The Annual General Meeting of the Balmain Sailing Club will be held in the clubhouse commencing 10am on Sunday 12 July 2015. The BSC has 8 directors of which 4 are required to be elected each year for a period of 2 years.
Members wishing to nominate to contest the election are required to submit their nomination no later than 10am Sunday 28 June 2015. Rafting up provided a secure spot to hop between the boats, enjoy the company of all ‘cruisers’ and partake of the magnificent feast that emerged from the various galleys and picnic hampers, not to mention champagne ice buckets and eskys! Somewhat reluctantly, we raised anchor and in perfect bright sunshine and a moderate north-east breeze to enjoy spectacular broad reaches all the way back to Balmain.  Sydney Harbour at its best and another great day for the Cruisers! Registration is critical to ensure you are kept posted of updates on future events, including any possible postponement or cancellation due to adverse weather conditions. Four were built in La Spezia by Cantiere Navale Ferrari-Signani and four of a slightly different design by Nuovi Cantieri Apuania shipyards in Carrara.
Not long after her sale she was reported berthed together with the Dubawi in Dubai, renamed Cruise One, but has apparently remained in lay-up, a subject of the economic downturn. Completed as Renaissance Five, Six, Seven and Eight, they have all been involved with cruise lines that got in trouble. The last two of the small ships still controlled by Renaissance went to Oslo-based Mauritius Island Cruises, a company that sailed only briefly with the Island Sky before going out of business in November 2004. And just eighteen months ago, in March 2009, almost exactly the same thing as is now happening to the Spirit of Oceanus happened to her. The first move in this restructuring is the termination of the Spirit of Oceanus' Voyage of the Great Explorers. And who has bought the Spirit of Oceanus has not been revealed, although she was reported sailing from St John's with her new owner's agent on board bound for Freeport, Bahamas. Cruise West plans to continue to operate its US-flag ships and itineraries through October, 2010; Spirit of Endeavour will sail from Seattle on the British Columbia Cruise and the Spirit of '98 from Portland, OR along the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
The future seems uncertain but the company has always had a solid reputation in the small ship market and it is to be hoped that something will come out of the present reorganisation that will put them back on a steady keel.

Hapag-Lloyd has been expanding its International cruise offerings in recent years and if indeed another ship is built that can rival the top-rated Europa, there will be more opportunities for English-speakers as Hapag will have to rely on more than just the German-speaking market to fill another ultra-luxury ship. And last week followed reports that an order for two ships somewhat smaller than the Epic, with an option for a third, was about to be announced with Meyer Werft, who have built most of the NCL fleet. As they are the only Spanish-speaking line that is not controlled by one of the big American giants (Carnival own Iberocruceros and Royal Carribean own Pullmantur Cruises), they are the only one that can successfully do this. Booked passengers will instead receive a choice of a full refund or a cruise on the Ocean Dream from Aruba to Bonaire, Margarita, Curacao, Cartagena and Santa Marta. In 2012, however, Classic is looking at basing her in the UK market for all-British passengers. Fun and effective at the same time, the classes are suitable for all levels of fitness - whether you are a sailor, an athlete, or have never set foot in a gym or yoga studio before. Come for a meal and a drink to support the club and watch the thunderstorm from the club windows. Lyn and Kathie, two of our hardest working members always arrive for working bees with their trailer.
Be sure to book your tickets in advance for you and your crew as there are no door sales on the day.
Price includes champagne on arrival, a light lunch and refreshments (soft drinks & water). She came from a local boatbuilding family and, as skipper of 8ft skiff Zephyr, forged a formidable reputation. In 1904, she married boat builder Fred Carnaby and the couple moved to Nedlands, south of Perth, which was then bushland. Please come along to the Club 6.30pm Wednesday 2nd September for a briefing and discussion on this seasons sailing programme. Utilising the associated topyacht race entry system will simplify and improve the accuracy of our race administration. We will contact you individually if we need you to create a topyacht boat profile or provide any further information. Attendance at Board meetings have given her familiarity with Governance bodies and management roles have taught her basic financial management skills. She has a passion for sailing and for the Balmain Sailing Club, which has taken her from a complete novice as a sailing school participant and has launched her on a lifelong and very humbling journey of learning to sail.
She joined the club as a sailing school student and since then raced consistently as a crew member and (recently) a boat owner. Trevor will tell you about the fascinating history of this precious West Coast of Tasmania. All of about 4,000 tons, they were no longer than 300 feet long and originally carried 114 passengers as built. Five and Six became spirits, Cruise West's Spirit of Oceanus and Hebridean International's Hebridean Spirit, respectively. The Island Sky then went to Noble Caledonia and is today managed by Sweden's Salen Ship Management AB, while Island Sun became Travel Dynamics' Corinthian II and is operated together with her half-sister Clelia II.
The Hebridean Spirit was sold and in April All Leisure Group bought what was left of Hebridean International Cruises.
On April 20, 2009, just as the Sunrise was sailing off for her new owners, The Cruise Examiner reported, "It has been announced today by Cruise West that in 2010 it will be sending its Spirit of Oceanus on a round-the-world cruise, details of which are shortly to be announced. The chief exception is the Pride of America, which was started by Ingalls in Pascagoula and completed by Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven. This rumour has been associated with another that Iberocruceros Grand Voyager could be moved to assist in the revival of the Crosières Paquet brand in France, something with which the Costa Allegra has been involved this year.
Happy Cruises (it may sound better in Spanish) will use the Gemini for these cruises, with connecting flights by Air Europa to Havana and Cozumel. Presumably some of the French-speaking cruise staff from the Bleu de France will be transferred to the Ocean Dream, as they were to the Pacific Dream last winter. On some of her sailings from Rosyth and Newcastle she will board UK passengers for the Norwegian fjords and then proceed to Gothenburg to complete her passenger list with Swedish passengers boarding at Gothenburg.
If you brought it into the club, then please take it away, Please don't leave donated items without checking with a committee member first. She has been successful in securing funding from several Government and non-government agencies. Together with Benjamin Williams, Alena has been responsible for the club’s social media presence, newsletters and website updates for over a year.
The nomination should include a short outline of their experience and why members should vote for them. But in 1991, Fearnley & Eger was declared bankrupt and Renaissance Cruises was sold to a partnership of the Italian Cameli Group and Ed Rudner.
Owned by the Danish Clipper Group, the Corinthian II is managed by International Shipping Partners of Miami.
As part of this process, the company went into receivership and was reorganised as Hebridean island Cruises, which today operates its original ship, the Hebridean Princess.
Watch this space, but any new ships will almost certainly include the best of both the smaller Jewel class ships and the new Epic. All the Costa, Aida and Iberocruceros ships are now registered in Genoa, while Costa's Italian competitors MSC Cruises still use Panama as their country of registry. Cost of the tipping (and the labour involved) in the last two years has been donated by the girls.
All four of these ships have been owned by companies that either went bankrupt or had to restructure. But, as with the Spirit of Oceanus today, the Hebridean Spirit was sold and the balance of her 2009 season abruptly cancelled.

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