Guillaume Auger, TIMEZERO Ambassador talks about TZ Professional v3 and the PBG module

Guillaume Auger is a TIMEZERO Ambassador and while his career saw him in a variety of domains, some of his prime years has seen him build up a wealth of experience in game fishing! Often having the local knowledge of the best spots means better results but in this interview we see how combining local knowledge with TIMEZERO technology twinned with the right sounder hardware can mean even better results.

Fishing seabream on the coast of Britanny, Guillaume Auger is equipped with TZ Professional v3 and has the additional Sounder and PBG modules. Getting info from two separate sounders: Furuno DFF1-UHD and Airmar B265, TIMEZERO  can display the data received of the bathymetry as well as the sedimentary type.

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MaxSea Commercial Fishing Software Installation for Namibian Fisheries Patrol Vessel

MaxSea distributor Radio Electronic CC is located in Namibia and tells us about a recent installation of the commercial fishing software MaxSea TimeZero PLOT on one of Namibia’s Fisheries Patrol vessels, AK Mungunda.

Walvis Bay, Namibia

The vessel, “Anna Kakurukaze Mungunda”, is one of two Namibian Fisheries patrol vessels, based in Walvis Bay, Namibia:

Commercial fishing vessel: Anna Kakurukaze Mungunda
Namibian Fisheries Patrol vessel, the “Anna Kakurukaze Mungunda”

She was built in 2003, is 59m in length and has a gross tonnage of 1413t.

As two of the Namibian Research vessels are already outfitted with MaxSea TimeZero installations, it was a logical choice to have the same type of system installed on this patrol vessel – for ease of sharing user data, such as PBG bathymetric data, among each other.

The installation

MaxSea TimeZero PLOT software, integrated with:

  • Standard GPS device
  • Depth, sounder
  • ARPA and AIS input

What makes this installation a little unusual is the 32-inch monitor which was used to display the commercial fishing software:

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MaxSea TimeZero PLOT displayed on a 32-inch monitor in the vessel’s helm

About the dealer

Radio Electronic CC, based in Walvis Bay, Namibia has been installing MaxSea products for the past 15 years.

You can contact Radio Electronic CC by email, post or telephone:

 info@recc.com.na

 17 Fourteenth Road, Po Box 670, Walvis Bay, Namibia

 +264 64207483


Find a reseller - MaxSea TimeZero PLOT

Navigating the lochs in Scotland: Isle of Skye

Leon Schulz is a MaxSea partner and is a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean instructor. This week, he tells us about his unforgettable experience, navigating his yacht, the Regina Laska to one of the lochs in Scotland, Loch Scavaig in the Isle of Skye, Scotland. 

Arriving at Loch Scavaig brings a feeling of a total immersion in nature. Cautiously approaching the narrow harbour entrance, I like to compare the notes in the Imray Pilot Book “Skye and North West Scotland” with MaxSea navigation charts. Both the Navionics, Jeppesen and raster charts in MaxSea provide similar chart data and are very helpful.

Lochs in Scotland: Scavaig, Isle of Skype
Loch Scavaig, Isle of Skye, Scotland

My observation at the harbour entrance, however, is that the water depth is slightly less than is claimed in all the available books and charts, and so, boaters should expect water depths of about 1-1.5 m more shallow than charts indicate, not only during low tide.

Lochs in Scotland: Beautiful scenery

When you arrive at the lagoon, you will be greeted by innumerable seals resting on the soft ground rock or curiously peeping out of the water. So we stare at each other and are enchanted by the contact between humans and animals.

Lochs in Scotland: Seals at the Isle of Skye

The silence of the mountains lying around is only interrupted by one sound – the noise of a waterfall, where the water seems to spring out of the fog into which bore into the mountains. Angelic water?

Lochs in Scotland: Regina Yachting

Slowly, carefully, and with the support of the Furuno NavNet 3D plotter, integrated with MaxSea TimeZero Explorer, we continue into the lagoon. There is no other boat in the area, not a soul. Even our mobile phone doesn’t have reception – no contact with the outside world. Only a small cabin with closed window shutters in the colors of the Scottish flag testifies to the fact that sometimes people here have to seek shelter when the weather becomes too harsh, as is the reputation of Scotland.

The dramatic scenery is breathtaking and so we put our dingy into the water and row ashore. Trails meander along lakes and high up into the mountains with a beautiful view over half Scotland, if not over half of the world. Time and space seem to merge.

Lochs in Scotland: Beautiful scenery at the Isle of Skye

My charter guests who have travelled with me all the way from Canada on my HR 46 Regina Laska boat, are full of happiness.

In the evening another yacht arrives in the area and anchors next to us. An aluminum yacht that looks as if it has come from as far as Greenland, Svalbard or Antarctica.

We happily sleep in this paradise, until we are awakened the next morning by a motor noise: A tour boat from the nearby mainland. And then another one. And later another. There are lots of hikers who have stopped here for a couple of hours, to see the same beauty that we had enjoyed in our loneliness the night before. But would they experience the same as us?

Lochs in Scotland: Beautiful scenery in Scotland

Yes, we think, and enjoy the morning coffee while in the sunlit cockpit.
No heaven can be kept for you alone! “Paradise is a state of mind,” said my charter guest. How true! We recognise that my favorite anchorage is no longer a secret. But as long as we believe it, we could feel unique and special in this world.

With this in mind, we drop anchor and sail instead of continuing to the nearby Talisker distillery.


Leon Schulz’s yacht, the Regina Laska is available for charter. Learn more about his services on the Regina Sailing website.


 

The Ultimate Guide to Boat Rentals

How to Anchor a Boat with MaxSea TimeZero

Experienced sailors often say that mooring is the most difficult part of sailing. This week, MaxSea partner Leon Schulz talks to us about how to anchor a boat, using MaxSea TimeZero.

Leon outlines the steps to take for a perfect mooring. His boat is equipped with a fully-integrated system: MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, a Furuno BBDS1 sounder, and a Furuno NavNet TZtouch.

How to Anchor a Boat
Leon Schulz’ boat the Regina Laska
  • Understand the sea-floor. Navigate around the anchorage area many times. This is done to record bathymetric information so you know what kind of sea-floor you’re dealing with. To record this data, I use my MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, integrated with a Furuno BBDS1 Sounder.

Anchoring a boat with Furuno BBDS1

The BBDS1 sounder collects and sends bottom classification data to MaxSea TimeZero software. I can also share this new data-rich bathy chart with the integrated Furuno NavNet TZtouch system. Sand or clay is best for anchoring.

  • Check tidal range by displaying tidal data in MaxSea TimeZero. This is a really important step to know how much your boat will be raised or lowered by the tide, or vice versa.

How to anchor a boat with tidal data

You don’t want the boat’s keel to hit the ground during the night, just because the water has disappeared from under the boat. You must also avoid having the boat’s anchor break loose because the boat is suddenly 3 or more meters higher water than when it arrived!

  •  Calculate your desired minimum depth based on my boat’s draught + safety distance under the keel + allowance for tidal changes. Try to find a spot where the boat can swing freely in all directions according to changes in the wind or the tidal current.
  • Take a last look at the Furuno BBDS1 sounder to check the depth and soil conditions and to see if the boat is in the tidal flow or in an area of strong wind and bring the boat to a complete standstill.
  • Lower your anchor slowly until it reaches the ground. You can check the markings on the chain or just listen to how the anchor runs more smoothly when it has reached the bottom.
  • Give the signal to the helmsman to reverse the boat slowly while letting out the chain. At a ratio of 1:4 to 1:5 (from the highest tides expected), stop the windlass.
  • Wait until the anchor sets and the boat turns into the wind. Then it’s time to stretch the chain by reversing the gear carefully. Do so cautiously, so that there is no residue in the chain.
  • Once the engine is stopped, set the snubber. This is the piece of rope that is hung with a claw hook into the chain and relieved with the help of a jerk. This also makes the disturbing noise disappear from the chain rubbing against the bow roller.
  • In windy conditions, put a mooring sail aft, so the bow always points into the wind.

The advantage of MaxSea TimeZero is that you can so easily switch charts. So I often use raster maps at anchor, because there is a lot more information that are interesting for the anchors located. For example, the underwater cable at Iona (see image below).

Anchoring a boat with raster charts
Anchoring the boat off Iona, Scotland

Even small anchors are located on the raster maps. In comparison, the vector charts give less information about the anchorage.

Now it’s done, you can sleep soundly, even if the wind should freshen up in the night or the wind direction changes.


Leon Schulz is a MaxSea partner and is a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean instructor. His yacht, the Regina Laska is also available for charter. Learn more about his services on the Regina Sailing website.


 

10 point safety checklist

Team Ashram Qualifies for World Marlin Championships in Costa Rica!

MaxSea is proud to be a partner of The Ashram Fishing Team. This Australian-based team recently participated in the “Seasport Charters Marlin Cup,” using MaxSea TimeZero PLOT on board. Here is their account of how the tournament went.

The team is made up of Sangeeta Menon, Andy Ziepe, Mark Jarrett and Rhyss Whittred. The Seasport Charters Marlin Cup was hosted by the Perth Game Fishing Club in Jurien Bay, and ran from February 20-23rd.

Jurien Bay is approx. 400km north of Team Ashram’s home port and boasts some excellent game fishing species. The winner of this tournament receives an invite to compete in the Offshore World Championships in Costa Rica for 2015.

Rhyss Whittred gives us his account of the tournament:

Team Ashram's boat“For our team this was the first major tournament we had competed in since I purchased my Wellcraft 270 and revamped the electronics to include Maxsea TimeZero PLOT and Furuno’s latest technology. I can’t say how keen we were to compete and in fact one of the teams there had the reigning world champion angler on board Valkoista (Craig White).

It was a 3 day tournament with your 2 best days fishing score counting towards overall championship points. The night before the tournament commenced I downloaded the latest Maxsea weather file and carefully worked out our fishing plan in line with sea surface temp, currents and plankton.

We headed out and had a cracker of a day. The Maxsea oceanic data was spot on and my team was fantastic with their art of angling and we managed Southern Blue Fin, Striped and Yellowfin Tuna to give us some great points of 2,850 points and our nearest competitors were on 375 points.

Saturday dawned and I planned to go to the same area north where we had done so well Team Ashramthe day before. Alas, the water temperature was down 2 degrees, with no bait and no birds. We could hear others on the radio with great fishing results. Unfortunately I had left my mobile phone at the hotel and couldn’t download a current weather file. We were now at a complete low and did not turn a reel for the day.

The next morning I was up very early and downloaded the weather file and made a plan of attack. In fact the good water and temperature breaks we had 2 days before where now 40kms south of Jurien and we needed to get among it. With the early start we got down there in time for lines in at 6am and once again we tagged our limit of tuna and returned to port.

The scoring by other teams was very good and it was an absolute pleasure to have revealed that the Ashram Team picked up Champion Boat, Champion Female Angler, Runner Up Male Angler and Champion Tag and Release.

So my friends at Maxsea, I thank you all for your cutting edge technology and how it all worked in so well with my Furuno equipment and helping us to win this tournament.”

– Rhyss Whittred

Thanks Rhys! And best of luck for the World Marlin Championships in Costa Rica!

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The Vikings in the conquest of America

Joëlle & Janusz Kurbiel from Imerpol are truly veteran sailors, having sailed together for decades. They rely on MaxSea software onboard.

Here, they recount having retraced the routes takes by the Vikings many years ago.

The accounts of the extraordinary journeys of the Vikings have come to us through the sagas, the epic narratives that were written two to three centuries after the events. This makes them difficult to interpret and even more so because their translations were not done by sailors.

We have followed the same routes as the Vikings for nearly forty years and some details that translators did not identify seem obvious to us. We are able to say with certainty that the Vikings’ explorations were in no way due to chance.

Old nautical paper chart

If it is true that Bjarni saw an unknown land being blown out of his route by a storm, he still managed to find his way to Greenland and described it well enough to allow Leif to find it again.

As evidenced by the breakthrough discovery of an undoubtedly Viking site by Mr. and Mrs. Ingstad at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada, they also landed in America 500 years before Columbus.

Yes, but how?

imerpol 3

In order to better understand, we isolated all information relating to navigation contained in the sagas and we compared them to the reality in the field over many years.

Contrary to what is generally believed, the route between Greenland and Labrador does not present great difficulties. With favorable winds it took four days for a Viking ship to cross and once they got there, they just had to sail along the coast when the weather permitted.

As in their home country, the Vikings had to reckon with Nature: gales and fog are common around there but also anchorages to stop and start in good conditions. As for the ice, it is necessary to wait until the end of July so that it is less dense and then sail back home before the Autumn storms, long before they form again.

They were therefore accustomed to these sailing conditions and the question is how did they manage to sail for those four days without seeing the coast?

Old nautical paper chartSome have suggested that they were navigating with the stars as the Melanesian people did, forgetting that they are invisible in the white polar summer sky around 60 ° N. They reappear in August but it is still necessary for the sky to be cloudless or fogless to see them. Same problem with navigation with the sun and thus they could go out to sea only in clear weather to keep the sun at a certain angle depending on the time of the day and follow what we call the latitude. However, these conditions are very rare in the region.

When comparing the clues provided by the sagas with our own observations, we were able to understand the art of navigation of the Vikings. After sailing on the same routes onboard our first four exploration sailboats specially adapted for the polar regions, we built a wooden one, Vagabond’elle, to be as close as possible to their realities.

Like them, we had to wait for favorable winds to cross from Norway to the Shetlands and then to the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland, to reach Labrador on the American continent. Like them, we continuously scour our environment.

We watch for

  • the emergence of a certain type of cloud or mirages that indicate the presence of land or ice
  • the direction of waves and swell to know the position of storms and the direction of the winds. We follow the migration of the birds that always go to the same land and at the same period to breed

By simple methods we note our speed and calculate the distance covered in twenty-four hours. Even without seeing the stars, by carefully observing our environment we are able to follow a given course. When approaching a coastline, we note its characteristics, we engrave every detail in our memories: the terrain configuration, the depths, currents, tides, prevailing winds.

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Nautical Chart

The art of the Vikings’ navigation got lost over time with the arrival of the compass and then the quadrant.

Viking ShipThe old techniques were not in use any more and we got accustomed to rely on instruments that are much safer than what mariners call “estimates”, a subtle combination of techniques and seamanship, the result of a vital necessity.

Janusz was just recently the ice pilot aboard a cruise ship and he could see how much the old methods were permanently lost to the ease of technology among young cadets. Myself, who had no other master than Janusz, I learned to sail with instruments and I could not navigate without them.

In his native Poland, Janusz learned to sail half a century ago as people did a thousand years ago with a plumb line, a primitive compass, the observation of the marine environment and the understanding of the mechanisms linking these observations and he acquired over the years what we call “seamanship”.

When we capsized for the fourth time in the North Atlantic Ocean off Greenland with Vagabond’eux many years ago, we found ourselves in just two hours without a radar, wind vane, anemometer, radio – with nothing – and with such weather that we could never see the sun or the stars for the 20 days that separated us from France.

And Janusz arrived right at the Lizard lighthouse that marks the entrance of the Channel.

How he did it? Like the Vikings!

Borealis Expedition: pollution of the Arctic

Since 1975, the passionate couple Joëlle and Janusz Kurbiel, who has a doctorate in climatology from the prestigious French University the Sorbonne, have dedicated their lives to the exploration of the North Pole. For the last few years, they have navigated through this region with the help of MaxSea TimeZero Navigatortheir marine navigation software.

Here is a description of the advances they have made in climatology research onboard the Vagabond’elle and the Marguerite 1 vessels:

Studies/Research
Climatology (Dr. Janusz Kurbiel)
Ice polution in the North PoleOur 2005-2010 expeditions were dedicated to the study of ice conditions in the Knud Rasmussen Land, the most unreachable part of the eastern coast of Greenland. The results allowed us to identify the various factors that affect the melting of sea ice and establish the process in this part of the world.

The question is whether this process is identical or not in other parts of the Arctic. Only systematic studies in the field over periods of time will enable the better understanding of the mechanisms governing ice melting in these areas. As preliminary results in 2011 seemed to confirm those of previous expeditions, we decided to expand it to other maritime areas of the Arctic in 2012. The results are being evaluated.

Cold Weather Sailing Guide

Data acquisition (Dr. Janusz Kurbiel)
Despite the evolution of polar teledetection, field work is still indispensable. Our role is to
collect data about the climatic environment of an Arctic maritime area lying between Greenland and Alaska.

Environmental Arctic study (Prof. Maria Olech)
Lichens sampling in Bernard HarbourWe continued to study the level of pollution of the Arctic and its possible impact on global climate change. More than 700 samples of lichens and mosses were collected, catalogued and preserved for future analysis. Lichens and mosses retain heavy metals and other pollutants in the air. Unlike other plants, they do not grow from the soil, so are considered excellent bio indicators of climate change.

This analysis will determine the degree and nature of the pollution present in the study area and will help assess which changes in the global climate can be attributed to natural changes and which are due to human activity.

We will keep you posted about the results of these studies and adventures in the North Pole!