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:

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!

MaxSea Tales from the Field: Navotas (Philippines)

This is part of a series of short chronicles sent by MaxSea staff from different locations worldwide.

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Navotas is a city that occupies a narrow strip of land along the eastern shores of Manila Bay in Metro Manila, better known as the “Fishing Capital of the Philippines”.

MaxSea sales representative Dinh went there to meet fisherman from Frabelle Fishing Corporation*, a world-class Philippine deep sea fishing company to present MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, our best solution for commercial fishing.

MaxSea TimeZero PLOT product demoFirst, the company started by trawl fishing and then moved into purse seining. Target species were small pelagic fish like sardines, mackerel, and scads within the Philippine waters. In the mid-70s, Frabelle also started the purse seining of tuna and expanded its fishing operations beyond the Philippines into the waters of the Western and Central Pacific region.

Today, Frabelle supplies fresh, frozen and processed seafood products to the Philippine domestic market and exports the same to Africa, the Middle East, North America, Europe and other parts of Asia. Other business areas that Frabelle has ventured into includes: Marl culture; Aquaculture; Post Harvest Facilities and Services; Engineering services; Ship Repair and Shipbuilding; Real Estate and Food Trading and Processing.

Frabelle Fishing Corporation practicingFrabelle’s Master fishermen are always looking for new equipment to increase their efficiency. So, naturally, when Dinh introduced them MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, they were convinced that our software could be a very helpful tool for navigation and deep-sea fishing. Right away, Frabelle decided to equip 13 of their biggest purse seiners with MaxSea, mostly operating in Papua New Guinea. After Y&L Fishing, RD Fishing, another big actor in the Filipino fishing industry chose MaxSea!

*Founded in Navotas, Frabelle has more than 40 years of deep sea fishing experience. The vertical and horizontal growth of its fishing operations has made Frabelle Group of Companies one of the most recognized company in both the fishing and food processing industries.

Find a reseller - MaxSea TimeZero PLOT

MaxSea Tales from the Field: Chittagong (Bangladesh)

This is part of a series of short chronicles sent by MaxSea staff from different locations worldwide.

MaxSea in BangladeshChittagong is the main seaport and second largest city of Bangladesh. A trading post since the 9th century, Chittagong is also one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
MaxSea training seminar in Chittagong - Bangladesh SRL Cosmos trawl in Bangladesh

MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, our marine navigation software for professional fishing, is being introduced for the first time to Chittagong fishermen in Bangladesh.

During a whole week, product presentations have been organized  by MaxSea local partner SRL Cosmos*, and conducted by MaxSea sales representative Thibault, who met around 25 fishermen and fleet managers, representing around 40 fishing vessels.

During his pleasant staying, Thibault supervised the installation of the 3 first MaxSea TimeZero PLOT units in this country, on the brand new trawlers built for the Agrofood company.

*SRL Cosmos Trawl Ltd. is the largest and leading netloft in Bangladesh, based upon more than 100 years of Danish fishing gear technology.

The company can provide shrimp and bottom trawls in wide body as well as high opening design for single- and multi-rip fishing, pelagic and semi-pelagic mid-water trawls as well as purse seines and fish farm cages.

Find a reseller - MaxSea TimeZero PLOT

MaxSea Tales from the Field: Ghar El Melh, Zarzouna, Kelibia, Sousse and Beni Khiar (Tunisia)

This is the first of a series of short chronicles sent by MaxSea staff from different locations worldwide

Ferhat from MaxSea and the Méditerranée Service teamFerhat, MaxSea EMEA Regional Sales Manager, spent one week in Tunisia with MaxSea’s local partner, Méditerranée Services, visiting different ports and presenting MaxSea TimeZero PLOT software mostly to trawler and coralator fishermen.

The many features of MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, our marine navigation software for professional fishing, was presented across the following fishing ports: Ghar El Melh, Zarzouna, Kelibia, Sousse and Beni Khiar.

Mahdia Fishing School in Tunisia
MaxSea TimeZero PLOT training at the Mahdia Fishing School in Tunisia

They also had the opportunity to schedule different training sessions at the Mahdia and Kelibia fishing schools where they met many professors, students, ship captains and ship owners.

Swordfish in TunisiaMaxSea software was highly appreciated by fishermen, to the point that one of them called Sahbi from Méditerranée Services to give him a thank you gift….5 minutes later, he came back with this huge swordfish. Great catch for Sahbi!

Contact information:

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