Pfiesteria piscicida is a one-celled, deadly toxin-producing algae moving up the eastern US coast, destroying fish and causing eastern waters of Chesapeake Bay to be closed to swimming, boating, and fishing. The "cell from hell", only one level below ebola virus on the biohazard scale, can cause sever symptoms like fever and skin lesions if inhaled. The Department of Fisheries and and Oceans is monitoring its progress.
Sept/98: The Chilean Navy has retrieved pieces of the 15 metre Canadian yacht washed up on small islands near the western end of the Straits of Magellans, but no trace has been found of Gerry Roufs, skipper participating in the Vendee Globe regatta at the time, were found.
July 16, 1997: The battered boat named Groupe LG was found by a Panamanian cargo ship off the coast of Chile. The wreck was identified as Roufs' boat by a Chilean Maritime patrol plane on July 18. Chilean officials have not announced any official identification of the boat. Rouf was competing in the around-the-world solo yacht race in January when radio messages indicated he was in hurricane-force winds off the coast of Chile. His radio beacon went dead on January 8, 1997.
On June 24, 1497, Giovanni Cabbotto (aka John Cabot) arrived in the first British ship to land in Newfoundland. The 85-foot caravel Matthew, a replica ship, and her crew left Bristol, England and arrived in Bonavista Bay exactly 500 years later. They were greeted by Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip. The Matthew is now visiting other North American ports. John Cabot took 6 weeks to sail to New Founde Lande. The Matthew will travel from Toronto to the east coast in spring 1998.
The Amara Zee, North America's first stage barge, has been cleared to set sail in Canada. The 83-foot tall ship, completed in 1996, has been classified as a pleasure ship by Transport Canada. It is now free to tour communities along the Great Lakes and its tributaries, performing plays and concerts for people on shore.
The first electronic charts for the Great Lakes have been released. The first CD-ROM is for Georgian Bay, Lake Huron and the Trent-Severn Waterway with more to come. The entire Pacific coast is on 3 CD-ROMs. These charts can be combined with GPS and navigational software (NavTrek, The Dap'n, Laserplot). The charts are on a CD-ROM and the viewer comes with it (List price $275). The chart BSB format can be read by most chart software packages. Nautical Data International, Inc. (NDI) is authorized by Canadian Hydrographic Services (CHS).
The winter issue of "Today's Boating" contains a note about a totally portable hand-held e-mail communicator that also includes its own GPS receiver. All you need is satellite service and you're in touch with the world from anywhere!