G'day all! Buff Staysail here! Buff by name and Buff by nature!
Tillerman asked the very good question "Which colour go-faster stripe goes fastest?" and he's probably not alone. I wouldn't like to guess how many millions of $$$ are being spent by America's Cup teams on that very question.
Fortunately after much research yours truly has the definitive answer: red.
Yes, Red Stripe goes the fastest, particularly after a hot summers day out on the water - so not much chance of that in grey old Limey London.
This is Buff Staysail, stripe expert, over and out!
Previous years there has been installations including Underscore, an aural underwater voyage along the Thames, and Track, in which you lay on a cart and was pulled along looking at the sky above.
Both were pretty good so I was interested to see what this year's installation would be.
Alas I found it and the rest of the Shimmy rather underwhelming, particularly as what little there was seemed to be aimed at 6 year olds.
The only event that was aimed at adults went over my head. It was called Lachrymae and related to Greek myth involving transformation of tears into amber (or something).
Basically you had to put on these masks with coloured plastic that turned the world into Instagram. Then there were musicians playing violins (that bit was ok so thumbs up to composer Helen Ottaway) while some of the trees had tear like amber things hanging from them (see above taken through the filter and this video of them being made).
There was more about Ted Hughes and Ovid's Metamorphoses, neither of which I know about, so whoosh over my head.
Bit of a shame given the sun was out and the odd bit of sky was blue.
It was my first visit, indeed I'd only recently found out about them, which is odd as they're only a short bike ride away, and they are not just the largest art studio complex in London but probably all of Britain.
In total there are a maze of 173 small studios crammed into two concrete buildings, ex-office blocks by the looks of them. Within are currently 140 odd artists, everything from prints to ceramics to watercolour to oils to installations - indeed pretty much anything you might be looking for.
Actually there weren't that many sailing boats but there was one theme that appeared again and again.
It is said by those that live outside London that the capital is self-absorbed and inward-looking and there was much evidence in favour of this theory on show.
Last night the BBC TV documentary series Coast was all at sea.
That meant a couple of sailing related history / geography clips plus Nick Crane (above) joining one of the On Deck yachts on the Round the Island Race.
Of course the BBC is meant to avoid branding and advertising but there were On Deck logos plastered all over the boom and hull. However in this case I don't think they'll be many questions asked as unfortunately they went into administration (or at least the UK part of the business) after filming in September last year.
It's a shame as they were a good bunch.
However this particular race was not their finest hour, with a spinnaker hoist that went wrong leading to three broaches in a row and then after turning the final corner by the forts to head up to Cowes their steering failed, and that was it.
I don't think it helped having a TV presenter and crew aboard. Above Nick is saying he's on the spinnaker rope (er....) and later he tries to do a piece to camera just as they try to recover the sail, earning a reprimand from the skipper.
It could have been worse, such as if it had the hyper irritating presenter Mark, but On Deck deserved a better swan song.
Tragic news from San Francisco of the death of Olympic Gold Medalist Andrew Simpson after yet another America's Cup capsize.
No doubt there'll be lots of questions raised about what this all means for the format and competition. I remember watching that Fun on Foils video where the bowman worries about 7 tonnes of boat screaming along at 40+ knots held up by a small carbon fiber foil. Any failure would be catastrophic, he said.
And Artemis hadn't even been foiling.
But for that's for another day. Today lets remember that two children have lost their father and a wife her husband, and that a man aged just 36 who came from the lovely golden stone town of Sherborne will sail no more.
Updated: some nice tributes at the BBC here and article by Stewart Alexander calling the foiling wing-cats "death traps". Also an in-depth article on Wired about the AC and the earlier Oracle crash.
There seemed to be more shouting than sailing in this book.
On paper its the true story of how award winning poet Gwyneth Lewis and her husband decide to sell up and sail away, heading across the Channel and then south to blue waters.
I suppose that is technically correct, but that's not what this book is about, which is men, women, marriage, power, sickness, depression and the whirlwind of emotions and thoughts that go around that: mostly emotions.
It was the anti-thesis to Roger Taylor's Mingming voyages in which he sails to Greenland by himself, breaks a rib, has to come back, all in a couple of seriously major storms, while spending his time wildlife watching and munching nuts.
Gwyneth crosses the Channel and you know there'll be tears before bed time, lots of them, and it doesn't help that she has depression and is often sea-sick while her husband gets truly sick and the engine dies, many times.
You know there are some blogs of couples that sail away and it sounds bliss and you wonder if there's been some paintshopping going on? Well here a grim reality is on display warts and all - a bit too much for my taste to be honest. It felt rather intrusive and at times you felt like the ping-pong ball in battle of "well you moored up badly" vs. "well you rammed that yacht's stern".
I know there are some readers who love all this raw emotion but I found it a bit much.
Then there was the statement such as how the homeopathic anti-seasickness medicine sometimes worked and sometimes it didn't which made me want to shout out "its the placebo effect!" very loudly. Plus there was something about string theory that made me imagine what Sheldon Cooper would say.
The phone call from Ellen McArthur was kinda cool, but apart from that it was not really my thing.
Little Venice sounds very romantic and if you go in one direction you're in Maida Vale which is indeed very nice but in the other it's Paddington and flyovers:
Narrow boats are a bit too like caravaning for me and I wasn't too surprised to see lots of real ale and a solitary Morris Dancer, which is odd as they usually tinkle in packs.
They'll be there over the Bank Holiday weekend here in London and there's a jazz band, stands with food & drink, events for children etc if you're into that sort of thing or just want an excuse to wander along the old canals of London.
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