Saturday, October 31, 2015

The SPECTRE of a blog anniversary

"Ah" says JP, stroking his white cat, "Jolly bloggers, I've been expecting you".

For another year has flown by and it time for yet another blog anniversary, with a whole decade of posting that have come and gone since the first went live.

But rather than sailing I've been to the movies and you can guess what I saw. Good fun it was too, and I  discovered that a race up the Thames is even better at night than daytime - golly the old smoke was looking good.

And you can get your hands on a bit of genuine Bond sailing legend, as the Spirit 54 Soufrière that stared in Casino Royal (above) is for sale!

Alas with the offers asked to be "excess of £600,000" that's a bit out of my price range.

But who knows? 10 years ago I had no idea one day I'd sail double handed to the Arctic Circle or race in the 100th anniversary of the Square Metre Rule.

So here's hoping to "Sail Another Day"...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Picture Puzzle

How does this photo connect the last two blog posts and in particular what you'd find inside?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Three planets and the Cosmonauts

This morning I got up at 05:30 to do a spot of astronomy. It wasn't as bad as it sounds thanks to the hour change, so in BST it would be the more reasonable 06:30.

The light was rather beautiful and I had just a handful of early rising birds for company.

The reason for heading out into the cold was the conjunction in the morning eastern sky of Venus, Jupiter and Mars, making a clear and bright triangle:
There's a nice little gif identifying each and describing their motion to be found here.

There's more space in London at the moment with a superb exhibition of early Soviet / Russian space technology in "Cosmonauts" at the Science Museum:
It was all rather brilliant, with lots of fantastic real engineering, such as Valentina Tereshkova's Vostok 6 capsule. The only downside was KGB levels of scrutiny to ensure that no photos were taken - apparently there were items on display that had to be specially declassified.

Well worth looking up in the night's sky if you have a cloud-free morning or visiting the Cosmonauts if you're in London.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

JP's trip to Greenwich - in video!!

Recently JP returned to Greenwich, taking his camera with him, and you can see (above and below) two of the photos taken.
But what about videos, you might (possibly) be asking? When are we going to see S/V Delos style YouTube clips? And why not start by recording this, the historic maritime heart of London?

Fortunately there is already a video that captures JP's visit if you are prepared to make a few, very minor, mental editorials as you watch it, starting with the gender and age of those involved plus the additional points listed below.

Note that:
  • There was no skipping, dancing, prancing, posing, jumping or spinning around
  • There was a lot less hair, which was not curly but had the odd touch of grey
  • There were no sun glasses or bikes
  • There were no ice cream vans
  • There were no friends present
  • There was definitely no singing
  • There was no jewellery, bracelets, crop tops [Ed: is that right???], skirts, floral outfits, painted nails etc. etc.
  • There was a lot less leg on display (none actually)
  • There was no retro cine camera or hoops
  • There was no "alternative" approaches to purchasing flowers
  • There were no flowers given away as there were no flowers
  • There were no fans, selfies, laughing or waving
  • There were no lottery tickets or money taped to parking meters
  • There were no records, hats, balloons, rescue shelter visits, kittens or cat food
  • There were no dogs 
  • There were no piggy-backs what-so-ever
  • There were no free high-fives or cute post-it notes
  • There was no ice cream
  • There was no chocolate sauce or signs
  • There was absolutely no hand stands
  • There were no cycle rickshaws
  • The sun wasn't actually setting
Hmmm.... maybe this approach to videos isn't such a good idea after all.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Keeping plastics out of the Thames

Boo to plastics!! Polluting our rivers and seas!!! Bad plastics!!

But what to do?

The Port of London Authority (PLA) and Thames 21 (as in the Beverley Brook gun incident) have been working together to remove the rubbish from the river for years, but it still keeps on coming.

So they put together this video presented by explorer Paul Rose as part of their "Do the right thing" Cleaner Thames campaign.

Coincidently I was actually in Greenwich while this video was being shot and saw Paul out on the PLA boat. So I kept looking for myself in the background walking along the Thames path, but with no success.

Which Greenwich trip, you might be asking? Was any other video taken?

Good questions....

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Gloriana and other classic boats

Yesterday's post of a fancy painted rudder was, as Tillerman correctly identified, that of the royal barge, Gloriana.

There were many other fancy and classic boats on display at St. Katharine Dock back in September as part of Totally Thames.
Tugs, yachts, barges and lots and lots of bunting.

I also had a good catch up with Alasdair of the Sumara of Weymouth blog with a stand for Arthur Beale, central London's specialist ship's chandler.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rudder Picture Puzzle

This is the rudder of a boat that is often seen on the Thames which frequent readers will know.

Any guesses as to which it is?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Whaler on the Thames

I'm a bit behind in blogging having been off sick for a few weeks. A lot of that time was spent staring out of the window watching the boats go by.

One of the more interesting ones was this whaler - the Henley Whaler's Molly, as can be read about here.

As can be seen, it's double ended and has a small mast, useful to handle the range of conditions that whale hunting would require.

Now of course the Thames is usually whale free (though there have been the occasional visit as far as Battersea) but Molly participates in events such as the Great River Race as well as special occasions such as the Royal Jubilee and Olympic Touch processions.