Just have to add a link to this. Dawn and I saw the Bang Goes the Theory pykrete ice boat experiment as it happened down in Gosport, but Aaron and Scott missed out as they were at school. So, when the weekend came we decided to repeat it in miniature. Dawn tweeted some photos we took, and @bbcbang asked if they could use them in the live show on the red button after the programme on BBC1.
So, if you take a look between 16:10 and 16:40 (roughly), you’ll see Aaron and Scott’s very own pykrete ice boat experiment featured – they we very excited about it! I love the quote from Yan to Jem at the end “do you take apprenticeships”, followed by Jem’s reply “they’re already way ahead of me” 🙂
Well yesterday was intended to be a trip to the boat for a check of the engine and a quick run down harbour and back to check everything was ready fot coming ashore next weekend. Things didn’t go according to plan though!
The club has just purchased its own lifting gear and tractor to manage launch and lift out each year, and this year is going to be the first time it has been used. When we got down to the club we found that the tractor drivers were having a bit of practice with the new equipment and bringing a couple of boats ashore early (since the weather was reasonably good). On the way down the slip we were asked whether we would like to come ashore too. Well why not be a guinea pig?!
Last year while I was working on the sailing club work party to get the compound ready for the cruisers to lay-up ashore somebodies rudder managed to separate into two pieces as I was carrying it. Unfortunately the steel toe capped boots that I had been wearing had seriously leaky soles to them, and since it was raining and there were plenty of puddles around I had decided to swap them for my sailing boots in the interest of keeping my feet dry. Even more unfortunately my big toe was in the exact spot the heavy bit of the rudder had chosen to land.
Now, about a year on and the black area of my nail has just about gone, so in commemoration of the event I decided that it would be fitting to shut my thumb in the car door (OK, I didn’t decide, it just happened while I wasn’t concentrating!). Hopefully it won’t be another year before the black bit in my thumb goes. So long as I can tie up my shoe laces more easily pretty soon I will be happy – for now all I can say is ‘ouch’!
It’s been a long while since I’ve managed to do any decent sailing, and a quick jaunt down harbour and back doesn’t constitute a major outing, but yesterdays did have its compensations. About half way down the channel between Tudor and Salterns I noticed the telltale signs of seals basking on the mudbank on the Farlington Marshes side of the channel. I did do a double take, because although I have seen seal heads in the water and heard of seals in the area I have only seen them in this manner up on the Isle of Mull and on the Moray Firth. The shape, though, is quite distinctive once you’ve tuned into it – much like the sight of dolphins swimming becomes something you pattern match automatically once you’ve done it a few times 🙂 Anyway, these three looked like parents and a juvenile, and stayed there basking in their ‘banana bow’ position while we punched the tide past them and down past Sword Point. As we got further way they could easily have been mistaken for six large gulls since the tide covered the lower middle section of them leaving just the head and tail sticking out at each end.
So not only nice to be out on the water, but a pleasant surprise in the wildlife watching department too 🙂