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The Thames Trafalgar Race 2015

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Photo L Katiyo

Yesterday on a misty Thames , regular contributor L Katiyo managed to take a few photos of the Thames Trafalgar Race, the race is not as well known as other river races but provides an interesting test for the competitors.

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Photo L Katiyo

The race, which is in its third year, is the brainchild of round-the-world-sailor, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and is organised jointly by the Little Ship Club and Erith Yacht Club. Held over two days, the unique event is open to all types and sizes of yachts both racing and cruising.

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Photo L Katiyo

The first days racing starts just below Tower Bridge and carries competitors downriver to the Queen Elizabeth Bridge stopping at the Erith Yacht Club for the Saturday evening’s Trafalgar Dinner. The return leg finishes outside Greenwich Naval College on the Sunday.

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Photo L Katiyo

Some knowledge of the river is a great advantage in the race that offers the rare opportunity to race sailing boats competitively on the Thames.

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Photo L Katiyo

The finish at Greenwich Naval College on the Sunday is very appropriate considering part of the race is to honour the Battle of Trafalgar and Lord Nelson.

Supermoon over the Isle of Dogs by L. Katiyo – 28th September 2015

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The Isle of Dogs is not usually the best place to go sky watching, the bright lights often obscure the night sky.  However, if you are near the river you can often get wonderful views of the sunrises and sunsets.

Not expecting to get a great view of the ‘ Supermoon ‘, I did not join the skywatcher’s hoping to get a view of quite a rare astronomical occurrence.

One of the skywatchers was L. Katiyo  one of the regular contributors to this site and her persistence paid off with a series of wonderful pictures.

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The moon’s unusual appearance in its supermoon state is the result of a rare coincidence. It appears larger than usual because it is at its lowest point in its orbit around the Earth, while its reddish tint is the result of an eclipse.

When a  lunar eclipse coincides  with the moon at its lowest point in its orbit it creates the   “supermoon” or sometimes called Blood Moon.

The eclipse which made the Moon appear red was visible in North America, South America, West Africa and Western Europe. This phenomenon was last observed in 1982 and will not be back before 2033.

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From the UK, skywatchers watched the Moon pass through the Earth’s shadow in the early hours of Monday morning.

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The eclipse began at 00:11 GMT, when the Moon entered the lightest part of the Earth’s shadow. At 02:11 GMT the Moon completely entered-the inner dark part of our planet’s shadow.

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The point of greatest eclipse occurred at 02:47 GMT, when the Moon was closest to the centre and the eclipse ending at 05:22 GMT.

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In a total lunar eclipse, the Earth, Sun and Moon are almost exactly in line and the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.

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As the full Moon moves into our planet’s shadow, it dims  but usually remains visible, lit by sunlight that passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.

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The Moon takes an  orbit around Earth, which means that its average distance changes from as far as 405,000km (its apogee) to as close as 363,000km at (the perigee).

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So now we know what why the Supermoon is such a rare celestial occurrence and for those of us who are still around in 2033, it may be worth forgoing a good night’s sleep to view the event.

Many thanks to Laureen for the photographs taken from the Isle of Dogs.

 

Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival 2015 Fireworks and Round the World Clipper Race

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Photo – L Katiyo.

The Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival 2015 literally went off with a bang with a wonderful firework display captured by regular contributor  L Katiyo.

It might be worth reminding people that most of the focus of this year’s festival is in Woolwich but the ships will be making their way up and down the river over the weekend.

The Tall ships Esmeralda and Lord Nelson are in West India Dock till the 30th August.

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Photo – L Katiyo.

Another major river event takes place on Sunday when the Clipper round the world race start begins at St Katharine Docks , there are plenty of activities  before the race listed below.

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Photo – L Katiyo.

RACE START PARADE OF SAIL

The fleet will arrive at the St Katharine Docks on the afternoon of Thursday 20 August, with the full fleet expected to be berthed by 1730 BST. The Race Village will open daily from 1100 to 1800 from Saturday 22 until Saturday 29 August and from 1000-1800 on Sunday 30 August, when the fleet departs.

The Race Village will feature a wide range of attractions and there will be a number of free open boats each day until Saturday 29 August.

On departure day, Sunday 30 August, the entertainment gets underway at 1100 with the official departure ceremony and crews taking to stage in the Centre Basin pontoon stage between 1300 and 1400.

1. St Katharine Docks – The fleet enter the Thames 1415-1500
2. Butlers Wharf – Circuit south of Wapping 1500-1530
3. Tower Bridge – Fleet to pass underneath 1530-1600
4. Canary Wharf 1615 -1645
5. Greenwich 1700 -1720
6. The O2 Arena 1710 -1730
7. Thames Barrier 1720 -1740
8. QE2 Bridge 1820 -1840

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Photo – L Katiyo.

RACE VILLAGE SCHEDULE

Friday 28 August
1100-1145: British Walkabout Trio
1145-1215: Free Paddle Boarding taster in St Katharine Docks marina with Active 360
1200-1215: Free race talk at the Dome with Recruitment Manager David Cusworth on Clipper Race training and interviews
1230-1300: Free Paddle Boarding taster in St Katharine Docks marina with Active 360
1300: SUP Yoga, paddle boarding class with Active 360, £25 per hour
1300-1345: British Walkabout Trio
1400-1415: Free Clipper Race talk at the Dome with Recruitment Manager, David Cusworth on race training and interviews
1415: SUP paddle boarding class with Active 360, £25 per hour
1500-1145: British Walkabout Trio
1530: SUP Yoga paddle boarding class with Active 360, £25 per hour
1600-1615: Free Clipper Race talk at the Dome with Head of Training, Ben Bowley about race training
1645: SUP paddle boarding class and race with Active 360, £25 per hour
1700-1745: British Walkabout Trio
1800-2000: Free Crew Recruitment Presentation *Please RSVP to Vikki Gillard in Crew Recruitment vgillard@clipper-ventures.com

Saturday 29 August
1100-1130: Free paddle boarding taster in St Katharine Docks marina with Active 360
1120-1135: Free Clipper Race talk at the Dome: Interview with race founder and chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston about how the race has evolved
1145-1220: Chinese Lion Dancers
1145-1215: Free paddle boarding taster in St Katharine Docks marina with Active 360
1230-1300: SUP paddle boarding class and race with Active 360, £25 per hour
1300: SUP Yoga, paddle boarding class with Active 360, £25 per hour
1300-1330: Chinese Lion Dancers
1345-1400: Free Clipper Race talk at the Dome: Interview with alumni crew on the race experience
1415: SUP paddle boarding class and race with Active 360, £25 per hour
1500-1530: Chinese Lion Dancers
1530: SUP Yoga, paddle boarding class with Active 360, £25 per hour
1545-1600: Free race talk at the Dome: Interview with alumni crew on the race experience
1645: SUP paddle boarding class and race with Active 360, £25 per hour
1700-1730: Chinese Lion Dancers
1750-1800: Free Clipper Race talk at the Dome: Interview with Clipper 2017-18 Race crew looking ahead

Sunday 30 August: Race Start
1000-1020: Brazilian Dancers
1230: Drummers perform up the fleet’s masts
1300: Drummers signal start of St Katharine Docks departure ceremony and teams presented on Show Pontoon
1415-1500: Fleet slips lines at St Katharine Docks and enter the Thames
1500-1530: Fleet circuits south of Wapping from Butlers Wharf
1530-1600: Tower Bridge opens for fleet to pass under
1615-1645: View the fleet pass down the Thames from Canary Wharf
1700-1720: View the fleet pass down the Thames from Greenwich
1710-1730: View the fleet pass down the Thames from O2 Arena
1720-1740: View the fleet pass down the Thames from Thames Barrier
1820-1840: View the fleet pass down the Thames from QE2 Bridge

The first race will start off Southend on Monday 31 August at 1230 BST (1130 UTC).

Bonfire Night (Firework Display) at Millwall Park on November 2nd 2014

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Last year  I published a post written by regular contributor L. Katiyo  about how she enjoyed the peculiar British tradition of Bonfire Night.  On Sunday she joined many local islanders and went to the fireworks display on Millwall Park and captured some of the action from the event sponsored by Tower Hamlets Council.

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Photograph by L Katiyo

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 Photograph by L Katiyo

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 Photograph by L Katiyo

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 Photograph by L Katiyo

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 Photograph by L Katiyo

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 Photograph by L Katiyo

Aboard the German Navy Ships by L. Katiyo

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Upper most deck on Mosel (Photo by L Katiyo)
In the last few posts we have reported on the German Navy ships berthed in West India Dock, today they had an Open Day when they allowed visitors on board. Unfortunately I was unable to take up this offer but L. Katiyo who has contributed to the site before, was available and the post  gives  her impressions of the Open Day.
After being fortunate enough to get a full tour of HMS Ocean in 2012 while it was on duty at Greenwich during the London Olympics, I was excited to learn the Germany Navy would open its ships to visitors.  I wanted to find out the differences and the similarities between our own Royal Navy and the German Navy, based on my little bit of knowledge.
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Commanding Officer on the Mosel (Photo by L Katiyo)
Unfortunately, the tour was limited to on deck but one of the Commanding Officers on the Mosel was happy to give me a tour and answer all my questions, and even obliged a photo.  The Mosel is the supply ship for the minesweepers.  It carries fuel, food, ammunition and parts to repair machinery, as well as other required supplies.  He pointed out the drones (the small boats accompanying the ships) which are manned or can be deployed unmanned and then remotely controlled from the ships.  The Mosel can also be used as a rescue ship.  It has a landing pad for a helicopter and has been involved in rescue missions.
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On board the Siegburg,(Photo by L Katiyo)
On board the Siegburg, I was given a tour by a junior officer.  It is a minesweeper and a much small ship in comparison to the Mosel.  It also has small, remote-controlled drones of about a meter in length which I was not allowed to see.  The drones are used to detonate any mines that are found and are themselves destroyed in the process.  The ship usually carries about 14 of them at any one time.  Listening to the explanations called to mind the computer game, Minesweeper.  A de-mining mission really is like the computer game, controlled from the ship’s computer using sonar to detect mines and then exploding them with drones when they are identified.  Not all mines are detonated that way.  Sometimes divers have to go in and attach explosives to the mines.  The minesweeping ships have decompression chambers for the divers to decompress after diving.  The period for decompression depends on the depth of the dive.
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Drones (Photo by L Katiyo)
I wondered where are these mines that have to be detonated and require joint cooperation between the German, the British and the French navies.  It seems most of them are remnants from the WWII and situated in the Baltic Sea.  The maps detailing where the mines were thrown have been destroyed, so trying to find them is like fumbling in the dark.  Only 20% of the mines have been found and destroyed so far.  Missions on ships range from 3 weeks to 6 months.  Interestingly, like the British Royal Navy, the German Royal Navy has Chaplains on board, but only for long missions.  On the Mosel, the Chaplain holds a service on the uppermost deck.
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smiley face on the Mosel (Photo by L Katiyo)
I was curious about the smiley face on the Mosel.  Apparently, the sign has the NATO logo at the back but the front was grey and dreary.  They decided to paint a smiley face on it to brighten up things.  For the other ships, the illustrations (which I think of some as some kind of mascot) are more meaningful.  Each ship is associated with a city and takes on a symbol associated with the city. This explains the Pied Paper illustrated on the ship Hamelin which we know from folklore as the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
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Pied Piper of Hamelin (Photo by L Katiyo)
The Siegburg has its own symbol associated with the city of Siegburg.  I had a wonderful afternoon and was delighted that two officers spared an hour of their time to talk to me.  Sadly, most of the crew have had very little time to discover our island as some have been on 24hr duty during their brief stopover.
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(Photo by L Katiyo)