Friday, June 08, 2018

Boaty Exhausted

I had an unscheduled and a bit spur of the moment visit to Cardiff yesterday ...
Whales in Wales ! And boats too. The Volvo Ocean Race is in town at the moment for the Cardiff stopover. Just two more legs to go in this race and it's been good to be able to follow it closer than previous editions. Things like twitter and Facebook help out a lot there.

One comment before I go any further - if you're interested in going to see the Race Village, go now. They'll be gone on Monday.
Don't miss the boat ! So to speak.

The village is a fair distance by foot from the car parks though so be prepared for that. (Don't do what I do and neglect your fluids and calories, I was impaired and close to flaking out)
A nice view out over the bay.
An odd looking building. Knowing Cardiff's Doctor Who heritage, has it been inspired by the aliens ?
Remember the fallen. This is a WW2 merchant sailors memorial, click for bigger and hopefully legibility on the writing.
I passed by more bones and relics of things long gone. These must have been crane anchor points ? The shore side seemed a bit too shallow to support ships and boats getting in close enough to offload.
There was a decent bit more walking to go from here. This is a different boat shed with a Volvo Ocean Race sign on it.
The most interesting thing in the village for me was a cutaway yacht, showing how the boats are designed. It was a bit of a revelation for me as it corrected errors in the mental map I had for where things were on board. I never realized that the interior would double back underneath where the crew stand and control the rigging and rudder.
Hopefully these will never need to be used, although it was sad to hear of the tragic loss of one of the sailors in the Southern Oceans this year.
The compartment above the engine is where they sleep and forward (right of pic) is the storage and the loo. Aft (left of pic) is the hatch to the outdoors. Bit ickle !
A view of the deck, plus a little bit of the detailing involved. Keep the design neat, understandable and it'll be easier to keep it in good condition and to fix it if it breaks. The domes aft are for the communications, safety and global navigation systems, with the compartment below the deck being where the navigator lives.
A view from the inside. I didn't explore too much because it was a shoes-off area and the carbon fibre floor was very slippy.
Engine ! Not to be used for moving the boat, although that's possible if they lose the sails. This gives power for the systems on board, both electrical and hydraulic. The modern ocean racing yachts use a canting keel. A conventional yacht keel is a big mass that's suspended directly below the boat. It acts as a counterweight when the boat heels over to stop it from capsizing. A canting keel can change the angle, swaying to port or starboard (left or right!) to gain more weight advantage from the mass.

Translation - it swings left and right and makes the boat faster ... but needs hydraulic power to make it work.
A view from the helm. The pillars and levers in the centre are where the grinders operate the winches that trim the boat and raise and lower the sails. You can see the little void in the centreline where the ropes run to the rigging.
But where are the boats ? They said there would be boats !
I've been following Turn The Tide On Plastic most of all, here is their stern. There were lovely sounds coming from the water lapping at the boats.
That's Scallywag,
A few more of the boats,
Vesta's 11th Hour,
A better look at TTOP,
There's AkzoNobel, a company which provided most of the high technology materials, knowledge and design that goes into these boats,
Dongfeng and ...
Turning back for a better look at Team Brunel's boat. We could get reasonably close access to the boats but the general public was kept away from the jetty where they were moored up.
This looked incredibly tempting and my brain was trying to get me to partake. I should have listened ! :-D.
Back to the old. I wonder how long it has been since these gates were opened. They serve no purpose now, except for tide barriers, as they have filled in the channel behind the bridge I took the picture from.

Merchwise, the village is quite poor. They have bags, waterproofs, hats, more hats, beanies, shirts and the rest but it's very expensive. I'm not paying £30 for a hat. I didn't come away empty handed though :
Think he needs a booster seat. I then disappeared off to the Happy Place :
Which had the desired result :
They're a friendly bunch in there and the girl who was on the till was very keen to talk about Star Wars things.

Fun afternoon/evening out, although I was a bit too late to raid the music shops of Cardiff for a few things I'd like to get hold of. My legs hate me at the moment though. Too much unaccustomed :
They'll get over it and I could do with having more exercise. :-D

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