Linc Fete 2015 Photos and Video

Linc fete 2015

Well it looks safe enough. A few youngsters having a quiet dance.

For big pictures, click on Freed From Time.  Last year’s Fete with Michael Jackson performer is here. To download pics: Left click on the image to expand then right click and choose “Save Image As” .

Linc Fete 2015 Dance

And, some local performers.
Linc Fete 2015 - Performer 2

Linc Fete 2015 Performer 1c

And, a great smile on great wheels
Linc Fete 2015 - Smile on Wheels

But, then there are these rascals.
Linc Fete 2015 - Rascals

And, this rascal.  The youngsters were having a great time pointing and screaming.  I think the screaming part was the most fun.
Linc fete 2015- Performer on Stilts

Linc Fete 2015 - Whasat

And, Whasat.
Linc Fete 2015 - Whasat 2

Dance was by Embrace Dance, and they did
Linc Fete 2015 - Embrace Dance 1

And, even teach had a go.
Linc Fete 2015 - Embrace Dance 2

Linc Fete 2015 - Embrace Dance 3

He did come down eventually.
Linc Fete 2015 - Embrace Dance 4

These two were part of the The Invincibles.
Linc Fete 2015 - Half Invincibles

These are all the Invincibles and they were.
Linc Fete 2015 - The Invincibles 1

Linc Fete 2015 - The Invincibles 2

Linc Fete 2015 - The Invincibles 3

Linc Fete 2015 - The Invincibles Dance 2.

And, a good time was had by all, but I didn’t predict a riot.



The Linc Night Festival with a Michael Jackson Act

18 pics.  This was the best fun of all the Linc Festivals.  All the performers did well and the Jive dancers and the Micheal Jackson act played it to the hilt.  Special thanks go to Asim,  Lati and all who worked on it for all the hard work and a great day

The Hat Modeller

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The Mechanical Bull

Fete - Mech Bull 2

Fete - Mech Bull 6

The Local Performers

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 Some Jive Bunnies

Jive Bunnies - Fete - DSC_3882

Who taught some more.

Jive Bunnies - Fete - DSC_3861

Then everybody wanted a go.

Jive Bunnies - Fete - DSC_3937-2Jive Bunnies - Fete - DSC_3925

The Michael Jackson Act

Who played it to the hilt.

Jackson - DSC_3967 Jackson - DSC_3968 Jackson - DSC_3971 Jackson - DSC_3983 Jackson - DSC_3981 Jackson - DSC_4039

Jackson - DSC_4043

A New Blog


Whilst looking after onlineinpoplar, I have been much encouraged by the kind interest of other bloggers.  Encouraged enough to produce my own blogFreed from Time” which gives me more scope. There will be Stories from life, Places of Interest, Merry Mishaps, occasional  Commentary and a little daft humour.  The first new post is “The Yacht“.  I hope you will drop by and find something of interest.  With thanks to all who have been encouraging.  🙂

Angeli -1-

Eleven more pictures and this lovely Hymn by Vangelis.  Altogether this reminds me that we have something worth valuing. 😀 Good Job.



Lei giunse…

Al tramontare del sole lei giunse,
non si fece fretta.

Ebbi tempo i capelli di ravviare
un raggio  di luce il verde nei miei occhi
lasciò brillare.

Lei giunse e mi disse piano:
“andiamo ”

Non si fece fretta.

I secoli sono passati i neri cavalli
si sono fermati nell’orbita aureolante
delle sette lune.


ho lasciato il mio cuore che ancora
palpitava d’amore.


Tutti noi abbiamo Angeli che ci aspettano nell’immensità del mistero, o perlomeno è dolce immaginare che così possa essere, ed allora quando per noi giungerà ” Lei “, il distacco dagli affetti che ancora ci legano qui sulla Terra non sarà tristezza, ma Speranza, quella del giorno che forse potremo ricongiungerci con loro.


Questo mio post vuole essere come un arcobaleno teso fra noi e l’infinito, incontro ai nostri Angeli.


                 La voce

… mamma,
quante volte ti ho chiamata,
la mia voce s’e’ consumata.
Mamma….Mamma, parola…

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Notte di primavera all’Elba- 1 -Le sette perle dell’arcipelago toscano Livorno- -Elba spring night, the seven pearls of the Tuscan archipelago

With thanks to P. Bertoli and Tanzenda and also to Ventisqueras for spreading it around.  🙂

Translation at   Translate Spunta la Luna Del Monte  


0302-tourtour-tramonto lisola-delba

Marina di campo,( o Campo nell’Elba ) nubi d’inchiostro nel tramonto

                                   Notte di primavera all’Elba


racchiusa nella vergine cera

la primavera.


una luce nuova la notte:

di stella filante,

vaga innamorata

nella grazia dell’aria profumata

negata agli angeli,

morbida come un casto peplo.


ora frantumata

agonizzi sopra mari acerbi, immobili,

una luna dai fiati rossi,

sorta dal promontorio,

improvvisa ti canta e ti culla.


questo non  un post come gli altri, tornerò in un secondo tempo a raccontarvi  la storia e le bellezza dell’isola d’Elba, è solo  il mio augurio per voi amici cari per una serena Santa Pasqua nel ricordo di una notte magica a Marina di Campo nell’Elba, era  Pasqua anche allora,  dalla strada che fiancheggia la passeggiata a mare passò un’auto con l’autoradio a tutto volume ” Spunta la luna dal monte” trasmetteva e dal promontorio una incredibile luna rossa stava veramente spuntando….. già innamorata dei Tazenda, di…

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Holland Park and Kyoto Gardens


28 Pics – Holland park is considered the most interesting park in London with many features and a range of flora and fauna. The north of the park is mostly woodland whilst the south has more formal gardens, an ecology centre, large play area and cafe. There are lawn areas throughout the park to relax on.

Please click on any picture to enlarge.    Getting There      Park Map      History

Holland Park


A statue of Lord Holland

My Granpa was a Parrot you know.

My Grandpa was a Parrot you know.

Peacocks can just about fly but usually have their wings clipped.  There is another one later

Some of the flora near the southern end,

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This is just south of the Belvedere restaurant, which can be seen in the background.


Just north of the Belvedere is this water feature within a courtyard.

FDSC_0518_01 GWater

.. and in the same courtyard.

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Continuing along the path.



Whereas, taking the first right after the building there is an arts and craft shop and a little further on the Holland Park Cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating.

KDSC_0526 LDSC_0529 A few steps further north are the formal gardens, featuring the Dutch Garden.

The Dutch Gardens


These fellows look like hungry chicks.


Here’s the rest of the family.

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A few steps further north, on the east to west path.

VPeacock 2

There is some controversy as to why peacocks have such extravagant plumage.  I discovered what must be the real reason by accident.   Some years ago a few friends and I where enjoying a picnic in one of the royal parks.   Opposite under a tree was a mature peacock quietly enjoying a peaceful afternoon in the shade.   Between us a group ducks and geese began to gather. About thirty of them.

The peacock was not perturbed until the group of wildfowl grew closer to his quiet domain and began to squabble.  Up came the peacock’s plume and he began to shake the quills creating a deafening racket.  With the spread of eyes and a sound like many snakes rattling and hissing it was a stunning apparition.   The ducks and geese thought so too.   They all began running towards us trying to get aloft.  We had to duck down (no pun intended) to avoid getting struck.  It seems they were so scared of the apparition that they were quite oblivious to our presence.

I’m sure that the plumage does have  a mating advantage.  Not because it’s pretty but because scares off predators.

A little further on .. WDSC_0550

A little further still.

Kyoto Gardens

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Upon reflection, I'm twice the bird I used to be.

Upon reflection, I’m twice the bird I used to be.


Kyoto gardens is not quite as big as it may appear but is nevertheless a very pleasant garden of contemplation with some seating at the edges.

A couple more flowers to end.

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 .. and Thank You for visiting UK Online in Poplar.

Hyacinth and a baby Elephant

Seven Pictures and a Song – It starts out very pink.

DSC_0330 DSC_0330-4 Perhaps the wild one is better. What do you think ?

DSC_0255 Hyacinth 1
It is a little known fact that baby Elephants roam wild in the East End of London.  Around about midnight, they are often seen planting Hyacinths with their trunks whilst humming a little tune.

You should see what the giraffes did ▼


I don’t know why I keep on choosing Beatles songs.  Perhaps it’s because they go well with sunshine, flowers and joyfulness.

Thank You for Visiting


Spring Life


Seven pictures and a song. Especially for those who have had a hard winter.   The sky seems a particularly beautiful blue. Perhaps it is because of all the rain or just that we haven’t seen much of it for a while. Either way it is very welcome.




This is my best side


I’m composing now. I’m Haydn.


Here we go again.

Helping to Predict Climate Change

This is something practical and essential that we can all do to help, by running weather simulations at home.  The university then collects all the information for its climate model.  There is so much we can learn.  ~ Please pass it around and enjoy your day. 🙂

Viareggio, Lucca: le follie ed i segreti del suo mitico Carnevale.The humor and the secrets of his legendary Carnival

I have not had time to post for a while. So I thought I would reblog something worth seeing. Two blogs, both have many fabulous photographs. These are just samples. They remind me of the worth of our planet and the best of our contributions to it. 🙂



Chi come me, vive in Toscana, non può dire che sia Carnevale senza essere passata dal Corso Mascherato di Viareggiolo specchio d'argento

Lo specchio d’argento

Vanno i morti fra i vivi

hanno lo specchio della verità sull’unica faccia

l’eterna corrente

che muove le crespe del volto in rigidezze d’argento.

Sfinge astratta lamento di Sibille e Profeti.

Alti alberi di lacrime e sentieri incolti

dove corre, scorre si straccia

lo specchio dell’eterna verità sull’unica faccia.

                          perché l’uomo sente il bisogno di mascherarsi?


                      Nata nel 1873 è la più grande manifestazione folcroristica europea e una delle più importanti al mondo 


La prima sfilata di carrozze addobbate a festa si svolse nella storica via Regia, nel cuore della città vecchia. Fu la prima edizione del grande spettacolo che oggi è il Carnevale di Viareggio.L’idea di una sfilata per festeggiare il carnevale nacque fra i giovani della Viareggio-bene di allora che frequentavano il caffè del Casinò. Era…

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Rikki Tikki Tavi….

I have not had time to post for a while. So I thought I would reblog something worth seeing. Two blogs, both have many fabulous photographs. These are just samples. They remind me of the worth of our planet and the best of our contributions to it. 🙂


is alive and well on St Croix!


And so is his buddy Gus the Gecko!


St Croix is beautiful on the empty north shore except for the geckos, mongoose, iguanas and crabs. My kinda folks! You remember Rudyard’s Rikki?

He saved his human family from the evil cobra Nagaina!
Well Rikki is living under our bungalow, protecting us, and he is cute as a button!

Beautiful tropical flowers are everywhere!

The only thing they don’t have here is speedy WiFi, so please excuse me for not being able to follow and comment on your blogs as much as I would like too! DSC01206
Check out my office though, it does have some distinct benefits….
Cheers to you from swinging St Croix!

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Above it All


London’s  Shard of Glass, the only building above the fog,  with a little salt saturation to taste.  It’s bit dull around here in winter, so I will have to be a bit inventive.  I apologies in advance for all the suffering that will cause. 🙂

Greenwich and the History of Navigation


Visiting Greenwich makes a great day out. It includes the Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum, the Queens House, Royal Observatory, Exhibitions, Planetarium, Arts and Crafts Market, Comedy Club and a broad range of Restaurants, Cafes and Taverns.

Greenwich is also a World Heritage site with a wealth of architecture and art of historical interest.

Most of the attractions are free and one can stand upon the worlds Prime Meridian at 0 degrees Longitude. Admission times and Charges.

Travel to Greenwich includes maps, best parking, public transport and ways to avoid climbing the hill. The History of Navigation and Greenwich is a more extensive exploration of navigation through the ages.

Greenwich Market

The market offers numerous arts and crafts at reasonable prices. Images from inside the market. More Images.

How to find it.

The First Shop in the World

Nauticalia is full of seafaring items. It’s at 25 Nelson Rd, that is South past the market and turn left.

It might sound like an excessive boast.  Then again it does stand at Longitude 00′ 00′ .4′ West.  

The Cutty Sark

Turn left out of the DLR station, along the short mall and then turn left again.

This great Tea Clipper has been recently restored after a fire during a previous attempt at restoration.

The interior is open to view although there is a charge. Admission.

History of the Cutty Sark.

The Royal Naval College

Designed by Christopher Wren, admission is free and is definitely worth a visit. More Information and photographs of the interior.

It is accessible via the Cutty Sark gate or the West Gate. The visitor centre is the  best option as a first port of call. Please see the Sitemap.

This view is from the South with the park at my back. Using the sitemap, exits from the Naval College, are from the Romney Gate which faces the park or the the West Gate (turn right towards the park).

When facing the other way there is Greenwich Park, with the Queens House, the National Maritime Museum,the Royal Observatory and Planetarium up the hill.

Greenwich Park

The Queens House

Formally known as Queen Annes House, it is in fact associated with two Queen Annes. Admission is free. The interior architecture and art works mean that it is certainly worth a visit.

The Queens House,    History of the Queens House,   Pictures of the Inside

The National Maritime Museum

Admission is also free here, and is worth visiting. The Museum.

Images from inside the Museum.  However, please bear in mind that the exhibits do change over time.

Behind these buildings, there is the hill which leads to the Royal Observatory and the Planetarium.

The Royal Observatory and Planetarium

The Royal Observatory houses the Astronomy Centre, the Harrison Timekeepers and the UK’s Largest Refracting Telescope.

Admission to the Astronomy Center is free but there are charges for the  Planetarium and for Flamsted House and Meridian Courtyard.

View the Tourist Information Map and discover that there a number of places where one can stand on the Prime Meridian for free and without queuing.

The red ball at the top is used to mark time (either noon or 1 pm) when it dropped so that ships could set their chronometers. It was used instead of a noon day gun because sound takes time to travel.  The Time Ball

The climb is about 170 feet. That’s about the height of a 18 story building.  The easiest gradient is by the road to the right.  The diagonal route, under the trees has a place to sit about half way up.

The climb can be avoided by travelling around to the plateau beyond, and do the tour in reverse. Please see Travel to Greenwich.

And, you must think I’m daft, if you think I’m going to walk up there.

Turns out you’re right.

Beyond the observatory is a more landscaped park that leads to diagonal roadside parking and the number 53  bus stop.

The West Park

Turning right after the observatory and crossing the road (The Ave) leads to an untended part of the park.

There one can see a statue by Henry More entitled Knife Edge.  It is presently on loan to the park and may be gone by midsummer 2014. Here are two views of the same statue. More on Knife Edge.









Further on, can be seen a view of Our Lady and Star of the Sea.

There is also another view over London.

The Ave

The Ave divides the main park and the West side and is closed to all traffic after dusk.  With the trees acting as a buffer to sound and light, it is very much like being in the countryside.

It is used by cyclists and the occasional skate boarder, so it wise to stay on the pavement/sidewalk.

The Ave continues as King William Walk and at the bottom the welcoming sight of a Tavern.

Greenwich Nightlife

Greenwich has the Up the Creek Comedy Club  on Creek St and numerous Taverns, Pubs, Cafes and Restaurants. Using Google Maps enter any one of those four descriptions. 

You can also specify Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese,Thai, Italian, Spanish and French.  And, there is a traditional Pie and Mash shop.

The nightlife is generally thriving but gentle.  A good place to unwind.


If you get a chance to visit, I hope you enjoy. 🙂

The History of Navigation and Greenwich

Observation of the sun and stars were the beginning of  navigation.

Without the benefits of having a North Star and Southern Cross, early navigation would have been very much delayed.  As a result of this alone, all the benefits of trade and the distribution of knowledge would have been delayed.

The great and difficult steps, towards more advanced navigation were also essential to that development.

Right now we could still be without electricity, advanced medicine or even indoor plumbing.

Greenwich and the Greenwich Meridian have been central to the completion of the navigational puzzle.  Visiting Greenwich.

Here is a brief history of that struggle, to navigate the world safely .

The North Star

It is always useful to know how to find the North Star (Polaris) or the Southern Cross (Crux)

This diagram shows part of the Great Bear (Ursa Major) constellation also known as the Panhandle.  During the night this rotates around the sky but its lip always points towards Polaris.

Ursa major and Polaris

The star itself is only of medium brightness but is quite alone in its position.  It points so consistently close to due north that it can be reliably used for navigation.

It can be seen all over the Northern Hemisphere and, from some places, just south of the equator. More about the North Star.

The Southern Cross

The Southern Cross consists of four bright stars and also remains in a Crux Southern Crossconstant position in the sky.  It can be seen all over the Southern Hemisphere and in some places north of the equator. More about the Southern Cross.

The Sun Compass

At noon when the sun is highest, it will be due South when seen from the Northern Hemisphere (or North if seen from the Southern Hemisphere). Its shadow points the other way.  Without the advantage of a clock, direction cannot be found except at noon.

These days you can use a dial watch.

Rotate your watch so that the hour hand is pointing in the direction of the sun (keeping the watch flat). A line halfway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock is pointing due South (or North if in the Southern Hemisphere).

Why halfway ?  It’s only a 12 hour watch. If its digital, then I’m sorry but you’re out of luck.

The ancients cleverly designed a simple combination of sun-dial (clock) and direction finder.

SuncompassThroughout one day the shadow of the sun is marked on the dial, which is kept in a fixed position. 

During the following days, the compass is periodically rotated so that the sun’s shadow touches the nearest marked position.  The noon mark, which is the shortest shadow mark, then points North (or South if in the Southern Hemisphere).  By this method, direction can be found throughout the day.

As the days pass the height of the sun changes and the sun compass needs to be updated.

The Vikings, who were great travellers, used these sun compasses.  The principle remains correct and a simple device can made quite easily.  The wooden palette doesn’t even need to be round.  A short plank of wood with a hole for a pencil shadow maker will do.

Latitude and Longitude

Equator - Merdian The lines of latitude are horizontal and are an equal distance from each other around the world. The thicker line is the equator at 0 degrees Latitude

The lines of Longitude are vertical and narrow towards the poles.  The thicker line is the Prime Meridian at 0 degrees Longitude.

Knowing One’s Position North/South – Latitude

There is now some evidence to suggest that the Vikings used additional marks on their sun compasses to note the height of the sun, by its angle above the horizon.

Did the Vikings calculate latitude ? 

Measuring the angle of the sun above the horizon, together with suitable tables of information for each day of the year, enables a navigator to determine position North or South of the Equator.  That is, in angular degrees of  Latitude. 

Here is how two different positions would result in two different observations of the sun’s height above the horizon at noon.



Latitude is therefore measured in degrees of angle. Either  0 to 90 degrees North of the equator or 0 to 90 degrees South of the equator.

If a navigator can determine Latitude then it is possible to cross an ocean to a known location. More importantly, the vessel can return to its original home Latitude.

In practice, because the earth is tilted upon its axis, numeric tables are required to compensate according to the time of year.

The sextant and magnetic compass were invented before the problem of finding Longitude (ones East/West position) was solved.

The Sextant

A sextant is a more accurate means of measuring the sun’s height above the horizon at noon (the sun’s angle of altitude) and therefore determining ones Latitude. It can also be used to navigate by the stars.   More about sextants.

The Magnetic Compass

The magnetic compass is either a needle or a dial which points to the magnetic north pole.

Variation:  The magnetic North Pole is not in the same position as the True North Pole.  The difference is referred to as variation or declination and must be accounted for when plotting a course.

This variation changes slowly from year to year.  However, due to fluctuations in the earths magnetic field, there can considerable difference in variation from place to place.  Variation can be as much as 20 degrees either East or West of True North.

To avoid any confusion, compass angles are still referred to as either True or Magnetic.

Deviation:  A compass will be affected by nearby metal.  Even the old wooden ships had many iron nails and metal fittings.  The iron ships had even more of a problem.  This effect is termed deviation and is solved in one of three ways, either:-

Small vessels use a graph which shows the effect according to which way the vessel is pointing.

Larger vessels once used a Binnacle.  This a column upon which the compass stands and includes a number of corrective magnets.

In more recent decades, gyro compasses have been used and are described later.

The Problem of Longitude

Longitude is a position to east or west of a fixed line that runs from pole to pole. Such a line is referred to as a meridian.

Latitude by itself is not sufficient for the creation of accurate maps or sea charts. Without accurate charts, and a means to determine both ones Latitude and Longitude, a vessel is at extreme risk of striking reefs, underwater rocks and sandbanks.  At night or in fog, a vessel is also at risk from any unseen land mass.

Right up until the 18th century the only method of determining a position East or West of ones starting point was by dead reckoning.  That is, by measuring the distance travelled.

At sea, this was done by throwing a log over the side attached to a length of rope and measuring out how much rope was paid out over a fixed period of time.  The rope had a number of knots at fixed intervals. These were counted out during the emptying of a sand glass.

The method was adjusted over time so that each knot that was pulled overboard indicated a speed of one nautical mile per hour.  A nautical mile being equal to 1.151 land miles.

Speed at sea and in the air is still reckoned in knots (i.e. nautical miles per hour).

The information from this log speedometer was entered into a Log Book, which is still used today but contains more information.  The term Log Book has been reused for Registration Books, Logging in to work and Logging into a computer.

If they had used a hollow float, we would now be Floating into work and Floating in to our computers.  As daft as that may sound, it is no odder than referring to a Log of wood.

Navigation by dead reckoning eventually included vector diagrams that took into account the effect of tidal/current drift and sideways shift due to wind effect (leeway).

The inability to determine accurate Longitude came to a head when ships started to travel longer distances, resulting in many disasters with much loss of life, ships and cargos.

Solving the Problem of Longitude

In 1567 Phillip II of Spain offered a substantial prize for a solution.  The problem was so difficult that it took a further two hundred years to solve. The history of Longitude.

In 1714 the British Government offered a prize of £20,000 (~ £2M today).  This eventually resulted in two proposed methods.

One was by observation of the moon’s position. This was very complicated, only of use when the moon was visible and impractical on the rolling decks of a ship. 

The other method was by use of an accurate timepiece, which became known as a chronometer.  John Harrison did succeed in producing a sufficiently accurate timepiece, and won the prize in 1773 after nearly 30 years of endeavour and just 3 years before his death.

The Board of Longitude, composed of scientists including Sir Isaac Newton, favoured the astronomical method and somewhat delayed giving the prize to a mere clockmaker.  Nevertheless, they did grant supportive monies along the way.

The Longitude Solution

First, it is necessary to establish a permanent starting point. That is, a fixed line that runs from pole to pole, designated as 0 degrees of Longitude and Prime Meridian. 

All places on the earth, being a number of degrees either to the East or to the West of the Prime Meridian.

In practice the Greenwich Meridian (London) was established and is still used.

Then, the navigator’s chronometer must be set to noon, when noon occurs at that meridian.   In practice, such timepieces are therefore set to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

From 1833 the observatory at Greenwich had a red time ball upon a mast. The time signal was given when the ball dropped.  This was better than the usual noon day gun because sound takes time to travel. The  Time Ball.

As one travels, sun sightings are taken each day at noon (the noon sight).  The further West one travels, the later noon occurs compared with GMT shown by the chronometer.

At the moment of the noon sight, the altitude of the sun is measured to calculate Latitude and the time, on the Greenwich Mean Time chronometer, is used to calculate Longitude.

For example, if the chronometer, at local noon, shows Greenwich Mean Time to be 4 pm then the ship has travelled the same as 4 hours worth of earth’s rotation West of Greenwich.  Thus:-

Longitude by time

With the appropriate numeric tables and an accurate chronometer, a position can be calculated to less than a mile.

Equator - MerdianWhilst a degree of Latitude always represents a fixed distance (the lines are parallel), the lines of Longitude narrow towards the poles. Hence, for Longitude, numeric tables are required to turn degrees into nautical miles.

Longitude is measured as 0 to 180 degrees East of the Meridian or 0-180 degrees West of the Meridian. At exactly the opposite side of the world (180 degrees in either direction) is the International Dateline.

Understanding the International Dateline: Simple, A Bit More, Headache.

Each of  360 degrees of the earth’s sphere is divided into 60 minutes and each of those divided into 60 seconds.

On minute of Latitude is very nearly a nautical mile. Because lines of Longitude converge towards the poles, the equivalent distances have to be calculated.

Knowing Both Latitude and Longitude

By the late 18th century it was possible to pinpoint one’s position within a visible distance using only a sextant, a chronometer and the relevant tables of information. These days it is possible to do so within a quarter of mile, using the same method.

As a result of this advance it was possible to create accurate charts and safely navigate by them.

This method continued in use up until the age of electronics and has been essential to the development of the modern world.

The Rhumb Line and the Mercator Chart.

One nuisance of a problem had been solved earlier.

If one draws a line on a globe, from one port to another, and then unpeels the globe into a flat chart, the line will become curved.  Therefore, to plot a course on such a chart, it is necessary plot it as a curve.  This curve is known as a Rhumb line and a considerable nuisance because it must be calculated.

In 1569, before there were any accurate charts, Mercator invented a method of projecting the image of the earth’s globe onto a  wall.  The resulting charts distorted the land masses but allowed a straight line to be drawn as the shortest course between to places.  Mercator projections are still used today.

Port and Starboard

The Vikings used a rudder on the right hand side of their longboats.  This was known as the steering board side (Starboard).  The left hand side was for the loading board (Larboard).

In 1845 the Secretary of the British Navy ordered the term Larboard side changed to Port side.  Somewhere, it is noted that it was probably as result of British ship going aground due to confused communications.  Larboard sounding too much like Starboard in a high wind.

Port side lights are Red (like Port wine) whilst Starboard lights are Green.  The light, from these two colours, span from each side of the side of the vessel to the front.  A small vessel’s rearward light is White.

Large vessels will use a more complicate array.

Modern Navigational Methods

The Gyro Compass: A spinning disk, within a device that allows it to “float”, will retain its orientation, just like a spinning top will stay upright.  The application of electrical power will keep such a Gyro spinning.  The axis can be set to point North and will continue to do so whilst the ship or aircraft turns around it. 

In practice such devices need correction to counteract centrifugal effects. More about the Gyro Compass.

Radio Direction Finding: A simple system of locating two or more land beacons, using a directional receiver, and plotting their directions on a chart.  Where the lines cross is one’s positions (referred to as triangulation).

The Decca System:  This used a number of land based beacons.  A small onboard electronic device then calculated one’s position.  It could be as accurate as half a mile but only operated in some parts of the world.

The Global Positioning System:  Relying on satellites in fixed orbits, this also uses time.  The satellites transmit their position and  very accurate time signals. 

Using the time signals and the delay caused by distance, it is possible for the GPS unit to determine its distance from each satellite. As result it can calculate its position relative to those satellites.

Then, because the satellites are transmitting their position, the GPS unit can calculate its own position. As Sergai would say “sssimple”, or perhaps not.  GPS Basics. More GPS.


To all those who risked their lives and all those who tried to save them.

It’s a long way from sailing by the North Star to using GPS.


Semper Fidelis

semper-fidelis-awardI am very pleased to offer this very appreciative award in the spirit in which it was created. 

I offer the view that to be nominated is initially a token of appreciation.

The award is then earned, by those who choose to participate, by nominating others and so offering that same appreciation and encouragement. Which is not so easy as it sounds.

The Semper Fidelis Award (Always Faithful) was created by Petite Magique.  Patty, the award originator, has kindly agreed to a variation in the rules so that they are more accommodating.  The rules of acceptance are:-

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Nominate 6-12 bloggers who’s loyalty and friendship you value and you consider being part of your ‘pack of wolves’ on WordPress. I don’t think there’s is any great rush about this.
  • Create a specific dedication for each of your nominees.
  • Let the nominees know that you’ve nominated them.
  • Then you have earned the award and should copy the badge/pic somewhere on your blog. (Right click on the pic and select “Save Image” from sub-menu”).

In this case there will be a few extra words in dedication to all, at the end. 

First let me thank “Fill the Empty Spaces” at for the nomination. It was most unexpected and much appreciated.

* I am going to take a small liberty and give two of the awards, without conditions, to Latifa Achchi and Asim Iftikhar who are local Community Centre Managers. Both go more than the  extra yard in their commitment to the community.  I hope they will use the badge on a Gravatar or as they see fit.  It was Lati who got me into this in the first place.  She tends to do that. 🙂

In the spirit of the award my rogues gallery nominees consist of those who have consistently visited this site and left their calling cards. With thanks to them all for the encouragement. The nominees, in alphabetical order, are:-

Eddie Two Hawks at

Specifically, for taking time out from a very busy blog to leave a calling card and respond with kind words. It is much appreciated.

Emorphes at

Specifically, for taking time out from a very busy blog to leave a calling card. It is much appreciated.

Cindy Knoke at

Specifically, for encouragement and putting the alternate and  inspiring title of “The True Nature of Humanity” to the 9/11 Boatlift film.  That was so well done.

The World According to Dina at

Specifically, for encouragement and being the first who dared to Like one of the Duck Chronicles (you don’t know what you did – there’ll be more).

Particularly, for having the conscience and courage to post about having her bank account being hacked.   I am sure that this was a comfort to those who had suffered the same, and a very important heads up to some of her readers who would otherwise have remained at risk.  Applause.

Just One Day in a Lifetime at

Specifically, for taking a keen interest in other people’s lives and working hard to produce long posts in that pursuit.

Mtphoto at

Specifically, for often dropping an encouraging  Like, and offering such great close up photography.

Rachel at

Specifically, for being particularly World/Eco friendly,  a frequent visitor,  squirrel liker and plant eater.

Walking with Smackepentax at

Specifically,  for often dropping an encouraging Like, making such friendly replies and making the countryside friendly.

With thanks to many others for their friendly responses to comments.

Dedicated to all: Stars to wish upon, and the prospect of knowing that you wish upon the same stars. Just in case you don’t already know how to find them, I offer you the North Star and the Southern Cross.

Ursa major and Polaris Whilst the Great Bear constellation turns through the sky, the lip of the Panhandle (as it also known) constantly points towards the North Star.  The star is quite dim in the sky but occupies a space all of  its own.

Visible in the Northern Hemisphere and some equatorial regions.


Crux Southern Cross

The Southern Cross is quite easily seen as 4 bright stars forming a small slanted cross.

Visible in the Southern Hemisphere and some parts just north of  equatorial regions.




Both hang above their respective Poles and have been a great aid, and a life saver, to seafaring navigators throughout the ages.

I hope you enjoy and “May You Never Howl Alone” or get lost at night.

Best Wishes – Graham

That was fun, but I need a lie down.


Always unique and the beginning of a new day with all its possibilities.  Isn’t it a wonderful thing to live in a world that not only makes life possible but can also make life worth living.  We who are fortunate, have much to be thankful for.  Enjoy your day.   And, another picture.

Knife Edge by Henry Moore

Currently found at the west most top of Greenwich Park.  It is likely that it will be returned to the Henry Moore foundation during the summer of 2014Click on any picture to fit screen.

Knife Edge by Henry Moore – BBC

Knife Edge by Henry Moore – Wiki

Henry Moore – Wiki

Henry Moore Foundation

Nearby.  Not so much what is it, but why is it ?

Straight Up With A Twist


The Cable Car over the Thames, London,UK.

Well, I suppose the builders were grinning when they said they’d give it whirl.  I should have known better really.

Over the Thames (London) Cable Car – Visitor Information

Th United Emirates cable car traverses the river Thames in East London between the Royal Victoria Dock and the North Greenwich Peninsula.  It can be found on the Standard London Underground Map at sector D8.

Fares, using a Travel Card (show it at the ticket office to get a discount) or Oyster Card (no need to queue at the ticket office) are currently (October 2013) £3.20 per adult and £1.60 per child, each way.  It costs a bit more (about 20%) if you buy a boarding pass at the terminal.  It makes sense to use a Card as this will also save money on the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway.  More Information.

In many cases travel costs are almost halved by using a Pay as You Go “Swipe” Oyster card whilst an all day/week Travel Card can be even less expensive.

Click on for Fare Information.

Click on for Oyster Card and other options information.

BE AWARE: That if you forget to swipe out, when leaving a station, there is a penalty charge and the card may be unusable for a while.

A video of the view  shows that although it is partly obstructed by the tall buildings of Canary Wharf and lasts 5-10 minutes (according to time of day), it is nevertheless quite good value for money. 

It is used for some commuting to and from work, so it is better to avoid peak times.

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