Having now sailed in the square rigger Morgenster and completed my RYA competent crew training I was on the lookout for another voyage when I spotted a trip on classic sailing on a smaller ship, the ketch Irene. The ship was planning a voyage from Oban around the small Isles and Skye, a part of Scotland I love, so I signed up. I joined the ship on Mon 5th June 2017 in Oban. Early next morning the skipper, Ieuan told us there was a storm predicted for later so we headed for the shelter of Tobermory bay under engine power. Spent the day waling around Tobermory, it was a bit wet and miserable but Tobermory is always a nice place to visit we even had the treat of seeing the paddle steamer Waverley in port as well as a most fantastic sunset that evening. Most of us eventually congregated in the pub to warm up and dry off. We were reliably informed by Ieuan that the storm did arrive in the middle of the night although most of us slept right through it and didn’t even notice. The morning was beautiful when we set sail for Eigg this was great sailing with fantastic sunshine, we launched the dinghy to buzz round the Irene for a photo shoot. After a night anchored at Eigg we set off for Skye on another glorious sunny day, dropping anchor in Loch Slappin we went ashore for a wander around and a coffee at the local cafe. There were some great views of the Cuilins and the ship at anchor. The next day was another glorious sunny day but with light winds so we eventually had to use the engine to get us to anchor in Loacaline where we went ashore to the local pub in the evening. the morning of the 10th June was not promising and we had very heavy rain for the first part of the day. I learned to very important lessons that morning hoisting sails in heavy rain, firstly make sure the cuffs of your waterproof are pulled tight otherwise the rain just runs up your arms, and secondly a pair of deck Wellies is a very good idea , my feet and arms were soaked. The weather cleared later and we had a very sunny afternoon, some of us even went for a swim. It was good sailing back to Oban and I took the helm all around Kerrera and into Oban harbour but Ieuan took over when we had to play dodge the ferries when looking for a mooring buoy.
After getting the sailing bug during my first voyage on the Morgenster I was keen to learn a bit more about sailing so I enrolled on a RYA competent crew training course being run by BritSail out of Kip Marina. This proved to a memorable trip, but for very different reasons from the Morgenster. We sailed in some of the most beautiful areas of the West of Scotland, leaving Inverkip we sailed up towards Colintraive practicing anchoring and maneuvering techniques. Then onto Tighnabruiach mooring to a buoy, launched the dinghy then off for a well earned pint. Next day we sailed the beautiful Kyles of Bute then across Loch Fyne to Tarbert with more mooring practice and man overboard drills. We then headed back through the Kyles on onto Gare Loch dodging nuclear submarines and eventually mooring at Rhu marina. Our final sail was at night where one of the other crew who was going for his coastal skipper accreditation had to navigate with only the information we at the helm gave him, depth beneath the keel, heading etc. It was tougher than I thought, trimming the sails, looking out for marker buoys whilst learning what all the different lights and sequences meant, keeping track of headings, depth whilst trying to stave off the cold. But we made it safely back to Kip, cold and tired but well worth the experience.
Towards the end of 2016 I was reading Facebook posts from a friend who was sailing on the Bark Europa tall ship heading for Antarctica. I was not only amazed at the voyage she was on but also intrigued as to how one gets on board these tall ships, so I followed the link she posted to classic-sailing.co.uk where a whole world of possibilities opened up with numerous ships and a huge range of voyages available. Having never sailed in a tall ship before I felt that heading off to Antarctica was probably too ambitious for my first voyage so I opted for a trip to the Canary Isles, which I’ve visited a few times in winter. The ship I signed up on was the square rigged Morgenster, (Morning Star) a Dutch ship built in 1919. I joined the ship in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on 4th Feb 2017. We set sail for La Palma, then La Gomera then finally back to Tenerife. This was a fantastic introduction to tall ship sailing, great crew, great guest crew, fantastic weather and absolutely awesome sailing on a beautiful ship. I learned so much on the voyage about rope work, sail work tall ships in general but mostly I had one of the best experiences of my life, I was hooked!
This is based on a tutorial from the University of Southampton (YouTube)
sudo leafpad /etc/network/interfaces
# interfaces(5) file used by ifup(8) and ifdown(8)
# Please note that this file is written to be used with dhcpcd# For static IP, consult /etc/dhcpcd.conf and ‘man dhcpcd.conf’# Include files from /etc/network/interfaces.d:source-directory /etc/network/interfaces.dauto loiface lo inet loopbackiface eth0 inet manualallow-hotplug wlan0iface wlan0 inet manualwpa-roam /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
iface default inet dhcp
sudo leafpad /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
This is based on my experience with a Raspberry pi 3 running Raspbian Jessie.
select 7 Advanced Options
select A4 SSH
You’ll be asked if you want enable SSH Select Yes.
ssh pi@<YOUR Raspberry Pi IP ADDRESS>
sudo apt-get install tightvncserver
sudo leafpad tightvnc.desktop
server address is IP-Address-of-Your-pi:1 (note :1 which defines display 1)
Username is pi
Password is: whatever you set for Tightvnc
sudo apt-get install x11vnc
cd /home/picd .config
mkdir autostart [You can miss this step if you’ve already created the directory]
cd autostartsudo leafpad x11vnc.desktop
Exec=x11vnc -forever -usepw -display :0 -ultrafilexfer
Note: If you created an autostart file for TightVNC as above, then remember to either remove this file from the autostart directory or delete it, otherwise when you reboot your pi it will try and start both TightVNC and X11VNC.
You should now be able to connect to your Raspberry pi using your VNC client with the IP address of your pi (without the :1) and it should display the same output as the Rasperry pi HDMI monitor.
Google Play, formerly Google Music is only available in the US at the moment presumably for licencing reasons. But it is possible to get it outside the US in a variety of ways. Basically you have to trick the Google Play site into thinking you are actually in the US so you can register with your normal Gmail account. There are numerous tutorial on the web detailing how to do this so I’m not going to repeat everything here, I’m just going to recount what I tried and what eventually worked for me.
I wanted to be able to access my music from my Android mobile with Google Play and upload my music to the cloud from my Ubuntu PC. To do this you’ll need the Play Music app for Android, but since it’s not available outside the US the easiest way to get it is from the xda-developers site, download to your phone then install the apk file following this method. To upload your music you need the Google Music Manager, there was a copy on the xda-developers site but this was the Windows version so I decided to wait till I’d registerd with play.google.com and download their Ubuntu 64bit version.
The simplest thing I tried first was some free proxy services like Hide My Ass and TunnelBear which effectively allows you to surf anonymously so web services cannot detect your true IP address. I tried a couple of these services but didn’t have any luck. I then followed the tutorial on Engadget.com which recommended using the Tor Browser Bundle. Tor sets up a secure internet connection for you and by using the browser (a modified version of FireFox) included you should be able to connect with play.google.com. Unfortunately everytime I tried this approach I got suck on the T&C agreement stage and the browser just seemed to hang there.
Finally I found an approach that did work, TunnelBear have just released an Android app to allow you to set up a secure connection and select whether you’re in the UK or US. By selecting US all sites you visit will believe you are actually in the US. next thing to do was open a browser and go to play.google.com and sign in with my usual Gmail account details, agree to the T&C and bingo I had now registered .
Back on my PC and using my normal WiFi connection I logged into play.google.com and proceeded to download the music manager which you’ll need to upload your music to the cloud.
So now all I have to do is spend ages uploading music to the cloud as it is by all accounts a very slow process.
I’ve bought downloaded MP3s from Amazon on many occasions but was always annoyed to have to use their downloader so I was interested to find an open source alternative called Clamz in the Ubuntu 10.10 repositories. First install Clamz through Synaptic or sudo apt-get install Clamz if you prefer in a terminal.
Next, buy your MP3s on Amazon as you would normally, you will then be directed to a page telling you to download and install their downloader, assuming you don’t have it. Skip to the bottom of the page and look for the phrase “If you have already installed the latest Amazon MP3 Downloader, click here to enable it for use with this browser.” Click the link and now your browser should save the Amazon file in your Downloads directory.
As Clamz is a command line program you need to open a terminal and run the following command where ****** is the number sequence of the Amazon file.
I, like many people have the basic free version of Dropbox which provides a very useful 2Gb of cloud storage but with a few clicks you can increase this to 2.7Gb. Read the Lifehacker posts here and here. Recently the Dropbox team launched a scavenger hunt offering up to an additional 1Gb storage for free although this does require a bit more effort, unless you want to follow some of the walk throughs already posted.
If you don’t have a Dropbox account yet head over to Dropbox and sign up for the free 2Gb account then follow the Lifehacker tips above to get an additional few Mbs with a few clicks. Once done you can start the scavenger hunt by heading over to https://www.dropbox.com/dropquest2011 There are twenty nine steps in total and you cannot skip any unfortunately. have fun.
I’m thoroughly hacked off by the inconsiderate and down right dangerous standard of driving in this country. I counted ten near misses on my bike in the last two days. Two out of three drivers seem to think passing a cyclist at 50/60 mph within 2 feet is OK and that overtaking on a blind bend with double continuous lines in the centre is fine. Most seem unaware of Highway code Rule 163, in fact some are clearly unaware of the Highway code. >:(