Monday, February 28, 2005

Yachting Qualifications

Bill's Log

‘Whereas you have been examined to standards approved by the Department of Trade (Marine Division) and found duly qualified as a Yachtmaster (Ocean), the Royal Yachting Association hereby grant you this Certificate of Competence. Dated this 13th day of September 1984’ – so reads my Certificate of approval by the RYA/DoT Yachtmaster Qualifications Panel, but what’s it worth today?

Well, I can tell you it was worth something in 1984 when it enabled me to obtain a job as the skipper aboard the ‘Speedwell’ based in Brighton under the auspices of the Discovery Dockland Trust. Not only was it worth something because it proved my competence at yacht handling and people management, but because it was the means whereby I was able to obtain an income.

That was 20 years ago, and how things have changed! Competence in using a sextant and tables to establish the geographical position of a vessel was part of the land based examination. Most likely today’s examination requires the skipper to be competent in operating GPS gizmos and radar equipment, which brings me to the theme of today’s homily.

What is my certificate worth? For sure, I would not be qualified to skipper the ‘Speedwell’, because another certificate would be required – A Commercial Endorsement. In order to get it I would need a Certificate of Completion of a Basic Sea Survival Course and a Medical Fitness Certificate. Yes, that makes sense; I wish it had applied when I was skipper.

But what is my Yachtmaster Certificate really worth? The point I’m making is I was examined 20 years ago when I was au fait with everything on the RYA syllabus. I knew by heart the Collision Regulations involving the movement of vessels at sea, their lights and signals, both audio and visual. It’s true, I can look such things up fairly quickly in Reads Nautical Almanac, but that’s not the same as knowing them off by heart. Furthermore, am I competent in the physical aspect of managing a yacht? Am I fit enough?

It can be compared to the issue of a Driving Licence. I received mine in 1958, that’s 47 years ago, and yet I’m deemed competent to drive my car through any European city and over any road or track where vehicles are permitted.

In retrospect, should those who hold certificates of competence in the handling of yachts, dinghies and canoes, or indeed, any waterborne vessel be required in law to have periodic refresher courses coupled with examinations before their certificates can be renewed?

I am mindful of what the Royal Yachting Association has to say about their qualifications:

‘Newcomers to boating are often surprised to discover that no driving licences are required for amateur yacht skippers in Britain. The RYA believes that voluntary training encourages yachtsmen and women to achieve higher standards of ability than a system of compulsory certification.’

Is the time right for mandatory qualifications?

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Navigation Past and Present

Bill's Log

When I was a youngster there were three primary aids to marine navigation: A chart, a compass and a lead line.

If the compass were to fail, judging direction would be down to observation – things like comparing the ship’s heading with the position of the sun. Being in the northern hemisphere with the rising sun dead ahead meant the ship would be sailing in an easterly direction. If that course were maintained, by mid-day, the sun would be to the south and at right angles to starboard. That’s all basic stuff, but if land were visible, guesstimates of angular direction in relation to prominent features shown on the chart such as headlands, lighthouses and buoys would be helpful in fixing the yacht’s position and course. Even the observation of transient things like wind and wave direction, and the position of clouds would be of momentary use, as would the stars at night.

The most singular and greatest loss would be the chart. Without it, the sailor would not know what to expect, unless he had sailed those waters before. Would he come to the edge of the world, only to plummet over a precipice? His understanding of the chart, its symbols, scale and orientation would be necessary for him to make best use of the information in preparation for events ahead.

An often forgotten aid to navigation is the depth sounder; in my case I have used a lead and line. By counting the number of fathom markers on the line a precise indication of the depth of water can be found. A lead has a cavity at the bottom which is for tallow (a sticky substance) so that when it comes into contact with the seabed a sample can be retrieved. Knowing if it is sand, mud, shale, gravel or pebbles etc., is useful to help place a ship in a particular spot according to information on the chart. Sadly, modern metric charts give scant knowledge of the nature of the seabed.

Over the years technology has changed the nature of navigation beyond recognition – into what would have been considered the realms of fantasy. Electronic charts, compasses, GPS and radar have revolutionised navigation, relieving the navigator of many tedious calculations and observations. Indeed, such is the state of electronic equipment that the helmsman can allocate the onerous job of hand steering to his robot Autohelm.

I confess to not being a Luddite who defiantly ignores what technology has to offer. As a result life aboard my yacht when underway is much less taxing and so much safer. My GPS is linked to a laptop computer with a large-scale electronic chart clearly indicating the yacht’s position within a few metres. That’s not to say I’ve abandoned ‘real’ charts, the ship’s compass and my faithful lead and line.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Compromise in Boat Building?

Bill's Log

Today we hear much of the word ‘compromise’. It has almost become an accepted norm in everyday affairs. The philosophy is, ‘Nothing is perfect, so why struggle for perfection when a compromise will do?’ But where fundamental principles are at stake, some see no room for what they consider second best, i.e., a compromise. They demand that we should be sensible – “Be reasonable,” they say, “Only accept our standards which we know are best for you.” This militates against the individual who subjects himself to his own standards based on: fact, personal experience, or ignorance.

The Anglican Communion have been discussing the pros and cons regarding the place of homosexual priests within their midst. It appears that proponents take their lead from different sources; progressives maintain Christ’s message of love overrides the Bible’s denunciation of homosexuality. There was a similar issue when it came to the ordination of women. Neither side was prepared, or able to accept a compromise.

When it comes to building a boat certain standards are imposed, either by the builder himself, or by an authoritarian governing body, e.g., the International Organisation for Standardisation, or the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who are responsible for the implementation of the Recreational Craft Directive, which includes the imposition of minimum standards in the building of vessels such as canoes, kayaks and sailing surf boards. For such authoritarian bodies, once legislation has been approved by governments there can be no compromise.

The individual amateur boat builder has to decide what his standards will be. Does he listen to and adhere to the standards set by Governments and Local Bodies, or does he rely upon his own judgment? It seems to me, a compromise is unsatisfactory for either the individual or the legislative authority. Here we have a dilemma.

Friday, February 25, 2005

A Sailor’s Priorities

Bill's Log

There are several factors that dictate priorities, but the primary instigator is usually a circumstance which requires an action.

Here’s an example: Ellen MacArthur discovered the main generator, which powered the self-steering and navigation computers aboard ‘B & Q-Castorama’ was using too much oil. This circumstance brought about a priority for Ellen to rectify the fault.

She knew full well that if she couldn’t solve the problem her record attempt would be over. Resourceful, as ever, she came up with the idea of using a secondary, but less powerful generator. Unfortunately it caused her cabin to overheat, which in turn led to a new priority – the need to extract the hot air and fumes. Characteristically, she found a solution; it was to lead some flexible piping from the generator to the exterior of the trimaran.

On reviewing the amount of fuel required to run the generator she calculated there might not be enough for her to complete the circumnavigation. This new situation created yet another priority - the need for a solution. Undaunted, her remedy was to reserve rape seed oil she had intended to eat with her dried food as a lubricant!

As sailors, on or off the water, what are our priorities?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Designer

Bill's Log

I’m sure many watched the programme on BBC 1 last night about Ellen MarArthur’s record breaking circumnavigation. Undoubtedly the documentary based mostly on Ellen’s own filming gave an insight into her strong character. She’s a person with sharp focus, application, and an indomitable determination to succeed. Without such qualities she could never have achieved this phenomenal feat of endurance and seamanship, but more importantly, without a boat designer who understood what was required it would never have come about.

Do you remember, not so long ago during the Vendee Globe Race, the catamaran ‘Team Phillips’ spectacularly lost the forward section of her port hull, and the dreams of Pete Goss were shattered, although the failure may have come about not through bad design, but because of faulty workmanship? Nevertheless, with such a project the work of a designer is fundamental. Adrian Thompson was that designer. He had of course prior to that drawn the lines of very successful vessels – specifically, high speed British and US Special Forces patrol craft.

Going back to Ellen, she paid tribute to the ‘team’ effort, and with her usual modesty acknowledged her own part in the venture was but a fraction of the whole. However, prior to and during the record attempt, scant mention was made of Nigel Irens, the designer of ‘B & Q-Castorama’ and his engineering cohort, John Levell.

Nigel must be one of those rare souls who demonstrably merit the qualification ‘genius’. He is such a master of his metier few others could hope to match him. Among a the list of his successful designs are ‘Fujifilm’, ‘Bicuits La Trinitaine’, ‘Serio Tacchini’, ‘Team Legato’ and ‘Academy’ – all trimarans, but his most well-known masterpiece is ‘Romilly’, a graceful monohull based on classic lines - surely a creature of beauty.

Behind all things with order we know there must be a designer and without a designer there is no order, but even within chaos a designer can be found. Einstein knew this is true true.

Nigel Irens Designs:

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Prejudice among Sailors?

Bill's Log

Prejudice is part of the human psyche. None of us are exempt from it. So why pick on sailors? It’s not a case of separating sailors, supposing them to be different to other practitioners of sport, but it’s an opportunity to consider some of the prevalent prejudices among the sailing fraternity – that’s if there is a ‘brotherhood’ of sailors.

One thing we are united in is the preservation of our sport. We maintain there is no better healthy activity under the sun for the well-being of mankind! Isn’t that a prime prejudice, because aficionados of other sporting activities claim the exactly the same?

Some politicians would have us believe prejudice should be extinguished in our multi-cultural society. There should be no discrimination between ethnic groups and we should all happily co-exist in a world of global harmony. Of course, there is the truism that a transfusion of blood from a person of any nationality will replace or supplement the blood of another, irrespective of his ethnic origin, but that singular fact will not eliminate prejudice between racial groups.

You would think all the other common features of humanity would unite us and eliminate prejudice, but that’s not the case. For sure, there are some who would object to receiving a blood transfusion from a person who has a different colour – this mindset is at the heart of prejudice.

The dictionary defines prejudice as, ‘A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.’ Therefore the patient requiring a lifesaving blood transfusion who maintains a preconceived opinion that it would do him harm because it could have emanated from a black, pink, green or brown person would refuse the gift, and thus die! Such extreme prejudice sadly exists.

Now, regarding our hypothetical average western sailor who has been exposed to Bermudan rig from the time of his birth, would he look favourably to changing his rig for a Chinese Junk or European battened lugsail? Most likely his predisposed familiarity with Bermudan sails would influence his reason when comparing the characteristics of the junk sail with a Bermudan sail. How could such an antiquated, outmoded and Chinese configuration possibly be better than the one he has proven to be good?

His reasoning is flawed, because of his bias and he has never experienced the benefits of junk sails to know they are better - certainly in most situations, but I grant you, not for racing to windward. From one who knows through experience I can vouch that a junk sail is superior on all other counts, especially for cruising. The supreme advantage of a junk sail is the ease with which it can be reefed. It needs no hi-tech or expensive wizardry - on the contrary, the rig can be made from easily obtained low-tech materials such as wood and natural fibres, like cotton or hemp.

Then, in yachting circles, there’s the mistaken assumption that ‘square’ sectioned sailing boats cannot possibly sail as well as ‘round’ ones. In reply I would ask, ‘How about the Thames barge or the Dutch botter? Both types have been proven efficient, speedy load-carriers, and how can sceptics overlook the performance of tea clippers like the Cutty Sark?’ Yet prejudice prevails.

Those in the know, who have tried bilge runners (tiny horizontal keels), in the face of a prejudiced majority, confirm their effectiveness at reducing leeway when sailing to windward, while at the same time they have the distinct advantage that they can sail their boats in shallow water.

It’s not so many years ago there was prejudice against concrete and fibreglass as boat building materials, although now the latter has almost universal acceptance, but there remains some unfounded doubt about concrete.

Perhaps you will have thoughts of other prejudices expressed by sailors, but I must conclude by saying prejudice will always exist, since it is an expression of ignorance through lack of experience and the absence of a rational application of the truth, but it must not be confused with unfair discrimination against persons, systems or materials – such conduct would be a deliberate deceit intended to injure, damage or discredit.

So, sailors, are we prejudiced?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Naming a Boat

Bill's Log

What’s in a name? Power is in a name. He who knows the name of a person can call upon him to respond; relationships can be established.

Names in ancient times often had significant meanings, for example El Shaddii, (Almighty God) renamed Abram, ‘Abraham’, which means, ‘Father of Many Nations’. Hence his new name was symbolic of a new relationship. Likewise Abraham’s wife, Sarai, was renamed Sarah, which means ‘Princess’, because she was to be the ancestor of a Royal Nation – the people of God.

Is it not significant that parents-to-be consult together with great care when choosing a meaningful name for their new son or daughter? And yet, how often do we come across names open to ridicule and jesting! Poor David Beckham and his wife ‘Posh’ have recently named their third son, Cruz. I wonder if they realised this Spanish name is exclusively given to females.

So what does a name indicate? Sometimes little, other than a fancy, or perhaps a vogue; a quality; a statement of belief; the continuation of a family tradition or a symbol of hope; most likely, it comes as an expression of love, with the prospect of bonding between parent and child.

The naming of a company, a brand, or a commercial venture, can be crucial. Do you remember the disastrous renaming of The Royal Mail to, ‘Consignia’? It was consigned to the dustbin after costing millions to implement and millions to rectify.

How about the naming of the largest cruise ship in the world, the ‘Aurora’? What a fiasco it became! Superstition reared its ugly head, because the pundits forecast this gargantuan monstrosity would be plagued with bad luck after an embarrassing Royal launching ceremony when the traditional champagne bottle failed to smash. Some say the jinxed liner should be re-launched and given a new name – but wouldn’t that be farcical?

Isn’t it any wonder that sailors agonize over the name of their new boat or the renaming of a second-hand vessel? What does the name of your boat say about you?

To end with a humorous note, the name of my yacht is ‘Bumper’, which I believe is an inherited statement indicative of a previous owner’s fears or hopes! May the mirthful name live on into posterity.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Yachting a Religion?

Bill's Log

Yachting is rather a posh word, isn’t it? It conjures up pictures of prestigious vessels like the super-yachts of today and J Class racers of yesteryear. Such a pastime surely is for the elite rich, or is it? I would venture to suggest that many yachtsmen, or in this day of political correctness, yachtspersons, are in fact as poor as church mice. The average genuine, fanatical aficionado, has mortgaged himself to the hilt, investing all he has in the ‘love of his life’.

What about the enthusiast, who by circumstances can only afford the tiniest of vessels? He too, sacrifices all he has to obtain and maintain his ‘joy’.

So, the very rich, those who are not so rich, and the poor have in common this passion for the thing they adore. Is this not akin to all genuine followers of religions?

There are many religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Confucianism, Daoism and numerous others, but all have their devotees. Likewise there are many forms of water-borne activities: canoeing, rowing, dinghy sailing, one design racing, ocean cruising, ocean racing and many others, but their devoted practitioners seek perfection.

Isn’t ‘devotion’ the common factor of all religions, including Yachting? Who are the ayatollahs, bishops, priests and gurus of Yachting? Many at this time worship the unassuming Ellen MacArthur who has been conferred a ‘saint’ by the Queen and will receive her religious robes shortly.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

What sets us apart from the animals; is it boats?

Bill's Log

The most obvious difference between animals and us is the quality of our human intellect. Although dolphins and apes have the ability to perform acts requiring reason, their achievements are minimal by comparison with humans. Another difference is in our physical makeup – we have hands with thumbs that inwardly articulate, which enable us to use tools more effectively than animals. These two factors bring rise to our superior technological achievements over time. Our communal collective harnessing of resources and knowledge, linked with our disposition to work together for collective gain sets us apart from the animals.

Not all would go along with the concept of man having a soul, and that a god could have created a preordained elect for his own glory, as is the Christian belief. Other religions have various gods or goddesses thought to control lives for good or evil. Some of these gods are considered malevolent, whereas others are thought to be benevolent. What religions have in common is an acceptance of a spirit world. Some adherents believe there is a need or a duty to worship their god or gods for purification and forgiveness, whereas others put the emphasis on making sacrifices, offerings and the giving of gifts for appeasement, thus the wrath of their god is circumvented or lessened; maybe in return they hope to receive protection, healing and forgiveness, but one thing is certain, animals do not have gods or religion.

On this weighty topic of the difference between mankind and animal kind some may think the introduction of our maritime theme, boats for pleasure, facetious, but I would argue not so. Firstly who knows of an animal who has built a boat for pleasure, leave alone one to perform a serious function, such as a heron constructing a floating platform as an aid for catching fish!

Are we who adore boats condemned by those who say we worship objects without souls, perhaps with more passion than the god or gods they worship who reputedly control souls and spirits? Don’t we know that a boat has a spirit and a soul? This is way beyond the comprehension of animals, which underlines yet another fundamental difference between us and the animals.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Navigation Computer Console

Bill's Log

Can you imagine a plywood box 14 inches high, 15 inches deep and 16 inches wide, but with a diagonal hinged piece of Perspex at the front? That’s what I’ve been making today. Why? Because when it’s finished it will protect my laptop computer from the elements when it’s being used as a navigation aid aboard my yacht. It will have a simple ventilation system for the efficient working of the cooling fan and the minimization of condensation.

At the rear, and level with the top of this purpose-made console, there will be two substantial hooks which fit over the lower washboard - this is a kind of slide-in door that blocks off the bottom half of the cabin entrance. I’ll make sure there will be room between the washboard and the container for the external power lead from the ship’s battery. This will pug into an internal cigar lighter, similar to those found in most cars.

The hooks will enable the device to be deployed internally or externally according to the weather.

When one is snug in harbour the computer will be used as at home – I’ll be comfortably seated at the yacht’s adjustable table, but most likely the subjects will be the next day’s routes, waypoints, or the composition of E-mails or ‘blogs’ such as this.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Boat Maintenance

Bill's Log

Prior to a new sailing season the owner of a yacht inevitably makes a list of jobs to be done before the ‘treasure of his heart’ can be launched. One such job must be the application of antifouling paint, unless the yacht has been previously prepared with an expensive, but effective 10 yearly antifouling system. However, even such a luxury generally requires burnishing.

Having placed ‘antifouling’ on his list, the prudent owner will want to add a host of other items under the heading Maintenance Work, which could be anything from replacing the malfunctioning fluorescent light in the main cabin to cleaning out the fixed water tank under the starboard cockpit seat. In my case, having already carried out tasks such as fitting a brand new saloon carpet, installing a super gimbal cooker and repairing the upper washboard, there are yet a further seventeen jobs needing attention!

Some of these maintenance tasks require considerable physical effort, for example, removing numerous layers of encrusted paint from twin bilge keels before applying insulating paint, or sanding teak rubbing strakes, hatch surrounds and grab handles prior to an application of teak oil, but even before attention can be given to them, the materials and tools have to be acquired and assembled.

There’s a law requiring the addition of further jobs to a list, even before items on it have been crossed through. It’s not surprising on occasions there’s a reluctance to even look at the list. Now and again circumstances seem just right for action: no funerals or weddings, no shopping excursions, no appointments, no reason to go to work, the weather is fine, one is feeling fit – then a commitment is made - tools, bits and pieces, food and drink are thrown into the car. If you are in too much of a hurry, the ladder is left behind, which means surreptitiously finding a spare one which has not been locked under the yacht of an unsuspecting owner.

Then comes the nitty-gritty, getting down to detail with whatever preparations need to be done, whether it be chiselling out fine crazing in gel coat before infilling and putting unsightly imperfections to right, or lovingly sanding bright wood prior to applying the first coat of varnish which has suitably been thinned with turpentine.

At the end of the day, a rumbling stomach is a reminder of the need for replenishment in the form of a hearty meal. While driving home, a glance in the mirror brings a shock of horror; hair is uncombed and full of sawdust; the brow is streaked with gel coat, and a further examination reveals trousers stained with varnish.

But when the meal is finished, there’s a glow of contentment and a twinkle in the eye. It was all worthwhile and when shall I do it again?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Me, a few years ago. Posted by Hello

Aims and Objectives

Bill's Log

A goal is but one step towards an objective. In my case the first objective is to ‘enjoy’ a cruise along the south coast of England during May, June and perhaps into July 2005.

Before the objective can become a reality I need to ‘score’ several goals, and yet the making of a goal requires several moves whereby one outwits the opposition. There needs to be an overall strategic plan and guiding principles governing the plan.

My principles are fundamental, but they cannot be divorced from the reality of priorities, the first being to guard and look after my good wife who has not had the best of health for several years. Strategically caring for my wife is good, not only for her, but it makes sense to ensure she is able to fend for herself while I’m off sailing. She needs to be fit enough physically and mentally to cope with my absence. Once that is assured, I’ll be able to leave her with my conscience clear. Of course, the mobile phone means we shall be able to communicate on a daily basis; therefore if there is some deterioration in her health or an emergency I’ll be able to ‘park’ the boat somewhere then make a quick return home by rail or by coach.

Continuing with the health strategy, I need to keep fit myself, and this I do by taking a walk most days and by having a nutritious diet.

In summary, principle number one is to look after my wife and care for my own needs. This is not a case of making Jack all right, but rather recognizing that if one is not on top form, then others cannot receive the benefits. Ultimately, we are all dependent upon each other, even the most self-sufficient and insular person finds it difficult to live indefinitely without using resources provided by other human beings.

Another fundamental principle is daily satisfaction; that’s not the philosophy of hedonism whereby every activity is with the sole purpose of achieving pleasure; no, in fact it’s almost the opposite. Satisfaction comes from doing those things you think and believe are right – there’s an inner peace. For some this comes because they know they do not condemn themselves because their actions confirm and are in harmony with their moral and ethical values, whether they are formed by upbringing, religion, an examination of how others live and behave, or other accepted inculcated set of norms.

The simplest of goals in pursuit of an objective are sometimes the most difficult to achieve. How often do we see an accomplished football player taking a free kick, only to miss the upper bar of the goal by miles! There’s much recrimination and self-examination and hand thumping when it happens.

I suppose one of the simple goals for me was to service ‘Bumper’s’ engine seacock to comply with the insurance survey. What a hassle it turned out to be. By Sod’s law it was located in a dark recess under the engine beyond a narrow opening under the companion way. This necessitated me reaching forward while kneeling and applying a Molegrip and a spanner in opposition to one another. Even before that could be done, various bits and pieces had to be removed from the seacock. Frustratingly I allowed the restraining nut at the base where the intake tube passes through the hull to come loose. That meant finding a way of retaining it while I attended to the other part of the procedure requiring both hands. With some ingenuity I managed to jam the Molegrip against the bulkhead while it gripped the lower nut, thus enabling me to use both hands to accomplish removing the seacock for servicing.

That single, seemingly simple goal, took two half-days to achieve.

There are numerous other maintenance tasks to perform before ‘Bumper’ will be ready for launching and there are just over two months for all of them to be done.

At the beginning of today’s entry I mentioned overcoming the opposition, and here are some identified elements:

1) External demands requiring my participation, things like shopping expeditions, perhaps helping others in a practical way with their every day problems or attending an appointment at the dentist's or doctor's.
2) Adverse weather, perhaps it’s too cold, too wet or too windy.
3) Unexpected emergencies, such as having to get the car attended to after an unwelcome incident, or needing to visit a relative who is unwell.
4) Then there’s just the onset of ‘blues’ perhaps when one is feeling off colour or just too fatigued to cope with the 40 mile return journey to the boat.

My opening sentence contains the word ‘enjoy’, and if that is a prime reason for making the voyage, I believe the preparations should as far as possible be guided by the same principle. When these things become ‘chores’ they have no place in the order of affairs, but now and again we have no control over the outcome, and need to keep an attitude of calm resignation in knowing that most things and activities are not perfect.


Greetings to all sailors of small sailboats and those who like building small sailing boats or would aspire to do so.

In the first instance visitors to this 'blog' will have discovered the Web address from the Small Sailboats web site or from one of the Yahoo! boat discussion groups.

Maybe as the days go by you may want to ask questions or make comments - that'll be fine by me, because there will be a real channel of communication between us. That's were the usual web site fails unless it has an expensive CGI script facility. So three cheers to!!

The main purpose of setting up this facility is to have an easy system of communication between visitors and myself.

I'll be developing a few themes over the coming months, as follows:

1) Preparations for 'Bumper's' cruise to the West Country and the Scilly Isles.

2) Log updates on the Cruise - as and when I can gain access to the World Wide Web. To achieve this I'll be using a WiFi system connected to the laptop computer, but there are certain restrictions in this setup, the main one being I shall need to find 'hot spots' at ports of call. Intersestingly, they are often at MacDonald's restaurants. A 'hot spot' is a small area within range of a wireless broadcasting and receiving station which can communicate with a miniature radio in a laptop or PDA.

3) Updates on the building of a Paradox micro-cruiser - using a kit - the first of it's kind in the world.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Bill's Log

Bill's Log


It's me trying out the system to ascertain if I can make further entries.