leynos: (Default)
I declare the first sailing expedition with Bruce and Angus on Saturday to have been a resounding success. We hired out a Stratos, the slightly nippier and slightly fiddlier analogue of the Wayfarers that Bruce and I learned in, for two hours and took it for a spin around the Forth.

Most of the two hours was spent tacking up to the Rail Bridge, with us all taking turns at helming. Angus's turn was his first go at sailing, and he got on pretty well at it. We all agreed though that the Stratos is maybe not the best boat in which to make ones first attempt, given all the awkward bumpy bits and extraneous sheets and pulleys everywhere. He enjoyed it though, and he said he's considering the taster course for next year.

After annoying the racers for a bit, we headed back to port, putting in a couple of jibes on the way, then got to practice parking downwind. We couldn't quite figure out where everything went (like I said, a Stratos is f complicated), but the supervisor was on hand to help us out.

Just to make a fun day better, we got what was almost ideal weather. Especially surprising given the time of year. Sunny, but not oppressively so, and with a healthy wind that only died once. I hope it's as nice in October for the Firbush trip.

~

Spent most of Sunday asleep on the sofa, owing to something that was either exhaustion or depression. Couldn't quite figure out which.
leynos: (Default)
I now have my RYA level 2 certificate, which means I can hire out a boat. Ooh yeah. So, anyone want to get together sometime in September and hire out a Wayfarer?

~

As promised, I got well hammered on Saturday at my flatmate's party. We all had a good time, though I think I scared a few people by ranting about Britain's nuclear armourment after one too many drams of Highland Park. That wasn't before I'd persuaded my flatmate to model my Bates & Co fedora and Jed phoenix self-tailoring jacket.

I also got to talk to [livejournal.com profile] dizziebeth properly for a bit. Although I imagine my ranting probably put me in the bad books.

~

To my many responsibilities at work has now been added "web designer." So accordingly, I spent the day re-learning (again) CSS, and coming up with a design that looks pretty in Internet Exploiter and Mozilla Firefox.

The boss liked it. W00t.
leynos: (Default)
Never go sailing with management types. The only way they seem to know how to interact is to boss people around. Gha.

Apart from that, I learned how to deal with a man overboard today, and got my first attempt right. (Although I'll probably foul up the second attempt tomorrow. We also did more sailing round a triangle, which went mostly without hitch. At one point, I got water in the boat during a jibe, which was a laugh. There was also a point when all three of us needed to be leaning over the one side to keep us stable. All very exciting. I did crash into a buoy once tho, at which moment, the crew decided to drop the jib in order to berate me, which resulted in the jib getting completely tangled when the figure-eight knots somehow came loose. Oops. And we received a very informative lecture on how tides behave.

So I came away feeling I'd learned a lot, but I'm annoyed about the conduct of some of the other pupils.
leynos: (Default)
On the morning of the second day of sailing lessons, we received a received little lecture on how to parse the Met Office weather forecasts. In a funky RFC kinda way, there actually exist standard definitions for words like "soon," "occasionally," and "mild." Now I should be able to garner useful information from the BBC Shipping Forecast. In theory anyway. They also explained how pressure systems work.

After that, we took the boats out and practiced coming to berth from and against the wind. Thankfully, this didn't result in any major incidents.

Following lunch, we went through sailing round a triangular course. What this entails, is sailing downwind, beating upwind (in a zigzag course), adjusting the sails to suit the direction of course, and jibing (turning across the wind while its to your back). So, pretty much everything then.

Under the supervision of the instructor, I conducted two perfect laps, so I was feeling quite ready to take on the course unassisted. Of course, the minute the instructor left the boat, I went to pieces. "Um, why is the boat moving sideways?!?" My crew shouting orders at me didn't help much either. (Shouldn't it be the other way round?) I got it eventually though, and by the time we were told to head back in, we had all sailed a few perfect laps unsupervised.

I felt a bit out of place over the weekend tho. Everyone on the course seemed to be in their mid-thirties and employed as high skill-professionals or managers. I don't like to think of my job as defining me, but in the real world, that seems to be the first thing people look at, unfortunately.

One more weekend to go. I wonder what it will bring.

~

It's not every day that you get to see a window into the inner workings of fate. Everyone knows of friendships that have come about through a chance meeting dependent on a hundred or more disparate factors. By chorally, a million "could have beens" pass us by every day. You accept a lift off of a classmate. As you drive past the bus stop you would have waited at, there is standing the girl who smiled at you earlier and you smiled back at. Of course, nothing would have happened. But it's nice to dream.

~

The itamae at Sushiya seems to get better at his craft every time I visit. I tasted the most divine of unagi and sea bass nigiris today. Bonsai and Izzi just can't hold a candle.

~

I now have LocoRoco for the PSP.
leynos: (Default)
Day one of my level two sailing course went well. I have going about down to an art now. My jibing still needs a little work to get the hang of actually pointing in the right direction after the madly swinging boom has been avoided. Owing to the fact that there was only the two of us in the dinghy with the instructor, we got a lot more opportunity to practice these maneuvers. We were also taught about the other factors that need to be monitored depending on direction relative to the wind. Centre board, trim, etc.

At the end of the day, we went through the capsize drill. The water wasn't that cold, but I took quite a panic when I suddenly remembered that I hadn't done any swimming in ten years. The funny thing is, I only remembered this once I was actually in the water. None the less, I managed to swim round the boat no problem and pull it horizontal again. The balance on a Wayfarer must be very well placed if the weight of one person is enough to right it, sodden sail and all.

The wind decided to be as unpredictable as possible. At some points, we got a good speed going, and the proceedings all felt very exciting. At others, there was no wind at all, and we had to get a tow back to the harbour, lest we miss the capsize drill.

We also saw a bunch of what looked like WW2 era fighters and bombers flying overhead. Wonder what that was about.
leynos: (Default)
I'm booked onto the level 2 sailing course at Port Edgar Sailing School for the two weekends beginning Saturday 29th July. This involves capsizing the boat and righting it again. Among other things. Can't wait.
leynos: (Default)
The sailing continued again yesterday. We learned how to jibe, and we cruised around the lighthouse to the west of the Road Bridge, then went as far east as the tanker mooring point. I also now know how to do a double hitch and a reef knot.

Satisfyingly, we got a much better wind than the day before. We even had one scare when we thought the boat was close to tipping (it wasn't). Unfortunately though, it also rained a fair bit.



El naffo phone camera photies

I had the theme from Das Boot playing in my head at the time.
leynos: (Default)
I went sailing today, as part of a taster course at Port Edgar in South Queensferry. The days instructions covered setting up the dinghy, steering, tacking and sailing into the wind. I've been sailing before, with Compsoc, and before that, with the New Deal programme. Having a whole day's tuition, in a smaller group and with far more explanation of the theory helps a lot in understanding what is going on. I still haven't quite grokked how sailing into the wind actually works, but at least now I know how it's done.

The sailing was done in a Wayfarer, with two other students and an instructor. Sailing under the bridges is quite breathtaking at times. I also got to fulfill wone of my lifelong dreams of taking a close up look at Inchgarvie, when we got carried too far east by the tide. A rather gruff supervisor came along in a motor launch and towed us back, to our tutor's dismay.

~

I've been very busy these past two weeks.

A good deal of that time has, as you'd imagine, been spent looking for a job. And of course, I haven't found one yet, but I didn't really expect to either. My current plan is to spend my first week of unemployment searching for temporary work. Hopefully something along the lines of the team secretary job I had before starting with the bank, but I'll most likely have to take whatever comes along.

So, what else happened?

Ho-Il has left for South Korea now. I'm sorry to see him go, and I wish him luck with the rest of his studies. He'll be back in a year to finish his degree at Edinburgh. We've had a good deal of fun playing videogames and cooking for each other. I hope I can someday cook as well as he does. I doubt I'll ever be as good at Tekken 5, but playing against him has been inspirational.

I played my first proper evening of Big Eyes Small Mouth on Wednesday. Not only did Stephen turn me into a Dryad, but he dropped me straight into a love triangle! Quite a mindfuck. We've already had the obligatory bathhouse scene, so it looks like things can only go downhill from here.

I left my job on Friday, and my colleagues gave me an envelope stuffed full of cash as a parting gift. It actually surprised me to see some of the signatures on the card, since I can never really tell what kind of effect I have on people. I can't say that I will miss the job, but I will miss many of the people I worked beside. Just about everyone there was a character (in a good way).

After work, I went to a demonstration held by the PSC outside of the Edinburgh office of the European Commission, in protest against the EU's sanctions on Palestine. For a four pm start, we got an impressive attendance, in fact, more people than were at the demonstration outside of the Disney Store. Several passers-by even joined in the protest. A representative from the Commission met with the demo's organizer, and they discussed things in a very civilized and erudite manner, before agreeing to pass on the PSC's message to his superiors.
leynos: (Default)
The games night went well. Angus and [livejournal.com profile] scotm arrived shortly after I did and a fair bit of Soul Calibur 2 was played. [livejournal.com profile] brucec more or less showed everyone who was boss, as he fended off our attacks with disturbing ease. Once we realized that there were four people in the room, Gamecube Bomberman was booted and much craziness ensued. Around nine, dinner was ordered from the Bangalore in Tollcross, and we enjoyed a well made Indian meal whilst discussing the games industry and the year's cinema.

Once the food was out of the way, we moved onto Virtua Tennis 2, which was rather more evenly matched than Soul Calibur, although I reckon that anyone who can win as Tim Henman deserves some bonus kudos. At one point a set went on to six deuces, which induced a certain degree of amazement. Finally, Street Fighter II was broken out, and Angus was given a crash course in the quintessential 2D beat 'em up, before we all had to leave to catch buses.

Kate was sadly notable by her absence, which was a bit disappointing. She apparently "feel asleep." Ten points for the unintentional Metal Gear reference.

For the next games night, I think I will try to obtain Mario Kart for the Cube and some more good PS2 versus games.

End of an Edinburgh Institution


The Golf Sale is apparently no longer on:



Fun facts:

  • The company owning the shop was actually called "Golf Sale Ltd." in order to circumvent advertising laws.
  • The guy who holds the sign gets paid eight pounds an hour.
  • He gets asked "Excuse me, do you know where there's a golf sale on?" quite frequently, and it apparently gets old rather quickly.


File, Print, File, Print, File...


As a measure of how monotonous my job is, it was an exciting occasion when my boss asked me to compose an email on his behalf.

Boring work stuff )

~

Oh, and I've booked myself a weekend of sailing lessons at Port Edgar.

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