Walking the Four Counties

August 11th, 2011

I am, and have been for a while, a big chap. I’m fairly active in walking a bit and going to the gym a couple of times a week – mainly keeping ticking over, but no big effort. Once you get past 40, as I am, then its time to take things in hand deciding what you want out of life. So since the end of June, I’ve a new eating and gym routine that has meant I’ve lost a whopping 30 pounds. Super pleased with myself, however I have a hurdle now – going away on the boat for 2 weeks!

No gym to go to and usually I’m at the tiller, which isn’t really energetic. I suppose I could run/walk on a morning/evening but that wouldn’t be much fun and feel more like a chore that I’d probably end up giving it a miss. This time out we are taking my 16 year old nephew, so he can steer the boat. So I have an idea, why not walk along side the boat? We are doing the Four Counties plus some extra bits to extend it to 2 weeks, so should be plausible. So that’s what I’m doing – or planning to (keep watch of my twitter account for updates).

Nothing for a while

August 4th, 2011

My PC is up and running, but I’ve yet to do any new videos. went to Chester in March, so thee is that to upload. We are off out mid August and doing the four counties. So plenty of material to come.

Google Earth Canal Maps

January 10th, 2011

With Waterscape changing its map every so often, I’m always on the look out for alternatives. Their new one is fine for route planning but the lines don’t actually follow the route of the canal (straightened/simplified to reduce amount of data points I guess), so I was quite pleased when I found someone had done an overlay for google maps that actually followed the canals. So I aim to use the Google Earth Canal Maps in my next video. Hopefully it’ll be done this month (free time availability dependence you see).

BCN Circular (revisited)

October 19th, 2010

In May I posted a couple of videos comprising of my 10 hour cruise in a day from Cuckoo Wharf to the Engine Branch Canal going via Tame Valley, Walsall, Wednesbury Old, and Main Line canals. Whilst my old set up using a Ricoh R6 digital camera meant the videos translated as 1 hour cruise equals 1 minute timelapse video, the Canon camera didn’t have the 5 second intervalometer limit as it was implemented by an add-on script. The settings I used meant a 1 hour cruise became 100 seconds of video, so the day was split to comply with Youtube’s 10 minute maximum duration. Whilst the videos looked smoother I was aware that some of the long straight sections of the TVC can be less interesting, so I have had another go, but rather than removing elements (I like the “whole cruise” element) I played with time warping taking parts up to 300% faster. I also had another change in the maps by orientating it around the current location to keep the direction headed to the top, so more SatNav like. The result is a single video for the whole 10 hours. Have a look …

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC3Trt-f1Hs[/youtube]

Our first AGM

October 19th, 2010

Silhouette owners held our first AGM at the weekend, well first AGM post-Ownerships. Very well attended with 11 of the 12 shares represented, and as a group it looks like we are all set up for carrying on going forward. Many boats have now had their meetings, whether self organised or now under the umbrella of another management company. For many the future is bright, though not for all it seems. There are one or two boats that I know of that have divisions on the way forward with the likelihood that the boats will be sold and those owners wanting to continue looking for shares in other boats.
There are also some boats where the future is still uncertain. These are boats where Ownerships owned some shares, bought via the buy-back scheme. As Ownerships goes into the hands of the receivers, one job will be to see what debts they can recoup and if the shares are seen as assets they will want to get money for these. No one seems to know what this really means, will boats be forced to be sold off or could the shares be bought by existing owners (if they are in a position to, which is another matter) which may be okay if only one-share, but with cases of 3 or 4 shares on some boats you are talking about a third of the boats total (so could be well over £10K). Without this clarification, it could be difficult to really plan for the future. The manager at one of the bases where fifteen boats were based posted on a forum that four of them had buy-back shares on and extrapolating this to the whole fleet could mean as many as 26 boats are affected.