A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views

 

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Entries with tag london .

Plan from the Medway to Central London

Planing a trip - On Sunday.

Forcast is - Fog clears 9-10am some mist 11 low wind

low tide at Sheerness 9.36am

- we should leave 30-60 min before low tide to clearer the Medway.

High tide at London bridge 15.19

- best to arrive before the tide turns

This gives us 7 hours which should be fine no rush.

We will have to leave between 8-9am earlier better so we ain’t rushing at the other end. So the first hour or two might be in mist or fog (not good) we can navigate fine by GPS and the radar reflector will make us visible to other boats but we are limated to AIS to see them. We can use the GPS to stay at the edge of the shipping lanes.

Talked to the harber master and the local marien police they both think we will be fine if we stick to the edge of the shiping lanes.

We are booked into Bow Lock between 3-4pm

 

TODO in the morning for the trip

* mount radar reflector on the roof

* Tie down solar panels

* check anchor chain rope is untangled

* shorten flue

* check tie down wood on roof

* wipe windows

* ratchet stove in place

* train crew in roles and equipment

* lifejackit and man overboard

* pump bilges (done)

Tools for the trip

UPDATE

We started the trip on time in heavy fog, navigating by GPS and AIS was fine. though when we got into open water we had a fog related navigation panic and found our self doing loops before we realised this.

As the day went on the fog did not clear, come 12.00 we started to worry, agreed to drop the anchor just before Canvey island and wait for it to clear. Called VTS to tell um we were anchor, they had been watching us on radar good to know the radar reflector was working.

An hour later still no sign of it clearing we had to make a decision to push on or stay anchored. The further we went in land the more chance the was that the fog would clear so in the end we tried to pulled the anchor up, It was stuck, after tiring a few times we shortened and re-tied the anchor rope so that it was near vertical then gently powered over the anchor to free it, this worked with out fouling the prop.

We gave the job of steering to a boater who hadn’t had a go yet so that he could get used to it before the channel narrowed. he lost control I had to take over after circling 5-6 time and it took me 5 minutes to bring the boat back on courses. Its hard to navigate/steer a courses with no visibility, you soon learn to steer by compass Bering.

Called VTS to tell them the situation they were helpful with radar directions, at one point they called us to tell us we were heading starate for a line of groween - that soon loomed out of the mist as we turned away from them.

We headed out more into the centre of the channel using AIS to tell us when a big ship was coming past, we would scoot as far as we could into the side. the biggest one came up behind, was a 33,000 ton bulk carrier, its fog horn BUMING lowed behind us was disconcerting - when it finally went past we were hit by 5-6 2M waves from it's wake that made the boat jump and everything crash about inside, no harm done.

It was nearing 3.00pm and the turning of the tide, we would have already missed the tide window for Bow Lock that we had booked so called CRT to cancel it. Limehouse lock was closing at 4.30 so it was looking like we could not make that one. If we continued past the tide turning we would be lucky to make 2-3 knots punching the tide so decided to drop anchor agen just past Deapford Creek. On the map the was a anchor point there.

Making sure the were no big boats on the AIS we crossed the channel to find comeing out of the fog a line of yachts anchored up there with 3 empty buoys on the end we missed the first and tied up to the second, that was us for the night.

In the morning the fog still had not cleared so we waited for the tide to turn at 12.00, past 11.00 the fog started to lift, we slipped the line for the buoy and it was easy the rest of the way to Limehouse in light mist.

The Village Butty Project

Update

They have raised just over half the funding and the is still 11 days to go (appeal ending 15th July 2015)

Events on all week, big day https://www.facebook.com/events/1680993855468109/

Please support this project by directly donating or sharing this post with your friends and relatives.

The longest and friendliest village in the UK is actually the London Canal Network. Its a tight-knit community of eccentrics and iconoclasts, mums and kids, working people and retires, a cross section of life live in a continuously roving/changing mix.

For the last 3 years or so James (and the Butty) have been providing a floating gathering place for this community, while trying to make a living as a events space. He was becoming exorsted and the sums went adding up so he decided to sell the Butty a few months ago, the was a uproar from the community of boaters who had been relying on this resources, a couple Alice and Ian decided to take on the project and grow it into a not for profit company – the Village Butty Project was born.

For this to become sustainable and independent the Butty needs a companion boat to move it, provide catering, light and working space. The is now a fund raise going on to make this happen. The boat has been sourced, the money is need to renovate into being the companion space to make the village hall Butty a self standing project. To keep this invaluable resource working on the “cut”.

You can help, clink on the links to find out more and directly support the project:

Go fund me link

Failbook link

The poverty of the alternative

Was looking at this site/project http://occupydemocracy.org.uk here is a reaction:

The tools we use for activism are dominated by top down vertical thinking - the horizontal tools are left at the bottom of the tool box when we reach for a digital front for our grassroots campaigning. Our organising mirrors this right-wing reality – most activism is organized by invisible/opaque affinity groups. The words (wind) are often hippy peace and love or dusty revolution - the reality is far blunter, just open your eyes and look, the isn't much of an alternative. This obvious realization is surprising as we actually have the most open and radical time to move in/ to create real alternatives. The tool box for horizontalism is overflowing with tools, the organizing process are a bit more complex.

To answer briefly two replays to this, for those who say “we just need to love each other”

For those who think dialogue alone will solve this issue

Q. What works and what dose not work?

Privatising moorings and public space

The boating community in the UK is in a privileged position compared to many parts of our over controlled society, you can moor up and stay most places for free on a reasonably priced yearly licence. However this rare freedom is constantly under threat.

The is an issue with privatisation of open public space not only from company’s and government's but also from our fellow boater “community”. This can come from individuals working with The Canal & River Trust (CRT) to set-up for profit or even “community moorings” or people who find out of way spots and make them there “own” and then try and control these pieces of open public spaces as private spaces.

Of course with everything the is a balances of the good and the bad. CRT have an agenda to maximize revenue for the “public” spaces they own and this will be pushed over all agreed mooring projects so the is a clear danger here for us losing public mooring space to private mooring space even with “community mooring” projects and for profit moorings in “public” are always bad.

The DIY spaces can be good were people take responsibility for cleaning and caring and opening up a little used public space. But often go bad due to unsustainable use of the spaces opened up, piles of trash and anti-social behaver are common as are threats of violence often feed by drunkenness. This brings as bad a “closing” of a public space as more traditional state or private enterprise privatisation.

As boaters we currently have a some lee way to make things work better than they often do, lets see what happens.

A trip down the big river

A trip through central London on the river Thames from Brentford to Limehouse.

Ready to set-off from the last squatted mooring on the big river, near Kew bridge.

Very calm for the first half.

The crew relax and take photes

The bridges were easer than further up the river as they were wider.

Just about to enter the ruff part of the trip (Photo from liquid highway)

It got so ruff and busy we didn’t get any photos or videos of the best bit (:

Arrived safe but shakenup (:

Boat life - heading out of london west

Boat life - ArrivIng in Little Venice

 

Heading West

Coming through Camden

Primrose hill

The Man who bought a lifeboat

The truck arrives from Scotland.

Lifting the boat.

In the air.

To the water.

On the way to London.

Steve helping with a low bridge.

Had to get 14 cyclist as ballast on her the next day to get under the bridge.

Underway agen.

The locks are easer with two people, harder with only me.

Might just get there (:

Arrive in Hackney.

Home on the river.

London Anarchist Book Fair - Catholic Worker

Are a community of the international radical Christian ‘Catholic Worker’ movement. The Catholic Worker is Catholic, ecumenical, pacifist, communitarian and anarchist in the spirit of gentle personalism. The London Catholic Worker was brought together by the action of the Jubilee Ploughshares in 2000. Those who came together had long sensed the need for a Catholic Worker community of hospitality and resistance in the world’s second imperial city. Our work is now made up by two houses of hospitality, a community café and a drop-in soup kitchen, and continue to focus our resistance on the ‘war on terror’, British nuclear weapons and the arms trade. More info at http://londoncatholicworker.org/

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