The Dragon Race is returning

I have just checked and I last spoke about the Dragon boat racing in the Wet Dock back in June 2018. It seems that there was one in 2019 but I seem to have missed that. Anyway, it is coming back on Saturday 11th June and I will be there!.

The Ipswich Star has more details so I recommend that you visit their web site for information on times and so on.

First go with my Olympus M5 Mk. III

I was away on Saturday when my new camera arrived but it was soon unpacked when I got back later in the day. What a nice little compact SLR. It is an OM-D E M5 Mk.III (it could be snappier!) with a 12-45mm F4 PRO lens. It seems to be a brilliant combination. 

Anyway, it was a lovely day on Sunday so I took the camera out and rolled around the Ipswich Wet Dock. I say “rolled” as I use a wheelchair for any trip longer than about 50 yards! Never mind, I get around and enjoy myself so… I met a chap who was proud to tell me that he was 75. I didn’t let on that I was 77! (Sorry about all the ! but I am in that sort of mood – grin). He also told me that he had seen an otter in the water. Well, I was a bit confused about this until I realised that he must have seen our resident seal.

I didn’t go too far but far enough to get a range of photos just to see how the camera fared. It has a huge menu of options and settings so I am sure that I can set it up a bit better as I had to darken down, just a little, every image. Here we go:

Small attack of the tall ships

The Cordon Sailing Trust has a collection of, what we would call, tall ships and a few of them were in the Waterfront today.

First off, though, there was a little bit of excitement. As we were returning home this afternoon a black BMW unmarked Police car came rapidly down Patteson Road with its blue lights flashing. I saw it turn round the corner towards Anglo-Norden but by the time I got to the corner, there was no sign of it – excitement over!

As I parked the car, I saw that there were a few “tall ships” alongside on Orwell Quay so I rolled down there to take some pictures. None of them are new to the Wet Dock but, nevertheless, it is a lovely afternoon so I thought that they would make some nice photos. However, as I am currently restricted to my phone, it was hard to see the screen because the sun was so bright. However, I managed.

Queen Galadriel


Excelsior (a fishing Smack) – LT472 – Lowestoft

Then, I took a few images to fill in the details:

I am still chasing my new camera but these aren’t too bad, I think.

Some excitement last evening

You will know about the concerns regarding the susceptibility of the apartment block to fire due to the cladding issues. Well, yesterday evening at around 10.20pm, as I was going to bed, I heard a faint noise from the hallway. Our main door is a fire door so is heavily built and keeps the noise down very well. In this instance, though, it was an issue because I heard, very faintly, the fire alarm going.

I looked out to find my neighbours leaving the building with one of them doing an exploratory walk around. Eventually, he came back to say that people were evacuating. Now, we have a problem because neither me nor my 96 year old mother-in-law can use the stairs so we have been told to wait for the Fire Brigade to come and evacuate us! Not too comfortable but I can’t see any other solution as we mustn’t use the lifts.

After about 10 minutes the fire alarm in our apartment started up, which made me feel that this was serious so I called 999 (never done that before) and got the Fire Brigade. On explaining the situation I was told that they knew about it and it had been caused by someone with a Vape cigarette! I was told that we needed to contact the block management to turn the alarm off. Discussing this with our neighbours, it seemed that this had already happened but the person was struggling to get into the equipment. Finally, they obviously did get in as the noise stopped and all those gathered out in the Aurora carpark came back in!


Change of equipment

This may or may not be of interest. The blog is on hold for a week or so due to me changing equipment. For the last 15 or so years I have be a user of Canon cameras. I recently bought a new Canon 90D digital SLR thinking that I was getting the best that I could afford. However, I hadn’t done my research enough and, after spending out the money, I realised that the world had moved on from such devices to a simpler form of top end camera – Mirrorless.

What this means is that, unlike an SLR (or single lens reflex), mirrorless cameras don’t have – guess what – a mirror, which is what is used in an SLR. This mirror projects the image up to the viewfinder and then leaps out of the way to take the picture. The mirrorless camera doesn’t have a mechanical mechanism like this but just has a shutter in front of a digital receptor.

Anyway, I have sold the Canon 90D and purchased an Olympus mirrorless M5 Mk. III. The problem is that I sold the Canon last week and won’t get the new one until later this week. Then I am away for a couple of days celebrating our 55th wedding anniversary so I won’t be back in blog harness until the earliest next week.

I hope that this makes sense.

In the meantime, it is a lovely sunny Easter Monday here on the Waterfront. For those outside England, it is a bank holiday here so a time for relaxation. Here are two views from our balcony.

This could be one of the last views before it all gets wrapped ready for the cladding to be replaced.

I’ll be back soon.


Grafitti – 2

Here is the second set of images regarding the graffiti round near St. Peter’s Wharf. There first two are down Foundry Lane, a little off the pedestrian beaten track.

According to Wikipedia Sophia Dullep Singh was a prominent Suffragette.

We are now out on College Street. This next image comes from the building next to Wolsey Gate. The scaffolding around this building has been there as long as I can remember so I am not sure what is going on with it.

These next two images are taken from the other side of what is now Key Street. It fascinates me how streets in Ipswich change their name as you go along them Obviously, as Ipswich is such an old place, there must have been reasons for these changes that are lost in the current road layout. These two panels are underneath Dance East and The Foundry.

I can’t place this exactly so, as it is the last one I have, I will put in and update its location some time later.

Well, that’s about it. One last image here is for my friend in Connecticut, USA as he has a thing about cranes. This crane has been around the back of Star Lane for some time. As it was a lovely day with a clear blue sky, it was just waiting for a nice photo.

Grafitti – Part 1

Ipswich Borough Council have a very efficient graffiti team. I remember, years ago when we had a shop in the Norwich Road, some graffiti appear on a wall at the front. Next thing we knew was the team appeared and hosed it all of without us even reporting it. Anyway, down at the St. Peter’s Wharf end of the Waterfront, there is a lot of graffiti on the boarded up properties. These seem to be saved because they liven up the area. I took a trip down there on Saturday to record as much as I could. I will spilt this across two or three posts as there are quite a lot.

Sorry about the shadows but it is nigh-on impossible to get a shot without them unless I go later in the day.
These two aren’t graffiti, per se, but the girders make interesting shapes.
This wall isn’t, correctly speaking, graffiti as it is planned and authorised but it is very decorative.

More to come. Keep watching.

Ropes and Pulleys

An old friend has arrived in the Wet Dock. Queen Galadriel is a fairly regular visitor and is one of the tall ships that are a feature of the Ipswich Waterfront. Details can be found on Wikipedia. She is what is known as a Gaff Ketch.

She is a good indicator of the amount of rope involved in rigging a working sailing vessel. Here goes with some pictures.

Queen Galadriel

Based at Malden in Essex on the Blackwater

If you like nets
If you like ropes
That anchor seems to have done some damage!

Sitting behind Galadriel and somewhat in her shadow is Faramir (do these naming conventions seem to fit a pattern?). This is another ketch. It starts the year here but normally sails out of Newcastle.

Curious Incident in the night

There is a wooden floating walkway inside the lock. Obviously, it moves up and down with the water level and gives people the chance to get out of their boat if required. Suntis – it again! – can’t get through the lock when the walkway is in place as it is too wide so the port people move it down to the dockside outside the Aurora.

We have had some very strong winds recently – 30mph – that are coming from the east. These winds bring cold weather as they come across the North Sea. The other evening, once Suntis had arrived, the walkway was tied up awaiting daylight before it could be moved back into the lock. It wasn’t properly tied up and one end came free.

Soon after this, it started hitting the boats on the otherwise, albeit only gently. We aren’t sure when it was sorted out as we didn’t see any action then and it was safely tied up again next morning. I assume, as the control tower at the lock is manned 24 hours a day, that it got notice and sorted.

On a lighter note, I went out today on a mission to record the Graffiti up around St. Peter’s Wharf today. There was activity around a display panel up there. They were building an installation that covered the complex railway that was all around the Wet Dock until the Marina was built. It grabbed my interest because it is being developed by the Bury St. Edmunds Model Railway club and included models and maps. I will cover it in depth when it isn’t surrounded by workmen. Anyway, I was around that end of the dock and it was very cold so I stopped off at The Grazing Sheep for a Latte.

There are worse ways to spend a Saturday morning.

A very cold day here in Ipswich

I had to go out to do some shopping so, while I was out, I took a few photos. It has been cold here – around 3c -37f with occasional snow. First up, it’s not the Waterfront but nearby. This is my daughter’s road in Ipswich.

Caudwell Hall Road this morning

Having been to Sainsbury’s (and forgotten the important thing I went for!) I took the opportunity to get some up to date photos along the Waterfront. First off, good old Suntis is being unloaded. When I started all this they used to use a single crane and take two days. Nowadays, they use two cranes and one day. I cracked a joke(??) some years ago about this use of two cranes. I said that “I hope that they don’t cross the streams!” (if this means nothing, look up this Ghostbusters reference. – Ghostbusters is one of my most favourite films – EVER!

Next, I rolled along the Quay down to The Cult café to find the Alert was in the dock. I have shown you Alert before but, for the new run of the blog, I will cover it again.

THV Alert is a Rapid Intervention Vessel owned and managed by Trinity House (The UK Lighthouse authority). They have a nice web page all about it. For my friend Dan I will highlight his favourite item, which is the crane.

Note to Dan – this is the 3rd crane on the page – it’s nearly as good as Christmas :-).

As a reflection of times gone by next to such a high-tech ship, there are these two.

Well, that’s it done for today. This week has been busy but I would expect it to calm down bit until Easter. Please subscribe to the blog as that gives me an indication that it is all worthwhile.