Wet and Windy

Winter is upon us today. They were working on the bollards that should block the entry to the Waterfront but have been inoperative for months. After a few tries in the past, the port seems to have decided that it needs doing properly. Reluctantly, I went out to have a look given that the wind was blowing hard and it was raining, albeit a fine mist. As usual, no-one minds being asked what they are doing. My opening gambit was “so you are here to fix it properly” to which I got very positive and friendly replies.

There were quite a few vehicles involved, plus someone sitting in the cab of the lorry out of the rain!

The digger – remember that lousy shot from yesterday – was still there but this time the sun wasn’t in my eyes.

As I went along to go up to the Podium, I saw that Alert was back. I like photographing Alert as she is am impressive ship.

Just to show how the wind was blowing I took a short video of the Trinity House flag flying on Alert’s prow.

There was no activity on the scaffolding today – did I hear cries of “shame” – well maybe not. I know that they said that the wrapping fabric was chosen to withstand the wind. Well, have a look at this.

Mid November Miscellany

A list of things today. First off, my wife has noticed that there is blossom on the trees on the Podium. Yes, I know, late November and all that so I thought it was the silver underneath of leaves showing until… I went down to the Podium to check. She is right. There is blossom. So if anyone can identify the trees, maybe we will know what is going on. Here is the tree.

Here is the blossom closer in.

It looks like apple blossom but they aren’t apple trees.


I had never come across SARS before until I saw one of their cars outside the Aurora today. It appears that SARS is the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service and is an emergency backup for ambulances when specialist knowledge is required. Quite impressive design. Maybe someone was in the Aurora?

Back to Scaffolding, I’m afraid!

It’s a lovely day out there with a big difference to yesterday which was overcast and rainy. Just check out the sky! As you can see, they have got nearly to the top on the west face of Capstan House.

They do work up high in these jobs.

I caught the lift on its way down.

There was a digger parked up in Patteson Road. The sun was not good but, if you like good honest large work equipment then…

Neither Andy or Steve were around to ask what it was there for.

Aurora Container Bar

There has been a report recently about a proposed container bar outside the Aurora. It has been turned down. I thought you might like to see the offending item. (Again, the sun is my enemy!)

Our balcony

Lastly, just have a look at the view from our balcony. We will have to start pulling the curtains in our bedrooms once they really get going here.

How not to do it!

I mentioned the other day that they were putting up scaffolding in University Avenue, presumably to do to the University halls of residence what they are doing to us. I had to go round to Aqua Pharmacy this afternoon, which leads me to University Avenue. All of a sudden, the pavement is impassable. The scaffolding now reaches the Café Marina and completely blocks the pavement.

Given that cars come round that corner from Duke Street on a green light and that it is now pretty much blind, it was extremely dangerous in my wheelchair trying to negotiate around the corner.

Our scaffolders are doing a much better job. They have had to close a part of the pavement to get the lift in place. However, they have put plenty of signs and railings up to ensure everyone’s safety.

Belgian boats and skaters

and a little about cladding thrown in!

Castor is a Belgian Navy patrol vessel. It has been here before but a long time ago. It is big and grey and is getting a good bit of attention.

Without going all of the way round onto the island, it is difficult to get an overall shot of a bigger boat but I got this one from outside the Cult Café.

My friend Dan, in the USA, loves cranes so here is one just for him.

For some reason it is not only flying the Belgian flag but also the Royal Navy White Ensign.

Here are a few more general shots.

Christmas is coming

The council are putting up the Christmas tree down by the University. It is still blocked off but, as soon as it is lit, I will go down and get some nice shots.

Back to cladding

Before I show the current state of play on our block, I was surprised to see work being carried out on the University residence block next to the Cult Café. I wonder if they have the same issue or is it something else. I am bemused though as the whole front has been stripped but the scaffolding is partially built. Mind you, the other day on my way back from the pharmacy I saw a large cherry picker there so maybe they used that? Who knows?

Now we get back to our block. This is the south side elevation so now, you can see the lift in its full extent.

As you can see, they are starting to wrap the west side. They have a couple of teams on now so they are getting on with our side as well. We have men walking backwards and forwards outside our widows – a bit disconcerting!

Skaters Waltz

When I was down by Castor, I saw two guys who were having a great time showing off their skills at roller skating to music.

Lifts and exits

I went down to put the rubbish into the bins this morning and found that the bins were outside awaiting the council collection. Lucky for me as I managed to catch two things. One was the new lift that they have fitted to the scaffolding and the other was Suntis leaving. Now I have wanted to show this for some time but I am never down on the waterfront when she leaves but today I was!

First off is the regular update on the scaffolding. The new lift is just for the detritus coming off the walls and NOT for personnel use. I am sure that I took a video of the lift working and a photo of the whole thing but neither is on my phone so maybe next time… Here is a close up of the lift along with one of the gates that have been installed on each floor. Evidently, the gates are tied into the lift and can only be opened when the lift is at that floor and the lift door is open. Everything that Carters does is tied around safety. My memories go back to Hong Kong in 1998 where they had bamboo scaffolding and men scampering up the outside without any safety equipment at all!

The expected skip is now in place. My wife loves skips but this one is a bit bigger than the ones she used to have at home!

They have started to wrap on the west side of the building. It was extremely windy the other day and I was told that they can’t scaffold when the wind exceeds 25mph so, on this occasions they move around to our side (the north) to keep going.


As as I said, I haven’t managed to get down to the waterfront in time to show Suntis leaving since I restarted the blog but now I was there so… Excuse the fingers at one point. I have dubbed music on as I had a fit of coughing which we can all do without. This is about three minutes long and to some it could be akin to paint drying. You have been warned!

I had a discussion with Andy about how clever it is to reverse a boat as big as this backwards through the lock but given that they do it one a fortnight they are a bit practiced at it.

Battleship Row – sort of

I have had the pleasure and privilege of visiting Pearl Harbour in Hawaii and been able to stand over the wreck of the USS Arizona and to look down what they called “Battleship Row”. No way near as important to the world but we had our little equivalent yesterday with four survey vessels all parked along the Wet Dock.

We have seen all of these before. The leftmost two were covered in a recent blog entry. M.V. Morven has been mentioned over the recent past but never mind, I have some photos so I shall use them – smile.

The fourth one has been here before but not for some time.

AMS Spirit is a catamaran wind farm service vessel.

It is used to ferry people and supplies around. It looks very comfortable inside.

I bumped into Tom from EWS when out photographing and he checked if I was going to be at the Extraordinary general meeting on 22nd of November. Is there any chance that I might miss it? Thought not!

Back to the scaffolding

They are coming around to do us now. The work is getting very close in.

It is wet and cold out there and they aren’t very chatty – not surprisingly.


They are finally fixing the bollards that protect the waterfront from random traffic. They can be lower, if you have a key and it used to be that the key was only obtained from the Port authority. Since they have be broken anyone has been able to drive up there so this might make it safer, if a bit less convenient for Aurora customers.