I saw 2 ships come sailing in … 

I’d like to spend a few minutes waxing lyrical about ArtRage2.
This is one of the coolest programmes I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a computer art / painting package, is relatively cheap ($25 USD), and very easy to use. Here are a few of my latest works:

Which is my dad and I sailing, on his boat. (Wayfarer, MK2). And…

I feel kinda homesick for the big ol’ rust bucket named Doulos. Both from memory, (well, I did check the number on the sail for the wayfarer, and I did have to check where the name was painted on in relation to the Anchor (sad!), but other than that, no ref. photos or anything.)

[3]: http://blog.madprof.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/doulos-web.jpg


The North, and sailing 

I was just up in Famagusta over night, meeting the Anglican church there who’ve been praying for me while I’m on Doulos. I’m slowly putting together a video about Cyprus, and so while there was able to get some photos and a bit of video footage which hopefully I can use.

Cyprus is beautiful. The Anglican church there meets in an old old church which has been in disrepair for quite a while, and now is actually a cultural centre for the university, or something like that. So there are plenty of old icons around.

We’ve been out sailing a few times now, it’s great. The boat is pretty well amazing with all the new ropes and such we’ve put on it.

Here’s a quick photo of the Out-haul on the mainsail (the yellow lines and tackle which pull the sail out along the boom, making it slightly wider, and the shape flatter, which can help to get ripples out of the sail, thus improving the shape, and speed, take a bit of power out of the sail in heavy winds, and so on.)


Dad’s quite happy with it all, but alas last Saturday when we went out sailing, the waves were very big, and while coming back in we managed to damage the centreboard (the big wooden thing I spent time sanding and varnishing a few weeks back). So now we’ve taken that out again, and today I’ve added some glass-fibre filler stuff, and will try and finish it back to decent shape again by this Saturday. Yes, I did leave it a bit late.

Last Saturday’s sailing was fun though. We and our sailing friends went out only for about an hour, and crossed pathes a few times while tacking, so when we did the first time, I put on my best piratey third-mate voice and roared “Port side cannon teams 1 3 and 5 fire a full broadside! Naaar!” and then the next time we crossed, they made cannonball flying and splashing noises, so just as they passed us, again I shouted “All torpedo tubes togeather, fire!”

So. There you go.

3 weeks until I’m back to work, for a while I’ll be in the UK working at the office there doing mediary things, and learning stuff to bring back to the ship.

Still almost 3 months ’til I’m on Doulos again though.

[3]: http://blog.madprof.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/rigging-the-boat.jpg



I was about to slightly repremand a friend for not updating their blog recently, but realised that would really be far to hypocritical from me.

So. OK. Now I’ve updated mine, I can go winge at them….

Maybe not.

I’ve kind of given up on those wretched photos for now. I’ll try again sometime. Maybe. Seriously, I uploaded them about 4 times. Those photos just *dont* want to go online. Weird.

We’ve been out sailing a few times. It’s cool. I love it!

I have some photos of that too.

I re-installed my comptuer. Again. I took it apart, and put a new hard-drive in. Replacing HDs on iBooks is a *seriously* over-the-top procedure. about 45 screws came out, and it took me 2 HOURS just to ge the old HD out of the box! OK, admittedly, we did have to go buy a new set of screwdrivers and a mini-mini torque wrench.

You know, big water valves are a lot easier and less fiddly than computers, when it comes to overhauling. With computers, if a bit get’s stuck, you can’t hit it with a hammer until it comes loose. Well, you can. but it tends to STOP it working, rather than make it work better. The engine-room motto is something along the lines of “The bigger the problem, the bigger the hammer”. Doesn’t work with computers. If I get tired of A/V, maybe I’ll go work in the Engine room.

I’m enjoying Cyprus. But I really feel like I’ll be ready when I can go back to work. I got an email saying I’ll be working with the UK office doing media and getting A/V training for 3 months, not 1 month, so still 4 months until I get to see my beautiful ship again.

Old rust bucket that it is.


I’ll post soon about life in Cyprus. I have a few stories about kind of reverse-cultureshock coming back here.

But right now, just to add some tofu to this post, I’ll talk about [Opera Web-browser][1]. I decided to try it out, about 2 weeks ago, and so have been using it since then, as my web browser, and also email client.

do I like it?

Well, some of it. It’s quite fast, most of the time. And has a lot of features. And integrating web and email is alright. Some things I just don’t like though.

It doesn’t seem to cope with more complex web stuff so well. Like now, on this blog typing page, for some reason it’s not put the images in for “insert link” and so on. It just has the alt text. It usually shows them.

It sometimes goes *very* slowly. Like, almost freezes, but not quite.

I like that it nicely links up my RSS feeds, email, and webpages though. And for most things, it’s really fine.

It’s really slow when trying to switch tabs which show video in. Especially if they are both *playing* video at the same time. That could be pushing it a bit with any browser, I suppose.

Anyway, it’s doing an OK job, and I’ll probably stick with it until I go back to Doulos. Then I’ll go back to the simpler Safari/Mail.app combo. Mail.app deals with the on-board exchange email system better than opera. The reason I won’t go to that now, is I can’t get Mail.app to work properly with the secure email system I have back to the ship now… and I tried the opera mail client, and it just worked. So.

So. It’s late. I have to get up early tomorrow to play music for the Western Easter sunday service down at the salt-lake. 6:45am pickup. Sometimes I let my mouth run away with itself, which is how I got into that one.

Happy easter, western world.

[1]: http://www.opera.com/



The Austrailians have a great phrase. Actually, they have lots of really great phrases. But this one is obscure to the point of being silly, and yet apparently universely understood by Aussies.

“Not Happy, Jan”

This phrase is generally used when something stupid happens and the person is, in fact, not happy. It came from a TV ad a few years ago they had.  Bridget, this video is for you.

ok. so now, you’re probably wondering “Why did Daniel post this?”

Well, firstly, it’s because I’ve been having Aussies telling me “Not Happy, Jan” for the last 2 years, and finally I’ve got a chance to go looking such things up online. Now I know.


I took a bunch of photos of work on Dad’s boat, got them all colour corrected and so on, and uploaded them into blogger to post. Whereupon, I must have pressed the wrong buttons, and it’sjumped me into the address bar or something, and took me to a different page, lost the pictures somehow from the Auto-save/draft thingy, and I could find no way to bring them back.

Not Happy, Jan.

So. Here are some more pictures of Dad’s boat.

No. Here are not more pictures of Dad’s boat. I just tried to upload them again, and after uploading 1.3 meg, it then told me “failed!”.

Not Happy, Jan.

See how useful the phrase is?

I’ll post the photos tomorrow. Or later. Or something.



As I type this post I can hear car horns blaring in the distance. They’ve been going for about 2 hours solidly. Yes! It’s election-time. No! I’m not talking about the US of A.

Cyprus has a new President. Most of the world probably hasn’t noticed, unless you guys can hear the car horns from outside? You can probably hear them in Egypt. Normally you only hear car-horns blaring for ages when someone gets married here. Or, rather, I suppose, when two people get married. But anyway. Then they drive through the whole town, down the seafront, with loads of guests following with all the horns blaring.

Part of me usually thinks “there they go again! noisy so-and-sos.” in a not especially interested kind of way, another part of me thinks “lucky them” and is slightly jealous.

I’ve been doing quite a bit more work on Dad’s boat again. I really miss having access to loads of decent tools easily… Especially marline spikes and sailmaker’s palms. Also good strong needles. I’ve broken 2 so far. Sorry mum..

Anyway. This is my current “ditty bag” of stuff. (Speaking of which, I should make a real ditty bag. Another good project to start looking into…)

Needle and thimble (borrowed from mum.). A thimble kind of works as a palm if you reverse it, put the needle base inside the thimble, and push from outside.

Swiss Army knife, a birthday present from before I “ran away to sea”.

And a new mini-marlinespike/fid. (The blue thing) I think it’s supposed to be a die or other kind of hole punching thingy, but I saw it in a hardware store and thought “ha! finally!”. I need to file the end a bit, and perhaps try and drill a hole for a lanyard, but otherwise it works well.

This is the new rudder downhaul. The thicker part is “shotcord”, springy rubber-filled bungy-line, and the thinner part is a basic thin braided rope with the core taken out for flexibility. The whole is used to pull the rudder down into the water. We’re currently totally overhauling it, dad’s made a new stock (top bit) for it, and I’m stripping and varnishing the blade. This is the old rudder downhaul.

Not terribly good condition.

And here is the new join between the shotcord and regular line.

Two seized eyes together.
Same kind of work as the ladder making, just a lot smaller!

And here’s a slightly more “artsy” shot of my tools.
I’m also remaking my [website][9], doing a total re-design and everything, this time using CSS. I’ll try and link more with this blog, and get some of the more interesting bits of the last two years as proper articles there, so it can all be linked up nicely. I’ve not done any web-design for about 3 years, so I’m a bit out of practice. It’s fun to get my hand in again. Some parts of CSS are really annoying me though. I had some ideas for the design which I think would have worked well, but I just could NOT get to work with CSS in any normal/sane way. Anyway, it’s mostly working now, designwise, I just need to add all the content to the new design, then upload everything. I’ll keep you posted.

[9]: http://www.madprof.net/



So. More about Cyprus. It’s wintertime, right now. That means cold. Freezing icy blasts of super-chilled air writhing and curling around in whirlpools of semi-defrosted almost-liquid oxygen, CO2, cigarette smoke, car fumes, and various other frigid things which make up common Larnaka air.

OK. So, slight exaggeration on the whole coldness thing. It was about 12 today, I guess. Still, that’s pretty cold, especially as it was about 37 when I left Doulos.

Also, Larnaka is really clean, mostly. Not so polluted at all. It’s beautiful, actually.

I’ve been helping a little at the theatre where I was working. This is the set from their new play “The History of Cyprus in 60 minutes”, which my dad and I helped set up the lights for last week. I also recorded it on video for one of the actors. I’d love to actually record it properly, with multiple decent cameras, tripods and so on. This was just a single home camera.

I’ve also been helping my dad a little at the office, doing a bit of logo/animation, and probably will do some more soon.

I’ve been helping him a bit more with his boat too, whipping/splicing/seizing, etc. This is the new out-haul block (I think. So many ropes on this little boat, I forget what they’re all for right now, as I’ve STILL not been out sailing on it…).

Anyway. It’s funny doing all this ropework on such tiny little ropes. Kind of like working on a model railway, or something. It’s nice though. I like it a lot.

Here is the new jib sheet (again, I think). We got this rig idea from his Wayfarer Book, and then I whipped it up. There are 3 seporate seizings to to make up this next piece. It should hold nicely, and will be good to work with. I’ve no idea how much pressure it’ll actually be taking, so I look forward to going out sailing soon to get more of an idea.

Today we also started work replacing the rudder stock. The old one is kind of shot, and so we’re making it almost completely afresh from (hopefully) marine ply. This is the old one (dismantled).

And here is the new one to be. We’ve jigsawed it, and now it’s being held and glued overnight so we can finish the two halfs and then start varnishing the pieces tomorrow, hopefully.
[][6]So, I’m still getting to use my Deckie skills. I miss ships so much. Maybe it’s just I miss Doulos… but I do miss ships. I miss sea-watch. I miss working with cargo, mooring stations, ropework, water tanks, painting, loading water, blocks and purchesses, bosun’s chairs, stages, all of it. *sigh*

Is it the work I miss, or is it just the people, my ship, my home of the last 2 and a bit years?

I feel part of it is the work. I also know I was so tired of it by the end. So tired of Deck Dept, so tired of the long hours and stress as waterman.

Will I ever do that work again? Except in Dry-docks on Doulos? Only God knows…

[6]: http://blog.madprof.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/New-Rudder-Stock-in-Progress.jpg



Yes, I’m back in Cyprus, at last. My last post showed a photo from the window of my accommodation at our office in Quinta, so now I’ll start with a photo showing the view from my bedroom at my parents new house:

These are water tanks, so of course, of special interest to Yours Truly, being an ex-waterman, and everything. The top tank is a cold water tank, and the lower one hot water. The two panels by each box are the solar-heating panels for the hot water tank. These tanks are quite a bit smaller than our Doulos tanks, of course. Combined volume on these tanks would be roughly 1-2 tons, as opposed to the roughly 800 ton capacity for freshwater on Doulos, that’s theoretical, as normally we’d have to be much much less loaded, as the ship would be too low in the water.

Virtually every house in Cyprus has one of these dual-tank combinations on top. Sometimes, as in this photo, a house will have 2 sets of tanks. Cypriot architecture is usually great, I love being back here in Cyprus, seeing all of the lovely houses and Mediterranean styles of building, but the omnipresent water tanks are a massive ugly blot on the face of Cyprus building style.

My parents moved house while I was gone. (They did tell me…), but it’s a bit odd, anyway. Kind of being “at home”, kind of totally not. It’s a really cool house. It’s got a single level guest flat on the ground floor, and then a totally separate 2 story house ON TOP of the first one! So excellent for having guests/familys to stay. Speaking of which, we have a family staying with us right now, really cool family.

I’m speaking about Doulos at the youthgroup tomorrow, and then probably at church sometime soon, and perhaps the other churches around soon as well.

I’ll blog more soon.

[2]: http://blog.madprof.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/larnaca.jpg




I’m at the UK office now, staying at their guest accommodation.

It’s very quiet, lovely here. I have the apartment all to myself, and can cook and eat whenever.

It’s so quiet. I can hear sheep bleat occasionally.

Tomorrow or the day after I will head down to see family and friends all over the UK, and the fly back to Cyprus in about 10 days. I don’t seem to be suffering jet-lag, which is good.


[2]: http://blog.madprof.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/quinta3.jpg



So. I’m in Kuala Lumpuaa, Malaysia.


Well, it’s called “furlough”, basically, I’m off home for 3 months, after being on the ship for 2 years. After 3 months, I should come back to the ship again. I probably will delay my return, and actually go to work with UK branch of our company doing an AV exchange programme with their much more pro AV people for 3 months ( its much cheaper to go from Cyprus than later from back in whereever the ship ends up being).

I just had to say goodbye to most of my really good friends, many of whom I wont see again, until Heaven, probably. In one way, I find it easier, because I really do just see it that way, that I will see them all again. On the other hand, some people I really will miss. I don’t know how I feel about it all right now.

One HUGE amaizng thing (thankyou God!)is that I can fly to Frankfurt with probably my best friend on board, who is also just finished 2 years on board, but instead of going for furlough, is going to work on our company’s other ship for a while (they need deck ratings). I’m kinda proud, He is apparently getting some leadership position in the deck dept, because of his qualifications. He was one of my students in doing his EDH (Efficient Deck Hand) Course last year. One of my students is gonna be a bosun or something like that! Wooo!!.. Another of my students is now Bosun on Doulos too.

Ma boys is agrowin’ up, and dere Papa is proud as heck!

Kind of. They knew most of it already. But anyway.

Need to run. no battery.

[1]: http://blog.madprof.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/wing.jpg



PM shift today, so I spent the morning drawing…


[1]: http://blog.madprof.net/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/dan-the-av-guy.jpg