October 2008

17th century warship wreck in Thames river protected

The warship was the oldest of hundreds of wrecks identified during the largest-ever post-war salvage operation on the Thames.

Wessex Archaeology and the Port of London Authority, which regulates the river, used 3D survey equipment to locate wrecks which pose a risk to shipping. It was also a perfect opportunity to investigate wrecks with historical interest.

Parts of HMS London, a three-deck Second Rate warship built in Chatham in 1654, were found at two sites close to Southend.

The Oyster concept for transforming wave power to onshore electricity

‘Oyster’ heralds new wave of green power

In contrast to many other wave power devices, Oyster uses hydraulic technology to transfer wave power to shore, where it is then converted into electricity. ‘A key design feature is a 18m wide oscillator based on fundamental research at Queen's University Belfast led by Professor Trevor Whittaker using their wave tanks', explains Dr Ronan Doherty, Chief Technical Officer of Aquamarine Power the Edinburgh based company which has developed the first ‘Oyster'.

Thetis Island

Tallen, my youngest daughter and part-time dive buddy entered the cool emerald coloured water with me as the current slowed to a stop to change direction (slack). Full of anticipation, Tallen and I descended down the southwest side of Virago Rock within Porlier Pass, a .65 km (.4 mile) wide channel between the islands of Valdez and Galiano.

Three Caribbean Islands: Dominica, St Lucia & St Vincent

Sponges on reef, Dominica. Photo by Steve Jones
Sponges on reef, Dominica. Photo by Steve Jones

It’s not by chance that the producers of the Pirates of the Caribbean series of Hollywood movies chose St Vincent and Dominica as locations. They both offer the rustic charm and unspoiled richness of environment that can, with little effort, take you back hundreds of years.