Dr Marina Freire-Gormaly of the University of Toronto works in the area where energy systems and water systems intersect. Using her engineering expertise, she is developing efficient solar-powered reverse osmosis water purification technology. Lack of access to clean drinking water is a massive problem in the Third World, yet at the same time as water-challenged areas experience water scarcity, those same areas often have a high potential for solar power adoption in that they are often bathed in strong sunlight. From that standpoint it makes sense to use solar power to drive reverse osmosis water purification systems in these settings.
A challenge arises in minimizing costs while maintaining filtration efficiency. The most cost-effective solar design would run intermittently, with no battery storage. However, this means of cost reduction on the solar power side leads to potential problems on the water purification side, as the reverse osmosis systems contemplated are subject to membrane fouling under these conditions of intermittent operation.
Dr Marina Freire-Gormaly has focused on creating reverse osmosis systems that minimize the problem of fouling of filter membranes. The goal of developing a solar powered power systems that work successfully in conjunction with reliable reverse osmosis systems seems to have been achieved.
Of course, why wouldn't sailors see in a solution to a Third World Problem a solution to a First World problem? Salt water cruising sailors have been challenged since the beginning of navigation with the difficulties of drinking water storage and transport. According to Wikipedia, "During the "Age of Exploration" the ports of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Cádiz were the starting points for many of the voyages to the New World and the East Indies, including some of the voyages of Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan. On many of these voyages, stocking up on ample supplies of the area's wine was considered a necessity. Christopher Columbus almost certainly had Sherry with him when he made some of his voyages to America which makes Sherry, in all likelihood, the first wine brought to the New World. For Magellan's voyage 594,790 maravedis were spent on wine compared to 566,684 maravedis on all the ships's armaments and men's weapons.."
Solar powered reverse osmosis might be just the ticket to eliminating either excessive booze or heavy and potentially foul drinking water tanks on voyages.
Ron Jenkins updated the Shellbacks on developments at the Billy Bishop Airport, as well as a number of surrounding waterfront issues. The airport does not operate in a vacuum; on the contrary, it interacts with many other waterfront developments including the inputs of three levels of government, developments in the Port Lands and Ontario Place, the operation of Waterfront Toronto, the Toronto Port Authority, and the TRCA, and many other things.
Many details can be found in Ron's presentation, available here.
Gerri has determined to never turn down a reasonable challenge, and hiking to the Mount Everest Base Camp was a challenge *just* inside her definition of reasonable. Gerri outlined her preparations in Canada, the packing and supplies she and her son prepared, and the trek itself. Her riveting account is not to be missed!
Listening to Gerri made the climb something easily imagined in a very human way -- this is not the unrelatable mountain climbing accounts we might more often hear, and her pictures of the daily details of the route were an excellent way to understand her achievement. Gerri left her Shellback audience in admiration of her ambition and successful trek, and amazed that the full ascent of the mountain is even humanly possible.
Biography for Gerri Staples
Gerri Staples is from Hamilton, born and raised. She has been HAPPILY retired for 12 years from teaching elementary school. She was connected to RHYC at age ten when she went through the Junior Sail program; Gerri taught sailing throughout high school and university. After a 30-year hiatus from RHYC, she rejoined and is currently active on the Race Committee on club racing nights and for local regattas. In addition to enjoying being on the water, Gerri is an avid downhill skier, plays violin in a local community strings orchestra, summers at her cottage in Minden and spends time with her family, in particular with her young granddaughters. She travels extensively and tries to incorporate her new-found interest in hiking in all her trips.
She is a ‘newbie’ hiker and will explain in her presentation just why she decided to do the Everest Base Camp Trek.
Jim Winslow ties together brain architecture, good and evil behaviour, piracy on the high seas, and psychopathy in his entertaining presentation.
Who knew that the pirates of yore, aside from missing an eye, a lower leg, and a left hand were at the same time cursed with an undersized anygdala?
Jim comes from an interesting stock: on his father’s side from the first two governors of the Plymouth, Massachusetts pilgrim colony and on his mother’s side, from the Viking, Leif Ericson. This inheritance gave him two copies of the independence gene.
Jim learned to sail at Boy Scout camp. For 30 years, he had a sailboat on Lake Champlain and then on Georgian Bay.
He did all but a thesis for a math PhD in symbolic logic. Wanting to know about thinking, Jim then was advised to learn biology, so he then bravely did an MSc and PhD in physiology / neuroscience.
Jim has taught computer science and then moved to physiology / neuroscience at University of Toronto. He did papers on the mathematics of neurons and synapses.
Now retired, he still plays competitive squash, leisurely tennis and is working on a model for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Peter Rowe presented his video on Joshua Slocum, "Sailing Alone Around the World". The video also provides context on Slocum's early life and sailing career, as well as the sailing he did after his circumnavigation.
It was also interesting to see the spin-offs of Slocum's legendary ship the "Spray", a ship that has had many replicas built. And why not? The Spray achieved what no ship had previously ever done.
Slocum's best-known book, "Sailing Alone Around the World", and his lesser-known book "The Voyage of the Liberdade" can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg for viewing on e-book readers or computers (or printing, though they are also sold in book versions).
Biography: Peter Rowe
Peter is a prolific producer of marine-themed films. His feature films on the water include “Treasure Island”, with Jack Palance, “Lost!”, and “Horse Latitudes”, the story of round-the-world sailor Donald Crowhurst, starring Gordon Pinsent. Peter’s TV series includes “Exploring Under Sail”, “Black Harbour”, and “Angry Planet”. He has made documentaries on Sir Samuel Cunard, on the sinking of the War of 1812 warships “Hamilton” and “Scourge”, and the single-handed Canadian sailor, Joshua Slocum.
Peter is also a long-time sailor, and a member of the Explorers Club and the Mimico Cruising Club. He worked in the 80s as a skipper of a Bahamas charter boat, sailed a Mirage 35, “Blade Runner” for many years in California, Mexico, up the US east coast, and here on Lake Ontario. He now sails a trailerable boat, “Starship”, that he uses to explore Georgian Bay and elsewhere.
From a deep desire to discover the world Diane and Jeffrey wanted to travel. They had been sailors for over 20 years. It was only natural that they would venture into unknown waters. What was the force that made them devote the major part of their life to this passion? What made them set aside their work? Truly, all we can say is that this force was overwhelming and difficult to explain how it imposed itself on them.
Born in Quebec, Diane grew up near a major river, calm lakes, and the majestic Saint Laurent. Such a proximity to nature might have explained the attraction. In addition, she was surrounded by creative people. Add this together, and you will find that it is not surprising that as an adult, Diane would want to express herself artistically. After taking up painting and other media, she chose photography. Diane went to the Ontario College of the Arts, took portrait photography at Humber College, and dark room at Sheridan College. Her landscape photography was published in Canadian Living, Photography magazines, and exhibited at different art show events across the GTA.
Diane had no notion of ocean sailing. The only time she had been on a ship was with her family using the Canadian Steam Ship line to travel to their vacation locations.
Even though Jeffrey was raised in a mining village in the north of England, he wanted to become a marine biologist. He had acquired a taste for the ocean through books.
After years of working in totally opposite fields, Diane at Kenwood Electronics in the communication department, and Jeffrey (electronic engineer) as Quality Assurance in a medical imaging company (Cedara), they came to the conclusion that buying a small sailing boat might be a good way to escape during weekends. And the plans became reality. Working toward an objective that they thought was strictly the domain of the rich and famous took years of effort. The biggest risk of all, they said, was not to live life to the fullest. Dream big and go for it.
Jeffrey relied on his ability, knowing that it was only by his own careful hand that he would make it to his destination. Therefore, courses in sailing, navigation, and communications prepared Jeffrey for future cruising.
In 1999, they embarked on their sailboat, Perce Neige. Destination South. Join them crossing Lake Ontario, visit the Erie Canal, and the splendid Hudson river. You will sail the Atlantic, discover the Dismal swamp, navigate rivers, and cross the tempestuous Gulf Stream and the Atlantic. You will learn about the Bahamas's history, visit the iguanas, face the nurse sharks, and relax near stunning blue water.
To communicate with their family and sailors friends, Diane and Jeffrey sent weekly reports to their daughter Andree who had set up a web page.
Based on these records and captivating images, we invite you to join the adventure with Diane and Jeffrey Laws.
Nick Kozarevich, long-time Lake Ontario sailor, shared his harrowing adventure of his time overboard in Lake Ontario one early spring day just after launch. A sequence of incidents led to him ending up in the lake as his boat sailed away, with only an overturned tender to cling to.
Nick's experience and fortunate survival left him with lessons learned that have shaped his understand of staying safe on the water, and he conveyed them in a riveting talk to the Shellbacks November 7.
National Yacht Club member Paul Berry shared with Shellbacks his experiences wintering on his CS 27 for the first time in the beautiful yet frigid Frenchman's Bay in Pickering. Paul described his ups and downs and the trials and tribulations of learning how to do everything for the first time, while being surrounded by every kind of waterfowl imaginable.
Sometimes checklists just aren't enough. Hear and see how Paul integrated into a very supportive community of fellow liveaboards and what it is like to live aboard in Frenchman's Bay for the winter, the equipment needed, and the things you learn about yourself.
Paul graduated from York University in 1994 with a BA in Urban Geography & Computer Cartography (now called Geographic Information Systems). He also has a Queens Commission as an Officer in the 11th Field Regiment (Reserves) with the Canadian Armed Forces from 1988 to 1994.
Paul’s late brother was very influential in his life. Long talks at the cottage about life, his involvement with the Toronto Brigantine sailing program, and his concern about Paul’s shyness led to Paul’s becoming involved in sailing later in life.
As a youngster, when he was 15 and a lover of Star Trek, Paul started developing software in his parent’s basement. He is currently a Lead Software Developer in the Public Sector.
Paul has developed software with numerous dot coms and startups. It turns out that many ‘geeks’ have difficulty talking to humans, Paul challenged his shyness by joining the army reserves, Toast Masters, and by taking courses in public speaking. He came away with three planks:
To overcome his shyness, he did the following:
His volunteer work includes:
On October 24th Steve Killing spoke to the Shellbacks about his role as measurer in the 2017 America's Cup, and provided a glimpse into what the next America's Cup will look like.
It was interesting to hear about the precision with which the racers' sails are measured, and the highly competitive environment in which measurers must work. Measurers also operate on the water as scrutineers of sorts as the boats train and race.
The influence of the C-Class catamarans -- largely pioneered in Canada -- was traced to their larger descendants in the AC catamarans.
Shellbacks also had a chance to see first hand a C-Class catamaran's foil. Foils, being an area of design freedom in the America's Cup 2017, are among the most critical and precise parts of these boats.
The talk concluded with a look at the foiling monohulls that will be the craft used in the next America's Cup.
About Steve Killing
Steve graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a B.Eng Sc Civil Engineering in 1972, which explains, at least a bit, his rich background in the world of sailing.
He is president of his own company, Steve Killing Yacht Design Inc., designing, racing & cruising sailboats, classic powerboats and historic sailing vessels & small craft.
His involvement in design has included:
Steve’s designs have included:
Steve has also been an author:
He has also been an advisor to:
And in his spare time today, he designs and builds sets for Huronia Players Community Theatre.
The Shellbacks Club will make occasional posts on this blog. If you want something added in a blog post. let us know.