John led the Shellback Club through an enlightening and sometimes factual survey of the high points of Irish history, in a curated selection of anecdotes and observations.
1. The formation of the Giants' Causeway
3. Catching a Leprechaun
4. The Celtic Cross as Fusion Marketing
5. St. Brendan the Voyager
6. Shakespeare and Paddy at the Pearly Gates
7. Ireland's Greatest Export
8. Irish Whiskey versus Scotch Whisky
9. Irish Mammy Humour
10. Dublin Wit and Humour
About John O'Dwyer
John hails from Dublin, Ireland. As he now has lived here 31 years, longer than he lived in Ireland, John can now claim technically to be “Canadian-Irish😊”
He started sailing Vauriens* in his teens and over the years has gone back and forth between sail and power. He is a Sail Canada Club Race Officer and Regional Judge. John volunteers many hours to racing adjudication including working on the Race Committee at Mimico Cruising Club and officiating at the Sail Canada Women’s Keelboat Challenge last summer.
He is an Adjunct Professor and Executive-in-Residence at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto which is just down the road at 105 St. George St.
*The Vaurien is a dinghy designed by Jean-Jacques Herbulot in 1951, and presented in the Boat show in Paris in 1952. It was meant as a reasonable alternative for a boat with a crew of two, as much for its low cost, as for its simplicity to sail. The first units, sold in the mentioned boat show, had a price equivalent to two bicycles of the time. It is a light, but robust, boat that soon found its place among beginners, especially in Europe and Africa. The class has been recognized by World Sailing since 1962.
Marlaine Koehler of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, joined Shellbacks again to give us an update on The Waterfront Trail. She joined us seven years ago when the trail was being extended to Lake Erie. Much has developed since then.
Stretching over 3000km, the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a route connecting 140 communities and First Nations along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes region and a signature project of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. Regarded as the first step towards a regenerated waterfront, the Trail has served as a catalyst for improvements in many of the communities it joins.
The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail connects:
140 Communities, villages and First Nations
3 Great Lakes, touching a fourth, Lake Superior in Prince Township
5 Bi-national Rivers
3 UNESCO Biospheres
33 Provincial Parks
5 National Parks including Canada’s First National Urban Park
21 National Historical Sites
477 Waterfront parks
83 Conservation areas (protected wetlands, forests, meadows)
169 Beaches, including 13 Blue Flag awarded beaches
3 Major wine regions
15 Bicycle Friendly Communities
16 Ontario By Bike Regions; and hundreds of businesses designated as bike-friendly
12 International border crossings
45+ Major connecting trails including the Greenbelt Route, Bruce Trail, Niagara River Recreation Trail, Saugeen and Bruce County Rail Trails and the Voyageur Trail. Many sections of the GLWT are designated as part of the cross-Canada Great Trail
The Waterfront Trail web site is a great resource for trip planning, with downloadable detailed maps, an online interactive map, and many other tools and sources of information.
About Marlaine Koehler
Marlaine Koehler is the Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust. She has spent the past 20 years developing and leading the partnership regenerating the Great Lakes waterfront through the creation of the spectacular and award-winning Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. Under her leadership, the Trust has garnered nearly $40-million in public/ private investment in the waterfront and brought together an innovative and active community partnership of 140 communities, First Nations, and NGOs. Awards include: David Crombie Urban Leadership Award (2013) Jessica Marland Partnership Award (2016) and OALA Service to Environment Award (2016).
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.
The Shellback Club will make occasional posts on this blog. If you want something added in a blog post. let us know.