The Blue Week is starting in Delft, The Netherlands. Subjects of interest include offshore wind and wave power, as well as ecological drives for shipping. Most interesting, however, are the two meetings on Wednesday. The morning session will include a wrap up of the NSR Sail project, an EU funded investigation of wind assisted transport in the North Sea and beyond. This project is coming to an end, but promises many further developments. These will likely be discussed at the meeting, but also in the afternoon session developed by the International Windships Association. This is being arranged by the very active Gavin Allwright, who I met at the last NSRsail project meeting, and is being coordinated by Madadh Maclaine, the main power behind the Fairwinds Trading Company, looking into sail based local, fair trade and transport in West Africa.
If this is like the last meeting, it will be a mixture of business thinking, square rigger romanticism, heavy engineering, hands on practicality, development and hope. There are some fragmentary notes on the Libarynth, trying to remember the bits that were interesting and strange. The level of excitement at the meeting and after it was high. The team at Tres Hombres are moving towards launching their new vessel, Nordlys, in a month. Fair Winds have just launched their test vessel, capable of transporting 4 tons (we hope to get some pictures soon). Small, practicable project requiring low levels of funding to get going, able to solve specific problems and make a change immediately. This kind of small is beautiful thinking appeals strongly.
I look forward to hearing about the meeting and what is discussed, decided and carried forwards.