Well, that’s it for another holiday. There’s that long drive ahead of me in the morning. It looks like I’ll be glad of the air conditioning as the temperature at home is likely to be hitting around 30°C.

Anyway, today was quite quiet. I tried and failed to get any further with Unreal II. We also visited Coverack and discovered that they were having their regatta. It was no-where near as big an even as I remeber it from the early 70’s. Then it was a big affair with life saving demonstrations by the local lifeboat and helicopter from Culdrose along with large numbers of boats. Today it was a handful of boats doing races across the bay. Until I read the signs I didn’t realise that there was anything special going on. There weren’t even crowds on the harbour wall. It used to be packed with people.

I guess it’s the product of three things; the decrease in fishing, the large number of holiday homes and hence less local people and the loss of the lifeboat in the mid-70’s.

Right time for bed. I need to be rested for the morning.

Today’s trip was to Godrevy, just to the east of Hayle.

There I did a bit of walking along the cliff and photographed some seabirds. I think that they were either petrols, kittywakes or maybe fulmers. Alec would be able to tell me in an instant.

(About the size of a pigeon, yellow beak with long cyan nostrels, white body with grey wings with the grey band crossing the top of the body. Radial slightly lighter grey lines marking the primary feathers at the end of the wings.)

Other than that I’ve been playing Unreal II in easy mode and have got well past the point I’ve spent 18 months getting to in normal mode. I’ve still got to a point where I’m getting stuck and repeatedly killed, however.

Again I reach the penultimate day in my holiday. Well, penultimate working day anyway.

After another slow start we trundled off to St.Mawes castle this afternoon. It was dry for a while after we got there. It started raining just as the automated tour system got to the bit where you go outside. My mum decided to go back to the car. I listened to the rest of the guide information from the handset before giving it back. I collected my big SAAB umbrella from the car boot and the returned to the grounds of the castle with my dad. After a quick tour of them in the pouring rain we gave up and went back to the car.

On the way back we went via the King Harry Ferry rather the very much longer road route. It was different, though it probably didn’t save any time (as we had to wait for the next turn on the ferry) and cost more than the extra petrol would have.

Anyway, it gave me more opportunities for taking pictures.

Quite a leasurely start to the day due to a poor sleep overnight.

After lunch it was off to Falmouth so as to go on a boat trip down to the Helford river and back again. Originally, the plan had been to do this on Monday but the weather wasn’t up to it. Today the weather was surprisingly good, better than forecast as the clouds broke. Hence the decision at lunchtime to take the trip today.

Unlike the previous time we took the trip, about 15 years ago, the boat didn’t hug the coast from Pendennis Point over to the mouth of the Helford River but cut straight across the bay. Even so, the trip took almost 2.5 hours in total, which isn’t bad for £8.

I didn’t do much this evening, though I did notice that “Babylon 5: Crusade” has started playing on the SciFi Channel so I watched the first episode. It’s a pitty that they haven’t got the rights to the pilot film, “A Call To Arms.”

Having seen St.Mawes castle from the upper deck of the boat this afternoon we may go there tomorrow. We’ve never visited it before.

Today I visited Meriel and Chris. Much talking was done, as was drinking of tea.

In the afternoon we installed Mandrake Linux 10.0 Official on an old machine so that they could see if they’d like to use it instead of Fedora. After completing the install we tried out GnomeMeeting seeing as they had a few webcams that they’d picked up from car boot sales.

After a slow start to the day we popped into Truro and did stuff.

Other than that we had a visit around lunchtime by a couple of women who worked for a water testing company who wanted to test the kitchen tap water. Apparently it’s part of a random survey being done for the local water company.

Not an exciting day but restful. Tomorrow I’m off to see Meriel and Chris.

Today, as illuded to previously, I went for a nice walk along the cliffs. They weren’t just any old cliffs, no they were the cliffs at the bottom of the country, at The Lizard Point.

It was a nice walk, the weather was fine, though there was quite a stiff breeze off the sea which stopped you from overheating whilst toilling up the steep valleyside paths.

Returning to the car I was greeted by a brass band. OK it wasn’t actually for me, it was for the RNLI fund raising event taking place on the green. With a repetoire which included ABBA’s “Mummamia” and a Barry Manillow song, they seemed stuck firmly in the 1970’s.

Having videoed the Grand Prix we watched that after we got home. It was good to see button doing so well and some useful overtaking for a change. It’s very worrying for McLaren about the structural failure of Kimi Rikanen’s rear wing though.

Not a terribly exciting day today. It’s surprising how long preparing to wash the car can take, especially when you don’t have the correct stuff to begin with.

It started this morning with a trip into Helston to get a woollen pad for doing the actual washing. I asked my dad if he had enough car shampoo. He replied that he did, though he thought I was talking about wax polish. Hence, I didn’t buy the soap.

After getting home, having lunch and failing to get “Black & White” to run on my laptop I started getting ready to wash the car. I set out the hose, got the bucket ready and then asked where the shampoo was.. Which was when the misunderstanding came to light.

At least this gave an opportunity for a brisk walk up the village to the local garage.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, my car is now washed.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, a nice walk is planned, probably around The Lizard somewhere.

As mentioned in my previous entry, we went off to Plymouth to visit The National Marine Aquarium.

Now, the place is pretty big and boasts (literally) that it has the biggest tank in the UK and the deepest in Europe. I was expecting a mind blowing experience on a par with the Science Museum in London.

The facilities were fine but despite its grandure in some ways it was nowhere as good as the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay that we visited the day before yesterday. For a start, there was very little documentaton about the species in the tanks. What there was usually didn’t tally with what you saw. The tanks themselves, although larger, we less impressive as you did seem to get as close to the fish. Also, the café was pretty poor and would better suit a small railway station than a national tourist facility.

Anyway, it did pose an interesting challenge for low light action photography and showed up the real problems with this for my cameras. The Canon Digital IXUS II was basically a non-starter. I managed to get a number of decent pictures with the Fuji Finepix 602Zoom but only in the better lit tanks. The camera has far too much shutter lag as well as poor low light ability due to both the sensor and the relatively small lens size.

After leaving the aquarium we crossed over a swing bridge onto the road which skirts the old barbican. We then took a stroll along the seafront almost as far as the Hoe before returning.

The nice weather made the day really. It’s a pitty that there were so many poor drivers on the road to spoil the journeys to and from Plymouth though.

Today started off wet, so stayed in bed.

During the dull afternoon watched a couple of episodes of Babylon 5.

In the evening just talked with my dad about “stuff” in general.

That’s the day, really.

Tomorrow we’re off to Plymouth to visit the National Aquarium. Hopefully the drugs my mum’s taking for her shingles recovery won’t make her as tired tomorrow.