Archive for June 6th, 2006

First Article of Reflection

June 6, 2006

'Wow! What is it?'

'How did you get it here?'

'Why are you living onboard without getting off?' – I have exchanged a seemingly endless expanse of Atlantic Ocean for a sea of quizzical people.Half past seven and it is the morning after night number one. I am nearly 24hrs into my 28 day virtual voyage- a static re-enactment of my entry in last years OSTAR [single-handed transatlantic race]! When my eyes peeled open to a startling view of the entire mast [up through the forward hatch] I realised that I had been dreaming of a real bed! The boat is the Formula 40 trimaran 'ProVu,' formerly Toshiba, formerly Biscuits Cantreau, formerly in the water. 'So let me get this straight. The boat is on dry land and not racing anywhere?!' The lady from the Daily Mail had a hard time grasping this. 

The view from the top of the mast, the mast being of course attached to the boat, the boat on display at an angle as if reaching out of the Chelsea College of Art courtyard, is a spectacular one. I can see the tip of the gerkin in the distance. I have prime view of the statue of King Neptune [quite fitting I thought] with his pitch-fork on top of the Tate Britain next door. I can see over the College building to MI6 on the South bank. I usually ascend the mast with a purpose and so that purpose [to re-feed the jib halyard] interrupted my mast-top sight seeing- more of this later.

'Will you paint a picture next time?!' my brother joked circa 1135pm on Saturday 3rd , when having lifted the trimaran from the River Thames using a slipway next to Vauxhall Bridge, we were lashing splashes to the hulls in order to rotate the boat 75-80 degrees using a custom 'A' frame. Trucked over Vauxhall Bridge, the boat is now in Westminster as the platform for my Degree Show piece- a 24/7 interactive art exhibition. And what do my fellow art students make of it all?! Many watched on bemused. With large sums of money involved [to build support structures, for cranes and flatbed trucks] most suspected it might never happen. And then the mast arrived… A flurry of emails and paper work ensued between internal college authorities. There was no escape from the demon, 'Health and Safety!' 

Photo: Guy Bell 

Now there are new issues to deal with- wind-age must be kept to a minimum and so down came the exhibition-mesh mainsail last night. I am still getting to grips with the composting toilet and lament the fact that the only place to put it is smack bang in the middle of the main cabin. I waste a lot of time carefully climbing over it. I confess that I am not the greatest gardener and so inevitably at some point, it is going to hum! I have outsourced the job of finding Westminster flower beds in need of fertilisation! 


Photo: Guy Bell 

The trail of office workers through the courtyard, on their way to work, has now picked up to a steady stream. I must get the main up, but first find another pin to replace the one I unfortunately dropped yesterday over the side!


Welcome to Lia Ditton’s Blog for Absolute Solitude

June 6, 2006

As Lia continues on her 'land' voyage mimicing her trip across the Atlantic last year in the OStar 2005, her articles of reflection will be published on this blog. The articles of reflection written at the same time on her voyage will also be republished.

Feel free to write comments, or post questions….