On Pelican of London, we have weighed anchor and are on our way from the Isle of Man to Dublin Bay.
Soon we’ll set sails and our progress will depend on nature’s forces. There is beauty in that and applying the skills, experience and strength of the ship’s crew to harness the wind. A metaphor for life.
Harnessing the wind was also the theme of last night’s engineering game: the wind turbine design competition, where our young trainees worked in teams to construct a set of blades mounted on a cork that would drive a dynamo in a breeze. The ‘breeze’ came from my hair dryer (its sole use for several years).
The competing teams had to communicate the design concept to the audience before their turbine was put to the test. Measuring the generated voltage was a quantitative way of comparing the efficiency of the turbines. In addition, communication and aesthetics of the design were ranked by the panel to determine the winning team.
Courtesy of Sail Training Ireland, we had a number of prizes awarded, including leather key rings, USB cards, pens and sweeties.
It was a fun evening and it was great to see everybody joining in with competitive spirit and some serious thoughts about engineering. Making best use of the different talents in a team yielded the best result overall, a perfect parallel to life on board a tall ship and an important lesson for professional development.