Diesel, Diesels and Darwin

»«Sunday 11th March 2012

This weekend’s cruiser talk, 'Diesel, Diesels and Darwin' by Derek Corless, did what it said on the tin and more. Derek, who is setting up a motor boat section of the cruiser fleet, described how to keep your engine happy – clean inside and out, elements of good tank design, be careful where you fill up, the dangers of various new developments in fuel and the importance of filters. So clear was Derek’s explanation that the Cruiser Class Captain, Sue King, was inspired for a few moments to think she could actually change a filter...

There was also a hissing boiler in the corner of the room where Wee Dougie, Para Handy’s mate off the Clyde Puffer, The Vital Spark, scalded his fingers as he demonstrated how two types of steam driven engines work. Wendy Eagling brought along her model traction engine, unfortunately without instructions, but it steamed as she pushed it along the floor with great gusto.

More than sixty people attended the Sunday lunchtime event and heard how the engineer, Rudolph Diesel, disappeared over the side of a Cross Channel ferry in suspicious circumstances, and learned that fuel can be made of almost anything. This was where Darwin came in; Derek’s description of how bacteria, plants and other organisms can be programmed to make fuel but then evolve to ‘talk’ to each other and develop into other scary substances was the stuff of horror movies.

In the next Cruiser Talk, finishing this strong winter series with a flourish, we are delighted to welcome Mike Peyton, giving his first talk after a lifetime of amusing all kinds of 'yotties' with his cartoons - full details can be read here...

Anne Heasley